DIY Gift Idea: Wall Art

The following is a guest post by Maria Rainier, a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education and performs research surrounding online degrees. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.
Got a friend’s birthday coming up? Chances are that there are some bare walls to be covered, so give your friend the gift of a creative piece of wall art. You won’t spend much (if anything) on the project, you’ll have fun, and your friend will appreciate the time and effort you put into making a thoughtful and useful gift. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be crafty. But watch out, because you might find yourself getting more creative than you thought possible. It’s easy to make these fun projects, and you might even want to make a few for yourself – so check out the following list of ideas to save money, nurture your creative side, and get started on your next DIY gift.

Painted Ceiling Medallions

If you’re having trouble getting a sense of your friend’s aesthetic when it comes to wall art, try something simple: ceiling medallions. You can find these for low prices at your local home improvement store in a variety of shapes and interesting designs. Simply choose one or more medallions and paint them using colors that go with your friend’s d├ęcor (spray paint works fine). To take this project a little further, grind up some colored chalk into a fine powder and use a makeup brush to dust it onto the painted medallion. It should settle into the recessed parts of the medallion, highlighting the design. Gently blow away any residual chalk dust and apply a clear fixative or lacquer, which can be found at your local craft store. Your friend will be delighted to hang these objets d’art on a lonely wall.

Picture Frame Collage

This project is only inexpensive if you happen to have access to three or four empty picture frames in varying sizes. You can try finding them at flea markets, antique stores, thrift stores, and even garage sales – you can also take a trip through your basement and attic to see if you have any unused frames. Once you’ve found a few, simply give them a new paint job (a color that contrasts starkly with the wall is very effective) and hang them close together as a collection.

Window Shutter Art: Form & Function

If you can find a window shutter, you can make this creative piece of wall art. Again, flea markets and the like are perfect places to find old rejected pieces that can be refurbished to create beautiful art. You can paint your shutter if you like, or if the finish is chipped and gives off a chic vintage vibe, you can leave it as is. If you choose to paint it, you’ll probably want to sand off the old paint and make sure you have a clean, smooth surface to work with. Spray paint is a great way to get in between the slats without spending a lot of time on brushing each one. Now, affix a hanger so your friend can display the shutter horizontally on the wall. One of the best ways to do this is to nail two sawtooth hangers onto the back of the shutter, one on each end. You can find these at your local craft or hardware store and they won’t cost you much at all. Finally, dig up some pictures of you and your friend (or print some if you keep digital photos) and slip them between the slats. Your friend can choose to display these and additional pictures, notes, postcards, or other items on the shutter.

No matter which project you choose, you’ll have a great gift that shows how much you care without burning through your wallet.

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