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September 23, 2010

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10 ways to make your own 'art'

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Madigan made... personalized art.

Writing this blog helped me realize that I have home decorating philosophies. Who knew?!?
They are not very original, but they work for me.

So far, my two main design attitudes are:
A. Keep it simple.
B. Make it personal.

Earlier this week, I reviewed how to keep holiday decor simple. Today I want to discuss ways to make your wall art more personal.

I mentioned this before, but I am not a huge fan of store-bought framed wall art.  

I find the occasional unique picture at a flea market, but I tend to just create my own thing for the specific space in mind.
I enjoy the fact that it is personal and you cannot find that exact decor in someone else's home. 

I thought I'd review some of these concepts. A few of these ideas I already showed you and the others are self explanatory.

Here are ten 'art' projects that are simple and easy to replicate.

1. Paint it yourself. This is the riskiest idea. Picking up a paint brush scares me. I am not an artist. Trust me, it is not as hard as you think. If you keep the image simple, like stripes, it is pretty goof-proof. I made this painting above for our little foyer. I used wall and craft paint in the colors of the rooms connected to it.  Tape helped me keep the lines straight.

2. Frame fabric. This is a super simple way to fill a large space. I prefer using frames from Ikea since they are big and come with built in mats. On a similar note, you could frame wrapping paper or wall paper, too. They could give you a lovely and graphic statement.

3. Frame pretty greeting cards. This is an easy way to display multiple complementary prints. Every time I'm in a gift shop, I'm scouting for pretty cards like these botanicals:

Or these fruit prints (that used to hang where my current diy chalkboard is located):

4. Find online printable images. There are quite a few copyright free image sites out there. Find an inspiring image and print your own. Frame it.

5. Frame unique or personal objects. This is where you really can get creative or personal. You can frame anything with a little glue. Try seashells, golf balls or brooches.

6. Hang plates on your wall. This is another graphic way to fill up and decorate a large space. (and you could make the plates yourself, too) Hanging the plates with picture hanging strips makes them easy to change out, too.

7. Print your own. Take a favorite photo. Or create an image (like subway art) on your computer. Get it enlarged and printed at a photo shop. Frame it.

8. Hang unusual items together on a wall. Take a collection of something and group them together on the wall. My mom collects comb and shaving mirrors. She hung these in her powder room. Just one would look cute. But in a group, she has an 'art installation'.

9. Change the color. Maybe you like the shape of something, but the color is not right? Paint it! The wooden plaques below were a dark brown. I needed something light and white in our bedroom and just grabbed some white trim paint.
The round mirror in our den used to be a veeeerry fake burled wood. I picked it up cheap at Marshalls since it was chunky and round. I knew all it needed was a coat of black paint.

10. Hunt for a unique print. If the ideas above intimidate you...Do not be discouraged. But realize that you do not have to buy all your art from the big box store, either. Challenge yourself to find special prints in unique places.
There are treasures at flea markets, gift shops or local galleries.  You do not have to spend a fortune. A number of small coffee shops and restaurants display local artists work for sale. Maybe you have a creative friend or family member who made something? There are even sites online where you can find reasonably priced art and support handmade goods.
Look around for the unexpected when shopping.

I found these prints in a corner of a flower shop! Each one was about six bucks a piece. I framed them in ready made frames with mats from a craft store. It looks like I spent a fortune, but with the frames on sale at 50% off, it was a steal.

I hope this post gets the wheels turning for you.
What about you? What 'art' projects have you done?

I have a few other art ideas that I want to share with you soon. Stay tuned.

Update: This was one of my fav September posts. I'm joining Beneath my Heart for her September link party.