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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Dollar Store Decorating ~ Ballard Designs Inspired Paint Chip Mosaic Art

Happy Wednesday!! I'm back with another super easy and super cheap Dollar Store decorating idea!
I was visiting blogs a few weeks ago when I was housebound with shingles, and I found this blog where Jennifer had made the most gorgeous artwork out of paint chips, inspired by a $279 Ballard Designs item!!

I have a small area in the family room that needed a pop of color. Our family room is painted a deep, rich brown called Library Pewter from Sherwin Williams, and it's like a cave in there.  I'm about ready for a lighter wall color, but this is what we have to work with now!

I already had a tacky Dollar Tree picture on canvas that I bought to paint over and use for something.  I also had sponge paint brushes from the dollar store, mod podge, burnt umber and gold acrylic paints, I just needed the paint chips.  When I finally got to go out of the house without worry of exposing someone to chicken pox, I met a friend at IHOP in Buford, and ran into Home Depot next door to grab a handful of paint chip cards in blues, golds and browns.  BUT....these weren't squares, they were rectangles. DARN IT!

When I got home, this is what I had to start my project with:

Dontcha love that bird picture? Still, a buck for a canvas is a deal!! I have a few more of these stuck away for other projects!!  You have to look at things and imagine their potential when you are shopping, whether at Goodwill, a thrift store, or Dollar Tree.

So to begin my artwork, I cut out 1" squares of the colors I liked the best - I chose golds, chocolate browns and robin's egg blue for the most part.  I got 3 squares per color.

First I painted the canvas with the burnt umber, and dabbed some gold around the edges of the canvas.  After it dried, I played around with the paint chip squares to get them in a pattern I liked.  I didn't have spray adhesive, which is what the tutorial suggests, so I used glue.  Next time I will start at the edges and work my way into the center, but this time I just worked from one side to the other.  The way I did it, the paint chips aren't perfectly lined up, but hey, live and learn!

After they were glued on and dry, I added a coat of burnt umber paint (I used what I had on hand - in the tutorial Jennifer used stain).  I wiped it off with a paper towel, then added a little more to some of the lighter chips to distress them a little more.  I wanted it to be dark enough to look good on the wall, but still pretty and colorful.  Once that dried, I added two coats of matte mod podge.  They added some funky texture to this piece.  Finally, I added a coat of gold metallic paint, which I also wiped off with a paper towel.  Here's my finished artwork ~

It's not perfect, but I LOVE it!! It's just the pop of color and texture I was looking for.  It's hard to see all of the different colors in this photo because my flash just highlighted the gold paint!  But you can see the texture and that's my favorite part of it!

Here is a shot of it without the flash - the colors aren't the same in real life, but it gives you a better picture of the distressing and the colors....

 I will be making a few more of these - one for Katie's bathroom, and maybe one for the master bedroom.  They are really easy to make, it just takes time cutting out the squares and waiting for it to dry! 

Check out Jennifer's blog for her step by step tutorial!! She did such a great job and I'm so happy I found her blog!!


  1. that is pretty cool!!! I'll be decorating my sons whole bday party this year via the dollar store. It is amazing what you can do with a little bit of creativity!

  2. Look at you, Miss Crafty! I love it and will probably totally copy it. (the most sincere form of flattery...)


  3. Awww, thanks for linking back to me, it looks awesome! I'll have to check out my Dollar Store, thanks for the idea! I'm following you back. :)

  4. That's very creative!

    I'm a new follower. I found you from Thrifty&Frugal by Debbie's blog hop.


  5. Thanks for the nice comment about my rolodex calender! It truly is fast and easy to make. I am now your newest follower!

  6. This is great -have had one of these on my to do list for a while. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am following you back now.

  7. I need something for a particular wall in my house, and I LOVE this. I think yours turned out awesome! Can't wait to try it. Thank you!


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