Wall art you can do yourself
I used to live in a Sunbelt climate and could attend outdoor arts and crafts fairs all year long. Although I was never wealthy, I enjoyed buying small works of original art whenever I got a tax refund or a bonus from work. I like beautiful, unique creations to adorn my walls, and I would rather pay the artist directly than hand money to a corporation for the mass-produced stuff.
Maybe I just don't have the same taste I had a decade or two ago, but since I moved to my current home, I can't bring myself to hang most of these framed art pieces. It happens. I just have a whole different vision for this place.
While my budget is tighter now, I still shy away from the art you find at discount outlets. I don't want to walk into my neighbors' homes and see the same prints on their walls. But even the mass-marketed stuff can cost $60 or more on sale or at an off-price or big box store. If it's going to cost that much for production line décor, I might as well invest in some supplies, use the little jars of sample wall paint colors I have left over and improvise something. But what? I'm creative, but I'm not a visual artist.
I checked out quite a few online DIY examples (believe me, there are hundreds!), but I wasn't impressed. Some are so meh they make Elvis on black velvet look classy. The only creations that caught my eye were the ones made from hundreds of paint chips -- I have a shoebox full from when I was choosing paint colors. They are just waiting to find their way into an art project -- but I was not exactly bowled over by the paint-chip art creations posted online.
My Facebook friends volunteered a few suggestions for wall art. These two seem doable even for the artistically-challenged:
Scrapbook your wall
Stenciled lettering, shapes, and all the trimmings you add to your scrapbook pages can be painted around a wall of themed photos -- a celebration, a special someone, your family tree, your favorite getaway locale. This list is practically infinite.
Notice how all the frames match in this example? Simple is best so the photos have center stage, or you can use frameless frames. You can also do a wall of just your children's art or mix it up with shadow boxes or shelves to hold their 3-D art pieces. Don't have kids and can't draw past the third grade level? Break out the crayons, do your best and hang up your handiwork. Make up a fictitious godchild who is now grown and living abroad, and tell your guests she did the drawings years ago.
Paint stripes, add Sharpie art
My long-time gal pal, Lauri Jon, is one of the most artistically talented people I know. Whatever she tries, she seems to excel at. Here she created a girly-girl room for her daughter that took her baby from toddlerhood to pre-teen.
Photo credits to Lauri Jon Caravella
First paint the wall whatever color you want to divide the wider stripes, and when it's dry, mask the wall with painter's tape to create the thin dividing lines between your wide stripes. Lauri also masked the wall just below the ceiling and just above the faux wainscoting she painted below the stripes (or you can add painted molding). She hand-drew the cute Sharpie art first with paper and pencil and transferred it onto the walls using a common pencil transfer technique -- then went over the lines with her Sharpie. For those of us not as adept at line-drawing free hand, substitute stencils.
If I get any more great suggestions, I'll be sure to share them in future blogs.