Hey everyone! Roll up your sleeves. Put on your DIY shoes. Today we are talking easy art projects for your home. This post is very close to my heart. I love, love, love the unique pieces of art in our house. We have an awesome variety of artwork and photos. The great thing about the art in our house is it’s not fancy or expensive. The pieces are unique to Ben and I and they all mean a lot to us. Today I am going to show 11 DIY art projects in our home that we made!
Here’s my philosophy on art. Don’t buy something because it fits the space or you saw it in a cool magazine. Art should make you happy. Look for things that are special to you and remind you of a vacation, a loved one, an activity you like, or anything else special in your life. Think outside the box.
Today I’m going to talk about a bunch of options for making your own art based on some of the things we have done in our house. We have used string, stickers, work samples, sketches, historic images, wrapping paper, and posters to create the pieces. They are easy, inexpensive, and can really put a unique stamp on your home.
Frames: Most of the frames we have in the house are IKEA Ribba. These frames are amazing. They are inexpensive, come in white, black, and wood and in a ton of sizes. I highly suggest picking up a few of these.
This first piece is one of the easiest projects in the world. I bought some cool vintage stickers when we were at Disney World and visiting my family in Florida. I arranged them in the matte of the frame first so I knew where they would all go. Then I peeled the backing off of the stickers and stuck them to the white backing paper that came with the frame. I layered it with the mat in the frame and there you go. Done and done.
Putting photos in frames has been around for forever I know. This is one of the easiest ways to put artwork in your house. You can use any photo that you take with your phone, from a professional photographer, or off of the internet. I like to put them in interesting frame sizes and group them with a common theme. These are wedding photos and cutie dog photos. You could take high def pictures of trees, buildings, kids, whatever. Group them with the same frame size or color and now you have a collection!
String Art is having a revival and I couldn’t be happier about it. The premise is simple. Make a pattern with nails on a piece of plywood and wrap string across the nails and around the nails to make a picture. There are even templates online that you lay on the plywood that show you where to pound in the nails. Ben made this string art piece for me for our anniversary. This is symbolic of our wedding. We got married in Door County Wisconsin. That is where the heart is located. The heart has the same number of nails as people at our wedding. The state has 1 nail for each mile it is from our house in Minneapolis to the wedding venue! Green was our wedding color. Ben also stained the plywood to give it a dark tint but that isn’t necessary if you aren’t comfortable with staining. He is so thoughtful that he took a vintage idea and made it new again and unique to our story. This is something homemade that anyone can do. Valentine’s gift anyone? This would be a great gift for someone you love.
This is a unique project because all I did was add the picture frame teeth to the back of a sample that we used for a project at my firm. I think this is a great example of taking something that someone would have thrown out and reusing it. This is a routed mdf wall panel sample. You could use anything. Think outside the box on this one. What do you have lying around your house or work that would look cool on a wall? Cool graphics, spreadsheets that make a pattern of something, plates, something broken that could have another use? The possibilities are endless.
POSTER ON WRAPPING PAPER
This piece of art happened accidently. I was in Nashville (super fun city btw) at the Grand Ole Opry taking a tour for work. I bought this poster at the gift shop not knowing what I was going to do with it. When I got home I didn’t have a frame that would fit the poster. I don’t know about you but I am not a custom frame type of girl. I just can’t bring myself to make that kind of commitment to something forever. Not to mention that custom frames are super expensive. I did have a big poster frame. I wrapped the mat that came with the big poster frame in left over wrapping paper. Then I double stick taped the Grand Ole Opry poster onto the wrapping paper mat. The chevron pattern has a mint color that matches the wording on the poster so it worked out great. This is a super easy way to make a nontraditional poster work in a regular frame. You could also use many different things as a backer like newspaper, a bigger poster, fabric, anything you want. The layered effect looks cool with anything.
This is an easy option for budget art that looks great in a compilation. It sounds crazy but flamingos actually mean a lot to me. It reminds me of my Florida family. I always buy my dad flamingo sculptures for his yard and they always seem to find a way into our decor. I found this greeting card coincidently when I was buying a birthday card for my dad. Happy Birthday Dad! I grabbed an IKEA frame and poof. Done. You could do a collection of greeting cards or postcards for a cohesive look. There are always awesome postcards when you go on vacation. They are an inexpensive memento that can remind you of the great time you had on vacation. The best part? No one else will have them!
We have our own Andy Warhol painting! I am pretty proud of this one actually. A few years ago Campbell’s released limited edition tomato soup cans with Andy Warhol drawings on them. I grabbed a few, removed the labels and taped them to a white background and made my own Warhol! I think this is a good example of turning non art things into art. If you like the graphics of a product, turn it into art. Anything goes if it makes you smile. I recently saw a logo for a craft soda company that was super cool that would be a great art piece. Check out the craft beer and spirits graphics. Some of our local brews have super cool artwork.
As architects we tend to like simple line sketches. This sketch is one that Ben did for our wedding. This is the house we got married in. Ben did this as part of a favor for the wedding and I kept the sketch and framed it. You don’t have to be good at drawing to have something special. It could be a note that someone wrote or the kid’s paintings from art class. This sketch was a strange shape too so I just let the frame go around the sketch and it looks great. I didn’t even put the back on the frame. The sketch is taped to the glass and hung on the wall.
FABRIC WRAPPED FRAMES
This project is super easy. Grab a frame size and a fabric that you like and put them together. Lay the fabric outside down on a table and position that frame in the location you want. Trim the fabric so that it’s a few inches bigger than the frame so you have some extra when you wrap it. Wrap the corners and stretch the fabric tight. You can secure it with nails or a staple gun. I like to use the frames that have at least 2” of depth to them. You could make your own frame with a 2×4 or scrap wood too. This works great to add texture and dimension. You could use an old pillow, baby blanket, old t shirt or any fabric that you like!
Great art can be free! This dog show poster is a vintage WPA Poster. The Works Progress Administration commissioned artists to do public service posters under FDR as part of the New Deal. This was a super important project that got artists back to work. These posters showcased events, public parks, and public service announcements. They are all FREE to download through the Library of Congress. There are 900+ images. Word of caution. This site is awesome and you can spend hours looking at cool vintage stuff. Have fun!
HISTORIC PHOTOS/HOUSE PLANS
Check out the House Plans post for awesome closeups of our house plans. These are some of my favorite piece in the house. They are big and make a statement. If you don’t have your house plans try checking your local historical society for vintage pics of your city. A lot of cities have digitized images and you can access them for free or a small fee. You can also frame old family photos. They are super cool and you get to see Grandma and Grandpa when they were young. This pic is of my Grandpa in WWII. It’s a great way to teach the next generation about family history.
So there you have it! 11 Easy DIY art projects from our house to yours. Check out the House Tour to see where most of these are located in the house and just remember:
-Think outside the box!
-Don’t sweat it if the frame and the art are not the same size. You can make it work with mix and match art and frames!
-Anything can be art if you find it memorable and beautiful!
Have fun creating your own art! Are there any unique art projects that you have done? Comment below to share more ideas!
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