Weird Animals: Some Easy DIY Art for the Nursery

I was so excited to have the six Ribba frames gifted to me for my birthday last May (Nick promised me 9, but we realized that nine Ribbas wouldn’t have fit our wall. Our walls are only 8 feet tall).

But then I had to decide what to put in them. And I wasn’t sure what to do…

Art is expensive, in case you didn’t know. I thought I would go with art from 20×200, but I quickly realized that $20 x 6 = $120. Since we already paid that much for the frames themselves, we needed a cheaper solution.

Besides, the baby won’t notice them until much later. We can always switch up the art later on when Baby finds what he/she loves. I can’t wait to find what the little baby inside my belly ends up liking! Dinosaurs? Flowers? Planes? My Little Pony? Wait, it’s not the ’80s anymore.

I decided to look through Vintage Printable to see if there were any art on there that could work. I found some animal drawings that I really liked, because they weren’t your usual baby animal photos. They were a little odd and a little freaky (in a good way).

I fell in love with this rhino right off the bat:

Isn’t he the coolest?

We did a test run with him – printed him out, cut him out, stuck him on a colored scrapbook paper, and put it all in one of the frames.

We loved it – simple but colorful, perfect for a little person but not too babyish.

We grabbed a swatch of our curtain fabric and went to Hobby Lobby. We looked for six different scrapbook paper to act as backgrounds for the animals and used the swatch to help us find the perfect six colors.

This cost us pennies, since we grabbed them when they were 50% off! That Hobby Lobby, always having 50% off sales!

The next step was to find more animal photos and print them out. We chose a spotted lynx, squirrel, reindeer, whale, octopus, and, of course, the rhino. But some of them were in color and we wanted everything to be in black and white to go better with the colored backgrounds. So I edited them with Picnik, easy peasy.

I carefully cut them out.

(Never mind the lobster – we decided to not use it, since we already had two water animals – the whale and the octopus.)

And that was the hardest part. For me, anyway. The next step was to carefully center each animal on the colored papers, glue them on, and pop them in the frames. Again, easy peasy.

Nick had to do the hard work of measuring, hammering in the anchors, and working on the annoying Ribba wires on the back of the frames. They’re still not lined up perfectly, but with a few more adjustments we should have everything perfect and pretty! (Another idea is to attach the frames together, like Bromeliad did)

I love it. Aside from the frames, this cost us literally pennies. Maybe a few bucks, if you count the ink and the paper used in the printing of the animals. Oh, and glue if you want to be a stickler. For sure, all this cost us less than $5.

The frames are above our newly painted dresser which acts as our changing table. (I can’t wait to show you the dresser!)

The art is right across our curtains, so it picks up all the colors. The frames also makes our walls look taller!

There are loads of more animal photos available on Vintage Printable – here’s some more animals that I liked and would have used if we had 9 frames instead of six:

Unfortunately, the website is NOT easy to use. It’s a pain to navigate through and search for photos. But it’s so jam-packed with great (and FREE) art that you can print out or send to Kinkos to print in larger sizes. It’s worth it the hours that you’ll have to spend to find the art you want. Just be prepared to devote a chunk of your time clicking through all the photos. Maybe you’ll have an easier time depending on your browser, though – I’m using Firefox and ugh.

But…! It’s done and I love it. The nursery is coming along nicely!

My due date is this friday – October 7. It’s crunch time… unless Baby comes out late. Which I think will happen. Maybe?


11 Responses

  1. That looks great! Nifty idea. I have used Vintage Printables before and they have great stuff, although I sometimes have a hard time editing it into the size I want.

    My 6 year old son loves watching My Little Pony. Don’t tell anyone.

    Good luck with the upcoming due date 🙂

  2. Thats a great idea. I have that rhino saved as well but never found a place for him.

  3. Elisa – you and Nick are so creative. I love reading the blogs. The prints are fantastic. Just love the ideas you come up with.

  4. Beautiful artworks !!! Oxox

  5. That is so awesome. I love your DIY approach to everything. And, as you know, I love Ribba frames in sixes.

  6. So cute!! It’s so exciting to do cheap DIY that looks awesome in the end. And SERIOUSLY, you’re due already!?! I feel like you just announced your pregnancy, whoa!

  7. What a great project! It looks beautiful! Thinking of you on your due date!

  8. Very neat idea for making inexpensive nursery art! We’ll have to keep these kinds of options in mind while scrambling to finish our own nursery over the next (less than) four weeks. (Gulp.) Congrats on your impending new arrival!

  9. Love these! They’re kinda quirky but classy at the same time…? Very cool!

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