March 30, 2012

Simple, Thrifty DIY Art


I like the idea of shopping for art.  But finding art for a specific spot in a home is hard, isn't it?  I want something that is the right size, incorporates the right colours and is affordable.  Oh, and I want it to make my heart sing, if that's not too much trouble.

So basically all my art shopping expeditions end up one of two ways:

a) I come home empty handed and disappointed.  
or
b) I come home with a mirror.

So when the local shops left me disappointed and toting a new mirror once again, I decided to make my own wall art for my master bedroom. 

I am very pleased with the results, and the price tag!

I started with a sheet of one inch thick stryrofoam insulation.  This stuff is more dense and less crumbly than regular packing styrofoam and will hold up better under abuse with a staple gun.  A 2 foot by 8  foot sheet costs about 15 dollars and will be enough for several wall hangings. If you need a few pieces of art, and already have some craft supplies and fabric laying around, this is cheaper than buying canvases.


Cheap-o art project #1


To cut the stryofoam you will want to use a straight edge and a sharp utility knife.


I cut three 11 inch by 28 inch panels and covered them with left over fabric from a duvet cover I recently made.


First I stapled the fabric tightly to the center of each edge.


And then I folded the corners as if I was wrapping a gift and stapled them.


Then I added more staples along each edge, pulling the fabric tight as I went.



I used a dollar store stencil and a sharpie paint pen to gussy up one of the panels.



I hung the panels by attaching some picture hanging hardware to the back with long sewing pins.


So far they haven't fallen on my head.




(The duvet cover, by the way, was made using this tutorial.  The fabrics are Premier Prints Ozborne Robin/White and Premier Prints Barber Taupe/Robin.)

Cheap-o Art Project #2


I cut a large piece of the styrofoam and wrapped it in some canvas drop cloth left over from this project and this project.



I used various paints I already had to paint the canvas. A combination of wall paint, craft paint, and oil paint gives the painting some dimension.


I had a lot of fun with this part and made a point not to obsess over it too much.  I used brush strokes in every direction and tried to create something that pleased my eye.


Since I used things I already had around the house, both art projects cost me a total of 15 dollars for the styrofoam, and I even have a piece leftover for another project!


Go ahead, create some simple, thrifty, happy art for your own walls!  I'd love to hear how it turns out!


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60 comments:

  1. Love it, love it love it! Thanks.
    Barbara

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  2. Love that you just decided to do it,and it turned out great.Keep up the good work, you are helping a lot of people do things that they could not other wis afford.

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  3. Love that second one! You can pay big bucks for one of those (especially of that size) at Home Sense!

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  5. Love this! Have to try it sometime soon as I have the perfect spot (spots)! Thanks!

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  6. You have such an artistic eye - I'm jealous. Love the addition of the stenciled bird.

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  7. Love it! The painted one reminds me of the reflection of the sky in a pond.

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  8. WOW!!! great job!! Love the look and perfect for creating exactly what you need for a space!!

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  9. You are brilliant to think of styrofoam! Canvases can get quite expensive, especially if covering in fabric. The art looks lovely!

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  10. Oh my goodness you sound like me,but for me add to that, I'm not so good at decorating!!I absolutely LOVE this idea!!!!And I love how you used left over stuff!

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  11. THANK YOU!!! I needed something for my bedroom wall and this is perfect. I'm so excited to try this. You're amazing!

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  12. Shirley said:
    The art is beautiful. Thanks you for sharing.

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  13. I think this is a great idea! We have new bedroom furniture coming in a little over a week, so I'm really excited to re-decorate my room!! If I had the money, I'd re-decorate the whole house several times a year LOL

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  14. Finding budget friendly, great looking art fast for home staging clients is always a challenge. Thanks for the great ideas, I will be definitely be creating my own fab 'styro art'. (Bonus - no lawsuits when styro art hung over the bed unexpectedly falls down while someone is sleeping)

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  15. I love, love LOVE the one in your bedroom! So super smart to ue the same fabric as the duvet cover! Looks fantastic!!

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  16. We're closing on a house tomorrow morning and I can't wait to try this for our master bedroom!! I'm not brave enough to try the painting project though. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  17. Wow! You gave me a great idea. My Grandmother is an artist, so I have her work on every hook in my house (rental) but there are no hooks in the bedrooms. This looks lightweight enough so that I won't need super heavy duty anchored hooks.

    I'll defs shoot a link your way when I have time to do this. Thanks!

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  18. Such a great idea! Makes a great headboard too! I'm really enjoying reading your blog :)

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  19. Beautiful ideas! You can also use an electric knife to make the cutting quick and easy. I'm a teacher so I'm made lots of school projects.

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  20. OMgoodness, i just found your blog by way of Pinterest and I am super excited to try the art projects. LOVE IT. I am almost as excited as the day I found Pinterest. Can't wait to see what else you have posted. Thanks for Sharing.

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  21. This post reminds me that I really want to get on the create-your-own-art bandwagon. My perfectionist side whispers "you'll never be able to create the perfect piece, so don't even try", but my creative side is yelling "JUST DO IT!!". I think I just might!!

