cheap art

ArtWallWith so many ways to get cool, unique and cheap art, there’s no excuse for buying that Eiffel Tower poster at Ikea that thousands of other people have. Sure it may be tempting, but hopefully this will spark a few ideas to give your walls personality without relying on the status quo.

Brandon and I love impressionism and wanted to find a way to bring some of the classics into the home without breaking the bank. Purchasing prints online can be one route, but we had an idea to purchase over-sized art books from our local used bookshop. We found these awesome large format books to cut photos out of. Before knowing which pictures to use, I gathered mismatching frames in chunky gold and silver.

ArtBooksI took each frame and would hover it over different paintings in the books that we liked until we found good matches. Because these were pages out of books, they weren’t standard frame sizes, but getting creative with cutting and mattes did the trick. The books were probably a few bucks each and most the frames I had but could have been bought at Ross or TJ Maxx on the cheap. The whole concept is meant to work best on a wall with many frames of different sizes and shapes. This would be great for a bathroom as well if you were looking to do a story of three water colors.


Frame your photography! Even if you’re not the best photographer, chances are you’ve taken a good shot at some point. We’ve blown a few of our favorite shots up to fill in different spaces. We also got some great shots on our honeymoon to France and plan on getting these up soon.


With the instagram rage, there are also some cool frames out there where you can frame multiple instragram pics. Walgreens makes it super easy to upload photos from your comp for pick up in store – just make sure they are high res enough! (it will alert you if they are not)


Enlarge a special document, invite or certificate. We had the designer who did our wedding invite create a special larger size for us to use on our art wall. This could be neat as a present for parents’ or grandparents’ big anniversary parties as well, for instance a 25 or 40 year anniversary invite.


Have an artist in the family? Show them off! We’re lucky enough to have some amazing artists on both Brandon and my side of the family. Including these items adds a special touch to any room. This sketch was done by Brandon’s dad in about 30 minutes over coffee when we were dreaming up what our completed home would look like. The abstract painting is from Brandon’s mom and was originally created for a large space we had in our loft.



Maps also make a great piece of art! Even better, free maps! This map of Napa was a gift in our room while staying at Meadowood (more on that trip another time). We actually had this extra frame that fit it perfectly, along with an empty wall by our wine rack – kismet!


OK OK, we can’t dis Ikea all together. We do have quite a few things from there including this classic mirror that can be found in one out of five homes in America (at least it seems). To add a little bit of character, I went on a Google image search for sketches of classic fashion designs or famous outfits. I found some awesome iconic fashion sketches for Lady Gaga, Madonna, Kate Middleton and Audrey Hepburn. I printed them on varying shades of creams and whites and pinned them to the corners of the mirror. I may switch this up eventually, but the great part about that is the price (FREE!).


Finally, one of our favorite pieces of art isn’t art at all but means the world to us. After we completed our home renovation, we framed a picture of the house in its “before” state with a large matte around it. We asked all of our friends and family to sign their name along with what they helped out on.  It sits on a shelf in our entry way and is a great way to remind us of the hard work all the people we love put into our little casa.


Happy arting!

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