Inexpensive DIY Art

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thank you for all the nice comments about the recent client project!  One of the challenges in the dining room was to fill in the long wall.  There was really no budget in mind so I could have gone in any direction with this, but my first thought was to use a calendar and frame up the images into a grouping.  I know this isn't a top secret trick - many others have done it before me, but it works!  The bonus is that it only costs as much as the frames and calendar!  And, in most cases you gain a big visual pop of graphic color.

Cavalinni makes the prettiest calendars that are really nice when framed if you are in the market for quick, inexpensive art.

You can see them here in one of my favorite bedrooms - EVAH!

I also love what Holly did here in her guest room.

Framed note cards is another great option like these that Emily framed in her old breakfast room.

I have always loved the idea of taking images from botanical books.  This wall the Jenny created in her mother's room is so beautiful!

Now it is your you have any inexpensive art secrets?


  1. love this! i have an old cavalinni calendar that i just can't bring myself to get rid of... might want to use it again someday. :) just this morning, i glued some of my grandmothers & mothers old buttons (ones i remember playing with when i was little) onto a piece of fabric to frame.

    ps. i haven't told you yet, but great work on your recent project! :)

    1. I love the buttons idea Katie! Yes, hang on to the calendar. You never know when you'll need it.

  2. I love a grouping of art - it has such a great impact. I have been enjoying the free printables from the New York Public Library for framing - I can't believe how many items are in their collection…..botanicals, shells, vintage menus….it's endless!

    1. NYPL and Vintage Printables are both great sources for free images! I could spend hours there :).

  3. We love to use book pages as well. There are some spectacular ones in old neighborhood mom and pop bookstores.
    Happy Holidays!
    xo Nancy

  4. That's a great idea as I have definitely fallen in love with calendar pictures before. For inexpensive art I like framing fabric or wallpaper swatches! (I had a ton of those lying around when I taught interior design)

  5. I framed scrapbook paper for Sheila's nursery prior to her being born. We didn't find out what we were having so it was an inexpensive way to bring in some color and pattern without committing to anything specific.

  6. What a fabulous idea! I can think of a couple of calendars that I love that would make great groupings. I use cards a lot of times if I need a small picture to fill up a space. Fabric is also great to frame -- anytime I have leftovers (or I get a hole in one of my pieces of clothing with pretty fabric) I save it because I know that at some point, it will work in room framed-up! :-)

  7. This really is such a great idea. I need to give it a try somewhere. Thank goodness for Ikea and their inexpensive frames. :)

  8. I have used many botanicals from books and such. I always start with a vendor at Scott's that has a table of $10 prints with just about everything! Such an easy inexpensive way to do it....

  9. I used a beautiful book called The Insects of Surinam for a botanical grid for a client a year or so ago. Here's the link:

    Also love Geninne Zlatkis' art on Etsy. SO beautiful! Really, Etsy is great for inexpensive art.

    Love your calendar suggestions! The insect studies are gorgeous!



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