Healthy and Sane

DIY kitchen art

December 12th, 2011 · 16 Comments · Misc

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I’ve been slowly but surely making our condo feel like home. Most of the furniture we had from our previous apartment fit right in and we bought the remaining large items within months of moving in… but it’s the little touches (like curtains, area rugs and ART) that I think really pull it all together. These also happen to be the things that I’m most indecisive about… which is why we’ve lived here for over two years and I’m still not done with decorating the place. I’m going to call myself thorough Winking smile

Take this electrical panel right outside of our kitchen. Not exactly a looker. I’ve been searching for the perfect piece of art to cover this beast for well, 2+ years… until eventually I decided to take matters into my own hands and just make something myself!!

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I thought making a collage of some of my favorite food pictures would be a fun project (and I was right). It’s very personal (I cooked and photographed every dish!) and it brings up memories of delicious meals often enjoyed with friends. Dishes that came right from the kitchen around the corner! Appropriate, no?

So I hit up Michael’s for a cheap 24×30” picture frame (custom frames to exactly cover the panel were upwards of $100 so this $30 one was a bit larger than “needed” but actually ended up being perfect since it allowed for more pictures!), a blue matboard and a Fashionably Chic paper pad (<—sort of an impulse purchase that I was very happy I got!)

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[Use the insert in the picture frame to cut your matboard to the right size.]

Then I printed some of my favorite food pics in 4×6” and 5×7” (I asked Adam to pick his absolute favorites and those were enlarged). CVS did an amazing job – these came out so bright and made me super proud of my “work.” Open-mouthed smile

I honestly had no idea what I was going to do with them but after shuffling the pictures around I noticed this pattern was symmetrical and covered the whole board nicely. Sweet!

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Next up I ripped out my favorite patterns from the paper pad and started cutting out rectangles around the pictures to see what worked and what didn’t. The border was pretty thin so I actually think that anything would look pretty nice since the pattern wouldn’t really overwhelm the photos. At the end I went with a “bolder” blue pattern and two lighter yellow ones. Blue and yellow look pretty, don’t you think?

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There was a lot of math and a lot of measuring. I also didn’t have a proper ruler (please do yourself a favor and get one if you ever try attempting something like that!) so I used a kitchen measuring tape and a 5×7 photo most of the time for measuring and drawing lines. Not ideal but I got the hang of it after a while.

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Once all the background rectangles were cut and glued to the pictures (I measured some more to make sure they were centered!), additional math and measuring was required to ensure my pictures were glued symmetrically within the frame. This was quite meticulous and almost meditative. It took a few hours for several days but I loved every minute of it. Apparently I have a crafts-bone in me after all! Open-mouthed smile

The end result:

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Not the best picture since the glass in the frame is reflective but hopefully you get the idea. I’m really happy with how it came out! Smile

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If you’re looking to add a little spice to your kitchen (or hallway!), I highly recommend snapping some photos of your favorite meals and bringing them to life in a photo collage (obviously if you’re a food blogger, you are part of the way there!).

Are you crafty? What other artsy DIY projects have you done?

PS – In case you’re curious, here are links to the recipes in the collage.

Left column Mid-column Right column
1. Shchi (cabbage soup) 1. Sirki (Russian cheesecake pops) 1. Summer fruit cobbler
2. Apple rumtini 2. Chocolate covered homemade marshmallows 2. Homemade marshmallows
3. Apple cinnamon protein coffee cake 3. Whoopie pie 3. Husk tomatoes
4. Weeknight light mac ‘n cheese 4. Pizza monkey bread 4. Egg yolk + flour
5. Lemony ricotta with cacao nibs 5. Blueberry and hazelnut baked French toast 5. Homemade challah bread
6. Ponchiki (Russian doughnut holes) 6. Homemade caramel chocolate cups 6. Chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookie
7. Lemony sugar cookies

… and if you want them all (and more!) in one place, they are saved on Pinterest.

PPS – The winner of the Nasoya giveaway is #52 – Audrey. Thanks for mentioning the giveaway on your blog, Audrey – this helped you win!  Congrats! Please email your address to

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • #1 - Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living

    What a fabulous project! Great idea, and it came out beautifully. I am most definitely NOT a crafty person, but you are an inspiration… maybe I’ll try my hand at a photo collage.

  • #2 - Cara

    That’s so very cool! I’ve been thinking a lot about how to turn my photos into artwork or usable items. I think it would be awesome to have an artist take my photos and turn them into cool illustrations or prints with different color effects, and make artwork to hang, coasters, or magnets, etc. I know there must be someone on etsy who does this and I keep hinting at Ben that this would be a very cool gift for me 😉

  • #4 - Michelle

    This looks AWESOME! SO cool looking!

  • #5 - Elizabeth

    That looks awesome! Really nice job on it. DIY projects are so satisfying.

  • #6 - Ranjani

    Love this idea – it looks gorgeous! Once I have some free time again I would love to try a similar project for our apartment

  • #7 - Megan

    I wish I was that artsy! I try to do things like that and they just end up looking like I tried… but didn’t really succeed. Your collage is awesome!

  • #8 - Kelly

    Very fun. I’ve always wanted to turn some of my favorite pictures into wall art but am always so critical of the photos I take. What a great project! Since my condo buying dreams are on hold, I love living vicariously through you.

  • #9 - shannon

    what a fun project! turned out great :)

  • #10 - Amanda

    I love this! So much better than store-bought art, and I bet it will be a great conversation piece.

  • #11 - One Healthy Apple

    I love it- maybe if I actually learned to use our DSLR I could do something like this one day :)

    It turned out really nice.

  • #12 - Suze

    LOVE it! Nice job!

  • #13 - Taryn

    This is a great idea! Such an economical, personal and pretty way to add character to your space, and to disguise something that’s not so pretty to look at. I love it!

  • #14 - Kerstin

    You did such a great job – I love it! It’s making me crave that pizza monkey bread too … :)

  • #15 - Emily @ A Cambridge Story

    Wow, this is gorgeous!! You never know how those DIY projects are gonna turn out (at least when I do them!) but this is stunning!

  • #16 - My 30 by 30 list | Healthy and Sane

    […] the little projects around the house, incl. decorative details – lots done including a fun food photo collage project, new walk-in closet, pictures, etc. It looks put together […]