Farmgirl Artwork {Patent Illustrations}

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Are you like me and you’re always on the hunt for fun, inexpensive projects that you can use to decorate in your home or to give as gifts?  A couple of years ago when we finished building our farmhouse and moved in, I was a little stumped with the bare walls in my hallway.  It’s a short hallway and I didn’t think it was exactly the wall for a gallery of pictures, it called for something simple and unique.  About that time I read an article about old patent illustrations being a work of art.  I knew right away that I was going on the hunt.

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Did you know that Google has a search engine dedicated solely to patents?  And you can download a patent illustration and print it right from your home printer… for free.  You can go to their patent search engine at patents.google.com.  It is so simple; just type in your search and see what comes up!  You can also customize your search by entering the patent date range.  I like the patents from the “olden days”.  Some of the most awesome patents are the ones before the 1900’s.

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You can get really hooked on looking at the old patents, so beware!  If you’re like me you will come across things that really bring back memories.   Some of my favorites are patent drawings of old toys and old musical instruments.  Oh and kitchen items.  And sewing machines.  And on and on!

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Patent Post

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For fun I’ve put together a few very simple and fun projects for you, using patent illustrations I chose and printed right from my home printer.

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Project One:

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A patent drawing printed on lightweight brown wrapping paper (cut to size so that it will run through the printer) works awesome for wrapping a little package.  For this project, I used the Egg Beater Patent from 1901.  The drawing is so awesome and the gift is a little kitchen item, so it just seemed fitting.

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Wrap it with a little twine and it makes a darling wrapping for a gift.

 

Project Two:

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This project I made for my husband to hang in his work shop.  I came across these two patents on horse related inventions:  the horseshoe and the horse blanket.  I printed them on light brown card stock.

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I had an awesome wooden lid from a vintage ammunition crate and I thought it would make a great “frame” for the prints.  I sanded the wood until it was smooth and then gathered my supplies.

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I cut each of the prints apart so that they fit on the slats of the wood.

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Then I applied two coats of Mod Podge, letting it dry in between coats.

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I hung it in my husbands work shop!  This project may seem like a lot of work, but from start to finish it only took about an hour.  I love how it turned out.  Just a fun vintage look and it looks great on the pine walls in his shop.

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Project Three:

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The final project are the drawings that I printed and hung in my hallway.  I chose all farm equipment because I absolutely love how beautiful and intricate the drawings are.  They are all patents from the 1800’s and it just kind of blows me away how talented they were with drawing.  And their signatures from that time period?  My favorite!

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All I did for this project was print the patent illustrations on white card stock.  I then purchased the photo matt and frame on sale from Hobby Lobby, stuck my print in and hung it on the wall.

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They are very simple, but very unique and always, always a conversation starter!

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I know there are so many other ideas that a person could come up with for the patent artwork.  I’d love it if you would share any of your ideas!

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And NOW what we’ve all been waiting for!  We have a winner to the Moo-N Over Main Street book drawing and it is….

Jodie!

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Congratulations, Jodie.  I know you will love having it to read to your little one.  For those of you that didn’t win, be sure to go here to order your copy.  

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Until our gravel roads cross again… so long.

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Dori

Leave a comment 17 Comments

  1. Pat says:

    Dori,
    This is a very “epic”* idea! We live near a copy store and I think I’ll take a couple there and have them enlarged. This is one of the more unique ideas I’ve seen. I love your posts and hopefully the hubby gave you a big hug for his gift.
    Living-in-the city-but-my-heart-is-in-the-country,
    Farmgirl-at-heart,
    Pat

    (*The first word that popped into my mind was “cooool” but I realize that is pretty old, lol)

  2. Barb P says:

    Cool beans! Just cool beans!!!

  3. Deb Bosworth says:

    Get out! Dori, these projects are farm-tastic! I adore each one… I’ve always loved vintage botanical illustrations( surprise). I’m going on a hunt, right this second…
    Thank you for the inspiration!
    Deb

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Deb,

      I love the vintage botanical illustrations too and I especially love what you’ve done with them.

      Sometimes you’ve got to dig a bit deep on the patent search to find the exact one you like! Believe me, I’ve looked at thousands I think! :-)

      – Dori –

  4. Vivian Monroe says:

    Love Love Love this idea. One day when I have a barn which I am believing for soon, I will love decorating with these old farm equipment prints. Thanks for sharing. Be Blessed. :) Neta

  5. Joan says:

    Super great job on the patent printing – I do some on greeting and gift cards, don’t have any on hand right now to do a picture but sure like your ideas. Thanks for sharing.
    God bless.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Joan,

      What a GREAT idea. I had not thought of greeting cards! I love that idea. Thanks for sharing!

      – Dori –

  6. You are amazing! My creativity runs toward appreciating and copying what others have invented, so this is perfect for me. We are “squashed” here on the farm in Elora, (picking, packing, and shipping 28 acres of summer squash) so I’ll have to hope for a quiet winter to try this. Thanks!

    • Oops, I meant 24 acres, not 28. I must be tired.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Wayve,

      I’ve been meaning to get over to your farm and see you. I know you’ve been swamped (or squashed?)… figured I would walk out to the field and find you if nothing else! :-) I don’t need squash… BUT, do you still have cucumbers? Mine have stopped producing. :-(

      – Dori –

  7. Dori,
    I LOVE this! You are so creative. Don’t ya just adore modge podge, too? So many things to do with it…

    Those pictures are really great. Love them. I especially like the horse one on the old barn wood door.

    Farmgirl Hugs,
    Nicole
    (Suburban Farmgirl)

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Nicole,

      I know. I think it is kind of funny how many things we did with Mod Podge back in the 80’s and now it is so popular again. :-)

      When I made the wooden door hanging for my husband I was really hoping he’d say he didn’t want it so I could hang it in my house! :-) But, alas… he was thrilled! I think I have a couple more of those wooden box lids laying around somewhere, so I may just make one for my laundry room with the old ringer washer illustration!

      Hugs,

      – Dori –

  8. Sarah B. says:

    Dori,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea! We just moved into our home and like yours were my walls are bare as well and this is the perfect solution! Can’t wait to get to looking around for my picks, thanks again and I just love reading your blog, you give such insight on so many things that I enjoy in life and that always makes for a great read!

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hi Sarah,

      If you start looking around and can’t quite find what you are looking for, or don’t understand some of the Patent Search quirks email me and I can help you out. It can get a little tricky to really find what you are looking for. And believe me when I tell you that you can really spend some time on there! :-) You’ll have to let me know what you do with them. redfeedsack@gmail.com

      – Dori –

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