DIY Room Decor: How To Make Large Abstract Art with a Spin Toy

Apartment Therapy Reader Project Tutorials

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A large frame left behind by her home's previous owners inspired Megan to DIY some art for her home. She used a spin toy that her kids used to make T-shirts to create a graphic and modern Rorschach-like abstract work.

Skill Level: Easy
Time Required: Less than 1 hour, plus print shop time
Project Cost: About $75
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What You Need

Materials

  • Craft paint
  • Framing materials and hanging hardware

Tools

  • Spin art toy
  • Raster and vector software and computer (Photoshop and Illustrator, or comparable free imaging software)
    Access to a scanner and a high-quality, large format digital printer (like FedEx Office services)

Instructions

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1. Experiment with the spin art toy until you have an image you like. For this splotchy style, Megan added paint randomly, streaked some of it with a toothpick, and then spun the toy.

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2. Scan the image, open it in your Photoshop (or equivalent) editing software, and use the proportional dimensions of your mat to crop it into a rectangle. Save the image as a TIFF file.

3. Place the image into a blank Illustrator (or equivalent) document and use the Live Trace feature to convert the bitmap image to vectors. Clean up stray paint specks with the Eraser tool, then scale the image to fit the existing mat. Save the file as a PDF.

4. Take the PDF to a printer and order a full-size print made on a large scale printer, using nicer matte paper.

Tip: Before ordering the more expensive final print, Megan recommends ordering a full-size proof on inexpensive paper first, using the self-service oversize printer to review the image and to make sure it fits the frame properly (this costs about $7).

5. Insert the final print in the frame and hang using recommended hardware for your wall type.

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Thanks, Megan!

Have a really great DIY project or tutorial that you want to share with others? Let us know! We love checking out what you're making these days, and learning from our readers. When you're ready, click here to submit your project and photos.

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(Image credits: Megan)

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