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3 Super-Easy, Almost-Free Ideas for Wall Art

I love switching up artwork and pictures around the house. It’s a great way to refresh a room and it’s so nice to give yourself something new to look at. Art doesn’t have to be expensive (and I’m not talking about those self-painted ‘abstract’ canvases they always used to do on HGTV)… Here are 3 fun, cool art ideas that are so easy, you’ll probably have time tonight to do all three.



1. Frame a greeting card

A lot of cards these days are little works of art, so why not treat them that way? You can get cards anywhere, but you’ll probably have the best luck finding pretty/cool/interesting ones at specialty stores or places like Paper Source or Hallmark. Keep it simple with a basic frame and mat (get inexpensive ones at Target, Ikea TJ Maxx or Walmart), or get crafty (and add some color/pattern/texture) with scrapbook or wrapping paper instead of the regular old mat. Try a grouping of similar styles, or a small card inside an oversize frame and mat.

2. Simple Type Prints

You see these prints everywhere on Etsy, Pinterest, and in cool-girl house tours. Song lyrics, inspirational quotes, cute love notes- printed in simple block type and framed. This is probably the absolute easiest thing I’ve ever done, and I’m kind of super excited about how it turned out. I literally spent less than 10 minutes…. I typed out a favorite lyric, (I used Illustrator, but you could also use Word, Powerpoint, Photoshop, etc.), printed it out, put it on a clipboard, and propped it on my shelf. That’s it! It gives a bit of nonchalant cool-factor, plus I now constantly have the Beastie Boys stuck in my head- totally a good thing. If you felt like getting slightly more complex, you could actually frame it, or use colored paper. Get creative! Type out your wedding date, the latitude/longitude coordinates of your home, a poem, the alphabet… the possibilities are endless, and you have an opportunity to create something with meaning just for you. Win-win!


3. 3-2-1 Contact (Paper)

This is definitely the most complex of the three ideas, but it’s still super simple. You’ll need foam core (I like the all-black version- I think it looks more high-quality), and contact paper. White on black is always cool, or go with a colored or patterned contact paper. I was slightly obsessed with this wood-grain variety for a while, so that’s what I used. Basically, you’re just cutting a shape out of the contact paper and sticking it onto the foam core. The difficulty lies in what you decide to cut out. I printed a large “2″ (tiled on four sheets of paper), traced it on the contact paper and cut it out. You could do numbers, letters, shapes, leaves, free-form designs, silhouettes… Again, the option is there to create something that has meaning for you! Or not- you could just print out a big number two because you like the way it looks:)

Does anyone else have any genius ideas for inexpensive art? Let me know in the comments!

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DIY Painted Patterned Wall

I did a little project a while back in my office that I was so happy with, and I’m finally getting a chance to share! I’m not a fan of white walls (usually), but since we are renting this house and I’m not sure I feel like having to repaint when we move out, I’ve been avoiding adding any permanent color. But I spend SO much time at my desk, staring at this wall, that I finally decided to give it a little love…

As you may know, I’m not always the most precise person, so I tend to choose projects that allow for a bit of – let’s call it- “give and take”. So I went with a more random pattern of lines, although you could measure and do a more even, geometric version if you like! I did measure and keep the vertical lines straight and equally spaced apart. I measured at the top, bottom, and middle of the wall (mine are about 20″ apart), made marks with a pencil, and then eyeballed the tape from mark to mark moving from the top to the bottom. I really thought this part would take a long time, but it went much quicker than I expected (score!). Once I had the verticals taped off, I went back and added angled lines in a totally random pattern. This took quite a bit of painter’s tape- I had almost a whole roll lying around, and I literally used every-single-bit of that roll of tape.

Once you’ve finished taping, it’s time to get down to painting!! I have textured walls, and it took quite a bit of coverage for me to get this part finished. In fact, it took me much longer to paint than it did to tape, and I expected it to be the other way around. I had bought a quart of paint, thinking it would be plenty to do one small wall, and I had to scrape the bottom of the can to finish. Again, every-single-bit was used (it was actually amazing that I didn’t have to go back to the hardware store for anything during this project… apparently my planning was a bit off:) I used a regular old roller, which worked well going over all the tape. Once I finished painting, I went ahead and started pulling off the tape, which was by far the best part (ugh, sorry for the glare-y pics!):
Once the tape is off, you’re done! Time to stand back and admire your hard work.

Painter’s tape, paint, roller/pan, tape measure/yard stick, pencil

3-6ish Hours, depending on the size of the wall



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DIY Chevron File Cabinets

I want to share a little DIY project that I knocked out recently. It was quick, easy, and had a BIG impact- in my world, that’s the perfect-project trifecta!

I had inherited two basic wooden file cabinets from my sister in law after she cleaned out her home office. I’m not one to turn down a piece of furniture, so I decided to reinvent them and use them in place of the old, dingy, beat-up metal file cabinets I had been using as the base of my desk.

I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but after a quick Pinterest browse through my project ideas board (yes, I do actually DO some of the projects I pin:), I decided to tape off a simple V shape on the drawers, leaving some of the natural wood exposed, and paint the cabinets black. I used chalkboard paint- partly because I have an unnatural attraction to the super-matte texture and inky gray color, and partly because I had some on hand- and brushed it on with a smallish sponge brush. After working around the doors and doing two coats, I pulled off the tape (the best part!!) and boom- a total transformation.


I love the new look it gave my whole office- it’s kind of a darker, moody vibe and I’m really digging it mixed with my accent wall and stained gray desk top. Done and done…. does anyone else have plans to refresh any old furniture pieces? Let me know if you give this idea a try!

Wooden file cabinets (or try this on a dresser, trunk, headboard whatever… go crazy!), paint, painter’s tape, brushes

2 Hours or less

Pretty darn easy

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