DIY Artwork: Vintage Advertising Collage Art

I live in an old house. As far as we can tell, it was built in 1892. This means that our walls are primarily made of horsehair plaster. This also means that it’s nearly impossible to feel confident about hanging anything remotely heavy on the walls.

Case in point, the shelf housing several of my work binders came tumbling down in my office, barely hitting my brand new 27″ iMac on the way down. Not cool.

I decided to ditch the shelf and put some artwork on the wall instead. Because I look at this wall as I work (which is primarily writing), I wanted it to be something that might inspire me. Or, at least make me smile.

Instead of looking around for artwork, I decided to make my own. (I’m picky, and it would have taken me forever to pick something out.)

I pulled out a collection of old magazines I bought at a flea market. The magazines were from the 1960s and were mainly bought for the ads. I have a degree in advertising and love looking at old, vintage ads. Vintage European ads are pretty awesome as well.

Anyway, I cut out some ads and images that caught my eye using an exacto knife. I then started placing them on a large canvas I bought at our local craft store to make a collage.

Realizing that I would have some white space, I decided to take my acrylic paints out and started to paint the canvas. I used broad, random brush strokes and didn’t pay much attention to making the color consistent. I just wanted a basic background for my vintage ad collage.

Once the canvas was dry, I started to lay out my ads again. The color made a big difference. I then decoupaged the ads to the canvas, using a roller to get them as smooth as possible. (I still ended up with some wrinkles, but I decided it looked kind of cool and didn’t stress over the imperfection.)
I moved the ads around quite a bit as I was decoupaging until I found the arrangement I liked. I was thinking about using some paint to add some extra details to the artwork, but I didn’t want to complicate things. It’s up on my wall now, and I kind of like it the way it is.

What do you think?

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  1. says

    Love this! What a neat idea! I have a friend who showed me something she made earlier this week where she tore pages from an old hymnal of songs she loved and then decoupaged them to use as a background for some of the photos she had taken. She added color with some paint since her background was basically black and white. I like all the colors in the ads in yours!
    Melissa recently posted..FotoPrompt Friday – wk 1My Profile

  2. says

    Totally cute! I miss doing crafty things. I would love to see closer shots of some of the ads :)

    Visiting from SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  3. says

    I think it’s lovely. I love that you knew exactly what would bring you joy and inspiration and went with it. I hope it makes you happy each time you look at it.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend. Stopping by from SITS.
    misssrobin recently posted..Confronting My TherapistMy Profile

  4. says

    Brilliant project! I love (and miss) doing crafty projects. I really should start back up, now that my oldest (possibly) has the attention span to join me.

    I particularly like the expression on the child’s face in the Bactine ad… she’s either skeptical or annoyed. From this distance at least. :)
    Cynthia recently posted..Windows on Wildlife: Encounter With a RavenMy Profile

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