15 DIY Wall Art Projects for a High-End Look on a Budget

Colorful painting on mantelpiece at home
Photo: Jason Donnelly

Custom artwork doesn't have to bust your decorating budget. With some crafting supplies and a little imagination, you can create your own expensive-looking DIY wall art in no time! Plus, each of these fabulous art ideas is surprisingly low-cost.

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DIY Abstract Art

large framed watercolor swirl artwork and bench
Marty Baldwin

Large-scale abstract art pieces typically have equally large price tags. But with a few swirls of watercolor paint on a blank canvas, you can create your own free-form masterpiece for a fraction of the cost. The best part: You don't have to be an artist or a professional painter to create a gorgeous work of art. See our simple technique for making this DIY canvas art with watercolors.

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Minimalist Masterpiece

black and white striped painting above fireplace
Jason Donnelly

After replacing closet panels or interior doors, what should you do with the old ones? Turn them into art, of course! This DIY wall art project uses unconventional materials (including doors as oversized canvas panels and a mop as a paintbrush) to create modern, monochromatic artwork that will spark conversation. Follow our how-to instructions to paint this gorgeous display.

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Splash of Neon

Neon Art

Dry-erase boards act as the canvas for this easy DIY wall art. To achieve the splashy look, you'll need a spray bottle of water and a few cans of brightly colored spray paint. Alternate spraying the boards with water and paint. Blot the excess water with paper towels as you work. The process might be simple, but the results are incredible.

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Chevron Wood Shims

bedroom wall art

Add eye-catching flair to a plain wall with colored wood shims laid out in a chevron pattern. This project starts at your local hardware store: Swing by to pick up wood shims and cans of spray paint in your favorite colors. We alternated hues in a random pattern to add even more interest.

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Easy Gallery Wall

Wall with circular décor
Jay Wilde

Put together a gallery wall in no time with decorative objects. The trick? Be sure they share a common denominator, like the circular shapes here. White paint highlights the intricate detailing on a cast-iron register grate. At the same time, a gilded-metal picture frame is backed with pink string, woven like a spiderweb, to support decorative cards. A faded painting (a $4 flea find) comes to life in a recycled DIY wall art piece, thanks to paint-pen-embellished forest features.

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Simple Lace Art

diy wall art with embroidery hoops covered with lace
Marty Baldwin

Using lace and embroidery hoops, you can create a charming display of DIY wall art. You'll simply layer lace pieces on top of floral fabrics and mount the material inside the wooden hoops. Select a variety of lace designs and add multiple layers to create unique textures. Once you're happy with the look, trim any excess fabric and glue the edges to the backs of the hoops.

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Two-Tone Stamp Art

Shelf with orange stamp art
Adam Albright

Homemade materials can transform a piece of cardstock into custom artwork.

  1. Hot-glue 3 feet of 1/2-inch-wide cotton rope onto a piece of scrap wood or cardboard in your desired pattern.
  2. Lightly paint the rope with acrylic crafts paint and press the rope onto cardstock.
  3. For a two-tone look, repeat the process, covering the rope with a second color and twisting the block a quarter-turn.
  4. Let dry, then frame.
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Pixelized Accent Wall

Blue pixel art on white wall
Adam Albright

Create large, custom pixel-inspired artwork on the cheap using a simple plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panel and crafts paint.

  1. Sand and clean the wood panel, then use a pencil to mark off a grid of same-size squares.
  2. Arrange crafts paint in the same color palette from light to dark.
  3. Assign a color to each square, keeping lighter colors at the bottom and darker colors at the top.
  4. Tape off and paint the squares, letting each dry before starting the next.

To make some squares more transparent, add water to the paint for a watercolor effect.

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Jewelry Art

Dresser with new paint and hardware

Display pretty baubles as framed art with this simple technique. This DIY wall art project uses inexpensive flea market frames to showcase vintage jewelry or cherished family treasures. Simply outfit the frames with fabric or paper, ribbon, and glass knobs to create an artful arrangement that doubles as jewelry storage.

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Color Block Frames

Sitting area with color block painted wall art
Adam Albright

Thanks to acrylic paint and imagination, framed prints get an easy (and colorful) update. To start, determine which areas you'd like to cover on the framed print.

  1. Remove print from frame.
  2. Cut pieces of poster board to the height of the print and the width you plan to cover.
  3. Paint poster board and let dry.
  4. Use double-sided tape to attach the poster board to the print, then place the artwork back in the frame.
  5. Paint the areas of the frame that align with the color block.
  6. Let dry, then hang.

With this method, your color blocking isn't permanent and can be removed if you choose to later on.

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Painted Embroidery Wall Art

Seating area with embroidery wall art
Adam Albright

Give an embroidery-inspired look to your accent wall with our easy do-it-yourself design.

  1. Using a straight edge, draw a grid of 1x1-inch squares onto two 2x4-foot sheets of ¼-inch plywood.
  2. Using our free pattern as a guide, paint Xs with acrylic crafts paint in corresponding squares and let dry.
  3. Spray the panels with water-based polyurethane and let dry.
  4. To fasten plywood panels together, use wood glue to attach two 1x2x42-inch furring strips vertically 1 inch from the left and right edges.
  5. Center two more same-size strips between the first two, then center another two strips between them.
  6. Clamp all of the support strips and let dry.
  7. Hang using French cleats.
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Thrift Store Reinvention

Modified vintage artwork
Adam Albright

Update a thrifted piece of wall art for your home with geometric stitching. Remove the frame from the art and use embroidery floss to sew your desired pattern onto the image. Paint the frame, let dry, and reassemble. Hang your new piece of art on the wall, or set it on a dresser or a mantelpiece to display.

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Botanical Book Art

Clipped page art with flowers on wall
Kathryn Gamble Lozier

Let your walls bloom with beautiful homemade artwork. Find free botanical images online and print them on old book pages. To create a textural mat, cut linen slightly larger than the page and machine stitch 1/4 inch from all edges. Fray the edges by pulling out threads down to the stitched line. Machine-stitch the page to the linen mat, then hang using bulldog clips.

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Clothesline Frame

Frame with clipped photos
Blaine Moats

Show off your photos with this easy DIY framed collage. Create your own frame using canvas stretchers, then paint or stain it to your desired color. Add a fabric backdrop and string twine or picture-hanging wire across the frame opening. Clip on photos or small mementos to create a personalized display of favorite memories.

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Photograph Canvas Wall

Black and white photos above couch
Greg Scheidemann

Printing an image on canvas elevates ordinary smartphone snapshots into gallery-worthy pieces. Browse photo sites for the best canvas-printing service, and keep an eye out for deals and specials to make the process even more budget-friendly. Group photo canvases with similar color schemes or subject matter to create a cohesive arrangement.

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