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Dining Room Decor: Turning Handwritten Recipes into Forever Art

This might be one of my proudest, best decorating ideas... ever! While searching for dining room decor inspiration when I found our "Bless the Food Before Us" Wall Prints, I came across an Etsy shop that makes wood frame art out of handwritten recipes, notes, letters, really anything! So I thought it'd be really sweet and sentimental to get all of our parents and grandparents to write a recipe for the opposite dining room wall.


Favorite Recipes in our Favorite People's Handwriting

I asked everyone to pick a recipe and write it out for us. It could be anything they wanted - one of their favorite dishes, something sentimental, a family favorite, etc... there were a few recipes that I knew NEEDED to be on the wall, so I of course swayed some of those decisions (like the tortellini recipe we make as tradition every year, or the cranberry relish my grandpa always makes at Thanksgiving, and Zach's grandma's almond bars). It took a little convincing to get a couple of them (cough-men-cough) to do this, but it's not about the recipe, it's about forever having their handprint on our home. Plus with some puppy dog eyes, could they really turn me down? In addition to the recipe, I just asked that they write their name on it.

Handwritten recipes to turn to art
Recipes came at me in all shapes and sizes

We're super fortunate to have so many living grandparents which I know not many people our age can say. Zach lost both his grandpas and his paternal grandma, but we were able to use a photo of one of her existing recipe cards to get her on the wall. As we learned in this exercise, not many men in their late 80s have written out many recipe cards in their lifetime, so we're just missing those men.


Planning the Gallery Wall

As recipes started coming in, I started planning out what size, shape and orientation I'd need to print them in. To keep things simple, I decided to use two sizes - 5x7 and 8x10 - so that I could then just figure out layout on the wall before I ordered anything. I cut and taped sheets of paper on the wall, and kept adding and adjusting until we got them all in. I reached out to a couple other family members to help fill in some holes too. Our wall looked like this for weeks!

gallery wall planning with paper
This is my new favorite way to plan wall hangings

Once I felt good about the scale and quantity, I contacted the shop to figure out the best way to order these and they were kind enough to give me a price break and free shipping. I knew ordering this many would be pricy, but it was what I decided to buy myself with my "Christmas money." And it would bring me a lot of joy... for a LOT of years.


Handwritten Recipe Art - Pure Joy!

And when they arrived, JOY was an understatement. They were PERFECT!

Handwritten recipe art
Recipe art straight out of the box

What's so cool is I just sent them photos of each piece and they cleaned them all up so just the handwriting and words remained. Some of the cards had decorations, others had major wrinkles and watermarks, and others I pieced together by cutting and taping elements on a single page to get it to fit on one front-side sheet.

Handwritten recipe art
The shop was so great at cleaning everything up

Hanging the Recipe Art Gallery Wall

Having the papers already in place made hanging them up a breeze - even with a little helper and her own hammer! A quick nail or screw right through the paper was all it took to get them hung up.


The Finished Look - Handwritten Recipe Art Gallery Wall

The final outcome was exactly as I'd hoped! They are as individual as the people who wrote them... and just as special.

handwritten recipe card art
Favorite people, favorite recipes - or if they weren't, they are now!
Recipe art in dining room
Love the look of these handwritten recipes in our dining room

In case you're wondering, here are the recipes on the wall now: Tortellini, Ginger Snaps, Red Velvet Cake, Gnocchi, Refrigerator Pickles, Hamburger Casserole, Hank and Abbey's Cinnamon Rolls, Strawberry Pie, Christmas Fruit Compote, Cranberry Relish, Taco Dip, Cinnamon Toast, Champagne Cake, Almond Bars and my Dad's Favorite Cocktails (with his signature Manhattan (up!) of course).

Handwritten recipe card art
I'm glad I got the sizes I did for the quantity I wanted - more room up above too!
Handwritten recipe card art
They're a perfect addition to our forever home

Our favorite people and many favorite dishes right there to pass by each and every day... to relish in the memories. And the greatest part? There's plenty of wall left to keep adding on other family members and more recipes! Maybe after next Christmas... this may just become my next go-to gift idea.


Dining Room's About Done!

A little more trim paint and that's all we've got left to do in the dining room! Get the details on the rest of the dining room decor here including our rug, new chandelier, and window treatments. And click here to see the "Bless the food before us..." wood art series.


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.

 

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