I did a little painting this weekend and for once it wasn’t a wall, ceiling, or floor! After my latest work of art, I decided it would be fun to let you have a tour of my DIY artwork throughout my house for inspiration!
Did you know that a new piece of art can really add a fresh new look to your room? And… you don’t even need to be an artist to make art! I can’t stress this enough guys, you really, really don’t. All it takes to make a great piece of art is
for it to look finished , and
for you to absolutely love it.
There’s literally no easier way to make art than to take one of your most prized possessions (in this case an autographed ticket stub from my favorite band) and frame it. I used some old scrapbook paper behind the ticket to fill in the space, scotch-taped the ticket to it, and… VOILA… a beautiful treasure that makes me smile EVERY time I look at it. It’s a great conversation piece too.
We talked about possessions… so how about people? This is my family, arranged haphazardly on my wall right when you walk in. The “Greetings!” metal sign was a gift from one of my dearest friends. This “layout” is my work of art. I used mismatched frames that all have black in them to make a cool design. I laid them all out on the floor on top of the backside of wrapping paper (you know the kind where the back has the grid lines?). Grid side up, lay them flat until you find the best configuration. Then mark where each hook will rest behind each photo. Tape the wrapping paper to the wall and install your hooks right on top of the wrapping paper. When you’re done, just rip off the paper and hang your frames. This configuration also allows me to add new frames or art pieces over time, which I love.
Here’s a closeup of some of the frames. You can see that while they are all black, they all have their own pattern or dimension. It makes for a really interesting composition that will work. If you have a lot of picture frames of different sizes and shapes, an easy way to get this look is to spray paint them all the same color. To add some dimension you can use sandpaper along any details to let he old color or wood tone show through.
Art doesn’t always have to be on canvas. Here I used an old salsa jar and literally wrapped some rubber bands around it in an abstract way. I then spray painted the entire jar using a metallic paint. This would look great if you have an old vase with some color to it. Pick a coordinating color, add the rubber bands where you want to see through, and paint the rest for a new look.
This is a 2-for-1 deal. The lampshade is upsidedown bottles and the light glows through them. You can also use colored bottles for this and it would look really cool. The lamp base came in a DIY kit. The glass table underneath the lamp actually arrived with a broken top. The store didn’t want me to send it back, so after tiling my backsplash in the bathroom, I used the extra tile to cover over the broken glass. It was a quick and easy way to make the table useable. Since I did it while I was already tiling, I spent no money and maybe about 15 minutes of my time.
Window sticker paint (google it) and a little imagination brought me this beautiful dragonfly. You can also use the window sticker paint in a stencil, or even a cookie cutter to make a beautiful sun catcher. Seasonal ones like pumpkins or Christmas trees are very cool and easy!
One of my favorites, this DIY crayon art is SUPER easy… even if you don’t have a creative bone in your body! Buy a pack of crayons and a blank canvas (mine was 18×24″). I used hot glue to actually stick the crayons to the canvas with the crayons pointing down. Use the hairdryer to slowly melt the wax in the crayons, letting the color drip down the canvas. You can point the hair dryer in different ways to make the wax drip how you like it. I hung this on its side to lead people through the door to my stairwell. I am thinking of making more of these, perhaps painting the canvas black first, and buying all white crayons to drip?
You can see that I’ve even decorated my sideboard (which happens to be a headboard from IKEA, haha). I bought one of those tree/flower decal sets at AC Moore and just sort of placed the individual branches where I thought they looked good. It really dressed up this otherwise plain piece of furniture. And, if I get tired of it, they easily peel right off!
Here’ s another view of the concert ticket frame along with the headboard/sideboard with the decal. The third piece is just a pen and ink drawing. Buy some of that liquid ink and a paintbrush. Time yourself to only have about 2 minutes and have someone pose for you. Just try to get their form on the paper really quickly. Don’t think about it, just move your brush in sweeping motions to get their form. If you do about 10 of these I bet there will be more than 1 that you absolutely love… and it only took you 20 minutes! Even if you aren’t “artsy”… what have you got to lose? Try it!
OK, so you don’t want to make art yourself… but I’m sure the little ones in your life will help you out. Simply putting a frame around some children’s artwork makes it look really polished. I would even consider buying mat-board for these as well to beef them up a little bit. You can buy it precut at AC Moore or Michael’s. My nephew’s artwork really adds a personal touch to my living room. I smile whenever I see it (and him)!
First, if you can try to concentrate despite my gorgeous big lady in the bed, look above the headboard at this DIY art. ANYONE can do this. I simply took 2 blank canvases and used painters tape to mark off lines (anywhere you see white is where I had taped the canvas). After it was taped, I painted one half green (some old wall paint) and the other half in metallic (spray paint I had left over). Once it dried I removed the painters tape to reveal the crisp white lines. I then printed out a silhouette of a leaf I found online. I cut out the shape 3 times, painted the paper black, and stuck the leafs to the canvas. This was soooo easy, and I still love it every time I see it. The best part is you can customize the colors to match any room. Don’t like leaves? Not a problem, print out some kittens or birds or flowers or bugs or whatever you love!
This is an old painting I did of a covered bridge. It’s really nothing all that special, but I really like it. It also shows how very simple pieces can really add personal touches to your decor. Just having an actual painting in the house is really fun… lots of people stop to gaze at the brushstrokes in this one. Every so often I swap it out with something new to add interest to an otherwise boring tabletop.
Another unique way to add some flare is to dress up your light switch or outlet covers. Unscrew them from the wall and just use some Modgepodge or school glue and an old strip of wallpaper or scrapbook paper to make a new cover. After the glue dried, I flipped the cover over and from the back I scored holes for the swtich and outlets using a razorblade. Honestly it’s not perfect, but not a soul notices. My goal was to get rid of the stark white covers and have them blend in a little more with the walls. However, if you have some cool paper that contrasts with the color of the wall (I’m thinking hot pink), you can really use your plate covers as pops of art throughout your room!
Finally, my most recent painting, which inspired me to write this post about creating your own art. I just love this piece. I am a firm believer that anyone can do this sort of thing. You just need some inspiration. Find a simple piece of art that you really love. Then, try to use that to make your own. It can be way simpler than something like this… but if you have a color scheme to follow and something to look at, I think anyone can really be successful. You’ll never know unless you try!! PS I definitely want to frame this, just have to get to the craft store 🙂
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Amy is the founder of Pretty Purple Door and has been a garden designer since 2014 and graphic designer since 2005. She helps home gardeners design their own beautiful landscapes that are colorful in all four seasons, show off your personality and suit your lifestyle. Amy's work has been featured in publications like The Family Handyman, Buzzfeed, Country Living Magazine and more. Read more...