sentimental art

I’ve said it before but I think art ought to mean something or speak to you in some way.

When I was working on my dressing room makeover, I needed some small artwork…something vintage and out of the ordinary. Something personal and sentimental to me.

I started with a couple of vintage frames. I popped out the artwork and glass and painted them with chalk paint.

Then I covered the cardboard backing with a few paper towels. Why? I didn’t have any batting and I wanted to add a little fluff before I added fabric. I’m a big proponent of using what you have and making due. And not running to the store for one item!

Then I covered both cardboard pieces with tan osnaburg fabric (looks like linen) that I found at JoAnn’s for $5.99/yd. less 40%! I first heard about osnaburg from Jami at Freckled Laundry who is basically the queen of linens!

Once the chalk paint dried, I sanded the edges and detailing with a fine grit sanding sponge. In my opinion, the best part about chalk paint is how beautifully it distresses!

Next came the “artwork.” I had a crystal brooch of my grandmother’s that I love and another brooch that I picked up at an estate sale last week.

I pinned them onto the center the paper towel/osnaburg covered cardboard piece.

Then I popped them back into the frames and hung them on my dressing room wall.

This one is my grandmother’s brooch. Just costume jewelry, but it’s a priceless gem to me. Every time I see it, I think of her.

I love how this custom “artwork” adds vintage glam and sentimentality at the same time.

I can’t wait to show you my dressing room makeover! It is hands-down my favorite project ever!

Linking up here:

freckled laundryAnything Related{Primp}a beach cottageDomestically Speaking Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

46 Responses to sentimental art

  1. Tori Nelson July 26, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    Such a creative idea!

  2. kathie July 26, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Those are gorgeous & so fun!! Love that it has special meaning as well 😉

  3. Mel July 26, 2011 at 9:14 am #


    You have a dressing room? wow.

    • Maple & Magnolia July 26, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      Hey Mel. That’s the beauty of a 100+ year old house. Every bedroom has its own dressing room! 🙂

  4. Becky July 26, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    I really love this…can’t wait to see the whole room!!!

  5. northern cottage July 26, 2011 at 9:21 am #

    this is truly wonderful. I’m just adoring how you’re incorporated and HIGHLIGHTED the beauty of your grandmother’s jewels rather than storing in a drawer. Fantastic!

  6. Larri @ Seams Inspired July 26, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    Oh.My.Golly. I’m almost in tears, as those brooches remind me of my grandmother. What a beautiful way to capture your grandmother’s memory. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for the reveal. Happy Tuesday! 🙂

  7. Stephanie July 26, 2011 at 10:45 am #

    I did something similar…took a larger frame (11×14) painted corkboard added antique ribbon stripes then pinned on my grandmothers broaches…smile everytime I see it..

  8. Pamela Bates July 26, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    LOVE!!! Great idea. I have so many of my grams brooches and do wear them, but this would be a lovely way to see them on a more regular basis!

  9. Ido July 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Wow, those turned out great! We still don’t have the Annie Sloan Chalk paint in the State, can you believe that!
    XXX Ido

  10. tammigirl July 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I love what you did with these! What a fantastic inspiration.

  11. Cathy July 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow, how simple and how gorgeous! Love the idea and since I have some jewelry of my own I’m a thinkin I might do the same, but then I would need a dressing room? Do you like the Annie Sloan paint? I haven’t used mine yet.

  12. Robin July 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    I love, luv, lurve this idea and have collected vintage brooches for a while. Mind if I copy you?

    • Maple & Magnolia July 26, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

      Robin, go right ahead. I’d love to see your finished project! 🙂 Have a great day.

  13. poindextr July 26, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    looks so pretty 🙂 i’ve done the same thing too – why not?! i love seeing pretty brooches all around the house. your framed jewels are wonderful – great job on painting those picture frames!

  14. Amy July 27, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    What a beautiful project with such sweet sentiment. Love it!

    So nice to visi with you.

  15. Inspire Me Heather July 27, 2011 at 7:30 am #

    Aw, they look so darling! What a fabulous idea too – thanks for sharing!

  16. ScribblingSarah July 27, 2011 at 11:26 am #

    Very pretty, I may try that with some family jewelry.

