I Didn’t Make That: An Art Project Fail

Over the weekend I tackled an art project I have had on my list for a while now. My inspiration came from the Young House Love book, project #124: Whip Up Custom State Art. Imagine the outline of your home state cut out of pretty patterned paper and framed. Nice, right? Since I have this triple frame from IKEA waiting to be reworked, I thought it would be perfect for framing the home states of the three people in our family.

Old Art

I removed about 15 staples so I could open up the back of the frame and get to the glue that had come unglued inside. At this point I also spray painted the frame with an oil rubbed bronze finish.

Removed Frame Backing

I discovered the art print was glued directly to the backing of the frame, so I couldn’t remove it without ruining the mat I wanted to save. I’d have to go over the flower prints and I decided to use paint. I had some craft paint on hand and picked out one of my favorite colors.

Paint Over Old Picture

That was one coat. It looks okay, but needs another. I didn’t do the edges very well, but I thought that was okay because when I put the glass back over the art print, the frosted areas of the glass covered the edge. It took me a while to get the right size outline. I had to resize using my copier a couple of times. Then I cut out each outline.

Tri State Art

I’m from Iowa, Jeromy is from Ohio and our son, Josh, was born in Maryland. If you consider using Maryland for this project, I advise against it. I didn’t realize Maryland had so many islands and inlets. What a pain in the toosh. I decided this looks a little blah, so I wanted to add more color.

Paint Outline

I outlined each state with avocado green. When everything was dry, I put the frame back together and this is how it turned out.


The edges didn’t line up like I expected. Once the glass was put in the frame, the frosted glass didn’t cover the edges of the squares. Shoot. My dear hubby took one look at it and didn’t say a word. So, of course I said, “shut up!”

“Are you going to tell people Josh made that?”

“Probably,” I admitted.

Groan and eyeroll. I don’t know why I try to be an artist. My skills never match up to my imagination. I can visualize the heck out of something, but executing the art is a problem for me. I can do a quality job painting a wall, but I can’t paint a shape to save my hiney. Maybe I should stick to photography?

I don’t know what I’m going to do with this piece now. I suppose I’ll keep the frame because I like the shape and size. I think the glass is cool because it’s frosted to reveal three prints. I’ll probably have to cut a new poster board to cover the back so I can reuse it. Oh well. Have your recently tried any projects that made your family raise an eyebrow? Did you tell them to “shut up” too?

This entry was posted in Arts & Crafts, Decorating and tagged , by Jennifer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jennifer

I'm an interior designer at my core and a big fan of simple pleasures and Mother Nature. Originally from Iowa, I've lived up and down the East Coast, plus Alaska and Germany (thanks to my husband, who must have nomadic blood in his veins). Currently I'm a Yankee in South Carolina, trying to keep up with my son and constantly adjusting to life in the South.

7 thoughts on “I Didn’t Make That: An Art Project Fail

  1. This makes me giggle, Jen! Every Pinterest project I try ends up an epic fail for me and definitely looks more like something my 6 year old made. Good to know I’m not the only one with issues every time I try something 🙂

    • Maybe next time we get these Pinterest ideas, we should just have the kids do it! I’m proud to hang up Josh’s artwork, but if I do it and it looks like an 8 year old did it, then not so much.

  2. Ha,ha! I’m so glad we like to “keep it real”. This is great and Jeromy sounds so much like my husband! He’s definitely not one of those “oh honey that looks great” types. Which I guess is good for our sakes! Anyhow I thought it looked good in the first photo. That had to be hard to cut out Maryland-so detailed! I still think you should try it again maybe just leave MD out this go round? Maybe Josh’s favorite state? I still think this project has potential!

  3. I really like the idea of each State to represent the three of you. Can you retry but blow up a section of a map, print it in color and cut it out and paste to the squares? Maybe from one of those kids Atlas’ where it shows something fun about each State??

    • I probably will retry this project because it is a good idea. I think I got off to a bad start by not replacing the poster board part in the first place. I think the most difficult part was trying to to get the states the right size. Maybe next time I’ll try to zoom in to the city where we were born and print it out square shaped, so it isn’t so difficult to cut out. Kids illustrated books would be a great source too. Thanks Christy!

  4. Pingback: Be My Guest, Part 2 | rememberwren

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