Recently, Jeff and I decided to try something a little different in our living room and remove the television. Don’t get me wrong, I love zoning out into tv land at night after my work is done. But it was just such an eye sore! Especially when I’m in the mood for redecorating. So, out it went! Well, upstairs actually, but you know what I mean.
Which means, I was able to give our living space a much needed makeover and finally share our living room reveal with the help of Mpix, a site that creates high quality photo products for snap-happy consumers like me (and you). And you can do the same! Win a $150 gift card to Mpix at the bottom of this post!
One of the items that we were in most need of to finish out this space was artwork. So, I worked with Mpix to have a bunch of our travel photos and a few styling project photos printed and framed. Which has added some much needed pops of color and warmth to the room. It’s amazing what artwork will do to a space. Total transformation.
Naturally, I threw in a DIY element (because it’s nearly impossible for me to decorate without a DIY or two) that I think you’re going to love. DIY leather frames! When I first started thinking about this project I felt a little crazy…’Leather frames? How am I going to pull this off?’ But once I figured it out, it was on! And I now literally want to cover every frame in our house with leather. I’m addicted and must be stopped. But not until I show you how to make your own! Right? So let’s do this…
DIY Leather Frames
– framed or mounted artwork (I used standouts and framed prints from Mpix)
– leather strips that are the same width as your frame (I used 1 1/2 inch wide leather for the standouts and 2 inch wide for the framed prints)
– heavy duty scissors or sharp blade
– hot glue gun
– pen or pencil for marking
I used two different types of frames for this project. So, I’ll show you how to make both kinds. One is a little easier than the other. So, lets start with the simple version…
For the standout version, start at the top of your frame. Place the end of the leather strip flush with the edge, then mark off where the opposite edge of the frame is on the leather (as shown in the photo). Make sure that the entire strip is flat against the frame profile to get a proper measurement.
Next, cut the leather on the mark and glue the strip to the frame with several beads of hot glue. Apply pressure to ensure the glue adheres properly.
Repeat this process on the bottom of the frame. Then, do the same for the sides (making sure to add extra length to accommodate the leather that has been added to the top and bottom). Done!
The standard framed prints are a little bit more challenging, but still fairly easy. I measured the leather strips the same way as the first, but angled the cuts, so they would come together in the corners in a more professional looking way. To get that look, you have to be pretty precise with your measuring and cutting, so, all the pieces will fit together at the corners.
To do this, I lined up the first piece of leather flush to the edge, then made a mark where the inner corner of the frame starts, drew a line from the point to the end of the leather strip and cut on the line. Repeat that process around the entire perimeter and then attach the strips with hot glue.
This goes without saying, but I feel the need to mention it anyway, because, well, I just do. But theses frames totally did not need a makeover. They look great just as they are, which is why I’ve only DIYed the leather on a couple of them so far. It is a nice element though, to tie in the leather from the couch and some of the other natural elements we have in the space.
And speaking of those frames…In addition to different frame designs (16 options to be exact), Mpix also lets you choose the paper type, coating, mounting, matting, and type of glass (you can even opt for no glass at all). I went with the non-glare glass for all of the framed pieces and it is awesome! Especially because you know how I like to take pictures of things. No reflection! I think I’m going to have to dub that option ‘bloggers glass’.
They also offer standouts (which I used for the first part of the tutorial), canvas prints, prints on metal, etc if you’re looking for some more options. And in case it wasn’t obvious from the photos, the quality and craftsmanship for printing and framing is really, really high. For real! See all the wall art options here.
And here are a couple of side by sides of the before and after. I had a hard time finding photos of how we had the room set up most recently before settling on this arrangement…but hopefully, this will give you the gist.
Alright, so now that you’ve seen my living room and those DIY leather frames I love so much, let’s talk giveaway! We’re giving away $150 to Mpix for one lucky winner to makeover their place with some awesome framed artwork or any other Mpix products. And there are a bunch of ways to enter using the widget below. Super easy!
Giveaway open to US residents only. Giveaway will end on September 29th at 11:59pm EST and winner will be announced shortly thereafter.
Photography by Amelia Tatnall
Styling and before photos by Brittni Mehlhoff
Think you’ll give this DIY a try? What are your thoughts on our living room reveal?