Seeing Spots: DIY Polka Dot Artwork & Venetian Gold Frame

How to... Dots

When I was in middle school, I liked art class.  Art class, however, did not like me.  I wanted so badly for Mrs. [Protect Innocent] to acknowledge my creations.  It never happened.  Truth is, I was quite awful at art-making.  I stopped trying to draw still-life flowers and even abandoned my paper mache pig by the time I got to high school.  In case you’re wondering, the pig’s name was Herbert and he was painted cobalt blue with no other details.  I wish I hadn’t chucked him – his monochromatic pig-self would have been very on trend.  Sort-of like these beauties.

Fast forward a whole lot of years.

I recently stumbled upon an absolutely fabulous textile designer Caitlin Wilson  and became dizzy with affection. (If I could, I’d buy one of everything she makes.)  Not only are her products crisp and beautiful, she possesses some polka dottie artwork that I simply adore!  I have always been drawn to polka dots and I was completely inspired.  There is NO stopping me when I am inspired.

CW smaller

*image by (check out the sale items – it’s what any RTC girl/guy would do)

After an unsuccessful internet search for the print, it occurred to me that I could replicate those splendid spots!  Here’s what I did to create my own version:

1. I seized an opportunity.  My mother had a framed print that never worked with her décor sitting in a closet (waiting for me, clearly). I visited and informed her that I would need to leave with the old art immediately.  Naturally, mom was wondering what my intentions were.  I told her I was planning to make some artwork for my living room, and dashed off before I could process her bewildered look.

champagne tasting 052 (2)

2. I went to Michael’s and purchased five items for the project: paint brushes (2), black, grey and metallic “venetian gold” acrylic paint. I spent approximately $6 and was eager to get home.

3. I got to work!  I heated and pulled away the backing from the frame.  I used a flathead screw driver to remove staples. Some were little SOB’s! Once the print was free, the matting was immediately placed in a safe spot.  Using a sponge brush, I painted black polka dots haphazardly on the reverse side of the print.  I was going to add grey dots, but decided against it.  Next, I used the metallic gold paint to revitalize the black plastic frame.  Using a 1” chip brush, I made even strokes around the frame until I reached desired coverage.  The paint went on well and dried fast.  I was happy after two coats.  This project took me about 2 hours to complete.

PicMonkey Collage ART

The result…

06-18-2013 130 (2)

06-18-2013 157 (3)

Sofa: Restoration Hardware  (similar) or (less expensive), Terracotta Pillows: Pottery Barn (similar), Aqua Pillows: Unknown/Custom (splurge), Green Stripe Pillow: TJ Maxx.  Toy Poodle: NOT FOR SALE!

For this project, I did something I try not to do very often – I channeled my inner 8th grader. We all have one, you know.  To be honest, I think Mrs. [Protect Innocent] would be proud! My artwork is not an exact replica of what’s in the Caitlin Wilson shot – just a couture piece in my home that makes me smile when I walk past the living room.

Have you ever achieved success with an art project as a novice?  Is there a specific print or pattern that you have always been drawn to (i.e. ikat, trellis, polka dots)?  Do you ever channel your inner teenager to begin or complete a task?  We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!


6 thoughts on “Seeing Spots: DIY Polka Dot Artwork & Venetian Gold Frame

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