Top of Memphis Belle Poster

Do you, or a special man in your life, have a favorite poster that is embarrassingly worn, showing its age? Here’s how to turn that battered poster to wall art!

But first a bit of a story and then the very simple How-To.

The Backstory:

20 years ago we were raising our three kiddos. Any down time and naps were spent growing South House Designs to feed my creative soul and feed the family by supplementing hubby’s teaching salary — his part-time adjunct salary while working full-time on his MS and PhD. Yep, we didn’t have a spare nickel.

I started SHD on the dining room table, literally. Until the legs became wobbly, the table’s that is. And my back was a wreck. We then built a cutting table at the proper height in our dark, scary basement. My father built fabric racks, installed lighting, etc. The other side became a park complete with a remnant of atrociously bright green carpet, sky blue fabric stapled to the ceiling, swings hanging from the joists and even a Fisher-Price teeter totter and slide. 

And behind the stairs, if you squeezed past the behemoth, ancient HVAC unit, waited a niche just for Doug. A dark, gloomy (to me) retreat where he could don his Maker hat and build WWII aircraft scale models. It was his kid-free zone. It was all his, only his and not a textbook in sight. Luckily, he was also easy to please!

The Drama:

In October of 1990, Memphis Belle was released. For Doug’s birthday, my parents gifted us tickets, popcorn money and babysitting. It was fabulous. Doug was entranced by the WWII aircraft. Me, not so much. But ohhhh those aviators!

I surprised him with the accompanying movie poster. Yep, all 8.99 as I remember. Hey, no judging, I splurged on the .79 poster putty. We were living high!!! Doug was thrilled and tacked it up on the cinder block wall of his kid-free zone.

Supposedly, kid-free zone! Whomp, whomp, whomp!!!

Not sure if I ever knew what really happened or if I chose to forget. But Doug was very disappointed that his poster had a tear and a number of crinkled area. Many I think brought on by little hands trying to make it better. He didn’t yell at anyone, but I knew how sad it made him.

The Joy-Filled Resolution:

Or Battered Poster to Wall Art:

Very soon after, we turned that battered $8.99 poster into a truly loved treasure and presented it to Doug on Father’s Day. He declared it perfect! and quickly hung it in his office and each office since then. Right over his desk where daily he would be reminded of:


his passion for WWII aircraft


the joys —and oops — of parenting


the possibility of blessings and beauty in imperfections

How? Very Simply!

We worked our Wabi Sabi miracle With Modge Podge. What else?

I thrifted a rejected stretched canvas piece of wall art that was slightly smaller than the poster.

Since the poster theme was vintage, I worked it. I crinkled the poster a bit more to further age it and make the original mars look more intentional and acquired over the decades (ha ha).

Then I applied a liberal coating of Modge Podge to the canvas. I centered the poster on that,  loosely smoothed it out, wrapping the four sides. Two coats on top, probably did it. But this was almost 20 years ago, so who’s to really say.

After it dried, I flipped it over and attached the excess to the back of the stretcher with more Modge Podge.

I hope this inspires you to Wabi Sabi something special for that perfectly imperfect  dad in your life!

Top of Memphis Belle Poster

And to Remind You For

the Next Occasion, or Oops,

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Diane Sudhoff

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