Lifehack: Catalog Art

I have this distinctive memory of being about 8 years old and receiving my first J.Crew catalog. I flipped through that catalog like it was an encyclopedia outlining the details of my future and imagining the life I would have in a crisp pair of chinos.

As an 8 y/o, catalogs did more than showcase the wares of a specific retailer, they served as a window into a different reality, a pressed and perfect existence. Heavy for an 8 y/o, right?

Today, I still get excited when a  new catalog arrives. No longer imagining where the adult version of myself  would wear a Magnolia Lace Dress, instead planning which shoes I’ll wear with it.

As sources of inspiration go catalogs and magazines are really popular for use on vision boards but I think that’s selling their contents short. Below, I’ll show you a way to elevate them from mere inspiration to giving them a staring role in the dream life you’re crafting.

If you can keep from getting distracted by the beautiful products, you’ll notice that a lot of design and artistry goes into each image. The details the creators incorporated to make the products pop can also be used to add some pop to your decor.

In a recent Anthropologie catalog I noticed that some of their photos featured beautiful floral frames. After measuring, I realized they were the perfect size for some photos that I’d been meaning to frame.

Lifehack: Catalog Art (via

Using my exacto knife, I went to work to cut out the existing pictures. When I was done I was left  with a variety of beautiful floral  frames.

Lifehack: Catalog Art (via

Once cut out, I simply layered it over the existing matting of a frame I had, securing my photo with a piece of archival (acid-free) tape.

And just like that, I’ve added some flare to an otherwise straight forward picture situation.

Lifehack: Catalog Art (via

I bet if you pay attention, next time you open a catalog you’ll find some way to repurpose some of its elements. When you do, please let me know. I’d love to see what you create!





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