Bean Art Tutorial

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I am finally caught up to the last round of my CWTS projects.  Here is the final tutorial from the competition. 

This was one of the least expensive projects, and it was also one of my favorites.  I loved it for a lot of reasons, but mainly because literally ANYONE can do it!

Let’s get started!
I began at the local thrift store (DI) in the frame section.  I found this huge frame including it’s lovely artwork (a print on cardboard) for $2.00.  You will also need to buy some legumes.  There are all sorts of different colors of beans that you can buy, so don’t be afraid to go a little crazy.  Also, get some tacky glue.  It holds a lot better than hot glue and it is really cheap.

Next, I went online to search for images that I thought would be fun to re-create.  (This is not a mandatory step by any means.  You can use a stencil or freehand a pattern or whatever you would like.  I have another suggestion at the very bottom for how to use the beans, so keep reading!)  I knew I had white beans and green split peas, so in a google search I typed in green and white floral art.  (Make sure you click the images button at the top.)  I immediately fell in love with the first image that came up. 

Next, I had my dad project the image for me using the laptop and his projector.  I simply traced the image onto the back of the artwork that was there before.  (it made it easier to see the lines since it was a plain cardboard piece.)  I don’t have a picture of that because it was really hard to take a picture showing the pencil lines.  They didn’t show up very well.  So here is a partially painted board instead.

I didn’t want to the brown to show through though, so I painted the artwork so that when the beans were on, you wouldn’t be able to see the brown through the cracks. 
All that you need to do now is add those beans.  It is almost like a big paint by numbers project only using beans instead of paint.  It was very tedious and it took forever because of how detailed and huge my project was, but it was worth it in the end because I love the way it turned out. 
In the original picture, there was no black, but there are also no dark green beans.  So I decided to just add in the black beans and I am really glad I did because it helped to define the picture a lot better then if I would have just left the dark green.  The frame recieved a coat of black spray paint and then ta-da!  It’s finished!  Very carefully place the artwork back into the frame.  You will have some beans fall off of the picture while you do this.  Try not to cry (too much) because it can easily be fixed.
 There you have it!  A large accent piece that can be customized to any taste and room. 

 Now, if you don’t want to spend 11 hours making this (like I did) you can try a different option.  These were the inspiration for my project in the competition.

 My mom made them for me and it really can be made by anyone.  You will need to get some frames from the thrift store, some of your favorite prints and some beans.  I made color copies of the art so that I wasn’t using the originals, then my mom glued the prints in the middle of the frames.  Next make a border around the art using any sort of color of bean you want and in any pattern.  It really is so easy and it looks great!  I have these in my kitchen which is the perfect spot for such a tactile, organic piece of art. 
Go get started.  You will love it, I guarantee!  And if you do decide to make one, I would LOVE to see it.  Send me a link.  Oh, and just like always, if you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to ask.  I would be more than happy to answer them!
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