10 Ways to Fill a Blank Wall for Under $20

Nothing elevates and personalizes the look of your home more than one-of-a-kind works of art. You don't need to haggle with an art dealer to land something in your price range, though. To fill your walls without busting your budget, check out these 10 unintimidating ideas for creating do-it-yourself artwork that looks like a million bucks.

By Debra Immergut | Updated Apr 26, 2016 12:18 PM

Sublime Scribbles

Kids Art Display

Displaying kids’ artwork is a lovely way to show off your family’s creativity. For an abstract expressionist flair, use photo editing software to transform your child's set of doodles into a Jackson Pollock–esque piece by zooming in on just the most interesting corners of the page. You can even tweak the colors to complement your room!

Related: 8 Things You Never Thought to Frame—But Should


Color Wheel

Plywood Art

A DIY painting on a scrap piece of plywood lends a modern vibe to a living room. To achieve a similarly graphic pinwheel design, apply strips of painter’s tape so that they meet at a central point, then fill the spaces between the strips with paint. Add texture by mixing the paint with water putty.

Related: Be It Ever So Humble—12 Amazing Things Made with Plywood


Statement Piece

Reclaimed Wood Wall Art

Oftentimes the wall art we choose to display is truly personal, speaking to who we are and where we've been. This crafty blogger stenciled the shapes of the states (and one country) where she or her spouse have lived onto a set of salvaged and stained wood slats. Want a look that’s more mod than rustic? Paint the shapes on a glossy red or orange background instead.

Related: 10 Ways to Unleash the Potential of Your Blank Walls


Into the Woods

DIY Canvas Art

Depending on where you shop, canvas can cost a pretty penny, but if you start by covering up a thrifted piece of art with a coat of white paint, you can get a blank slate for cheap. Once you have your fresh canvas, try creating a simple birch forest scene like this one: Arrange strips of masking tape to create tree trunks, paint the background, remove the tape (leaving white trunks), then scrape contrasting black paint along the edges of the white trunks using an old credit card. A gold-foil heart—a message from a pair of lovebirds—completes the arrestingly graphic stand of trees.

Related: 9 Inventive Ways to Decorate with Tree Trunks, Branches, and Twigs


Bohemian Rhapsody

Macrame Art

Handwoven fiber art is very on trend these days. Good thing for you, it's an easy trend to achieve on your own. To create a wall hanging on a budget, try this project, which assembles an assortment of materials—a string, beads, and wire hoops from the craft store—using some ultrabasic knot-tying.

Related: 9 DIYs to String Together with Twine


Go Big

Engineer Prints

Make a huge impression on guests by hanging a favorite photo, supersized in a black-and-white engineering print, in an entry hall or living room. Getting hold of an enlargement is as simple as showing up at your nearby copy center. Or, for a little more money, outsource to a site like Photojojo and have your blown-up pic delivered to your doorstep, crease-free.

Related: 10 Inventive Ways to Display Family Photos


Leave a Note

DIY Word Art

Say it loud and proud: Turn a favorite quote, a scrawled personal anthem, or a loved one’s jottings into a framed poster. Here again, your local copy shop can enlarge the words to just the right size for any frame you might have on hand.

Related: Wow with Words—10 Ways to Bring Typography Style Home


Brush It Up

DIY Paintings

Don't be discouraged by the price tags of large paintings you admire. Rather than buy at an intimidating cost, this homeowner chose to DIY her own abstract work, and you can too. Just paint freely in a range of colors that complement your decor. The best part about abstract art is that your finished piece doesn't have to look like anything specific. A flurry of brushstrokes later, you, too, will have your own masterpiece to hang.

Related: Awesome Accents—17 Ways to Make Any Space Pop with Color


Quick Cuts

Easy Paper Crafts

If you don't trust yourself with a paintbrush, there's still hope. A crafting knife and paper were the fabulously wallet-friendly ingredients for this modern wall display. Just draw a simple shape on black paper, make some partial cuts around the outline, flip the paper over, and then back it with a sheet of paper in a contrasting shade, or even a patterned sheet.


Scattered Platters

Plate Display

To add sumptuous color and pattern to your room for absolutely free, look no further than your own cabinets. Pull out your prettiest plates (try for a harmonious range of colors), then display them on the wall in an attractive pattern, securing them with some seriously strong adhesive or spring-loaded plate hangers.

Related: 7 Everyday Objects You Never Thought to Hang


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