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I think one of the most difficult things for me with decorating is that I love paintings.  But they can be so expensive - especially if you want to get larger ones.  And as I was drooling over some of the larger ones the other day at Home Goods - one of the cheapest places I know to get paintings - I saw a painting I loved for $50.  It had a similar look and color scheme to a poster I saw at Hobby Lobby for much less.  On sale, that poster was only $4.98 (50% off!).  But a poster just isn't the same as a painting.    

The thing is - what makes a painting a painting is the texture.  The brushstrokes against the canvas.  That is why posters are a sad substitute for paintings.  You lose the texture against that clean smooth matte finish of a poster.  For as beautiful as they are - they lack the depth that a painting has, they lack the grain of the paint.

And as I pondered this - I had a flash of brilliance.  What if I could replicate that depth and texture?  So I decided to give it a go - and for a $5 poster - what did I have to lose?  So here is what we started with - my $5 poster and a cardboard back from the frame I got at Goodwill this weekend.  (Oh and until I decide what I am going to do with my old coffee table, it makes an excellent work table don't you think!)

Next, we need to create texture and adhere paper to cardboard, so grab the Mod Podge and put a nice layer on the cardboard and smooth the poster ever so carefully on.  Make sure you get it laid down smooth or it will bubble (but we will get to that).

Next - using the poster as your guide - brush on the Mod Podge in the direction of the strokes in your poster.  I found that it is helpful to use a brush that is similar in size to the one that was used to create the original work and that has rougher bristles so you get a better texture.  Don't worry - if this is your first time working with Mod Podge, it will dry clear.  Oh and if you do get any of those bubbles - just smoosh them down (don't worry if it bunches) and add another layer of Mod Podge - it will just look like layered paint! 

I did two coats to really give it some depth and oooh do I love the results!    Check out these close ups of it dry. 

And here .....

I love the way it turned out!   Check out another shot.  It really looks like a painting now!! 

I then cut down one of the mats from my Goodwill painting to show off as much of the painting as possible but cover that white poster edge!  If you ever need to do that you just need a cutting board and a sharp cutting object.  I used my rotary cutter and a carpenter's square.

I would just use a pencil to outline your cuts and go from there. 

So here is my finished project - for $10 I got this beautiful 16x20 work of "art"!  I put it in my Goodwill frame.  (After I gave it a nice coat of satin black spray paint of course!) 

So what do you think?  Do you have a blank space that needs a little love?  I can't wait to put this up in my master bath - those bright colors will help get me going on those early mornings!  And it turned out so well, I am thinking about doing this on an even larger scale!  Stay tuned!  Oh and if you haven't hopped over to join my new Facebook Page - your going to be missing out!  I will be posting project sneak peaks and other news over there so head over and give me a "Like"!

Visit thecsiproject.com

35 frugal friends said ...

Tru said... @ July 13, 2010 at 6:46 AM

I think it turned out beautifully. Nice job!

Anonymous said... @ July 13, 2010 at 9:15 AM

That looks awesome!!! I would have NEVER thought of doing that to a poster.

Kari said... @ July 13, 2010 at 9:18 AM

This looks awesome! Thanks for the inspiration!

Kate Riley said... @ July 13, 2010 at 1:29 PM

Brilliant. That is all.

KimMalk said... @ July 13, 2010 at 2:28 PM

What a great idea-I love the brush stroke look, too! Your new blog format looks fantastic. I'm going to give mine a bit of a makeover, too.

K @ My Forgotten Favorite said... @ July 13, 2010 at 5:07 PM

This is such a cool idea! You created a true work of art.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said... @ July 13, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Wow! Jess, it looks amazing. :) Great idea!!

the old white house said... @ July 13, 2010 at 10:02 PM

Great idea! Thanks for sharing! Theresa

Unknown said... @ July 13, 2010 at 10:13 PM

I never thought about Modpodge! There is a medium made by either Delta or FolkArt made just for this. But shoot, yours looks great!

Next time though, it's gonna be one of MY piy kits, 'kay?

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said... @ July 13, 2010 at 10:43 PM

That is brilliant - WOW!

Anonymous said... @ July 14, 2010 at 5:07 AM

That's a great idea. It does, indeed, look like a painting, and I love the colors -- it could fit right into my guest room :). I also like you rotary cutter. I bet that really helps with cutting a nice straight line. I think I will pick up with of those too. As always, great inspiration and ideas, Jess!

