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Frugal Wall Art for Gifts or your Home
By Monica Resinger
There are some lovely pictures available in retail stores, but they can be
very expensive. I’d like to suggest some less expensive ways to make your own
decorative wall art that will be more charming and beautiful in your home than
any picture that can be purchased.
To get started, you’ll need frames. Frames are also expensive when purchased
retail, so I suggest buying them used. You can find good picture frames at
yard sales and thrift stores for a fraction of the retail price. If there are
minor problems with the frame, such as chipped paint or nicks and scratches,
t worry, you can cover that part up with the decorative ideas that follow.
What to Put in the Frame
Family pictures are a great, personal way to warm your home. Looking at them
brings back memories for the owner or brings up conversations with guests.
These also make great gifts for family members. If you’re planning on designing
family pictures to give as gifts, it’s a good idea to start getting double
prints developed from your films.
Pretty pictures cut from magazines, calendars or holiday cards are other
items that make great wall art. You can choose pictures that have to do with
theme or colors in your home or in someone else‘s home if you‘re planning to
give the picture as a gift.
Pressed flowers and leaves are beautiful framed. Outdoors, try to find
flowers or leaves that are naturally flat and will lie between paper well, then
press them between pages in a book. After a week or more, check to see if
dry and crisp to the touch.
Frame crocheted doilies on a contrasting background for a beautiful picture.
Hankies are another item that’s easily framed. These are really special if the
item belonged to a family member.
Save memorabilia from vacations such as ticket stubs, menus, napkins,
pictures or other flat surface items and frame these for a unique picture that
memories and conversation.
For a garden look, a pretty seed packet could be framed with a complimentary
background. Hot glue small pinecones or other natural material to the frame to
finish it off. If you don’t have a pretty seed packet, you could cut a pretty
garden picture from a magazine or birthday card.
Frame a recipe. What I like to do is copy and paste a recipe into a
card/calendar or art program on my computer and change the colors and fonts of
then add clip art, pretty backgrounds and/or a border. Print it out and you
have a nice item that can be framed and used in the kitchen. You can also
photocopy your own recipes to be framed and take a picture of the finished
to include with it.
Decorating the Frames
Decorate a picture frame by covering the entire frame with shells, buttons,
pebbles, bottle-caps or other small items. Hot-glue would work best for
attaching items. If you’d like, you could finish it off with a complimentary
bow. You could also use these items or silk or dried flowers as accents and
attach a few to a corner with a ribbon bow.
Paint it. Choose a color included in the picture you’re framing and paint the
frame that color with acrylic paint. You may need to apply 2-3 coats to cover
the frame completely; be sure to let each coat dry before applying another.
When the frame is completely covered and dry, you can then sponge paint a
darker or lighter shade over that for a very pretty look. To sponge paint,
dip a small area of a sponge in paint, blot on newspaper a few times to get
excess paint off, then blot the sponge onto the frame. Another idea is to paint
polka dots, squiggly lines or another small design in a contrasting color.
When decorating a frame to be given to a family member or friend, think of
their favorite color, the color of the room they will most likely display the
picture in, their hobbies, or what they enjoy. You could design a garden
for your gardening friend, a family picture for a family member or a doily
picture for your grandmother or mother. Have fun with it and unleash your
creativity, the possibilities are endless!
Get unique tips for decorating your walls with The Creative Wall Decor Tips
E-book! You'll find tips for painting paneling, attaching lace to the wall,
photo display tips, how to add color to your walls without painting, faux
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