We all have blank walls, but not everyone is an artist and few of us have the budget for one-of-a-kind works. If you want the wall space in your home to be furnished, colorful, and personal, how about trying your hand at one of these do-it-yourself ideas? They won't bust your budget, and you might even have some fun along the way.
It is nice if your hobby is photography, but a high-degree of skill isn't required to make photographs an important component of your wall decor. All you have to do is snap pictures using a camera or cell phone. The subject matter is up to you: the family cat, the kids, a pretty flower, or a scene at the beach. What you do with the image next is important. Various web sites and copy stores let you print the image in any size, and with any special effect, such as a sepia tone. For a spot over the sofa, print a black-and-white image as large as a poster to create dramatic effect. You can also use your home printer to try out various papers. Print an image on crafts store transfer paper, for example, iron it onto a piece of fabric, and then staple the fabric around a canvas art frame. Hang three of these in a trio in your hallway. For a photo collage with interesting patina, make color copies of old family photos, enlarging them as necessary to fit mismatched thrift store frames.
There's nothing that says you need to have art school training to dabble in oil paints. Small blank canvases are inexpensive at craft stores, or you can invest in one large one. Practice first on foam core boards and play around with abstract images and geometric patterns, or try to replicate a scene from a photograph. Whatever you come up with will be personal and unique. A fun activity is to lay the canvases on the grass in the yard, and then let your kids get messy with washable acrylic paints. Another option is to use leftover latex paint from a home improvement project to cover one canvas; mix in white paint to soften the color, then paint a second canvas. Repeat the process until you have a series of related canvases that you can hang together.
Raid the bargain bin at the fabric store for scraps of interesting, pretty textiles. Or, head to the scrapbooking aisle of the crafts store to select from the lovely patterns and colors of specialty papers. These materials are the perfect fodder for DIY art. You can put the fabric or paper pieces into inexpensive picture frames to hang in a series. Wrap fabric tautly around a blank canvas frame, and then staple it to the backside. Or, use decoupage medium, a clear drying glue, to adhere paper scraps to plain china plates, then hang them on the wall using plate hangers.
DIY wall art doesn't have to involve artistic effort of any sort. If you can wield a basic household tool, you can hang anything on the wall. Screw robe hooks in a staggered pattern and then use them to display a collection of rustic vintage lanterns. Put nails in the corners of your favorite teams' pennants; hang them close together with the points facing both up and down to create a modern arrangement. Stick on picture-hanging tape to affix your child's artwork in a tidy row. Be sure to use hardware that will support the weight of what you are hanging.
-I'm Jenny Wright, a designer for Kitchen Makeovers Magazine. I've got a great wall art idea for you. This custom wall tile was made from a photo for only about $275. You can find companies that transfer photos to tile on the internet. I started by Googling photo tile and photo ceramic tile which led me to digitalcoverings.com. To hang the tiles, start by lightly drawing a straight line with a pencil. Then, tape on the picture hanger so you can hang the tile by the hook on the back. Now here's a trick to keep your tile nice and straight. Just apply several inches of hook and loop fastener to the wall and to the back of the tile. This helps keep the tile straight which is really important when you're hanging art in such a busy area. So, that's it. Wall art tile is easy and less expensive than having a custom piece of artwork commissioned. It's created an interesting focal point in this kitchen and it may just be the top of the conversation at your next dinner party. I'm Jenny Wright with Better.TV.