$5 DIY Artwork

Can you seriously make cool wall art for about the price of a grande latte? Our fabulous project designers will make you a believer! Check out 11 hip ideas that add wow to blank spaces without emptying your bank account.


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Clip It
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Clip It

    Display a rotating exhibit of your favorite postcards, prints, and pictures. To make it, you'll need a piece of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and an oversize white crafts clothespin (both are available at crafts stores). Paint the MDF and clothespin white. When the paint is dry, attach a picture hanger to the back of the MDF and use wood glue to secure the clothespin to the front. Then simply clip that postcard from Jamaica or your favorite girls' night out photo in the clothespin.

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Mix Tape

    It doesn't get much simpler than this. Paint a large artist's canvas or piece of MDF in your favorite color. We used a calm beige shade of gray. Then wrap white tape around the canvas, crisscrossing the tape as you go. For an ultra-subtle contrast, paint a few of the resulting triangles in a slightly darker hue.

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Take the Cake

    Think we can make art out of plain white cupcake wrappers? We challenged ourselves to create cool pieces using common household items--and these wrappers kick-started our imagination. Keep clicking to see how our designers stepped up to the plate.

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Sweet Success

    Cupcake wrappers become funky abstract art. Here's how: Look for a rippled plastic sheet used for industrial lighting covers. We found ours at a local home center. Use a large ruler and a crafts knife to cut the plastic sheet into four equal-size squares. Set the squares on a flat surface or floor. Arrange your cupcake liners on top--the more random the pattern, the better.

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Icing on the (Cup)Cake

    When you're happy with the placement of the cupcake liners, use a droplet of glue to affix the liners to the plastic sheets. Because the liners are thin, the glue will bleed through the paper, so add more liners inside to hide the glue spots. Use a glue stick to attach the second layer of liners; it won't show through the paper. Use strong glue to attach a picture hanger to the back, or attach to the wall using strong adhesive dots.

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That's The Ticket

    We love the layered look our designers created with this under $5 ticket-theme artwork. Want to make one of your own? Add these items to your shopping list: a roll of inexpensive white tickets (office-supply stores carry these), an inexpensive picture frame, crafts glue, and either decorative packing tape or acrylic paint in your chosen color. (If you can't find decorating tape at the crafts store, go to ginkopapers.com)

    Use the cardboard that comes with the picture frame as a base. Cover the entire surface in concentric rows of white tickets. Use crafts glue to secure the rows.

    To create layers of pattern and color, affix strips of decorative packing tape atop the ticket rows. If you can't find decorative tape, dilute paint with water or thinner and lightly brush stripes over the white tickets.

    Finish by gluing an oversize ticket to the top. Pop the cardboard base back into the frame, then hang.

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Ticket Artwork Supplies

    Check your local crafts store for decorative packing tape. The scroll and lace patterns on these two rolls are perfect for this project.

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Striking Silhouette

    This quick and easy technique turns everyday items into pop art. Scour your office, workshop, and garage for small but heavy items, such as keys, washers, nuts, and bolts. We used wooden clothespins for the piece pictured here.

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Silhouette Artwork Materials

    Spray paint comes in tons of colors, textures, and special finishes, so this is your chance to get creative! Set your silhouette item of choice on a sheet of white paperboard, then lightly coat the board with spray paint. When the paint is dry, remove the silhouette item from the board. Put your new print into your favorite frame, then hang on the wall.

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Center Stage

    Fresh flowers are a thoughtful touch for any special occasion. Just think what a handmade centerpiece can do! We crafted a dinner-party-ready centerpiece with inexpensive materials from the crafts store.

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Centerpiece Materials

    Here's what you'll need to create this simple and sweet centerpiece: a foam cube, clear glass holiday bulb ornament, decorative packing tape.

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Front and Center

    Using a spoon, hollow out a crater in the foam cube. The hole should be just large enough to nestle the clear glass bulb. Wrap the foam cube with decorative tape. Then simply fill half the bulb with water and poke your favorite cut flowers inside. Try lining three centerpieces along your dining table or mantel.

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Turn the Page

    Here's an idea that practically begs for your personal creative stamp. There are so many ways to customize! Our designers began with a foam rectangle cut into two pieces. The smaller piece (on the right-hand side) is wrapped in black duct tape. The larger foam piece is wrapped first in houndstooth-pattern duct tape, then a page from an old magazine (use a light coating of glue to adhere the magazine page). A pair of crafts sticks connects the foam pieces for a finished piece of art. Vintage maps, book pages, and scrapbook papers would also work splendidly for this super-simple project.

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Magazine Art Materials

    Making a trip to the crafts store? Add these items to the shopping list if you want to make a magazine wall art piece of your own: a foam rectangle, crafts glue wood crafts sticks, patterned duct tape, solid-color duct tape. You'll also need a crafts knife and ruler.

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What's Your Type?

    Typography is everywhere we look in the art world right now. Our designers came up with this budget-friendly spin on the trend. You'll spend about $5 and less than an hour on this make-a-statement project. Keep clicking to see how we put it together.

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Hoop Artwork Materials

    At your local crafts store, pick up a couple of embroidery hoops, a half-yard of white fabric (or use scraps you have around the house), a pack of scrapbook letters, black acrylic paint or a black marker.

    When you get home, arrange the letters atop the white fabric. Gently trace the shapes with a pencil. Then fill in the shapes with a black marker or black acrylic paint. Stretch the fabric through an embroidery hoop and secure. Cut off extra fabric along the edges, then hang on the wall.

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Circular Reasoning

    Here's another take on the hoop idea: Paint embroidery hoops white, then attach them to the wall in a concentric circle pattern. Be random with the placement. Position just a few together, along with a finished typography-fabric piece, or cover an entire wall with abstract circles. It'll look like someone blew bright bubbles on the wall.

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Art in a Flash

    Give bare walls shimmer and shine with this under-an-hour project. Buy a piece of aluminum flashing at a home center. Big rolls of the stuff are lightweight, easy to cut, and inexpensive. (Be careful when you transport and handle flashing: The edges are sharp.) To make this project, our designers simply pulled one edge toward the center, pounded a hole through both layers with an awl, then used an old doorknob to attach the two pieces. This is a fabulous way to show off vintage knobs.

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We Love Leftovers

    With all of our under-$5 art projects complete, we still had a few scraps left over. Even odds and ends of foam found a home on our wall! Keep clicking to discover how we used them.

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Leftover Foam Artwork

    Mission accomplished! We used leftover foam pieces to make this super-mod, futuristic wall sculpture. Simply layer your leftover pieces, then glue together when you have a pattern you love. We left our sculpture white, but you could easily paint each piece for a dose of color. The finished piece hangs easily from a picture nail on the wall.

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