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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!