Inexpensive Art for Your Home and Heart

March 23, 2012

Artwork gives a home personality. In a sense, it reflects the individual and collective persona(s) of the people who dwell there.

Art doesn’t have to be pricey to be attractive and meaningful. Some of my favorite pieces showcased in our home were very inexpensive, because I/we created them.

In our family room, I have a large grouping of frames that spell our last name. I choose this arrangement because the wall is tall and long and visual weight of the frames provides a nice focal point for the room. I made it by printing each letter on a sheet of colored paper in a super big font. The colors came from the fabric we used on the family room throw pillows. (This fabric is also used on the seats of the kitchen chairs, which can be seen from both rooms.) I love the way the arrangement looks, but the best thing is that it reinforces the fact that we are a family unit. We are the W-I-L-S-O-N Tribe. Ironically, there are six of us and there are six letters. Each letter is a different color, just like each one of us is unique. And still we are part of a whole. (Okay, I admit I didn’t plan this. It’s a gracious blessing from God.) Image

The frames were just under $20 at Target. The paper came from Michaels and I already had the printer. Total cost was approximately $130.00.

You could do something similar using a heavy wrapping or wallpaper. Colored photocopies of large leaves could be inspirational, as could framed-pieces of fabric.

When hanging frames gallery style, I found that it was easier to center the first frame then work out from the center using a ruler and a level. I did take a bit of time to get the spacing above and between each frame right, but it was worth the effort and people often ask me where I got the art.

In our dining room, we have a gallery of family photos. I printed them in a sepia tone on my home computer. In my opinion, this works because of the multi-photo frames and the fact that they are arranged in groupings. Our frames were purchased from Wal-Mart and I have seen nice versions Target and even nicer ones at Pottery Barn.) A few of the photos have captions like “Nana visits Boise, ID, December 2006” or “KJ Suave.” One photo is captioned with a favorite Bible verse.


I rotate the pictures and our extended family and friends love the idea that they could be on the wall of fame the next time they came back to visit.

When you are hanging art, it is important to connect the work to whatever is near it. Four of the photo gallery frames are positioned over a small buffet table. They are linked to it because they are only 9 inches above the top of the buffet and there are candlesticks on the buffet that also help to bridge the space. Art doesn’t tend to look as attractive when it seems to be “floating” on the wall without context to anything else. Generally art should be 6-10 inches above the item it is near.  If the art is larger the space can be greater – like a large 36 x 48 poster might hang 24 inches above a low-rise bench.

When well positioned, people can enjoy the art from the vantage point that makes sense. In a dining room, it should easily be seen while sitting at the table. Whereas art in a pass through area, like a hallway or foyer typically looks best when positioned for people who are standing or walking. On average, if people err to one extreme, the art is hanging too high on the wall.

One of my favorite art pieces is a canvas that my then 5 year-old daughter and I made. I saw this idea in a magazine and thought, “I can do that.”


I bought a large canvas (30 by 36 inches) on sale at Michaels along with several colored roles of duct tape. We used a ruler and level to create striped pattern. Koah would pick the color and then we would talk about how wide the strip would be. We then just stretched the tape across the canvas. Just be careful not to pull it to tight, like we did on occasion, because the canvas won’t hang squarely.

We choose our palette to co-ordinate with two oversized real life photo portraits of sunset. We call our piece abstract sunrise and we love it. We had so much fun being creative together and I think it looks like genuine art.

I hope the examples above will give you some ideas and the encouragement to fearless enough to create art for your own home.

Grace & Peace

Home-ista Kelly


2 Responses to “Inexpensive Art for Your Home and Heart”

  1. Will said

    Love this, Kelly!

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