both walls in dining

My dining room has gone through several transformations over the years.  Figuring out how to add wall art affordably is always a fun challenge.

The art in my dining room is actually the back covers from Cooks Illustrated magazine!  I had received a few issues in the mail for free and saved them because they were so neat.  Then I found out that my mom is subscribed to the magazine, and she generously allowed me to steal the back cover off of her issues!


So, I had the artwork, but now how to frame them affordably?

I wanted a continuous look around my dining room, which meant a lot of frames.  As is the theme with this dining room, IKEA delivers again!  They had these large (16×20) frames for only $4.99!   My original intention was to paint the frames turquoise, but it turns out they had this style in a turquoise color – win!

However, because these frames are so inexpensive, they do not come with a mat.  Here is my trick: I used a sheet of art paper as  a “mat” and used the cardboard backing as the additional “mat.”   The art paper is great because it has a nice weight and texture to it, so it looks more like mat paper than standard printer paper.

between windows

The kraft-colored cardboard backing was the perfect neutral and goes great with most decors.

Dining room wall art

Framing costs can really kill a budget, so being able to put up ten framed art prints for $50 is a great deal!


2 Thoughts on “Wall Art Trick

  1. I had that same idea for the covers a couple of weeks ago! Looking on eBay for back issues that I can swap out seasonally and that don’t have mailing stickers on them. I don’t have as much wall space in my kitchen so will probably need to use smaller frames but the mat cheat is pretty good!

    • Rachel on March 17, 2016 at 10:49 am said:

      Thanks, Liz! The artwork on those covers is such a great find! You’ll have to let me know how it turns out in your kitchen.

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