If you have a room that is suffering from bare walls, why not dress things up? You can easily improve your walls without spending a lot of money – in fact, all of these projects are less than $20 –you’ll just need to spend the time and energy to actually complete the project.
Collage and Décolletage
Very similar, but with a few differences, bringing a bunch of pictures and things you love together into a bigger picture makes a great wall hanging and it’s fun, too. This is one project you can invite some friends over for, or you can do it yourself over the course of the summer. Start with a few large pieces of poster board or a piece of cardboard. Gather pictures, words, and magazine cutouts or computer printouts and then start positioning them on the cardboard.
Overlap all of the pictures and use rubber cement or spray adhesive to get all of them in the right spot. Be sure that all of the white space is covered. Once you have all of the pictures arranged, you might be done if you like the textured look of everything piled on top of each other, or you can make it a bit shiny and polished by using a special clear gel that goes over the whole thing to create a décolletage of the poster. The gel paint solidifies over the pictures and makes it all a hard, solid item. You can use this décolletage technique on just about everything including lamps, trashcans, special containers and just about any decorative elements in your room.
If you have a big bare wall, head over to the craft store and buy a large stencil. You can use the stencil to create a border along the ceiling of the room, or you can buy the largest stencil and use it create a full wall treatment that resembles wallpaper. You can start with the stencil on a bare wall and then use a bit of craft paint to dab over the holes of the stencils to create the pattern. There are special rollers available as well to make the process go a bit faster.
It will take a while to go over the whole wall if that’s what you choose to do, or you can do the stenciled border more quickly, but the end effect is a classy painted effect on your walls that you can enjoy for as long as you’d want and then paint over it again when you’re ready to try something new. If you’re not able to paint over your walls with a stencil, you can use the stencils on an inexpensive canvas and create an interesting picture to use on your walls, or a series of pictures to hang on your walls.
Canvas is available for far less than you might think. If you have some basic art skills, or even if you don’t, you can buy a few canvases and some inexpensive paints and try your hand at your own form of art. Try different techniques, including the stenciling above or just draw some basic shapes and patterns and then paint over them to fill in the design.
If you like things to be unique and highly personal, this is a great way to add some color to your room and make it feel a bit more personalized. A twist on this particular project is to use the canvas, but ask one of your friends who has a lot of artistic talent to draw the pictures for you, or at least help you get started on your own designs.