One of the items on my bucket list is to own some original pieces of art. I’m kind of over the mass produced artwork I have in my house.
In the meantime, I look for cheap – or even free – ways to decorate the walls of our house with things that reflect our family’s values and interests. And it’s actually kind of fun.
At one time I was an avid scrapbooker, and to me this kind of decorating feels like scrapbooking for your walls.
Here are some of the things I have used:
Words are hot in home decor right now, and there are lots of affordable choices. But you can make your own word art for practically nothing. Just pick a cool font or fonts, type it up in a word processing program, print, and frame. If you’re stuck for ideas, try a definition or a favorite quote.
Decorating with your children’s artwork is about as unique as it gets. If your kids are small, they’ll love to see you prominently displaying their creations. If your kids are older, like mine, you’ll appreciate the sweet reminders of when they were young.
I got this poster for free outside the Library of Congress gift shop on a trip to Washington DC. I love it so much I had it professionally framed and it’s a daily reminder of another thing that’s on my bucket list: going to the National Book Festival. We’ve also picked up free posters at our favorite team’s sporting events (go Jayhawks!). And the $5 Billy Joel concert poster that hangs in our basement was a lot cheaper than the t-shirts and glossy programs they were selling.
I framed the pieces of music my kids played at their first piano recitals. They even have the teacher’s markings and the cheesy stickers she rewarded them with on them. And you don’t have to be musical to use this one. Almost everyone has a favorite song or artist. And lots of couples have a special song as well.
Magazine and Book Pages
Magazines and books aren’t just for coffee tables. If a magazine cover reflects something you love or an important event in your life, frame it. And I’ve seen some adorable kids’ rooms decorated with pages from a favorite book. If my kids would still let me decorate their rooms, I would totally do that.
Our families are a truly unique to us. Celebrate the family(ies) you came from and the one you’ve created with lots of family pictures. If you have a large space, creating a portrait wall is fun and easy to do.
Even if you’re not obsessed with dishes the way I am, plates can make interesting and inexpensive decorations. And you don’t have to limit them to kitchens or dining rooms. I’ve seen plates displayed on the walls of living rooms, hallways, and even bedrooms.
These plate hangers are cheap, easy to use, and sold at most hobby and craft stores.
Do you have a recipe you’re known for or one that’s been in the family for years? Frame it! My mom gave my sister and me framed copies of this cookie recipe that we made a lot when we were growing up. I love it! And a hand-written recipe from someone you love can be very special too.
Sources for Inexpensive Frames
Often framing is the most expensive part of artwork, but it doesn’t have to be. Some good sources of inexpensive frames include:
- Frames purchased with the weekly 50% off coupons at Michael’s and other home and hobby stores.
- Frames you currently own. They’re easy to spray paint if you need a different color. (Many of the frames on my photo wall were spray painted black.)
- Garage sale frames.
How about you? Do you enjoy decorating and personalizing your space? How do you save money when doing it?