DIY Watercolor Hydrangea Wall Art

When I started brainstorming ideas for my most recent nook design – I knew I wanted to use  a large, framed art piece. In two of the previous designs, I had used a vertical canvas, which is why I wanted to switch things up with a frame this time around.

Layering Rardon Design Hydrangea Nook

 

Here came my first challenge: this beaut is big – approx. 30″ x 36″, and large frames are expensive. Don’t get me wrong… sometimes you have to spend some dough when decorating a space. But, I only decorate this nook a few times a year – so I knew this frame would only be used for a little while. So, I set out to find a cheaper option. Enter my totally awesome father…

My dad tore down an old home on one of his farms a few years ago. And the best part: he had the foresight to save some of the wood. Um… thanks dad! [Did you know your oddly creative daughter would praise you for this for years to come?!]  I asked him if we could use some of the wood to build the frame, and like all good dads – he agreed to his daughter’s request.

Building the frame was pretty simple. The boards of reclaimed wood we used were wider than we wanted – so we cut them down to size on a table saw. We then cut the ends of each board at 45 degree angles where the corners would meet – making sure we cut the angle properly for the cut edge of each piece to be on the inside of the frame. You can see that more clearly in the image below: cut edges on inside of frame & raw edges on outside of frame.

Step by Step Cuts

 

To connect the 4 sides, we screwed these L-brackets on the back. No nails. No glue. Easy-peasy DIY: just the way I like it! I knew the frame didn’t have to be superhero strong because it doesn’t have to support any glass, so the L-brackets work great! Speaking of no glass, that leads me to the next step… stapling a piece of canvas to the back of the frame.

Corner Bracket

 

 

Stapled Back
Let the watercolor magic begin! [Can you tell I’m painting in our dining room from the picture below?] Working out of your home is crazy business – and sometimes I make messes… so many projects going on at one time – it just explodes throughout our house. [Yes, I apologize to my detail-oriented husband on a regular basis.]

 

Frame Ready To Paint

 

 

Starting With The Blue

 

 

Drippy Blue Hydrangeas

 

I love the look of all the drips and runs – so I purposely loaded my brush with lots of color and water to get this effect.

Flower Power

 

I created several layers of color, starting with the larger areas in the background. Because these are more muted, I added more water to the paint. As I created more layers on top, I used less and less water to get areas of more saturated color. This process gives the flowers a lot more dimension, texture, and interest! I prefer to use high-end water containers when painting… [notice the reused sour cream container above].

And here’s the finished project. One-of-a-kind, DIY artwork!

Layering Hydrangeas

 

Side Detail

 

On Air One [90.1 in Norfolk] this morning, they were talking about the little things that our dads do for us – asking listeners to call in with their stories, because of Father’s Day coming up this weekend. Thank you to my dad for saving wood for my projects, for showing me how to use the saws, and for letting me use his tools. Couldn’t have done this DIY without him!

-Rachel

 

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