DIY Art for a Lot Less Than You Think
Chevron Wood Shims
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 and pick up wood shims and spray paints in your fave colors.
Use an unexpected tool (hint: it's from your kitchen) to create affordable and unique art. Watch and see how it's done!
Easy Gallery Wall
Whip 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, while a gilded-metal picture frame is backed with pink string, woven spiderweb-style, to support decorative cards. A faded painting -- a $4 flea find -- comes to life thanks to paint-pen-embellished forest features.
Simple Fabric Art
With a yard of fabric and a canvas, you can create your very own art. Watch and see how it's done.
Two-Tone Stamp Art
Homemade materials can transform a piece of cardstock into custom artwork. Hot-glue 3 feet of 1/2-inch-wide cotton rope onto a piece of scrap wood or cardboard in your desired pattern. Lightly paint the rope with acrylic crafts paint and press the rope onto cardstock. For a two-tone look, repeat the process, covering the rope with a second color and twisting the block a quarter-turn. Let dry, then frame.
Pixelized Accent Wall
Create large, custom pixel-inspired artwork on the cheap using a simple plywood or medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panel and crafts paint. Sand and clean the wood panel, then use a pencil to mark off a grid of same-size squares. Arrange crafts paint in the same color palette from light to dark. Assign a color to each square, keeping lighter colors at the bottom and darker colors at the top. 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.
Display pretty vintage baubles as art with this simple technique. Watch and learn how.
Color Block Frames
Framed prints get an easy (and colorful) update thanks to acrylic paint and imagination. To start, determine which areas you’d like to cover on the framed print; remove print from frame. Cut pieces of poster board to the height of the print and the width you plan to cover. Paint poster board and let dry. Use double-sided tape to attach the poster board to the print, then place the artwork back in the frame. Paint the areas of the frame that align with the color block. Let dry, then hang. With this method, your color blocking isn't permanent and can be removed if you choose to later on.
Dipped Tassel Hanging
Whip up a creative and unique wall hanging in an afternoon! This tassle wall art features just a few materials and basic tools.
Painted Embroidery Wall Art
Give an embroidery-inspired look to your accent wall with our easy do-it-yourself design. Using a straight edge, draw a grid of 1x1-inch squares onto two 2x4-foot sheets of ¼-inch plywood. Using our pattern as a guide (download it below), paint Xs with acrylic crafts paint in corresponding squares. Let dry. Spray the panels with water-base polyurethane and let dry. To fasten plywood panels together, use wood glue to attach two 1x2x42-inch furring strips vertically 1 inch from the left edge and the right edge. (Assembling the panels afterward makes it easier to maneuver them while painting and sealing.) Center two more same-size strips between the first two, then center another two strips between them. Clamp all of the support strips and let dry. Hang using French cleats.
Thrift Store Reinvention
Update a thrifted piece of wall art for your home with geometric stitching. Simply 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 simply set atop a dresser or a mantelpiece to display.
Botanical Book Art
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 a little 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.
Map Wall Art
Honor your favorite vacation or your hometown with DIY travel artwork. Dry-mount a map to foam-core board by applying a layer of rubber cement to both surfaces, letting it dry, and pressing the surfaces together. Trim any overhanging map with a crafts knife and ruler on a cutting mat. Print the template (link below) and trace backwards onto watercolor paper using graphite paper. Using the dry-mount technique, glue the watercolor paper to the map board, lining up the edges. Trim any overhanging paper with a ruler and crafts knife.
Show off your photos with this easy do-it-yourself framed collage, which is made from canvas stretchers and picture-hanging wire.
Photograph Canvas Wall
Printing an image on canvas elevates simple snapshots into gallery-worthy pieces. Many photo sites offer a canvas-printing service and often run deals and specials, so you can create your display for a song.
Add a sweet sentiment above your bed, in the living room, or anywhere around your house in no time with this easy piece of artwork. To make, douse thick natural fiber rope in a mix of 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 cup flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 1 cup crafts glue, and 1 teaspoon salt. Shape the rope into a word and a frame, laying the design on a piece of plastic wrap. Use light-gauge wire to add stability and to form tight letter shapes. The letters should harden within 24 hours. When dry, tack the lettering on the wall, attaching decorative birds or other embellishments as desired.
Editor's Tip: Write your word on the plastic wrap using a permanent marker first as a guide for the design.