Okay, your college days are over (or perhaps not) and all you still have on those massive walls are a bunch of 8 x 10's. It's just not cutting it, but money sure doesn't grow on trees around YOUR house. What to do? Well, there are so many ideas out there of how to decorate on the cheap. Start by keeping your eyes open for large frames at garage sales, goodwill, or even the trash! ANYTHING can be given a new life with just a bit of paint. Look beyond the gaudy painting and see the gorgeous frame that just needs new paint.
This lovely, $5 frame was perfect as is for my daughter's princess poster. Using my handy, dandy mat cutter, it came together so quickly.
How about framing some iron work? I found these round pieces on clearance in the garden section of our Hobby Lobby for $2 each. I then found 3 square frames on clearance for $4 each, took out the old art, glued scrapbook paper to the carboard backing, and used wire to "tie" the iron to the backing (you know-Barbie-in-the-box style that takes you forever to open!)
For my Twins's room, I found a cheap airplane calendar and just picked our three favorite. I didn't even bother with the mat cutter and just mounted them right on top of red and white scrapbook paper. Once again the frames were used ones found at a garage sale. (The airplanes hanging from the ceiling came from garage sales too!)
For our hall bath, I had a framed piece of silk, needlework from one of my husband's trip to China that I wanted to take up a bit more of the wall space. I thought a wall saying would look good but didn't want to spend anything. I went real cheap and just printed it out on cardstock, put on a good movie, and used an exacto knife and cut out each letter. Using a piece of tape as a guideline, I literally just glued it to the wall with a school glue stick! Three years later, it's still there, with no problems.
Here's a way to use up a bunch of those smaller and odd sized frames. I collected a bunch, painted them all black and then played with the arrangement on the floor first. You can even lay out some large sheets of paper and trace where each item goes, tape it to the wall and nail each in place. When all hung, just rip down the paper. HINT: when hanging groupings, especially in high-traffic areas, I like to use a 3M adheshive square at the bottom of each item to keep them from going crooked on me. It'll save you OCD people like me from going nuts!
I used items from trips we've taken: postcards and stamps mounted on scrapbook paper, 3-dimensional items for interest, reproduction travel posters, and even a couple of bookmarks:
How about framing a collection of money, stamps, shells, buttons, or whatever! My husband's coins and bills from his travels sat for years in our closet in a couple of Mason Jars. For his birthday one year, I surprised him by framing them. I lined the cardboard backing with black velvet and hot glued the coins in place:
Are you like me when you look at scrapbook paper? I find myself wanting to buy the gorgeous, artistic sheets of paper, yet have no project in mind? They truley are works of art by themselves. Why not frame them? I found this huge frame for a friends large, vaulted wall. We started with this:
...and turned it into this by painting out the background art and using modge podge to apply scrapbook paper:
Look at our inspiration photo from Ballard Design:
How easy is this to custom-match your home's colors!
Similar in design, I saw this in a model home. Each square was mounted on foam board first to help them pop in the frame:
Next, I discovered these fabulous papers from Italy called "Florentine Paper". They're very retro, vintage looking and look gorgeous framed! You can find them at nicer art supply shops or online. I like http://www.hollanders.com/papers/BrowseCategory.aspx?CategoryID=47abaf24-a620-4b0f-a4f7-dbba3fa8a05b. I DARE you to look at these and not want to buy some! I took three food papers, mounted them (with modge podge) on thin plywood (cut bigger than the print), then cut moulding to fit around the print and just used liquind nails to attach the moulding to the backing! Easy Peasy! If I remember right, when all said and done, we did them for about $10 each! Grouped together they looked like this:
Aren't those fun? You could do the same thing with wrapping paper, wallpaper, or fabric.
So retire those 8x10's and go BIG! Be on the lookout for my next post where I'll show you my favorite ideas from the Web for Inexpensive, creative, and uniqe wall ideas.