Quick Art from Photos in Books

I was staging an empty home in the trendy, yet vintage part of Austin recently on a VERY limited budget.  When finished I felt I really needed one more piece of large art.  That wasn’t going to happen, so instead I used a few small pieces to create the look of a large piece.

Thank goodness, my sister-in-law and I went out on a recent hunt for old books with beautiful photos.  The books look great as accessories and the photos can be used as inexpensive art.   It’s a very old trick I learned long ago.  We found some of the best ones at Savers for about $2-3 each.

I used these books, some garage sale frames that I had and a few mirrors which I had on hand as well (all but one) to create a gallery wall for this home.


First, I arranged the frames on the floor.  Then, I opened the books and found suitable images with similar colors to the space.


Side note – see how flipping dirty those floors are?   Maybe not, but you surely did now.  Eek.  I can’t keep up with these shedding rugs.  We’re vacuuming and cleaning floors daily.

Back to the art.  No matting, nothing fancy.  Just books.  Next, I cut out images to fit in the frames.


After I placed them in the frames, I knew the bottom middle one needed some sort of matting.  This is a vintage home, so let’s not be shy about making it look collected.  I simply used white duct tape to create the look of matting.


And, here it is hung in the room.  Cost?  $6.50 for the frames, $6 for the books, plus the additional mirror which I won’t count.  If you don’t count the mirror in the middle, it cost $12.50.

You know what the really cool thing is?  Those books still have a lot more photos in them!


Not too bad for a collected look.  Simple and fast!  And, think of all the kinds of books out there.  This works great with kids books as well.

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It also works well with calendars, as seen in the last photo above.

Don’t overlook old books and calendars with great photography and/or drawings in them!



  1. That is one great idea! Clever, so, so clever!

  2. Nice work! Books and calendars … love it.

  3. Great idea and I have also used calendars. I Adore the large work of art as well!

    Art by Karena

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