On The Cheap: Art Under $5

8:00 AM

Hanging art stresses me out. I hang it crooked 99% of the time, can never find the studs, and am super ADD which results in constant rearranging. Fun fact: the bizarro 1980s texture on our walls isn't a fan of those super convenient little sticky picture hangers...just ask the shattered glass that had a meet-and-greet with our floor. Anyways, for these reasons and beyond, most of the walls in our house are still as bare as Bruce Willis' scalp.

John and I recently took a trip into the inner sanctum of hell (aka Ikea on a Saturday afternoon during Spring Break) to look at kitchen cabinets. Amidst all the mayhem, my eyes landed on a white Ribba frame that was perfectly sized to hang over the beat-up vintage sofa we recently moved into our bedroom.

Just to spite my "lean the frames on the floorboards and call it a day" technique, I hung this frame immediately upon walking in the door. Golf claps! After that, I was itching to figure out what to put in it. I wanted something cool, abstract and super affordable. I thought about DIYing some art, but after I tallied up the totals for materials and time...well, not so cost-effective.

I headed over to a local paper shop to pick up some bright pink envelopes for my bestie's bachelorette party invitations, and as I was checking out, I looked up to a wall chock-a-block with beautiful wrapping papers. I instantly thought "CHA-CHING! Art for under $10!" After a game of eenie-meenie-minie-mo, I took home a double-sided sheet of coral and turquoise ombre watercolor wrapping paper from Rifle Paper Co. for $4.50. The sheet of paper was just a tiny bit smaller than the longest width of the picture mat - I'd say maybe 1/8" total (so 1/16" on both sides). If you carefully place the sheet of paper on the mat and put a big sheet of white paper behind it, the gaps blend in with the edge of the mat so you can hardly tell unless you are getting up close and personal with it.

So...in total, I filled an el cheapo Ikea frame for under $5 - and I think it looks pretty darn cool. Now that is what I call art on the cheap.

PS This easy DIY art would also work really well with a gorgeous piece of fabric. 


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  1. So pretty and such a great idea!

  2. "inner sanctum of hell" hahah that is beyond true.

  3. Love! Come decorate my apartment please. *eeep bach party!*

  4. What a smart idea! I love it.
    xo Josie


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