Frugal Wall Art for Gifts for your Home
By Monica Resinger
There are some lovely pictures available in retail stores, but
they can be very expensive. I’d like to suggest some less expensive ways to make
your own decorative wall art that will be more charming and beautiful in your
home than any picture that can be purchased.
To get started, you’ll need frames. Frames are also expensive when purchased
retail, so I suggest buying them used. You can find good picture frames at yard
sales and thrift stores for a fraction of the retail price. If there are minor
problems with the frame, such as chipped paint or nicks and scratches, don’ t
worry, you can cover that part up with the decorative ideas that follow.
What to Put in the Frame
Family pictures are a great, personal way to warm your home. Looking at them
brings back memories for the owner or brings up conversations with guests. These
also make great gifts for family members. If you’re planning on designing family
pictures to give as gifts, it’s a good idea to start getting double prints
developed from your films.
Pretty pictures cut from magazines, calendars or holiday cards are other items
that make great wall art. You can choose pictures that have to do with the theme
or colors in your home or in someone else‘s home if you‘re planning to give the
picture as a gift.
Pressed flowers and leaves are beautiful framed. Outdoors, try to find flowers
or leaves that are naturally flat and will lie between paper well, then press
them between pages in a book. After a week or more, check to see if they’re dry
and crisp to the touch.
Frame crocheted doilies on a contrasting background for a beautiful picture.
Hankies are another item that’s easily framed. These are really special if the
item belonged to a family member.
Save memorabilia from vacations such as ticket stubs, menus, napkins, pictures
or other flat surface items and frame these for a unique picture that brings
memories and conversation.
For a garden look, a pretty seed packet could be framed with a complimentary
background. Hot glue small pinecones or other natural material to the frame to
finish it off. If you don’t have a pretty seed packet, you could cut a pretty
garden picture from a magazine or birthday card.
Frame a recipe. What I like to do is copy and paste a recipe into a
card/calendar or art program on my computer and change the colors and fonts of
the text then add clip art, pretty backgrounds and/or a border. Print it out and
you have a nice item that can be framed and used in the kitchen. You can also
photocopy your own recipes to be framed and take a picture of the finished
recipe to include with it.
Decorating the Frames
Decorate a picture frame by covering the entire frame with shells, buttons,
pebbles, bottle-caps or other small items. Hot- glue would work best for
attaching items. If you’d like, you could finish it off with a complimentary
ribbon bow. You could also use these items or silk or dried flowers as accents
and attach a few to a corner with a ribbon bow.
Paint it. Choose a color included in the picture you’re framing and paint the
frame that color with acrylic paint. You may need to apply 2-3 coats to cover
the frame completely; be sure to let each coat dry before applying another. When
the frame is completely covered and dry, you can then sponge paint a darker or
lighter shade over that for a very pretty look. To sponge paint, simply dip a
small area of a sponge in paint, blot on newspaper a few times to get excess
paint off, then blot the sponge onto the frame. Another idea is to paint polka
dots, squiggly lines or another small design in a contrasting color.
When decorating a frame to be given to a family member or friend, think of their
favorite color, the color of the room they will most likely display the picture
in, their hobbies, or what they enjoy. You could design a garden picture for
your gardening friend, a family picture for a family member or a doily picture
for your grandmother or mother. Have fun with it and unleash your creativity,
the possibilities are endless!
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