Wake and Whimsy

{basically} Free Wall Art: DIY


If you are looking for some free, custom wall art, this is the tutorial for you. Here is how you can transform black and white printed pictures into colorful works of art! You will need standard sized paper that you can put in a computer printer. I used just regular printer paper, but I recommend finding something that has a little more weight to it so that it doesn’t wrinkle up from the water. The size is usually 8.5″ by 11″. You’ll also need a printer, watercolor paint and paintbrush, and an 8.5″ by 11″ picture frame. I was able to find my frames at the Dollar Store!

***these images do NOT belong to me***



So the first thing you’re going to do is find the pictures you want to print out. Be specific with your search, and make sure you search for “black and white”. You want the picture to have a lot of definition and depth to it. If it looks too “cartoon-ish”, then your final product is not going to look very good. As you can see, the ones that I chose have a lot of shading. I chose pictures that have more than just an outline.

Now you just need to add some paint. Watercolor is really the only thing that’s going to work for this, so don’t try to use acrylic or just any kind of craft paint. When you are painting, be really careful not to get too much water on the paper, because this will make the paper all wrinkly. If you have paper that is a little more thick, that will make it easier. Just keep dabbing your paintbrush on a paper towel to get rid of excess water. This makes the process a little longer, but it’s worth it! To get the right effect, paint mostly just on the parts that are white. Don’t get too much paint on the black areas or your picture will end up looking “muddled” and all smudgy. If you do get too much water on there, or you get too much paint on the black areas, just quickly use your paper towel to dab it off. Think of your paint as just an accent to the picture. It looks kind of neat when you leave some of it black and white.

A little patience and a little practice is all it takes to turn these printed pictures into colorful art. I was actually really happy with the way mine turned out! This is a really easy project, it just takes some time and precision. With that being said, it may be a good idea to do a practice run first. But if I can do it, so can you!




11 thoughts on “{basically} Free Wall Art: DIY

  1. I just stumbled across your blog. I’m in love!! Thank you for inspiring me. x

  2. These are so cute!!!! I love this idea. I am stopping in from The International Bloggers Association. I blog over at The Adventures of Noble & Pond. I also love your knitting patterns. They are very easy to follow, and that is really important to me because I want to learn how to knit, but it just seems daunting to me! I can crochet, but I’m still a bit nervous about knitting! Hope to connect with you more in the future! Have a great day 🙂

  3. where would I find these kind of pictures in the black and white? You did a beautiful job. Thank you,Diana

    • Thanks, Diana! I just did a Google search for them. I searched for “vintage bird, black and white, art”…stuff like that. You might be able to find something good on Pinterest too. Once I found what I wanted, I copied it onto a Word document and just printed it out! 🙂

  4. Moreever the paper also doesn’t looks wrinkled… very nice job! Happy Painting!

  5. These are dollar tree frames? I couldnt find so good ones…


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