Friday, October 28, 2011

The IKEA of Artwork - Some Assembly Required!

So, I was in Walmart the other day and this cute folk-art puzzle caught my eye.  It reminded me of my favorite, and expensive, folk artist Will Moses.  I have one of his prints, but I'd love to have a home filled with them!  Ever see his artwork?

Will Moses "Port Moonbeam"

Anyway, I hadn't done a puzzle in YEARS, but at only $8.00, I thought that it would bring hours of cheap family fun, so I picked it up.

I was right! It was really fun!  My husband and I really enjoyed working together to build the puzzle.

Now comes the's such a shame to break it all apart.  Then, I had an epiphany.  "What if I could frame this puzzle?  Would that be too cheap?  Oh, what the heck, I'll give it try!"      

I happened to have a large frame and glass in my storage closet and the puzzle nearly fit, minus one row.  I added some burlap to the bottom for a little texture, and after a few "breath holding" moments when I moved the puzzle in place, it was done!

From a distance, you can't tell it's a puzzle at all.  Oh, so what if you can!  It's a really pretty painting! I look at it like it's IKEA for Artwork - some assembly required!

The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:

Fake Folk Art Print:  $8.00 Puzzle, $0 Frame on hand

Total Fake-It Cost:  $8.00 and Family Fun

Compare to Real Folk Art Print:  Will Moses Print $150, plus framing $100.00 -OR- this one pre-framed from $144.99:

Summers in Maine Framed Art Print
Barbara Appleyard "Summers In Maine"
Total Fake-It Savings:  $136.99 - $242.00

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  1. Great idea! I totally love it!

  2. I actually just picked up a puzzle of Boston to do this with. It's a great idea. When I was a kid, I had puzzles all over my room. :)

  3. The last 2 puzzles I got were awful. The pic was pretty on the first one but nearly impossible to complete and the next one had torn up pieces in it. I need to be much more careful before I buy. Then maybe I can use your inspiration.

  4. We went through a puzzle 'thing' last winter, and it was so much fun! We also frame our completed puzzles. I have some family who own a beach house which is decorated with all the puzzles they do on vacation there every year. I have always loved that tradition of theirs!

    I think it's kind of cooler to DIY your 'art'! It means you have fun memories with it, too, not just something pretty to hang.

  5. In the Fall of 2002 I was lucky enough to meet Will Moses. What a really, really nice man! He autographed his 2003 calendar, on my birthday month, for me and told me lots of stories and history about "Grandma" Moses. I have the calendar locked away, wrapped in archival paper and in my head locked in memories to warm my heart.

  6. My sister use to frame her puzzles all of the time. She would always put them together on a piece of cardboard and when it was all put together, she would flip it, glue the cardboard onto the back, and then frame the whole thing. She never had to worry about pieces getting dislodged if the puzzle got moved around.

  7. If you can though, try to help artists. You'd be surprised how cheap art is compared to the time put into it. And with places like etsy, it can actually be pretty cheap to even get prints. This way, you can get nice art for a pretty cheap price, be it prints or photos, and all the money is going straight to that person, well, once taxes are out.

    That said, for a hand-painted piece...$100 isn't much.

  8. Thrift stores always have puzzles! And garage sales. Even cheaper. And ebay.


Compliments and Frugal Tips Only, Please!

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