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We challenged bloggers to style a mantel in 30 seconds. See what they did and get their smart tips for decorating a mantel.

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Budget-Friendly DIY Artwork

You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on artwork for your home. Making it yourself allows you to customize the colors, style, and shapes to your own tastes.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Photography by You

      Art gallery photography can be expensive, so try using your own photographs as artwork. Take high-resolution digitals and have them enlarged to poster size. These can be custom-framed for a high-end look or simply mounted in inexpensive frames from a crafts store.

    • Place Mat Wall Art

      At only a dollar each, these place mats add a fun factor to the dining room. Simply drill holes and connect the mats, row by row, with a ball-link chain between mats. Hang the connected rows with nails. This easy technique also works for room dividers and window treatments.

    • Canned Art

      Don't throw out cans once you've finished their contents -- instead, decorate with them. The shiny metal and ribbed pattern give these wall-mount vases a modern industrial look. Drill holes in the sides of the cans and join them together with bolts. Add a few holes in the top backs for hanging. Use these recycled cans as vases or over a desk for office supplies.

    • Pretty Paper

      Frame scrapbooking paper, available in an array of trendy colors and patterns, for easy and inexpensive artwork. Choose papers that suit your room's color scheme and place them in matching frames for a cohesive display.

    • Save on Art

      Anything can be art once you put a frame around it. Here, peel-and-stick circles on mat board make the perfect colorful addition to a kid's room. Use this technique in any color combo to create a look that coordinates with your room.

    • Orange Modern Art

      In a modern room, flashes of bright color create excitement and interest. Copy this look using rectangles of stretched art canvas painted in one solid accent color.

    • Artistic Kids

      Give the kids markers or crayons in the colors of your room and let them create their own art. Choose your favorites and frame them with colored mats -- just as though you'd purchased an expensive original. The kids will love seeing their work displayed and you'll have a keepsake of their creativity.

    • Silhouettes

      Get this look by tracing shapes (such as these birds) and cutting the designs out of black paper. Mounted on a colored background, or even on white, the shapes are unique ways to fill a wall with color and pattern. Try leaves, trees, or even your child's profile.

    • Changing Display

      Black-and-white papers in exciting patterns are mounted on a narrow magnetic board or bulletin board for an inexpensive and unstudied work of art.

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      Framing your own artwork makes it look like an expensive room accent. Try a collage of art papers in all one color or get some craft paint to block out a monochromatic design. This is also a great way to add more color in an all-white or neutral space.

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      Four of a Kind

      Visit an art store where you'll find inexpensive stretched canvas pieces ready for paint. Paint on abstract designs or stretch fabric around the squares and staple to the back. Hang these lined up to make a statement over a sideboard.

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      Six Up

      Small items such as postcards or book illustrations gain instant impact when surrounded with an extra-wide white mat and framed in a contrasting color.

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      Postcard Art

      Museum shops have a wide variety of postcards, note cards, and art prints at reasonable prices. Treat your favorites to a beautiful linen mat and an upscale gilded frame.

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      Small with Impact

      One small framed piece has added importance when placed in a grouping that includes a large mirror. Mimic the look by framing a reproduction drawing from a museum store.

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      Budget-Wise Tapestry

      It's time to take a trip to the fabric store. Look for texture and pattern in off-the-bolt yardage that resembles expensive weavings. Add a border of contrasting linen around the edges, sew drapery rings to the top, and hang your faux tapestry from a bold rod. For a traditional look, loop tassels over the ends of the finials.

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      Next Slideshow 39 Blank Wall Solutions

      39 Blank Wall Solutions

      Sick of staring at a cold, stark, empty wall? Infuse it with warmth and style by adding creative artwork.
      Begin Slideshow »



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