There are many ways to stretch a budget when it comes to decorating a home, and one of the easiest may be to create your own budget artwork.
If your finances have been blown on a move, wedding, furniture, or other necessities, you may be looking at bare walls and no money to decorate them.
You'll have to get creative and find or make some of your own budget artwork. How should you begin this project?
If you already know what style of decorating you like, you're in luck. It will make it much easier to select subjects, colors, mats, and frames for your art. If you're unsure or have an "eclectic" style (sometimes also known as a hodgepodge) you'll have to choose as you go along.
Floral artwork in carved, light-colored frames fit in with a cottage style. Black and white photos framed in simple metal work well in a contemporary setting. Country themes, weathered wood, antique or old fabrics go well in a country style home. Landscapes, botanical prints, and floral still life pictures fit into a traditional interior.
If you're ready to save some money and get something attractive up on your bare walls, read here for some creative ways to find artwork at budget prices, or no cost at all!
Frame What's Free
I get at least 5 calendars from companies at the end of every year. Many of the images presented are beautiful. Other sources of free art are creative menus, pretty party invitations, a puzzle you've put together, a collage of postcards from a trip, a diploma that you're proud of, or a patriotic or decorative flag. Pieces that are just decorative can be put directy into a frame off the shelf. Pieces that are more special should be mounted on acid-free mat board before framing.
Items from Mother Nature
You can mount any number of natural items in a standard frame or a shadowbox style. A beautiful arrangement at little or no cost can be made of pressed flowers or leaves, shells you've collected on a trip to the shore, interesting pods and seeds, pine cones, dried flowers, or even a freeze-dried corsage. Mount heavy items to a mat board using hot glue. White glue or a spray adhesive will work for lighter items.
Use Your Camera
Amateur photographers can capture the most interesting images. But if you're not feeling secure, ask a friend to take some pictures of flowers, houses, interesting buildings, sports equipment, or pretty settings. You can see that the possibilities are endless! Take the camera disk to a copy store and have the images printed in either black and white or color. Have the images enlarged to fit the space you have. For a series of photos, frame them in simple, identical frames, with coordinating mats. Be sure to shop around for frames. You'll be more likely to work within your budget if you select standard size frames. When assembled, the photos can be grouped on a large wall, hung along a hallway, or placed on shelves in a bookcase.
Check Out Your Personal Library or Go to a Bookstore
I know this may sound shocking to some of you who were taught to never deface a book, but you can find wonderful photos of famous paintings in large books. Subjects could be birds, furniture design, architectural structures, Impressionist era art, landscapes, quilts, and trains. Select pictures that will coordinate with your decorating scheme. You can find books with beautiful illustrations at garage sales, used book stores, or neighborhood library sales.
Hang It Up
Hang items directly on the wall. Beautiful plates are a natural, either in a vertical arrangement or randomly around a wall. Garage sales and flea markets offer lots of beautiful or interesting options for dishes, tableware, and other household items that can adorn a wall. Other choices might be flags, hats, model airplanes, pages of music, musical instruments, or toys.
If you do needlework, draw, make model airplanes, or have a collection of small items, they make a wonderful piece of art. Be sure you have the pieces mounted carefully and do not damage them when you frame them. This will provide a great way to display things that mean a lot to you and to show off your talents.
When your budget is overloaded and your walls are bare, what can you do? There are lots of ways to use your own creativity to adorn your walls.
These ideas for free, and almost free, artwork will help you create your own custom wall decorations.
With a bouquet of beautiful pressed flowers or just one blossom and a few leaves, you can make your own botanical print. Also try a beautiful fern frond or some colorful fall leaves. Mount the pieces on a white or colored mat board, cut to the size of your frame. Either hand write or stencil the botanical name of the item somewhere on the matboard. It will look very professional. If your pieces are very flat, you might float them between two pieces of glass. Bulky or thick-stemmed pieces can be mounted in a shadow box frame.
Create Color Copies
If you're not up to drying or pressing flowers or leaves, try copying them on a color or black and white copier. Place the pieces on a piece of white or colored mat board or cardboard, secure the pieces in place, and make a copy. You can make it any size that the copier can accommodate. Keep in mind that items with a heavy stem or thick texture will cast a shadow, so flat items work best.
Frame a Game
A fun idea for a family room or child's room is to frame the game board of a favorite game (or collection of games). Glue the open game board to a rigid piece of cardboard, glue some game pieces and dice around the board, add game rules and playing cards. When everything is attached securely, place the piece in a shadow box custom-cut to the size of the board.
Any special collection can be displayed in a shadowbox frame, which can be purchased at frame or craft stores. Gather together items from a special occasion, such as a wedding or vacation, or items from a hobby or craft. Arrange the pieces on a piece of mat board or cardboard and secure them carefully. Then place the board into the shadow box frame.
Create a Collage
Select photographs, buttons, pieces of fabric, ribbons, small toys, keys, magazine pictues, menus, or greeting cards to create a collage. You can see that the list could go on forever! Coordinate a theme, color, or design to create a collage that you can frame. You can make one large collage and some smaller ones to create an interesting arrangement on your wall.
You can see that there are countless ways to create artwork for your home. Look around you, both at home or when you're out. You're sure to see something wonderful that will be able to decorate your walls. Try to "think outside the frame!"