Old houses are sometimes exhausting but always special, and you should definitely highlight all those things that make your home unique. For instance, your blueprints can make beautiful artwork when you display them instead of letting them sit in the closet for, say, the last four and a half years.
The previous owners of our home kindly gave Eric and me a pack of old photos and the original blueprints that their family used to build this place back in the 1960s. We kept them tucked safely away in the closet all this time, but I am happy to report that I now have our favorite blueprints out on display.
Framing and displaying your home’s blueprints is a quick and easy project. Once you find the right frame, it doesn’t take long to get those blueprints up on the wall where you can enjoy them.
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- Your blueprints
- Tape measure
- Poster frames (this frame comes in several sizes and colors)
- Microfiber cloth
Find the Right Blueprint Frames
Measure your blueprints and look for frames in the same size or slightly smaller. My blueprints were about 30×22 inches and I used two 30×20-inch black frames that I already had.
I love the simple mid-century look of this walnut frame. It comes in a variety of sizes, so you can probably find one to fit your blueprints. Here are a few options to consider.
Frame and Display Your Blueprints
Once you have your frames, clean them with a microfiber cloth. Fold the edges of your blueprints to fit if needed, using the frame as a guide.
Optional: Ironing Trick
If your old blueprints are wrinkly like mine were, you can try ironing them for a cleaner look. Test out a small area on the lowest iron setting with no steam.
Then insert your blueprints into the frames and hang them on the wall with a hammer and nails.
Here’s how my blueprints look hanging up in the downstairs recreation room. I nerd out for blueprints, so I love to see these exterior sketches of my house out on display. I think I need to frame the interior blueprints next.
You might also like these mid-century decor ideas.
- Vintage style posters for instant decor
- How to “frame” vintage wooden art
- How to create a Sputnik wreath for displaying holiday cards
15 thoughts on “Display Your Blueprints (and Rescue Them From Storage)”
I think this is a very cool idea (not nerdy at all!) (Very mid-century too!). How many times do you stop to admire them as you walk past them? Looks great and awesome that the former owners gave them to you.
This is a great idea! Last summer I moved into a 1959 modern home in Minneapolis, MN that an architect designed and built for himself and he lived in it for 3 decades. Fortunately, it was well preserved with no bad renovations that usually happen in the 70s & 80s. But unfortunately there are no blueprints or plans.
Tim, that’s so great you found a time capsule mid-century home! They are becoming so rare. Many of the houses we looked at when house hunting back in 2014 had some bad renovations. But this one was mostly untouched except for a few cosmetic things we updated, like getting rid of the 80s carpet and a chandelier.
Thanks, Judy! Lots of times! I love looking at old blueprints.
Tara, that looks great. I’ve often thought about putting some of my early pen and ink or pencil boat design drawings into frames. These days all my work is on computer so the prints don’t have the same character.
That’s a great idea!
You should! Those would be cool to hang up too!
Are there bigger frames you can get so you don’t have to fold them?
Yes, the Craig Frames links above come in lots of sizes. You might be able to find an exact fit for your blueprints, or go for a bigger size and have a border.
Just purchased a home built in 1958, and the owners (who commissioned the build) left the sets of prints which were actually blue. They were folded into quarter and i want to frame. Can i use the iron method without ruining any of the original blue?
I can’t say for sure, but it might be worth testing a small section on the lowest iron setting. That’s great the owners held onto the blueprints all those years! 😊
I am planning on shrinking my blueprints to a smaller size to be able to either hang them in the hallway or above the fireplace. I have a brick house built in 1940. The couple that built it owned a lumber yard here in the area and used the best of everything. My mother purchased the home approximately 40 years ago and has since given it to me she is the 4th owner since it was built in 1940. Still has all the original exterior doors, interior doors and most of the original trim. We wallpapered the ceilings with anaglyptia wallpaper and added crown molding. I have finished the basement and added a second bath, a kitchenette and I use it as a den as well as the garage being part of the basement but is separate and I am able to park my Nissan Maxima in it, barely.
Resizing the blueprints is a great idea! Your house sounds beautiful and it’s nice that you are taking such good care of it, protecting the original features and adding some new focal points!
My old blueprint is fading. Is there anything I can do to re-vitalize the now brown lines?
Sorry, I’m not sure how to revitalize the fading lines. I hope you find a good way to preserve your blueprints!