Vintage Sheet Music Art Tutorial

By February 20, 2014At Home

Let’s bring a little music into our homes with this easy Vintage Sheet Music Art!

Vintage Sheet Music Art

I’ve been playing piano again. I’ve been practicing for 15 to 30 minutes each day, wrapping myself in memories of my youth and the songs I have loved for so long. I’m back with the same easy piano sheet music I bought when I was just a little girl. Of course I kept it all. I play Les Miserables and sing my heart out. I play Annie and remember the time I directed the show in my children’s theater camp. I play Tangled and Frozen so I can learn to play the songs for my kids. I play whatever I love. I am not good again yet, but I am getting better every day. Most importantly, making music makes me happy.

My kids start piano when they are 5, like I did. I’ve got 2 in lessons now and that means practice for 3 people every day. It isn’t easy for them to take this time and I love to tell them how much it will mean to them to know how to read music and play an instrument. I added some fun Disney easy piano songs to their regular books and that has really helped. Anytime you can find familiar songs, your kids will thank you and you may get some great moments out of it. Sophia and I can now sing the original Mickey Mouse Club song from 1955 while she plays it. You know the one “M-I-C..see you real soon”. It is incredible to do it with her.

As much as I want to inspire them, I’m not going to put a big picture of Mickey Mouse or Elsa over the piano. I told the kids about Mozart and decided to make this Vintage Sheet Music Art to inspire all of us. I saw it in a Pottery Barn catalog for $275 and made it for about $30 and it was so easy!

I hope you have music in your lives and most of all, I hope you can remember something you always loved and bring it back into your life with your kids.

Here’s to music and a very easy tutorial!

Vintage Sheet Music Art


1 piece of vintage sheet music that makes your heart sing.  We will review where to procure yourself a copy for very little moolah.  Of course if something other than sheet music sets your heart o  flutter you can do this with anything!

1 piece of wood or plywood or mdf (preferably 1/4″) to act as your canvas.  I used 1/4″ plywood because I had scrap in my tool shed.  You can get this cut to size at your local Home Depot or Lowes and they do sell 24″x48″ sheets so if your music fits on that you can avoid buying a full sheet!

Enough 1×2 wood to create depth for your frame if you want depth.  It does make it easier to hang and a bit more dramatic, so I would go with this.  These are cheap at the Home Depot and can be cut to size with a miter saw or a simple hand saw and miter box.  Nothing fancy here people!

Matte Mod Podge for all surfaces (not just paper since you are attaching to wood)

Glue (Gorilla Glue is awesome) and / or screws to attach your pieces together

Paint and / or stain for additional distressing if desired

Picture hangers of whatever sort you choose


Step 1: Find your art.

I do not have in my possession any large pieces of vintage music and if I had an original Mozart piece I doubt I would be glopping Mod Podge on it anyway! After much searching I found that there are libraries that scan original sheet music and make it publicly available! I knew I wanted something for the piano and by Mozart.  I am just inspired by a kid who writes a symphony, you know?  I love to tell my kids how much they can accomplish and this is perfect! Here is the link to the piece of music I selected from Harvard’s library but have fun and choose anything! I am thinking about doing this gorgeous cover page (the link goes here) too for a little set!

The great thing about images from this source is they are giant already so you will not lose any quality by having to blow them up from some tiny image online.  I simply saved my image to my zip drive and headed to Staples. The picture is about 20″ x 26″ and it cost about $25 to print on the colored paper. If you want to go the black and white route for about $2.50 you can have the same image (on thinner paper) by having it printed on the architectural printer. You will then need to add some color with a tinted glaze to get the yellowed and aged look.

Note that the page comes with a border.  I cut it off with a scissors after I cut my wood and left a little extra that the sander easily took off once it was on the board.

Step One

Step 2: Find a board big enough and make it the right size.

I had some scrap but measure your picture and head to your local home improvement store for a piece of 1/4″ thick plywood or mdf. Have them cut it for you but recognize that their giant saw is not exactly great with tiny measurements so make sure to go on the slightly larger side and sand down excess if needed.  I used my circular saw to cut my board. It is a great tool to have around!

Step 3: Attach the frame back.

I used 1×2′s and measured the full length from top to bottom and then measured in between when they were laid out for the lengthwise pieces.  Be careful here because you want the back to be as precise as possible and not hang over or be inside your art.  I attached the frame using screws and filled the screw holes with Elmer’s Wood Filler.  Then, because I wanted no screw holes on the face of the art I glued it to the frame using Gorilla Glue.  It will hold just fine, particularly because it is so light.  You can see pics of the 1×2’s a little further down.

Step Three

Step 3: The Mod Podge.

Apply Mod Podge to your board and quickly but carefully lay your art on the board, attempting to smooth out any bubbles.  I used the straight edge of a ruler but just make sure there are no big bubbles and that your art is as straight as possible.

Vintage Sheet Music

Step 4: Pretty up the frame and picture.

This is pretty simple.  Sand your edges until smooth and paintable.  I also rounded my corners a little bit so I could stain them.  I had some random beige colored paint that I added craft paint to in order to get the right color.  You can use cheap craft paints from any art store like Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and mix up your perfect color.  It will be a mix of white, brown and yellow to achieve the antiquey yellowish brown look.  Then I simply painted my edges.

I chose to add some brown stain to my sides and then wipe it off.  I also realized that a little on the front did not look so bad so I allowed it to come  a little over the edges in places.  This is the point where you can make things as dingy as you desire.  I only wanted a little depth in my edges.  It was as simple as wiping on the stain and immediately wiping it off.

Vintage Sheet Music1

Step 5: Mod Podge your top

I added a layer of Mod Podge over top of the entire piece including the frame.  This is not entirely necessary but it will add protection.  Even the matte Mod Podge will also add a bit of sheen so I hit it with 220 sand paper after it was dry and liked how it took off the shiny and added a little distress.

Step 6: Add your picture hangers

I went with little screw in ones so the picture would lay flush against the wall and then the only wire I could find in my home.  I used mirror wire but really you can use the basic picture hanging wire since this thing is nowhere close needing heavy weight support.

Now you can hang up your gorgeous work of art!


Final Project Thoughts

This is a fabulous beginner level project that is fast, easy and adds something really special to your home.  It requires no special tools or anything expensive.  You could find a special piece of music or what you walked down the aisle to or something that inspires you.  I love how unique you can make it.   Be careful with the Mod Podge and move quickly to avoid the bumpies and get a smooth finish.  If it is not perfect, don’t worry!  This is vintage so just call it extra distressed and enjoy it!

Sheet Music Art

I hope you like this and please let me know if you have any questions at all!  If you do like it, consider sharing this post on your social network of choice.  Thank you!

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