Fill a Blank Wall on a Beer Budget

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Have you ever stood in front of a blank wall in your home and broken into a cold sweat thinking about what it might cost to fill it? Perspire no more! Here are some ideas you can do yourself, on a pretty tight budget, to make your walls sing.

Fill a blank wall on a budgetLook no further than the children in your family (immediate or extended) for a hot lead on personalized wall decor. If you have photos like these, consider having them blown up and made into canvas prints on a wrapped frame.

Honestly, if you find pictures of kids as cute as these, who cares if they’re actually family or not!

Adopt the same wrapped-canvas approach but use different sizes and different poses to achieve a great look. A sign adds a singularly personal touch, and making one can be a fun project.

Or simply gather your favorite photos; buy identical, inexpensive white frames at your local craft store or discount retailer; and mount your pictures with white mats (different image sizes are fine). Voilà! Now that empty wall croons.


Find Picture Frames for Your Photos on Houzz

Fill a blank wall on a budget

If some of your photos are black and white and some are color, consider having the color ones converted. You can even do this yourself with a scanner and printer.

Random pieces of fabric are another budget-friendly way to decorate a wall. Affix your favorite remnant to a wooden stretcher, or cut your fabric into pieces and make a pair or a grouping of three creating a triptych. Cool, isn’t it? Don’t think you have to limit yourself to a realistic pattern; an abstract fabric can be equally effective.

And then there are bird prints. Antique, new or pulled from the pages of a book (just imagine finding a volume full of Audubon illustrations in a thrift store) and framed in simple black, they are absolutely stunning. Using a sizzling green wall paint as the backdrop doesn’t hurt a bit, either.

Refresh Your Space With Affordable Artwork

Fill a blank wall on a budget

Calendars are one of my favorite sources for wall art. Birds, hats, Italian tourism posters, French advertising posters — all are available in totally adequate prints in calendars, screaming to be framed. Whimsical, sinister, serious … no matter your mood, there is a decorative calendar to match it.

Leaves make an organic (not to mention clever) statement on the wall. This would be a particularly fun project to enjoy with your kids or neighborhood children. Have your diminutive helpers collect the leaves, then press them between the pages of a nice, heavy book before mounting them on paper and hanging them on the wall.

Fill a blank wall on a budget

While we’re on the subject of children, kids’ art is some of the most joyous, unconstrained, charming and heartwarming work on the planet. (And it’s really cheap!) It does not have to be framed; just hang it on the wall and enjoy. Your little ones will be absolutely delighted, and will probably deluge you with enough material to keep your walls ever changing and ever vital.

If a child can create these terrific works of abstract art, so can we! Buy a canvas as large as your wall will handle, get out your finger paints and let that creative child inside of you loose.

The thing about abstracts is that the more abstract they are, the better.

Get Creative When Arranging Artwork

Fill a blank wall on a budget

Authentic French advertising posters are practically guaranteed to break any but the flushest bank. Fortunately, many are readily available as reprints, at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. Few things match them for graphic impact and occasionally rowdy humor.

Given their color and personality, posters as a genre are splendid for walls. I particularly like finding ones that are specific to my region, like the chicken festival our neighboring city of Petaluma is renowned for. But really, any poster you love will do. There are even websites where you can create a custom poster.

Then there are maps. You could personalize it with decorative tags that let your kiddos know where they live, and where their extended family lives.

Vintage windows are another winning way to fill a wall. You can hang them as is or use the individual panes as frames for art you have collected, such as greeting cards, family photos or calendar art.

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Photo Credits:

  • Houzz 1: Michelle Hinckley
  • Houzz 2: Jeanette Lunde
  • Houzz 3: Farmhouse Hall
  • Houzz 4: Knapp Interiors, Inc.
  • Houzz 5: Eleven Interiors

Becky Dietrich HouzzBecky Dietrich is an interior designer and a contributor to ‘s passion for personal, welcoming, hospitable interiors, interiors that make people want to sit down, put their feet up, and stay a while, has defined her 4 decade career in interior design. She has been nationally recognized for her work; her interiors and design tips have been published in local, regional, and national newspapers and design magazines. She believes that hospitality, welcome, and comfort are the heart and purpose of interior design, and that YOUR home should tell YOUR story.

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