When it comes to decorating your home with artwork, remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not in the number of dollar signs on the price tag. Reasonably priced and alluring art is all around. And we've got you covered from buying on the cheap to creating your own personal pieces.
You don't need a large budget to find compelling art that you'll be proud to show in your home. While most cities have galleries and boutiques that sell the art of accomplished artists, it's possible to find original artwork on your own.
Self-representing artists sell their work directly, so you don't need to visit a gallery and can usually pay less for a piece of art. Check your phone book for artists' studios in your area. Many artists sell their work straight from their studio. Also, many artists will set up a stand in high traffic areas like shopping centers and farmer's markets, so keep an eye out for them.
Many self-representing artists sell their work over the Internet, either on their own websites or through online auction sites. Use an internet search engine and the search phrase "self-representing artist." You can buy pieces through these websites, though you might want to contact the artist before you buy to make sure that it's original.
Next time you go for a walk outside or are running errands, make sure to notice some of the art on display all around you. Many advertisements and posters feature the work of artists and graphic designers that's beautiful and inspiring. When you see something you like, cut it out or get a copy of it and put it into a frame.
Many posters for local events, like art fairs, theatrical companies, dance companies and flower shows, often will showcase the work of local artists. Contact the coordinating organization to see if you can receive a copy of the poster. They may ask you to purchase it, or they may be happy to clear off some shelf space.
Unleash Your Inner Artist
Pressed flowers make a very good piece of art, especially in smaller frames. Use a cloth backing with a color that will make the flower stand out. This is a great way to preserve and display bouquets and boutonnieres from special occasions like weddings.
You can also create art by cutting up books. Find clip art books at bookstores and arts and crafts supply stores. Choose a book with a theme you're interested in, like Victorian art prints. Then cut out the images and create collages that you can frame and display.
Personal photos can also be transformed into works of art. Simply print a close-up, detailed photo in black and white on normal printer paper. Next, coat with decoupage glue to seal, and adhere to a canvas with the glue. You can use a blank canvas or canvas that has been painted. Once the glue has dried, use paint pens or thinned craft paint to add soft color to the light portions of the printed photo.
When it comes to art, you can hang more than just photographs in your home. Whatever your room's theme, it's easy to enhance its décor by adding new elements that echo the shapes, colors and styles of your space. Try purchasing rosette moldings at your local craft store-they're perfect for mounting a variety of decorative materials. Simply drill a hole in the center of the rosette, insert a small dowel rod, then use a hot glue gun to adhere materials like beads or seashells to the rod. Use basic wall mounting hardware to hang the rosette on your wall.
Blank canvas squares are perfect for your own painting project. Available at many art supply stores, as well as arts and crafts stores, these "tiles" of professional quality painting canvas are wonderful for even the most untrained artist to add a small painting or scripted word or phrase. Create many yourself, or have friends and family members each paint a square for you. Then hang them in an evenly spaced grid-pattern on a wall for a modern yet personalized look.
A framed quotation is a beautiful way to display the written word, as well as a nice reminder of a powerful sentiment. Find colored stationery or try making your own, and then stylishly write the quotation on it to create a beautiful piece of art. Here is one of our favorites, from former First Lady of the United States, Eleanor Roosevelt:
"If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor."
Displaying natural elements in your home is an inexpensive option for bringing a decorative touch to your space. Try sprucing up a rustic piece of wood by adding an artistic stain treatment.
- Piece of soft wood
- High-speed rotary tool
- Small artist's paintbrush
- Large paintbrush
- Wood stain or acrylic paint (in color darker than wood)
- Oil-based gel wood stain (in light color)
- With a pencil, draw the design of your choice on the wood. You can easily craft a stencil to guide you, or render the image freehand if you feel comfortable.
- Use your high-speed rotary tool to carve along the outline of the design.
- Lightly sand the wood piece with sandpaper to dull any rough edges.
- With your small artist's paintbrush, fill in the design with a wood stain or acrylic paint.
- Once dry, use your large paintbrush to paint the entire wood piece with a thin coat of oil-based gel wood stain. Let dry, then hang properly with mounting hardware.
Fun Family Tree
Keep your family rooted with this project. Add a down-to-earth and symbolic touch to your home décor or turn it into a family tree by adding photos to the branches.
- 2 pieces of wood
- Textured brown paint
- O rings
- S hooks
- Colored Tiles
- Copper Wires
- Wood glue
- Draw a pattern of a tree on the two pieces of wood and paint the trunk with textured brown paint.
- Glue colored tiles onto the wood to create leaves.
- Twist copper wires and bend the ends to create fruit.
- Connect the two pieces of wood using O rings and S hooks.
Create a Caterpillar
Using inexpensive materials, this project for wall art adds 3-D fun to your nursery or child's bedroom.
- Lightweight fabric, like cheesecloth, in different colors
- Vases with desired shape
- Fabric stiffener
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue
- Pipe cleaners, to embellish
- Pom poms, to embellish
- Take lightweight fabric and mould it on to vase or object with desired shape.
- Spray the vase with fabric stiffener, firmly pressing and stretching the fabric on the vase.
- Saturate fabric with stiffener and let dry.
- Once dried to desired stiffness, gently remove fabric from mold.
- Glue or stitch pieces together to create caterpillar.
Reflect Your Personality
When you find art on a budget, you are revealing your own style. What you choose to put on your walls will reflect your interests, your idea of beautiful. And once you start looking for art outside of museums, galleries and boutiques, you'll be amazed how much you find.