We’d all like to have priceless art by the masters on our walls (I personally adore Rembrandts drawings) but that’s not always possible. Luckily, there are many other ways to add pizzazz to your walls that are both fun and very inexpensive – some are even free. And they also give your home a more personal touch.
Here are a few tricks I use to find inexpensive wall decor items:
1. Wine boxes
Ask in your local wine shop if you can have one (or more) of their wooden wine boxes. Sometimes they want to keep them for display, but I’ve gotten several for free. Mount them on a wall and voila! Instant shelf (and stylish too)!
Sounds like a no-brainer, but instead of just the traditional family photos, try something new with your camera. For example, give yourself an assignment to only take pictures of green things for a week (or until you have enough of them that you like). Or house numbers. Or cats. Or anything you would like to put up on your walls. Once you have enough, using Photoshop or a free online photo editing tool, turn them into squares, or fake Polaroids or something else fun. Print them out and display in a group, perhaps in clear CD covers.
3. More Photos
Another photo idea is to take one object (maybe an old kettle, an heirloom, or a stack of cookies) and explore it from all angles. Then make a collage or display them as described above.
Rummage through older relatives’ stashes of stuff. You never know what you might find. I found this instruction manual for my parents’ first dishwasher – perfect for a wall in the kitchen! You might also come across an old scarf, postcards, musical notes, records, old letters, greeting cards, etc. that they are willing to part with. You could end up with an entire retro wall this way. If your relatives are unwilling to part with their stuff, flea markets and yard sales are other great sources for these things.
5. Vintage Cabinet/Drawer Knobs
If you’re lucky, you’ll find these for free (see #4 on this list). If not, you can find them at flea markets, yard sales and architectural salvage places for a reasonable amount of money. Put them up on a wall and hang special items from them: Leis from that trip to Hawaii, the necklace you wore at your wedding, an old handbag or hat that belonged to your Grandmother, anything you want. I have one of my Grandfather’s cameras hanging on a wall, and I love how it looks as well as the memories it brings back.
6. Restaurant Menus
I talked about this in my Free Souvenirs post as well, but you don’t have to travel to find fun menus. Ask at your local favorite restaurants if you may have one of their menus, frame them and display on your kitchen or dining room wall.
Back in the 80s and early 90s, I used to get a ton of postcards every summer from my friends who were traveling all over the world. These days , everyone sets up a blog or share site or sends email updates instead, and while that’s very convenient, I always ask them to please send me a postcard as well. I love getting actual postcards in the mail and they look great grouped together on a wall.
Don’t miss my post on how to decorate with upholstery fabric – another great, inexpensive way to add color and texture to a bare wall.