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  22. This is great...you can also use painting canvases which I have used before. Such a great thing to do and you change the material if you change your decor!

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  23. This is just what I've been trying to find for my bedroom "makeover"!
    Perfect!

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  24. Great job! May I ask what color paint is on your bedroom walls? I am having a horrible time getting the right hue of what you have on there. Thanks!

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  25. I have made DIY wall decor similar to yours, but I go to a sewing store and ask them to save me a few of the cardboard rectangles that the fabric is wound around. So much easier than doing all the measuring and cutting with styrofoam and they are free. Three together like you have or sometimes just two, but with one higher than the other looks very nice. If you want a wider/square one=just glue the two cardboards together and then cover. I also use the pull tabs from pop cans, bend them a bit, and hot glue them to the back to hang the picture with-again, easy and free.

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  26. So excited to try this for our baby nursery. Having a hard time finding art for the fairy tale theme we are doing that isn't super girly. Since we are having a boy, I want dragons and castles and knights! Bonus- our local Ecostore usually has the styrofoam that they have reclaimed for $1-$2 a sheet!

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  27. Where did you get the fabrics?

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  28. I have an old flour sack from my Great Grandmother that I have wanted to do something with..this will work perfectly. Thank You!!

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  29. cool idea!!!thanks sweetie :)

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  30. Super Cool idea! I have so much fabric I want to turn into paintings! :D

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  31. I think this will work great as a giant bulletin board in my daughter's dorm room. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing the idea!

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  32. I, too, have been looking for the perfect art to hang above our bed. You've inspired me! I'm now on the lookout for some cute fabric. It helped that your colors are the same colors I have in our room so it spoke to me :) Thank you!

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  33. Was the stencil from The Dollar Tree, by chance? Very cool effect!

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    1. Hi Amander! The stencil came from a Canadian dollar store called Dollarama. I don't think we have The Dollar Tree in Canada (Although it is my understanding that they own Dollar Giant, which we do have here.)

      But you probably weren't looking for a dollar store geography lesson! lol. :)

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  34. I love the Barber print, it also comes in yellow and grey and I've even seen a yellow chevron to match.

    The damask you chose is also wonderful, love the colors!

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  35. I just found your blog by chance and I do not speak English but I'm translating everything. This fantastic, thanks for sharing.

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  36. Hey! Where did you get your fabric for the three styrofoam things? I love the colors and pattern.

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  37. Awesome!! Love your creativity and brilliance! They're so cute adn love how cheap they are. you've totally inspired me :) You're one of my new heros ;)

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  38. I love this idea. Where did you get the material that you used in the duvet and the wall art. It would match our bedroom perfect!

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  39. I love this! I was curious where you purchased the Styrofoam insulation? I'm new to this DIY crafty stuff. :) Thanks!

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    1. Lowe's or Home Depot or any other home improvement type store.

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  40. & even cheaper...if you don't have a picture hanger to attach to the back, just use a ring pull from a drink can!

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  41. Wow you could also wrap old t-shirts around the styrofoam for a boy's room or a sports themed room!! My head is spinning from the possibilities! GREAT job and thanks for sharing!!

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  42. Love this idea! Do you think I could use this insulation for making a headboard? I was thinking its cheaper and lighter to hang than plywood which is what most tutorials use.

    Thanks!
    Patricia
    davisfamily410@yahoo.com

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    1. Hmm...I think the foam might be too easily dented to be a headboard.

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    2. Possibly but I would add foam or padding before using as a headboard.

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  43. Where did you get the bed spread from, i am in love with this print? and what is it called?

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    1. Hi Victoria! Under the picture of the bedspread there are the names of the fabrics I used plus a link to a tutorial on how to make the duvet cover :)

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    2. Hi Kelly! I love this fabric too and wondered if you have an idea of what shipping charges were to Canada? Were there custom/duty charges added as well?

      Thanks! Lisa

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  44. Awesome. Have seen in magazines before, but this has more detailed step by step. Going to try this with t-Shirts! Thanks

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  45. What is the name of the paint color you used for your bedroom walls?
    Thanks!

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  46. Wow, this diy art is really looking so attractive, you did worth admirable work, this diy project is really quite easy to make and great thing for home decoration. I was looking for an easy diy wall art project and found this perfect tutorial. Thanks for sharing i will try it shortly.

    http://www.canvasdesign.co.uk/canvas-art-store/Floral-Canvas-Prints.php

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  47. How big a staple did you use? Ours are popping out of foamboard when stapling the fabric.

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  48. These are beautiful. Can't wait to make something like this for my livingroom. Do you remember approx how much extra fabric you left on each side of the board?

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  49. Replies
    1. http://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=1923B31D-5DA4-4515-9B47-22CFDA3F1105&cm_mmc=CJ-_-kelly+oribine-_-4163303-_-10369056

      http://www.fabric.com/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=948FB3A3-E902-4AA4-B3B7-DB35F704D06B&cm_mmc=CJ-_-kelly+oribine-_-4163303-_-10369056

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  51. Thanks! Just found the perfect fabric for my next project!

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