The dining room was the very first room in the house that Will & I painted. Yet somehow it is one of the last rooms where I have put up wall decor or curtains. I don’t really have an excuse for why except that I couldn’t find anything I liked to put on the walls, and I haven’t found a style of curtains I like yet. About a year ago I decided that I really liked the look of framed botanical prints and thought that edible plants would be cute to put up on the wall. There are many sets of these you can buy online, like these for instance, but the price is exorbitant – $200 for one framed print?? This discouraged me and I forgot about the wall decor for a while.
I gave up the search until one day I went with my mom to an estate sale furnishing store and found an original watercolor by Rosalind Oesterle with the perfect gold frame to compliment my dining room (which was much less than the framed prints!). I was convinced it would go beautifully with some botanical prints on the opposing wall so this kicked off the hunt again. I couldn’t find anything I liked in a reasonable price range until a trip to the Brimfield Fair with Ka & Joe gave me an idea. We had stopped by a booth that was selling botanical prints. They were perfect and exactly what I was looking for! I asked the owner some questions about the prints and he answered every question I asked him rudely and sarcastically. He was a complete JERK! I have never had such an awful experience talking to someone for so short an amount of time! Even though the prints were exactly what was looking for, I couldn’t justify giving this awful, rude man my money so I promptly thanked him and about faced out of the booth. It was so hard to do considering I had been searching for so long for these prints and here they were, imprisoned by this rude man!
When I left the booth Joe commented that he had clearly cut them out of books and were selling each for the price of many times that of a whole book (the prints were $30-$50 each depending on size). Genius observation Joe! So when I returned home I scoured the internet for large format books of botanical prints. I found the best reviewed one was this one with prints by Basilius Besler. I purchased the book used for $38 and then searched through the entire thing when it arrived for pictures of edible plants. I found around 20 large format pages of edible plants. I decided I would pick 4 edible herbs, since the color schemes of these were complimentary. My final choices included mint, pennyroyale, feverfew and basil that were on the same plates as some other edible plants like edible marigolds.
Next I cut each page out as close as I could to the spine using an Xacto-knife.
I waited until Michaels had a sale on frames and purchased 4 16″x20″gold frames for half price ($25 a piece). Then I waited for another sale and purchased 4 16″x20″ cream colored mats with 10″x13″ openings. The mats cost me $7.50 a piece. I then matted and framed each picture.
After I matted and framed each print I enlisted Will to help me hang them. I measured the size of each frame and cut out 4 rectangles from scrap paper. On the papers I drew a line down the center and marked an “x” where the wire hanger would hit the center line when pulled taunt. Because each frame’s hanger tension could be slightly different, I did this separately for each frame.
Next I taped up a piece of string from the ceiling to represent the halfway point of the wall. I would center my frames around this line. After I adjusted the rectangles where I wanted them I simply hammered in hangers at the “x” markings and hung the paintings.
I’m really happy with how they came out, and the grand total for the project was $168! That’s less than just a single matted botanical print from Ballard Designs! Now I just need to work on window treatments…