Unknown said... @ July 14, 2010 at 5:56 AM

This looks great! Love the color, too.

concretenprimroses said... @ July 14, 2010 at 6:55 AM

Nicely done.

Janell @ House of Fifty said... @ July 14, 2010 at 7:40 AM

This is really a brilliant idea! It works, and looks great! Janell

Lisa said... @ July 14, 2010 at 8:29 AM

What an interesting idea! It takes something ordinary and boring to the next level! You came up with an awesome idea!

Vanessa said... @ July 14, 2010 at 8:34 AM

Looks beautiful, nice idea! I might have to try this on some of my thrift store prints. I do love buying the paintings directly from the local artists I admire most of all, it helps support them and gives me a piece to be truly proud of.

Pam - @diy Design Fanatic said... @ July 14, 2010 at 8:43 AM

Very Clever! You picked a wonderful a wonderful poster to work with!!!

Terri Smith said... @ July 14, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Oh My Goodness Jess..this technique is wonderful! My name is Terri Smith and I'm a Mixed Media artist and girl..I have to tell you..this slight of hand Mod-Podge trick was BRILLIANT!

I found you today by way of Bobbypins Boardwalk Bragfest. I'm participating today for the first time and have been blown away with all the beautiful creations from all the participants.

If you'd like to drop over my place, you can find me at: http://dimplesdragonflies.com


elizabeth said... @ July 14, 2010 at 10:16 PM

What a wonderful idea! I just may have to try this!

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger said... @ July 15, 2010 at 6:38 PM



said... @ July 18, 2010 at 9:52 PM

I love the way this turned out! Great idea!
~ Julie

Unknown said... @ July 20, 2010 at 9:07 PM

This is fab!

Anonymous said... @ July 20, 2010 at 11:13 PM

genius! the results are stunning! thank you so much for sharing this great idea!!

Doreen said... @ July 26, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Hello Jess
Thanks to Amy at Mod Podge Rocks, I found your creative blog post! Your frugal altered art poster is beautiful. As soon as I make myself a fresh pot of coffee, I will sit down and read more of your creative posts. Can't wait to see new ones as well as I am now one of your loyal followers.

Anonymous said... @ July 27, 2010 at 12:37 PM

i commented earlier how much i admired this idea - so unique and creative, and the results are stunning! i wanted to share this with others by including this post in my weekly roundup of inspiring projects and ideas, blogged here:

Bobbinoggin said... @ July 27, 2010 at 6:11 PM

You can also use spray adhesive (fixative) and place the poster on black or white foam core. This is a great solution if you want to be able to view the texture without the piece being muffled by glass. (to hang, just use adhesive velcro)

Also—you can play with different textures with the modge podge. Use a sponge. Add a tint of color to the modge podge. You can really be creative with this project.

I took a calendar of asian paintings and did this.

Infarrantly Creative said... @ July 28, 2010 at 9:55 PM

Just to let you know they actually have Mod Podge that is meant for this. It is a specialty flavor. Did you see this idea on my blog?

Jenn Erickson said... @ August 1, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Amazing! Yet another incredible application of the every versatile, crafter's BFF ~ Mod Podge!

Nessa said... @ September 2, 2010 at 5:52 AM

Very clever! Thanks for the suggestion to use a brush similar to the original size - I can see (now) how useful that would be.

Anonymous said... @ February 28, 2011 at 10:36 PM

This is such a great idea! Keep up the good work!

midesigngroup@cox.net said... @ April 11, 2011 at 9:33 AM

What a great idea! I love how it turned out. I am pulling stuff together to make a gallery wall and I am definitelty going to try this and add it to my wall! Thanks for sharing!

Janice (YaYa) said... @ January 9, 2012 at 1:27 AM

About 45 years ago a friend & I did the same thing except we got a lil' more artistic LOL We pretended to actually paint and the layering of the Mod Podge built up to a point it actually looked as if our "tree strokes" were REAL! Oh what fun and memories..........in fact I may do one for my grandaughter! Thanks for the memory!
( :~ D)). (Note: double chins now!)

Anonymous said... @ October 4, 2013 at 5:38 AM

Lose the mat - real paintings aren't matted.

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