7 steps to getting gorgeous prints for less- How Frugal Girls Do Prints (Without Looking DIY)

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Hi ladies,

Happy Friday! Its been a super fun week in my life as many of you know who follow me on insta. I turned 30 on Wednesday and have been living it up and milking this birthday thing for as many days as I can get away with! We also just got back from our staycation with my family where we stayed at The London hotel for two nights and it was a blast. 

But enough about my birthday, lets talk prints.  I have been working on my print and framing game lately to spruce up the big white walls of the new DTLA project. I am a huge lover of art and photography on the walls to create a truly authentic space, and prints allow me to do that for much less than custom art would. I always love to save money wherever I can to create unique looks and spaces for less, but don’t want anything to look “DIY”.  That super home made look sometimes feels cheesy to me if not done well.  However, how are you supposed to have a fun and custom gallery wall without spending an arm and a leg on costly prints and photos? Is there a cheaper way to have a gorgeous pop of color in your home through art without spending hundreds or thousands over time? Yes there totally is. The answer is in coffee table books. Their pages are thick, glossy, and high quality, so why not carefully remove pages of our favorite books to frame and see them all the time?  The price of one coffee table book is equivalent to one medium size print on One Kings Lane or Urban Outfitters at about $80. For that price,  I’ve been able to get at least 10 high quality prints that I have hung in our Redondo Beach home and Palm Springs, and now Downtown Los Angeles.  This approach has saved me so much money! Here’s the simple step by step guide I use:

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1.     Figure out the type of prints you want in your space. Retro? Black and White? Photograpyh? Illustration?

2.     If you don’t already know, research coffee table books for the category you want. I love Slim Aarons and have his books, so this was a no brainer for me. I wanted vintage photos with retro colors to brighten up my space. I also wanted black and white photos, so used my Chanel coffee table book.

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3.     Once you have the book (s), bookmark pages you love with full page images. Make sure the back isn’t important since the page will be coming out.

4.     Use an exacto knife to carefully and precisely remove the pages you want framed.

5.     Measure the pages to know what size frames to get. I love these Target ones for a great price and good quality. Ikea also has some great frames for less.

6.     Once your images are framed, you can use painters blue tape to create a measured area to represent your wall. Lay the frames on the ground and play around with the arrangement until you find one you love.

7.     Now you hang! I have my hubby do this because I end up just throwing nails in the wall and my prints always end up crooked. Use a leveler and recreate the arrangement you just did on the floor . Voila! Your house looks amazing.

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Have you guys tried coffee table books in the past for quality prints? Which books do you love for images? I'd love to know! 

xo, Kim

p.s. my favorite so far is this Slim Aarons book below. You can buy directly from Amazon. The images are awesome!

Slim Aarons: Women
$52.88
By Laura Hawk