Natural Wall Art Displays
Whether you're a college student struggling to get by or you're just
financially conservative, wall art design doesn't have to put you in a bind.
Album wall art may be inexpensive, but maybe it's not your style. Instead of
looking to music for your muse, just take a walk outside.
Everything in your home is constructed from natural materials, so why not
incorporate that theme on your walls as well? Using nature to decorate your
home can be something fun to do solo or enlist the entire family in the
project. Whether you live at the coast or the mountains or somewhere in
between, nature holds a wide variety of items just waiting to be
incorporated in a unique wall art display.
Two of the most obvious items are sticks and leaves. The next time you
notice a bright, colorful leaf, pick it up and put it in a safe place until
you have collected enough leaves to create a piece of wall art. Pressing
leaves will help maintain the shape of the leaves and remove moisture. On a
table or countertop, place the leaves between two paper towels or paper
napkins and set a heavy cookbook or encyclopedia on top.
If you want to preserve your leaves beforehand, you can take your pressed
leaves and coat them in wax using wax paper and an iron. Lay wax paper on an
ironing board, wax side up. Then scatter your leaves on the paper, leaving
room between each leaf. Place another sheet of wax paper, wax side down, on
top of the leaves. Iron the leaf/paper combo for approximately one to two
Depending on the size of décor you are aiming for, glue the leaves to a
blank canvas or card stock in any desired pattern [source: Rowland]. For
added flair, you can paint the canvas prior to gluing the leaves. To
preserve your finished artwork, cover with a light spray of varnish.
Similarly, plain, old sticks can turn a plain, old wall into something worth
admiring. Find a handful of sticks, big or small, and glue them together in
diagonal, random patterns. A typical design will resemble a sun, but you can
use your imagination and create something outside the box [source: Jenkins].
If you're after something with a coastal flair, gather your shell
collection, some glue and a canvas or small piece of plywood. You can sketch
out a pattern to follow or just glue the shells in free form on the canvas.
Finish your piece with spray varnish and for something extra, maybe add a
little sparkle with spray glitter.
Now the next time you have guests, your walls will be the talk of the
evening -- and this time for a good reason.
Adding unique wall art displays is a great way to enhance the aesthetic of
Walls are the biggest canvas of your house. But when you take a seat and
look around, these canvases might not be doing anything to enhance your
home. Maybe scratches and scuffs make your walls look dingy. Perhaps your
youngest took the "canvas" part a little too literally with his crayons and
markers. It could be that your vision is clouded by out-of-date, orange and
gold wallpaper that saw the presidency of Jimmy Carter. Or your pristine,
new, builder-beige walls are just lackluster and uninspired.
Whatever the reason, many of us have been disappointed with the condition of
our wall décor -- or lack thereof -- at some point in time. So, what do you
do when that 30-year-old wallpaper just doesn't do the trick anymore? Or the
bare walls of your beautiful new home leave you and your guests yawning in
boredom? The answer is simple -- liven things up with unique, creative wall
Hitting local galleries and artists' collectives would be one fun and
exciting way to secure a wide variety of cleverly conceived wall art. But it
could also be quite pricey. If you're on a budget, a better option would be
to take the matter into your own hands by creating your very own wall décor.
If you can afford it, go ahead and pick up one key professional art piece
that you simply can't live without; not only will it make you happy, but it
could inspire your own creative efforts.
Read on to learn how you can create your own wall art using metal, glass,
old album covers, stencils and natural materials.
Metal Wall Art Displays
So you know you want something different to accent your personal style, and
you're thinking big and dramatic. Metal could be the perfect medium for you.
With the recent boom in sustainability and recycling, people have been using
a variety of recyclable materials in their home décor,
including metal. And you don't have to be a welder to try your hand at using
this versatile material.
Professional metal art pieces can be large, dramatic and oversized. As with
other larger art pieces, something of this scale should be placed in a room
large enough to accommodate its size. In a small room, it might be imposing
rather than engaging. Since you'll be creating your own metal wall art, it's
up to you to decide the size and scope of the project. But keep in mind that
large pieces are better suited to large spaces and smaller pieces are better
suited to smaller spaces. In fact, you should let the space dictate the
The tarnished and corroded patches on this sheet metal star give it the
perfect rustic look.
For this project, let's say you've decided to decorate a wall in your den.
