DIY postcard wall art | How About Orange

November 01, 2012

DIY postcard wall art

I made something new for the living room: a big collage of postcards mounted on foam board.

This boxed set of 100 vintage Penguin book cover postcards was on the clearance table at Anthropologie a couple weeks ago. I had to have it. I love books. I love the cover designs, and I love the color palette. They were too good not to display somehow. You can also get them here from Amazon.

I decided to lay out my favorites on the biggest piece of foamcore I could find at my local art store (30"x40" for $5). It seemed more interesting to give the collage a 3D look with postcards coming forward at different heights. So I cut some small pieces of foam board and stacked them to create "risers" for some of the cards. I used one, two, or three layers to vary the depth.

I stuck the foam pieces together and attached the postcards to the board with double-sided ATG tape I had on hand. It was better than wet glue which could warp the postcards.

I could have measured and cut the foam board to the precise size before sticking on the postcards, but I wanted to be certain of having a perfectly trimmed edge that was flush with the cards. So I opted to trim the board after seeing where the postcards ended up (keeping the 3D ones aligned was a bit tricky). Starting at the top left corner and working down, I stuck all the postcards onto the board except for the right-most column and the bottom row. Then I marked where the edges of the last cards would end up and cut off the excess board with an X-acto knife on a cutting mat. I aligned the last postcards with the edge and attached them.

To keep the large foam board from warping and to make a way to hang it on the wall, I hot-glued it to wooden stretcher bars. This frame had an old canvas stretched on it that I removed so I could reuse it. You could also buy wooden stretcher bars for a couple bucks each at an art store; they come in any length you could possibly want and have slotted corners for snapping them together (details here). The frame can be smaller than the foam board; mine happened to be the same height.

I added a sawtooth hanger to the top. One was enough because it's a pretty light-weight piece. You could also use picture wire or any hanging method you like.

I added self-adhesive felt pads to the four corners to protect the wall from scratches.


The book titles are very interesting. "An Intelligent Woman's Guide"? Is it different than the guide for men? Is there another guide for non-intelligent women?

Yes, there must be a pony! I haven't heard of this novel, but the title makes me happy. Oh, I just searched and here's where it comes from.

I hope visitors enjoy reading the book titles as much as I do. Soft Fruit Growing, Scootering, Explosives, and Aircraft Recognition all sound like very useful manuals and could make a person quite well-rounded.

43 comments:

AngieBrumley said...

This would be a fun project to do with my Pantone postcards. But I'm kinda hating them (the company) right now. lol ;-)

Jessica Jones said...

Yeah, that would look cool! But I hate them, too. I haven't upgraded my Adobe stuff to CS6 yet, and figuring out how to add the Pantone Plus colors to my palettes was impossible. I gave up, unsuccessful and ticked off.

Suzanne said...

Your project is great and reminded me very much of a quilt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lilysquilts/5163484997/

I hope you get to read your way through some of those.

Jessica Jones said...

Wow, I love that Penguin book quilt!

Grandma G said...

Now that's interesting wall art! Next time we come, I definitely need a closer look!

Mum

Jessica Jones said...

I think "Common Sense About Smoking" or "The Compleat Angler" will be right up your alley.

Anna @ In The Next 30 Days said...

Oh! This project makes me so happy. I love the idea, and this would be perfect above my desk. Thanks. :)

Nina said...

And the Intelligent Woman's Guide is, of course, written by a man...

Grandma G said...

Ha - yeah, those are definitely me. ;-P "Men Without Women" sounds intriguing, however.......

annie dee said...

That's a great project! Love it!

Live a Colorful Life said...

I LOVE this idea. I see someone already linked you to Lynne's Penguin Books quilt. Isn't it fabulous?!

Ashley said...

great idea!

Sheryl said...

Great minds... I did this a couple of years ago when the Penguin postcard collection came out: I even varied the depths with foam like you did. Only difference, I put it all into an Ikea Ribba frame at the end to protect it from little fingers. :-) One of the best parts was sorting through all the postcards to pick the best/funniest!

Jessica Jones said...

Totally agree! Choosing the cards was the best part by far!

Ali said...

I have that box of postcards and I love how you displayed them.

Tiffany Gholar said...

What a great idea! I used to paint on sheets of foam core mounted on wooden stretcher bars. Wood glue also works well as an adhesive for them if you use clamps.

Kashmira said...

I love this idea - I was trying to come up with how to use my pantone postcards in an artistic way - and this may just work! There Must Be A Pony is my husbands all time favourite book! I have yet to read it!

Kirsty@Bonjour said...

Love this idea! Not only for the book cover post cards but it would be great to display a collection of cards bought while on holidays. A quick ready-reckoner of where you've been.

Kathy W said...

What a cool idea! And I love those postcards. Now I'm going to have to buy some. Thanks for the enabling.

Debie Grace said...

So cute! :D

Beky said...

Thank you for the idea. I am so going to do this, with the vintage maps postcards that I have. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Love it! Unfortunately I can't make myself shop at Anthropology anymore (I LOVED that place) since I know it is owned by some crazy$&# extreme right-winger. Just like Urbanoutfitters, loved that place too, but same owner :-(

Marg M said...

Love reading your blog always great things to check out and do lovely...

Kate said...

I love this idea! Looks easy to do and the finished product is beautiful. I want to try this! :)

erica said...

i have that box of postcards too! i love them and this might be just the project for them :) thanks for sharing it with us.

http://homeworkfox.com/ said...

Pics are great! I watched them with great delight, thank you

el Shysh said...

gReat, again.

Unknown said...

I did a similar thing a few years ago but in a very large ikea frame - I love it! Your idea is gorgeous but I fear the postcards would not stand up to our evaporative aircon without protection

Kate said...

This is fantastic. I've gone to order postcards. Pantone has a fabulous set out too, Vanity Fair magazine covers also. I'll mix and match. Maybe on black foamcore...

Gabrielle Treanor said...

Absolutely love this idea, thanks so much for sharing, just need to find postcards I want to use…

Ali said...

That is so cool! I love the postcards having to do with books! Reason to scour junk sales and build a vintage post card collection.
Ali
www.40tasks.blogspot.com

ays said...

this is so cute. i think i'll do this on travel postcards

Simple Simon & Co said...

So awesome. I love it.
-liZ

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

This is so fantastic! I own the Penguin postcards, but I wasn't sure what to do with the ones I wanted to keep.

Linda, Fröken S said...

This is so neat! What a good idea. I think I will try something similar.

Robyn said...

love it-looks fab! I might steal (borrow! :)) this idea!

Judy said...

This is utterly fabulous, so creative. so interesting and so colorful. I know right where I'm going to put it! Thanks for the great tutorial!

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures said...

Such a brilliant idea!

Tanya said...

Such a great idea. My husband and I made one today for a wall that has been bare in our living room for 2 years.

Erin said...

This is great! I've been meaning to make my own version of this since last year and today I finally did. I love it! Thank you!

Pam K said...

Been a while since the original post, but just wanted to thank you for this inspiration! I just finished this project with WPA National Park postcards! Here: https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1/1908031_10100100379500778_1529766841_n.jpg, and https://scontent-b-iad.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/t1/1654227_10100100379510758_1242233842_n.jpg.

Jessica Jones said...

I love it, Pam!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog post - I made this wall art today after seeing your post and it turned out vey well - a cheap and cheerful way to brighten up a wall! Thanks :)

ShareThis