Inexpensive DIY wall art ideas

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In the 1980's, it was all about big art. Wall-size paintings were the sign of being "with it". At the moment, the reverse is true. Hip houses host collections of small framed art pieces that cover entire walls, or parts of walls. 2013 is the year of the vignette.

Nobody fancy said that; it's an observation I'm making. It's not even trendy anymore to create vignettes on your walls of many pictures; it's almost normal. Since we all want to be almost normal, let's have a look at ways to create vignettes of DIY wall art that don't stink. Just kidding. I meant that these wall art projects won't cost you much, and won't eat up all of your time for eternity.

Stretched fabric on wooden artist's panels: Thank you, Martha Stewart's crafts editor, for this idea. What you'll do is mount fabric onto wooden artist's panels, with spray adhesive and staples. The artist's panels can be pricey, so see if you can get a deal buying them in bulk. Fabric remnants are perfect for projects like this. Fabric remnants are a way to decorate with designer fabrics in a very affordable way. Check eBay and Etsy for cute fabric remnants.

Solid color-block panels: All you have to do is paint pre-stretched canvases. There are a lot of ways to do this, but one cool and rather fashionable idea is to paint about 12 canvases, with four in each color of an ombre spectrum. For instance, you'd paint four dark blue, four royal blue, four sky blue, and four light blue. You'd mount them in either rows or columns of same colors to create the ombre effect. This project is good if you are not a professional painter, because it requires very little painting skill. You are just covering a canvas in one solid color. You could even spray paint the canvases.

Frame anything in matching frames: All you'll need to do is buy a bunch of matching frames with matching mattes. You can get them at IKEA and other discount housewares stores. Go for basic colors like black and white, and simple frame designs. You'll need a group of about nine for real visual impact, and more to cover the whole wall. The key is to mount the frames equidistant from each other, with about an 3/4 of an inch between each one. What can you frame? Pretty wrapping paper works. Post cards work, as do photos clipped from magazines.

When mounting multiple frames on the wall, follow the advice of Richmond, Virginia remodeling experts Young House Love. Read their guide to hanging a wall vignette without ruining your walls. Also, use the right anchor to prevent falling art.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

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