If you’re searching for statement art, then look no further than the US Patent office. For our dining nook these RIBBA frames from Ikea ( previously used in our old playroom) were the perfect size. But purchasing art prints that large would have been pricey.
Instead, I used Google’s patent search to find technical drawings for nautical items. After typing in your patent search term, click the “Search Tools” tab.
This bar will appear and you can narrow your search to a certain date range and US Patent Office. The “sort by relevance” tab is also useful, as you can instead choose to sort by filing date (oldest or newest). When you click through to the image, there is a option to see the “original image” which is better quality. Then just right click on the drawing and choose “Save As” to save it to your computer.
I especially love the patents from late 1800s and early 1900s. All the drawings are hand-sketched and the signatures have lovely scripted charm.
After finding the perfect drawings and saving them to my computer, I simply took the files on a thumb-drive to Office Max. They enlarged them to my desired size and printed them for me as “engineer prints” on their oversize printer. At 24″ x 30″ they were only $4 each! I then cut them down and positioned them in the frames, unmatted.
The best part about this idea is that it can be adapted to fit all types of decor, because any product worth it’s salt has been patented at one point or another.
So, whether you’re into WWII bomber planes, ladies footwear, or eyeglasses for chickens (if only I were joking) there’s something for everyone!
Original patents of classic toys would be super cute in a playroom. Adding color with art pencils or markers would go a long way in bringing these to life.
How about the original Barbie or GI Joe dolls?
Antique toys would be lovely hung up in a nursery. They wouldn’t even have to be large scale, just print an 8 x 10 at home.
The possibilities are endless and if you print them on your inkjet, it’s totally free.
Since the frames were pre-owned and the engineer prints were very affordable, this whole art installation cost a whopping $12. At some point I may want something more colorful on there, but I sure like it in the meantime!