Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Can Do Decor: Three-Dimensional Fruit Wall Art Tutorial

Today's project is the first of my new I Can Do Decor feature, a series of home decorating tutorials that are easy, quick & durable.  Fun, fashionable ideas that can be done with minimal skills and hold up to real family wear & tear (not just a staged 5 minute photo shoot).  With 3 active kids, my house is about as real as it can get! 
We redid our kitchen about 9 months ago and with a new color scheme I needed some nice custom-matching wall art to go over my sink.  The challenge was finding something  large enough and with the fresh look I had in mind.  Wall decor can get really expensive & nothing seemed to have the right style/color combo, so I came up with this Three-Dimensional Fruit Wall Art that can be made for less than $25.  And the best part is it is easy.

By using faux fruit, this artwork has a reach out and touch look that gives so much more style than a flat picture or painting.  Here's how to make one for yourself using whatever fruit (or shape) you want.

You'll Need:

- Cheap matted & frame artwork 
- Craft/artist paper
- Fake plastic fruit
- Hacksaw
- Hot glue gun
- U Glue adhesive strips
- Foam Board
- Packing tape
- Exacto knife

The base artwork doesn't have to be anything special, just something with a decent looking frame and some matting, so look in the clearance section or a thrift store for a good deal.  I scored this 23in x 19in framed artwork on clearance for $12 at Michael's.  

Take it apart by peeling off the backing paper - I was really careful with mine so I could save it to reuse later.  Pull out the cardboard backer & glass and separate the artwork from the matting.  Mine was actually glued together so I had to pry my matting off the center image.  I cut the foam board & paper to the same size as the cardboard and got to work.

To adhere the craft paper to the foam board really well I used these adhesive strips from UGlu.  I wanted the paper to be nice and smooth and not pull away from the board over time since the pears would be adding some extra weight to the front.  I've had this artwork up in my kitchen for about 8 months and everything's held great, so I think it was worth using these instead of tape or glue.

I stuck 3 strips along the top, 3 in the center and 2 on the bottom corners & peeled off the backings.

Then pressed the craft paper on top and smoothed out.

I got 3 faux pears at Michael's as well.  These are the kind that are plastic, but styrofoam inside, so they won't buckle when cut.  Using the hacksaw, carefully saw the fruit in half.  I was surprised to find that a piece of concrete is what gives these fruits their solid feel:

Using a spoon makes it easy to dig out the concrete center.  Repeat with remaining fruit.

Put matting over the background and place fruit on background in the desired layout.

I wanted mine to be in a row, so I leveled & centered them with yard sticks.  Mark positioning, if necessary, with a pencil.

Run a line of hot glue around the edge of the fruit and place firmly onto background.  Repeat with other fruit halves.

Now it's time to attach the masterpiece into it's frame.  Since you can't just flip it upside down on a table, it's easiest to put it over the edges of two chairs, sawhorses or, in my late night makeshift case, open up the leaf of a table and place it over that.  Tape down edges of foam board with packing tape:

Take that backing paper saved from the beginning and attach over the back with a thin line of hot glue:

Material Costs:
- Clearance framed artwork - $12
- 3 plastic pears (using coupons) - $6
- Craft Paper - $1.50
- Adhesive Strips (using coupon) $4
- Foam board, tape & tools I already had laying around the house

Project Total: $23.50

And for the big reveal, here it is in place in my new kitchen:

I just love how it looks with my new quartz counters and fits with my other green accents:

It feels so good when a crazy idea from my imagination turns out better than anything I could buy!  I've got several other projects to share from the rest of the kitchen and a before & after reveal of the whole room coming up too, so stay tuned:)  

I'm also sharing this project with my FAVE LINK PARTIES.
Click HERE to check them out!


  1. Replies
    1. It's so nice to hear that - I'm kind of new to doing DIY decorating, so it makes me feel like a million!

  2. Love it Cheryl! Your kitchen is gorgeous too:)

    1. Aw thanks Amy. It was a real labor of love updating it - I'm looking forward to sharing a little tour of it soon.

  3. This is great!!! And so colorful. Finally, a use for all my plastic fruit (it used to be my kitchen decor theme). This is much more tasteful... :-)

    1. It does make for more stylish possibilities for plastic fruit - I look at it in a different light these days. LOL.

  4. This is a perfect accent for your pretty kitchen. Your tutorial is inspiring to the rest of us, too!

    1. It's by far the favorite decor item I've ever made - who'd have guessed?

  5. Very nicely done, the pears look real, can almost smell them. You did such a nice job of framing pears up, they look very special over your sink.

    1. Thanks so much - I still love it just as much today, so it's definitely a project I'm proud of:)

  6. I would have been really surprised to find concrete inside the fruit too - sort of makes me want to cut up some of my fake fruit :)
    Your art is really cute.

    1. Crafting definitely teaches us new things - who'd have thought that was in there? Go for it - you'll get some great art out of 'em!

  7. Love how you've created this art! Fantastic job! (visiting from tater tots & jello party)

    1. Thanks! Hearing such nice feedback makes me want to keep on decorating:)

  8. I love this soooooo much! What a clever idea! In case you didn't see it earlier, I featured this on my blog today! I'm stopping by to pin it, and to let you know you can grab a Featured button if you don't already have one!

  9. What a cute idea! I love the pop of the color in your kitchen :) Saw you at The Dedicated House :)

  10. fabulous! thanks so much for sharing on craft schooling sunday!

  11. Thanks so much for linking up to Your Whims Wednesday, I featured this on my blog tonight! Come stop by and grab a featured button!

  12. You have been featured at Craftionary today.. :) Thanks for linking up!

  13. This is an amazing idea! Looks beautiful in your kitchen! I have a new weekly link party which is live now and I would love if you stop by and link up this wonderful post! Hope to see you there! Hugs, Maria

  14. What a great idea! It looks great ;) Thank you so much for sharing at Give Me The Goods Monday!
    Jamie @ Better With Age

  15. Looks great Miss Cheryl! What a fabulous backdrop and colorful addition to your kitchen! What a pro :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything


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