Decorating on a budget? Make your own wall art from things you already have – no talent (and practically no money) required.
A room just never looks finished until there’s some interesting art hanging on the walls. But when your interior design budget is limited, buying art from a gallery, or even from the framed prints department of a big box store, may not be an option.
So make it yourself! It’s one of the easiest DIY decorating projects: You can put just about anything in a frame and it’s art. And the only skill you need is the ability to hang that frame on the wall.
No need to go out and buy craft supplies; there are probably a lot of art-able things in your house right now, just waiting to be seen with new eyes. Maybe you even have some unused frames tucked away somewhere.
A. Display Your Souvenirs.
Get out that box of maps, postcards, guidebooks, T-shirts, coins or whatever else you’ve collected on your travels. These would look great framed and hung as a group.
Even three-dimensional souvenirs like seashells can be framed: Just glue them to the backing and leave off the glass. Or arrange them in a shadow box. If the item is too heavy or awkward for a frame, place it on a small shelf just big enough to hold it.
Imagine a whole wall of these little shelves: very designer-y! You can find shadow boxes and wall shelves at Target.
B. Turn to Textiles.
From the sheets on your bed to the clothes in your closet, fabrics are inexpensive — and often extraordinarily beautiful — material for wall art. Of course, hanging a quilt on the wall is a classic decorating trick. But how about those scarves you don’t really wear anymore? Or that throw rug you were going to toss?
Don’t have anything like that on hand? Hit the import stores like Pier 1 or housewares meccas such as Bed Bath & Beyond. They are treasure troves of affordable textiles that can easily be repurposed. Another resource is the remnants table at an upholstery fabric store; there you’ll find small pieces of toile or damask with pictorial designs for a couple of bucks.
If your textile is not suitable for framing, there are other ways to mount it on the wall. One is with Velcro. Sew one side of the Velcro to the back of the fabric, along the top edge.
Nail the other side onto a strip of wood, then nail the wood onto the wall. Stick the Velcro sides back together and you’re done. Another way is to hang your textile on a small curtain rod, then attach the rod to the wall. If your chosen item is clothing, you could even leave it on the hanger (a nice looking one); to get it up on the wall, a decorative hook is all you need.
C. Raid the Pantry.
Take a cue from Andy Warhol’s soup can art and use colorful labels from cans, boxes or bags to create a “pop art” collage. You don’t need an artist’s eye to do this.
Use all the same kind, or all the same predominant color, or all from the same manufacturer, and you’re guaranteed a cohesive result. If you want to try mixing different kinds, keep it simple, perhaps with stripes or a checkerboard of two colors.
Even grocery bags have their possibilities. Did you catch that episode of HGTV’s Design Star where an entire wall was covered with crumpled brown paper? Major wow factor — and an idea you could copy in a heartbeat.
At this point most likely you’re looking around your house and coming up with many more ideas of your own. What are you waiting for? Cheap and easy wall art is right at your fingertips.
D. 21+ DIY Wall Art Ideas
1. Pottery barn wood star
2. DIY Wood Arrows Wall Art
3. DIY Modern Art Using Leftover House Paint
4. DIY Pallet Wood Sign
5. Woven Paper Artwork
6. DIY Paint Stick Sunburst Mirror
7. DIY Black and White Abstract Wall Art
8. Geometric Heart DIY Wall Art
9. Washi Tape Wall Art for Bathroom
10. Canvas Art
11. Framed Floating Leaves
12. Rustic Yarn Sign
13. Hexagon Wall Art
14. DIY Wall Sculpture
15. Reclaimed Wood Love Rope Sign
16. DIY Wall Art Citrus Stripes
17. DIY Paper Dahlias
18. DIY Masking Tape Skyline
19. Leaf canvas art
20. Light-up canvas
21. DIY Wood Block Nursery Art
E. Using Fabric as Affordable Wall Art
Interesting fabric patterns can serve as unique DIY wall art pieces. Fabric wall panels are affordable and easy to install and match to existing decor.
The wide variety of fabric textures and patterns makes it an ideal medium for easy-to-make, DIY wall art. Find out how to create wall art panels using fabric and other basic supplies, and how to choose fabric to suit a room’s decor.
Related: Types of wall textures
Creating Fabric Wall Panels
There are a number of ways to create art panels for a wall using fabric and basic craft supplies.
- An inexpensive and easy way to create wall art panels is to use a Styrofoam sheet as a base. Styrofoam allows users to cut the base to the desired panel size, and its light weight will be easy on walls.
- For a more substantial piece of wall artwork, use one or several stretched canvases (available at most craft or art supply stores) and cover with fabric. Stretch fabric firmly over the canvas so that it does not ripple. Attach to the back of the frame with fabric tacks to easily remove and replace fabric designs.
How to Choose Fabric for Art Panels
The huge number of fabric styles and designs can make choosing one, two, or three patterns for wall art pieces a little overwhelming. Here are some tips and ideas for mixing and matching fabrics.
- Spend some time in a fabric shop comparing different styles and patterns of fabric. Overlap swatches to see how different fabrics will look next to each other.
- Don’t be afraid to mix patterns. Look for designs that share a common color or two, and let those colors be the link between two different patterns.
- Solid fabrics can help to offset a busy pattern. Choose an accent color from a stripe, paisley, floral or other pattern and use a solid piece to highlight the accent color. Pair a solid with a patterned wall panel, or use a solid panel to anchor two patterned panels.
- Use fabric art pieces to accentuate a room’s design aesthetic. A contrasting, graphic print in two colors like black and white is modern and eye-catching. A series of panels in polka dots, stripes, and paisley gives a space a cozy, casual feel. Choose solid fabrics in the room’s accent colors to create a clean, cohesive look. For a natural, outdoorsy feel, look for fabrics with rich textures like canvas or linen.
- Fabric wall art pieces offer plenty of options when it comes to size and spacing. Consider a 3 x 3 square of 1″ panels, a chic series of three square or rectangular panels, or a major rectangular or even oval piece.
Use these ideas to create customized art pieces for any living space. Fabric offers plenty of style options to suit any room’s decor, and fits any design budget.