If you are in the market for some cheap, easy and unique wall art, these are the best – and the possibilities are virtually endless.
If you’ve never heard of the “public domain”, Imma ’bout to rock yo’ world. Images in the public domain are images whose rights have expired, given up or do not apply. Basically, works in the public domain are public property, which means you can use them for crafty projects like this one.
When using images for commercial use, please make sure you double check that the images you are using are actually in the public domain.
If you follow the blog and have been sharting along with me for the past couple of months, you know I have had several family members in my life that were borderline hoarders. Like Grampa. Ohhhh, Grampa. He was in the USAF for a zillion years and kept a bunch of his papers… training records, temporary leave requests, etc – a lot of them are pre-Vietnam and totally ancient. They make the perfect backdrop for Gray’s anatomical images.
If you don’t have a hoarding Grampa, flea markets are a good place to look for papers like these, but you can also use your daily newspaper, craft paper from the scrapbook aisle or even an old book from the thrift store. For these, I wanted a little bit more visual interest and added a chevron background to each one. (I actually made these last year when I was chevron-ing all surfaces – The last two weeks of my life have been spent ridding my life of chevron prints… except these babes.)
Using the photo-editing software of your choice, create a blank image the same size as your paper. Merge your background into your blank image – You can Google things like “Free Printable Chevron Pattern” or “Free Printable Herringbone Pattern“, save to computer and then open them in your photo editing software. For the patterned background, turn the opacity way down, I think the one below is at 10%. Turning the opacity down just means to make the background less visible – turning down the opacity in Photoshop literally makes the image more transparent, lighter. Basically, you just want to make sure that the background doesn’t steal from your foreground image or the whole thing will look too busy.
Create a new layer on top of your background and insert your anatomical/specimen image. Delete the white background. Most photo editors have a magic wand that will delete a solid background with one click.
Boom. Print it and you’re done.
You can frame it up with a thrifted frame or, you can mat it with some black mat and backing. I used 11×14 mats from Golden State Art. A buck fiddy each. You can’t beat that, especially when you search Google Shopping for “Anatomical Prints”. Those prices make me gag.
Skip the fancy frame by using metal clips and push pins. You can even use medium binder clips to give it a little vintage-industrial-ness.
For those concerned, the AFB that these papers came from is now closed and I consulted with a USAF pal prior to publishing this post.
Happy creating, y’all!