The original Print Rooms date from the 18th century.
Many grand English houses had a room in which the walls were covered in collections of prints. They were often souvenirs from the travels of their wealthy owners,
These prints were not conventionally framed and hung, but pasted directly onto the walls. Paper borders were pasted around them to give the impression of frames. Printed swags and garlands added to the decoration.
An instant art gallery!
It is documented that this fashion spread to North America but apparently no original examples survive.
Stencil designers The Stencil Library have revived the original 18th century concept with a 21st century twist using stencils and photocopies..
In this project Helen Morris co founder of stencil-library.com will show how to create a modern day print room using stencils and photocopies.The Stencil Library offers 24 Print Room stencils in their collection The designs look good even without prints so that a collection can be built slowly.
Select a stencil and the pictures to be displayed. On most of my examples I have used photocopies rather than photographs. I used my office photocopier which has settings for black & white, full colour and all tones in between. The 18th century displays were mounted onto flat painted surfaces but they can be stencilled effectively onto broken colour. The surface should be smooth.
All my examples have been stencilled using stencil brushes and water based paint. I take paint onto the tip of the brush and work the barely loaded bristles onto paper towel. This action results in the paint being damp rather than wet when transferred through the holes in the stencil. The stencilled image remains crisp and allows me to work fast when setting up pattern repeats.
When the decorative frame work has been completed it is time to paste in the pictures.
They have been sized to fit with the stencil frames using the template supplied with the stencil. I start with a rehearsal and employ the same repositioning product to temporarily display my prints. Temporary might be the desired goal if the pictures are to be changed regularly. When a more permanent display is needed I use wallpaper border adhesive. Make sure all adhesive and air is squeezed from under the print. This is important if the surface is going to be varnished. Clean away any residue with a damp cloth.
Smaller Print Room projects like folding screens and blanket chests make wonderful portable items that may become highly individual heirlooms.