they are WONDERFUL! I still have dreams of doing a whole wall design with one, but for now I have used one to write some verses from Psalms 37 around my kitchen.
And to create my "pauper's beadboard" in the dining room. I taped the lines off and used some of the leftover gray ceiling paint in the middle. Most people assume that it's wallpaper. I never know what people are going to think of my goofy ideas, but I love it when they don't get noticed because that must mean it's not too jarringly weird or obviously cheap! =)
You can find all kinds of cute plasticware designs in the after-summer clearance sections for excellent prices.
The blue plates I found at Walgreens became fun, big, 3D bubbles in the kid's bathroom.
And the daisies I found in the Target clearance section prettied up my daughter's nursery wall.
along with the daisies are some metal coasters that had a daisy motif (garage sale), a vintage daisy print (garage sale) *I LOVE that picture, sigh* and the oil painting of the swans is one of my most favorite Goodwill finds ever! I have several original paintings that I love and I found them at Goodwill, the Salvation Army store, and garage sales. Never underestimate what you can find in those places!
This is one of the paintings I found at a garage sale. I love it! Who would get rid of such a thing?! I sure am glad that they did, tho! As much as I loved it, I realized that it wasn't quite the right scale for our headboard. So it got moved over to another wall where it shines because it get's all the attention. But I didn't have a lot of money for a headboard. Thankfully a local grocery store had some really large, cheap prints. The art was really cheap&ugly, and in the end I was able to buy two huge canvases for $10each, paint them brown, add some grass cloth placemats (Pier1 clearance) that I cut up and some green ribbon, and suddenly the bed had much more presence and felt anchored!
Even if you don't find great secondhand artwork, you can always make your own!
Fabric, Shoe box lids, & Glue
One of my all-time favorite frugal ideas was for my son's room. I was wanting inexpensive (the kid is gonna grow out of it someday) but cute and colorful tree artwork, so I decided to make it myself. I opted for repurposing old shoebox lids instead of putting money towards canvases.
WalMart has a great $1 fabric table for projects like this.
These little critters were actually shirts my son wore, and stained. But they were too cute to toss out. I'm glad I saved them! They added a great graphic element. That Christmas I gave our extended family the materials to make one for my son's Christmas present if they wanted. This was really fun because it brought some great variety of artistic idea, while still having the continuity of the same fabrics. Jeni made an adorable snail- it was a favorite with the kids, in fact they loved its eyes off and the rest of it to pieces, so it is sadly no longer with us =) And that, my friends, is yet another reason for frugal children's wall art!
My oldest two now share a room, so I brought in one of the pictures that had been in my daughter's nursery. A card that my family had given me for my 16th birthday which I love for the art and the memories. I found the frame in the Kohl's clearence section for supercheap and then backed the picture with a piece of the green gingham curtain (Goodwill) that I had cut up and used elsewhere in her nursery.
Using fabric is a great way to add color and whimsy or elegance while saving on buying custom mats and frames. I've had this watercolor up on the wall for years, always planning on getting it matted, but never ready to spend the money on it. Just last month I realized that I had some great green, sheer crinkle fabric that would add the right touch of color and added texture. I love it. Cost: $0 Improvement: huge!
Photos and Cheap Garage Sale Frames:
Using pictures that mean something to me or evoke a strong memory is my favorite wall art, so
I'm always checking out the clearance aisles and garage sales for inexpensive wooden frames. They are great because everyone has some to get rid of, and a coat of paint makes them work
exactly for your need.
I alternated black frames with dusty-celery painted frames up my stairway. I found great textured $1 mats at WalMart and grabbed them, knowing someday I would use them. I love personal photos, and the old family photos that are surprising and interesting just grab my fancy. I love this wall because it holds so many stories, but still has a cohesive, gallery look to it.
Another project (not shown) for the kids room was some collage frames with pictures of special vacations we took mixed with coordinating color print outs of a favorite book character.
This is my most recent project. I'm hesitant to put it on here because it still needs work. I still need to sticky tack the backs to keep them all straight -this picture drives me crazy- but it's another example of the inexpensive fun you can have. We have really tall ceillings that I wanted to hi-light. All it took was cheap, open frames, several coats of black spray paint, hot glue, a $10 roll of sheer curtain print from Ikea that I have always loved, 8x10 family pictures in sepia tone, and a picture that I created using picknik.com.
my favorite photo resources are
picknik.com where you can upload your own photo and add text and other fun things to it. Recently I just made a poster with a favorite picture and verse
and printed it at Walgreens photo - they are always having some sale or coupon so if you have time you never have to pay full price!
Those are just some of the ideas that I've had fun with around our house. I am no artist, but I love art, and I think a home should be full of fun, meaningful beauty. My philosophy is that if you find something you love, you can find a way to use it. And if you find it on sale, even better! There are so many wonderful, inexpensive ways to add pretty personality to your walls. Go for it!