02 February 2015

DIY: NYPL antique botanical print

Recently one of my style crushes, Emily A. Clark, posted this image on Pinterest:

Right up my alley! I was so hoping it would link to a printable, but was disappointed to see it was actually a print sold by One Kings Lane. Don’t get me wrong, I like their stuff! But even their flash sale prices are outside my range for art that I could conceivably make with my own inkjet printer. (Also: sneaky affiliate link. Booooo.)

Still, that black and white botanical stuck with me. I’ve got those botanical prints hanging on the cabinetry in our foyer, but neutral botanicals are even more my style, right? Plus I love antique prints, or at least ones that appear old. So I decided I needed a black and white botanical in my home, stat.

And to make one for cheap (i.e. free), I turned to a favorite source of free stuff: the library. Specifically, the New York Public Library’s online repository of digital images. Heck yes! A few clicks later, I had my print. Black and white narcissus from 1635? Yes please.

By the by, I used the old version of the website only because I’m more familiar with it. The same image is also in the new version of their Digital Collections, which looks way more fun to browse.

Just look at that gold mine!

Want to find a black and white botanical of your own? Their Nature Collections should satisfy.

The NYPL has no idea I’m singing their praises... I just really, really love that website. I always forget it exists, so I wanted to remind you, too!

So! I had my knockoff black and white botanical for free, thanks to the public library. But where to put it? How about that desk on our landing I painted, decorated for Christmas, and then neglected for two months?

It’s now February – Rudolph has officially overstayed his welcome. I had considered doing something more wintry, but I was a month behind un-decorating this space for Christmas. Might as well make it more timeless, eh?

A quick print job later and I’d replaced Rudolph with my new narcissus.

I also “shopped the house” and found a few items to style the rest of the table. The candle was already there, so I just grabbed some books with neutral covers from our shelves. The crystal dish seemed to go with the teardrops on the candlestick and the sparkly knobs on the desk – and placing it on the books made the stack look more intentional, and less “I’ll put these by the door so I won’t forget to take them to Goodwill.”

A super easy and free update, and super quick too, at least if you don’t have to tend to a newborn. (This took me three days, because that is my life now. It would take you ten minutes!)

So the next time you see a print you love, check the library. I bet you’ll find something similar for free!


Miranda said...

So pretty! Great idea, thanks for sharing. :)