Today’s post is a collaboration with SnapBox and may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase through any links, I may receive a commission. I am committed to only partnering with products and companies I really and truly love, and SnapBox has definitely earned a place in my heart!
Did you catch my latest art roundup for Remodelaholic last week? I chose the theme “Incredible Insects” and pulled together dozens of awesome vintage entomology illustrations. A few of my favorites were from an 1880’s book, Aid to the Identification of Insects, and I began brainstorming to come up with a way to put them to good use.
I remembered that SnapBox, the company I partnered with on my DIY Floating Frameless Vintage Patent Art, recently introduced custom printed pillows. I fell in love with the idea of enlarging a few of the entomology images to create vintage beetle print pillows, so I reached out with my plan and was thrilled to hear back that they were equally excited about it!
Choosing & Preparing the Images
I chose two colorful beetle images from Aid to the Identification of Insects: “Cydianirus ornatus” and “Cyclopeplus cyaneus” via BioDivLibrary, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license, which allows for sharing and adaptation with proper attribution.
As with my DIY patent art, the first step was getting the vintage images ready for printing.
Luckily, I had worked out a great process in my post on Preparing Vintage Images for Large Format Printing, so I’ll direct you to that tutorial first and then give you a few tips for this particular project!
The pillow covers offered by Snapbox are 18″ square and their FAQ page states that they are printed at 150 pixels per inch resolution.
That means that for each inch of the finished product, there needs to be 150 pixels in the image you use, so I created a blank canvas in Photoshop Elements that was 2700 pixels wide by 2700 pixels high (18 x 150).
Then, I cropped the beetle images to a square, resampled them to the same dimensions as my blank canvas, and dragged them into the canvas.
As with the vintage patent art, once the images were resized, they were pretty pixelated, so I ran the “Median” filter (set to 2 pixels). That was actually all I needed to do for this particular set of images besides tweaking the levels slightly.
I saved each image as a JPEG and then walked through the incredibly easy process of uploading them to the SnapBox site and ordering my pillows!
I have some good news.
I know that not everyone enjoys messing around with photo editing programs quite as much as I do.
So I’m also offering these two beetle images pre-edited & perfectly-sized for an 18 x 18″ pillow as a FREE DOWNLOAD. Just click each image or the download links below, then save the images to your computer.
Free Beetle Print Downloads:
Ready to see how they turned out?
I was so excited to receive the finished products in the mail – I was on my phone checking the FedEx tracking number hourly on the day they were scheduled to arrive! For some reason, FedEx didn’t show up until almost 10pm and then left the packages on the porch without ringing the doorbell, so my
neurotic periodic checking paid off.
You guys, the pillows were everything I envisioned – the faux suede is super soft, the colors are vibrant, the printing is clear. The moment you get to see your idea brought to life is always so rewarding!
Worth a note: the backs of the pillows are more of a beige-taupe color in person than cream, so I just wanted to mention that so you know what to expect.
Also, it turns out the vintage images I used have quite a bit of soft yellow in them (my computer screen was reading more “buttercream” than “soft buttercup”), so keep in mind that the colors your computer screen displays aren’t always 100% accurate. It’s funny, because you can’t even see the slight yellow hue in my photos – my camera wouldn’t pick up on it either! Technology cracks me up.
Anyway, I had an absolute party playing around with pillow styling in the living room the next morning and landed on this combination that I absolutely adore…
I found the black and cream geometric pillow covers on clearance at Hobby Lobby last week and the gold-embroidered leopard pillow cover was a clearance find from West Elm a few months ago.
I briefly questioned the logic of pairing a leopard with giant beetles, but then I decided that I don’t particularly care if my sofa’s pillow collection makes biological sense or not.
You couldn’t possibly deduce from these photos that green and yellow are two of my favorite colors, right?
I love love LOVE the way these pillows turned out!
So how do feel about decorating with vintage entomology illustrations? I know it might seem a little odd at first, but I think they are just so incredibly fascinating, especially in a large size so you can see all the details!
But if insects aren’t quite your cup of tea, you could achieve the same effect with tons of different vintage images – I think a pair of botanical prints would be stunning and so elegant! (I’ll point you to my vintage images roundups on Remodelaholic for your browsing pleasure.)
What vintage images would you put on a pair of pillows? Get started designing your own right here!
Jennifer@The Chronicles of Home says
Who knew bugs could be so chic?! What a great idea and they came out really beautifully!
Thank you Jennifer! I don’t really want anything to do with them in person, but I can definitely appreciate them in decor!
cassie @ primitive & proper says
LOVE these! i have one that i won a while back in a giveaway and it somehow got stained. 🙁 maybe i can remake!
Thanks Cassie! I might just be addicted to designing pillows now – so many possibilities!
Trisha D. @Black and White Obsession says
Secretly, you must be a packer fan. Haha. The bugs turned out absolutely lovely, the colors on the green beetle is probably my fav of the two. Pairing the animals and the insects doesn’t have to make biological sense… because they pair together nicely on that couch!
The green beetle is just a little bit more my favorite too – his antennae are just too cute! Thanks Trisha!
Caitlin @ Desert Domicile says
These are so cute! I love the vintage vibe and how well they pair with everything else in your living room.
Thanks girl! I’m in love with them!
Corinna - A Designer At Home says
I was thinking botanical prints would be pretty. Funny you mentioned it right after I answered the question with, “well… no, bugs aren’t my thing but vintage botanical prints would be cute.” Haha. They DO look very cool in your space Even if bugs creep me out.
Haha! I’m definitely not a fan of real life bugs but to me they get cute when their pictures are blown up really big! 😉 But vintage botanical prints would be awesome too!
these are so fabulous! and, yes, all the creatures can definitely live in harmony in the magical land of throw pillows 😉
Thanks Gretchen! I dream of a world where mini leopards and giant beetles can sit on a couch together without having their motives questioned! 😉
Katja | Shift Ctrl Art says
Brynne!! These turned out terrific. What a great idea. Pinned!!!
Thank you so much Katja!! 🙂
um. These are incredible and I LOVE your gorgeous couch. Woah! I didn’t know I needed a velvet green sofa in my life until your post. Thank you 😀 as for the tutorial and download, you’re awesome! Might have to make some beetle pillows myself.
Thank you so much Ashley! The green velvet sofa was on my “dream wish list” for so long and then I actually found it in a thrift store! So glad you enjoyed the tutorial & downloads!
Kimberly Duran says
These turned out amazing! And hell yeah to combining them with a groovy leopard – I think it looks amazing – I adore your living room! xxx
Thank you sweet friend!! I need to do an updated living room post soon – so much has changed since I shared it last year!