DIY Tool Art In the Workshop + Free Download!

workshop-tool-engineer-print-16Sticking with our hang-all-the-things theme in the workshop, we added a big dose of DIY art! Because we chose blue-green for the walls and everything on the (still non-existent) shelves will be colorful in its own right, we wanted the art to feel subtle. And so in its final form, it looks like this:


The working side of the shop is shaping up! (In other news, Scott insisted that the chalkboard skull should ultimately live in this room; it’s a perfect fit!) There’s not much more that’ll happen by the workbench, as the goal is to keep things feeling open and fuss-free – but you know we couldn’t just leave the wall empty. We had tossed around a few ideas over the last month on how we could fill that space – more shelves? Hanging bins? Art? We nixed additional shelving or bins/baskets, as it would just be one more thing to dust (or vacuum!), and this photo idea had been floating around in my head since first being inspired by these gorgeous prints.

We had an oddly fun time getting the shot, as evidenced by my balancing act, below! We dug for chisels, pliers and sledgehammers in every dirty, rusty toolbox we could find in the garage, with a heavy focus on the motto the more loved, the better. For the backdrop, we used a sheet of black foam core (that would later pull double duty as our frame backing), and we set ourselves up away from a window to avoid harsh shadows and sun spots.  To get that bird’s eye view, Scott strapped my camera + tripod to our ladder. Perfect!


We first laid out our design on the dining table (you can see it behind me, above), I took a photo of the winning layout on my phone, then I looked through the camera and referenced the snapshot while Scott replicated it below on the foam core:


We had an oversized print made at Fed Ex Kinko’s, with the final size being 32″ x 40″ for a grand total of $5! The same size cut of glass was an additional $18 from Ace Hardware, and we made the frame using the same technique as our entryway mirror and dino DIY.


After hanging our artwork, we were feeling energized and hung a new-to-us light fixture! We picked it up from an Elkhorn Flea excursion (seen here), and Scott re-wired it using this houndstooth cord, ceiling canopy and mount kit from Snakehead Vintage.


The workshop is looking so cute! We may even complete this room before the kitchen – now wouldn’t that be something? As we inch closer to May, we can’t help but laugh that we once had blissful thoughts of a finished kitchen by end of February. That door though! Grumble, grumble.

But let’s bring it back around to fun times – we created a free download of our tool print for you, too! No dangerous balancing acts required. It’s available as a full color, high resolution 8×10 jpg* RIGHT HERE. Get it!

*Photo file is for personal use only. It will open as a downloadable zip in a separate window.

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  • Adrienne J4.21.15 - 8:07 AM

    Hi Kim! Would it be possible to do some interior organizing shots of the storage contains and drawers? I have a very similar situation in which one of our downstairs rooms is used to house all our tools. It’s somewhat organized but I currently cannot close the toolbox drawers. My other half + organizing do not mix, lol.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.21.15 - 9:01 AM

      Hi Adrienne! The organizers you see in these shots have individual compartments that hold a bunch of types of screws/anchors/fasteners/etc. The drawers and black storage have yet to be organized – yet!

      We’ll be focusing on the other side of the room this week/weekend hopefully. THAT will be a HUGE difference in how we function around all the DIY in this house! Can’t wait to share.ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ RatherSquare.com4.21.15 - 8:43 AM

    Cool idea! It reminds me of a pegboard tool organizer. How do you like the quality of those oversized prints? I’ve been thinking of doing that for my daughter’s bedroom – having a large print made of a star map or world map – but I’m concerned it would look kind of cheap and low-res next to her other art-quality prints.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.21.15 - 8:59 AM

      It does look like that!

      The quality is low (not in a pixelated way though), like any engineer print, but there’s sort of an old-school feel to them. It looks like a print that was run through the copier in the lobby of an office building, you know? We played with the contrast a few times to get what we liked, which helps, too. For example, our dino prints above the couch are high contrast for super rich blacks and bright highlights, but we wanted this at a lower contrast so it didn’t look like big cut outs.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda4.21.15 - 9:30 AM

    This room is looking great! And I see you’re still a snake plant fan? One of my goals for this summer is to bring in some house plants, so it’s good to see that you still have them around. I was planning to get at least one for my house since they’ve safe for dogs… because I’m sure mine will try to eat it, at least once.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.21.15 - 9:37 AM

      The snake plant in my work/shipping room upstairs is SO huge, it’s taking over the house! The snake plants in our Woolly are soooo talllll (need to do an update on that thing), and so we’re 100% on board with these guys.ReplyCancel

  • anni4.21.15 - 9:46 AM

    Just when something you’ve done becomes my favorite a new post gives me a new favorite.ReplyCancel

  • Cait @Hernando House4.21.15 - 11:12 AM

    The workroom is coming together so nicely! Love the print :)ReplyCancel

  • The Kentucky Gent4.21.15 - 11:22 AM

    Such a perfect piece of art for the workshop room, and you just gave me an idea for taking better overhead shots on a ladder with the help of my tripod. Thank you! ;)

    Josh – The Kentucky Gent

  • Deb4.21.15 - 1:49 PM

    You seriously have the coolest workroom.Ever. If that was mine, I’d sit in there smugly and drink wine all the time.ReplyCancel

  • Monika4.21.15 - 3:21 PM

    Man, oh man, that turned out “pawsome!” Well done you guys. :)ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design4.21.15 - 5:16 PM

    I’m so super jealous of your workshop. And that print is just the best idea. Love itReplyCancel

  • Seng4.21.15 - 8:27 PM

    I love it!! I LOVE the industrial look of the light fixture!!


  • Jackie4.22.15 - 2:44 PM

    Very cool! Thank you for including the shot of you shooting the image too — I’ve always struggled with getting that angle and never would have thought of strapping the tripod to a ladder.ReplyCancel

  • […] I love a good DIY wall art project. This oversize tool art idea is customizable and costs only$5! (via Yellow Brick […]ReplyCancel


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