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Vintage Door Upcycle Art

Vintage Door Upcycle Art

Wall art can be an expensive purchase for any redecorating project.  If you have a large wall to fill, the price tag can go up even more!  Luckily, you can create your own large-scale wall art very inexpensively – even if you are not-so-artsy.

Driving through my neighborhood last summer, I spotted this old wood screen door on the curb.  It was left there after someone’s remodeling project – along with the kitchen sink.  While I DID make my husband pull over and throw the screen door in the back of the truck, I didn’t ask him to load up the sink (he was more than thankful for that).  I do have my limits…although, I’m sure I could have figured out some kind of cool thing to make out of the sink, too…

Screen door before pic

Anyway, this door had clearly seen better days. The screen was rusted and torn, and the formerly-white paint was scuffed and filthy.  I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do with this great find, but I knew it would come to me eventually.  This winter, it hit me – replace the screen with fabric and make a piece of wall art!

screen door close up

As a designer, I’ve collected TONS of fabric over the years – most in the form of small fabric swatches that I can’t bear to throw away.  They’re always good for something!  But, I also have some larger fabric remnants, so I dug them out of the closet and set out to coordinate three pieces that would fit in the frames of my screen door.  It actually took some time to find fabrics that both worked well together and fit the spaces I had to fill – and, I had to make a couple of trips to the local thrift store to shop their fabric bins.  I even looked at vintage bed sheets and drapes as fabric options! Eventually, though, I settled on a few pieces that worked beautifully.


Selecting the fabric was truly the most difficult part of the project; the rest was easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy (as my 6-year-old daughter likes to say).  First, I use a putty knife, a screwdriver and a hammer to pry off the wood strips covering the edges of the screen on the back of the door.  These popped off pretty easily.

Screen door during pic

Next, I used the hammer and pliars to take out all the staples, nails and other assorted pieces of metal that were holding the screens in place.  (Thumbtacks?  Really?)

Screen door repair

I rolled up the screen and set it aside (this will probably make an appearance in a future project, but I haven’t decided what that will be, yet).  Then, I gave the entire door – front and back – a good scrubbing with a Magic Eraser and a rag soaked in warm water and Spic N Span (or use any degreasing cleanser you like.)  I didn’t get all the scuffs and dirt off – not even close.  But, the door is now clean enough that it doesn’t leave a mark on everything it touches….a definite plus.

screen door removal

After ironing the fabrics to remove most of the wrinkles, I used my handy-dandy staple gun to attach the fabrics to the back of the door, making sure the fabric was taut but not stretched out of shape.  Be extra careful if you choose a striped, plaid or geometric fabric; make sure you attach the fabrics straight, or they will look odd and sloppy!

screen door art

After the fabrics were attached, I trimmed the edges and voila!  Almost-instant wall art!  As a side note, I attached the largest 2 pieces of fabric first, then trimmed them down to accommodate the yellow fabric going in the skinny space between the two.  Then, I attached the yellow fabric and trimmed it to size.

Screen door fabric

This piece could be attached to the wall vertically (as the door was installed originally) or horizontally – depending on the space you have available.  I think it would look fantastic over a sofa or hanging in that large space over the stairs that no one knows what to do with.  By coordinating the fabrics to your room, you can create a custom piece that works perfectly in your home.  And, you can change the fabrics in the future if you want a change.

Screen door upcycle art

This budget-friendly project cost me just a few bucks in fabric and some time.  I just love the result!  I hope it inspires you to look at everything with new eyes; what will you be creating this afternoon?

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