  17. Jen July 27, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    How pretty great idea I have a few of my grandmothers I just lay them in her mirrored tray but this is a great idea!!! I am a newbie to your site so want to say hello from Ohio!!!

  18. vikki July 28, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Thanks for a terrific idea, I love it. I have two brooches that are sentimental to me so I am going to copy your idea.

  19. Amy E. July 29, 2011 at 12:59 am #

    What a great way to display those sentimental pieces. I absolutely love it!

  20. Susan at Cherish Home Everyday July 29, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    Love this! So simple but elegant! I’m checking out that fabric my next trip to Joann’s and a pair of these are going in my vintage Hollywood room I’m working on! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Cat on a Limb July 29, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    I definitely agree with you about art needing to mean something or speak to you. You did a fabulous job with the frames, and the brooches are just the right touch. So beautiful!

  22. Pattie July 29, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Looks gorgeous 🙂 I love the bottom pin, simply beautiful. So many people love jewelry because it’s art for the body, but we don’t realize it can be art in itself too. 🙂

  23. abeachcottage July 29, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    They look really lovely. Can’t wait for the reveal of your room make-over 🙂 Thanks for dropping by Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays and sharing.

  24. Kari July 29, 2011 at 11:00 am #

    These are absolutely fantastic! I would LOVE it if you could link this up to my Tutorial Tuesday and share it with my followers! I think they would love it and be inspired just as much as I am!

    Newlyweds on a Budget
    Newlyweds on a Budget

  25. Laura Ingalls Gunn July 29, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    I am visiting via Romantic Homes.

    What wonderful project to honor your grandmother!

    Have a happy weekend!

  26. Kaitlin Saenz July 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    They look great! How fun to have something in sight everyday that is sentimental! Thanks for linking up to my party!
    Kaitlin-The Not So Simple Housewife

  27. Danielle July 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    What an absolutely beautiful idea. I love that the frames look classy and vintage and I love how the broaches are family history and a decoration. Awesome idea. I’d love for you link up at my Friday Link up on

  28. Debbie July 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm #


    Nice to meet you! Love your jewelry art idea! I am sentimental too, and love my moms and grandmas old jewerly. I may have to try this! Thanks for sharing.


  29. michele July 29, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    wow, these are beautiful–great idea! Thanks for linking up.

  30. Rose C. July 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    That’s quite pretty.

  31. Adrianne at Happy Hour July 29, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    You are so right, art ought to mean something. This is so beautiful. What a wonderful idea to do with my wedding brooch, which just sits in the botom of my jewelry box right now.

  32. Mary @ Redo 101 August 1, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    Love this design, absolutely gorgeous! I sent your blog link to my niece – she has some jewelry of her grandmothers, and is preparing to do a big wall collage of pics that mean something to her – this would be perfect!


  33. Michelle August 2, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    Found you at {Primp} what a beautiful idea, just stunning!! Love all the meaning it has too.


  34. Jenny August 3, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    These are just beautiful! I have several brooches of my grandmother’s, and this is the perfect project to showcase them. Thanks for the idea!

  35. lindayoga August 4, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I cant tell you how much you have opened my eyes!! Thank you for all the wonderful ideas!!

  36. MelindaK64 October 28, 2011 at 8:59 am #

    This would work with grandmothers earrings, too! This is my next project for my bedroom wall!

  37. Judy McGuire August 13, 2014 at 11:58 am #

    Do u put the glass back in?

    • Maple & Magnolia August 13, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      Hi Judy, no. Because of the dimension of the brooches I don’t think glass would work or highlight the jewelry properly. Have a good day.

  38. Shelley October 2, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

    Oh, how I love this! I have a fascination with vintage costume jewelry and this would be a lovely way to display it!

  39. Sentimental Sue November 17, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    I love this! So many people have sentimental jewelry from their loved ones and this is the perfect way to preserve it! Thanks so much for the detailed tutorial!

    I shared this on my Facebook page!

  40. shaggy.7371 May 22, 2015 at 6:11 am #

    Thank you for this beautyful and loving idea. I got also a brooch like this from my Granny, and I never known how to store them in another way than to let them gather dust in a drawer. Now I feel free to copy your lovely idea.
    dear greatings from Switzerland

  41. jude July 4, 2015 at 9:01 am #

    what a lovely idea for a keepsake will have to do that with mine and hopefully it will get passed on after I do


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