Monday, January 19, 2009

Making Wall Decor on a budget

We have moved several times in our few years of marriage and one of my first priorities after unpacking is to hang pictures. I don’t feel settled in until I have pictures hanging on the wall. There is something about having my home decorated that makes me feel like I am “home” and all settled. There isn’t much extra cash in our budget for decorating, so I have to get creative. This summer I finally decorated my son’s room and chose an aviation theme. I wanted to have airplane and helicopter pictures on the wall, so I decided to make them. Many of the wall hangings in my home I have made – and all of them for under $15 (including the frame)!

For my son’s wall hangings, I started by looking in Microsoft clipart for a simple picture of an airplane and helicopter. Here is the picture of the plane I found.

Once I saved my picture, I inserted it into my editing program. If you don’t have an editing program, such a scrapbooking program or Adobe Photoshop Essentials, you can use Paint (it just doesn’t have as many options). I simply added a red background and inverted the picture so it was white instead of black. That’s it. Note: If you are using paint, some pictures may not invert well and you may just have to use the pictures “as is.” I then had it printed as an 8” x 10” picture in a matte finish. You can choose to have it printed in any size you wish, just make sure for larger prints you have a high enough resolution. I did this step three more times and created a total of four pictures for my son’s room, as you can see below.

You can get beautiful picture frames for a great price is you watch the sales at your local craft or framing stores. I bought mine at the semi-annual Aaron Brothers sale where you buy one frame and get the second for a penny. You can also use the weekly Michael’s coupon. I didn’t have the money to purchase a matte for my frame, so I just cut the paper that came in my frame to look like a matte.

For my son’s bathroom pictures, I found a fun animal clipart pictures and simply added some text by the picture and then printed it as a photo.

Taking your own photos is another great, inexpensive way to create art for your home. I didn’t take these pictures hanging in my living room, but you certainly could take pictures similar to these. The center picture actually came with the frame and I liked it so much I kept it. The other two pictures I found online. There are many sites where you can purchase photos for a reasonable price if you don’t want to take your own.

I also save my favorite pictures from old calendars and use them as art work. Many famous artists have calendars and the pictures inside are beautiful. There are so many fun ways to decorate inexpensively. It is fun to challenge yourself and see what you can design on a budget.

Do any of you have some inexpensive wall hanging decoration tips?


  1. Cute!

    I did something I thought turned out really cool recently. I couldn't find anything I liked for the 3 large frames above my bed. They are big, chunky, wood frames that were already matted. So instead of a picture, I grabbed 3 bamboo place mats (from Ikea, 25 cents each) and put one in each frame. Then I snagged 3 artificial leaves from the plants around my house! They're all large ones- one palm, one banana leaf, and one other one that looks cool, lol. I hot glued the leaves to the bamboo mats and put the frames back together again. They look awesome! I get compliments on them all the time and they were super cheap and easy.

  2. I love that idea! Very creative.

  3. I love the pictures in Ethan's room! I make Kurt hang all of my pictures first too. :)

  4. What I great idea, Todd takes photos as a hobby and this will be a great way to display some of them.