The room is cozy, so you don't need anything too big. Once you've selected
the room, it's time to select the metal. For this project, you want a metal
that adapts well to molding, etching and bending -- so you're going with
aluminum. You start by purchasing a sheet of aluminum (24- or 26-gauge or so
should work well). In addition, you will need a desired pattern or shape, a
ballpoint pen, a pair of scissors or tin snips (depending on the thickness
of the aluminum), sandpaper, a small hammer, silicone and a piece of
Follow these four basic steps to create a metal art piece that will suit any
room of your home:
- Place your pattern or shape on top of the aluminum sheet and trace the
pattern onto the aluminum using the ballpoint pen.
- Once the pattern has been traced on the metal, cut the pattern out of the
metal sheet using scissors or tin snips.
- The edges may still be jagged, so use the sandpaper to sand the edges of
the metal to the desired smoothness. Depending on the thickness of the
metal, you could use the hammer to roll and hammer down the edges to create
a lipped edge to your creation.
- Use the silicone to adhere your finished metal art to the wood [source:
If you want to be even more creative, you can find a large frame for the
plywood and tack the plywood to it. Before mounting your metal art on the
plywood, paint the plywood a solid color or use a mixture of colors and a
pattern. Voilà, you have an interesting, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork for
While metal has been an increasing trend for home décor, you may want
something more traditional and elegant. Read on to find out how to create
your own glass decorations.
Glass Wall Art Displays
Wall mirrors have garnered popularity for decades, and it's a timeless look
that never goes out of style. But while many people still fancy the
traditional mirror in a standard frame, there are other ways to create a
design on your walls that will reflect your personal style, if not provide
visitors a glimpse through the window to your stylish soul.
OK, that was a little corny for a lead in -- but we couldn't resist it for
this project. Get ready to use an old window frame as an accent to your
mirror. As you'll learn with this project, making wall décor from glass
doesn't have to be difficult, and recycling fans will love the old window
hanging on your wall.
First, you need to find a window frame. You can find old window frames in
many places, including salvage yards, flea markets, junk shops, antique
shops and yard sales.
Tired of mirrors? A shelf lined with several interesting glass bottles also
makes an eye-catching wall display.
Once you've found the perfect window frame and purchased a mirror to fit it,
it only takes a few simple steps to create a unique mirror wall display for
- Remove the glass and any material that is holding it in place.
- Remove any peeling paint or unnecessary hardware from the window frame.
- Lightly sand the frame. (If you want a natural look, simply varnish the
frame. If you want something less rustic, sand the frame more and then
prime, paint and varnish it.)
- Secure the mirror to the frame using caulking or putty.
- Attach picture hanging hardware to the back of the mirror. Be sure to
select the appropriate hardware for the size and weight of your new mirror
Hand-Drawn Wall Art Displays
Though some people prefer a more traditional look, you may feel the need to
release the creativity that's hibernating within you. Stenciling may be just
your craft then. Yes, stenciling. Yeah, we know it's received some bad
publicity with the rash of gardens and farm animals painted on walls amid
suburb and city homes alike, but stenciling doesn't have to be agricultural.
Feel free to leave the bucolic vistas where they belong -- alongside winding
country roads. With a little elbow grease and imagination, even the dullest
of walls can become a bright, inspired canvas.
Before you begin the stenciling process, be sure to choose a smooth, clean
surface. Uneven walls will not hold paint, and a marred texture can ruin
your image [source: Sherry]. Next, gather your supplies: a stenciling
pattern (you can make your own or purchase one), stencil brushes (one brush
per color), small jars of crème paint, paper towels, masking tape and a
small plate to use as a palette.
A stenciled palm tree completes the tropical feel of this bedroom.
With these tools at hand, it's time to start stenciling. Here are the basic
- Tape the stencil pattern to the wall with the masking tape. Be sure to
start in a corner area of the wall (maybe something that could be hidden
behind a door) that can go unnoticed if something were to go wrong.
- Pour a small drop of stencil paint on your plate, and dip the tips of the
brush's bristles into the paint.
- Remove excess paint from the brush by moving the brush in a circular
motion on a paper towel.
- Using quick, short strokes, work from the outside of the stencil to the
middle. This technique will ensure a crisp pattern.
- If you want to use more than one color for the same shape, be sure to
allow the first color to dry before applying the second.
- Once the paint has dried, remove the tape and stencils from the wall and
enjoy your hand-drawn creation [source: Sherry].
Repeat the process above until you've completed your stencil project.
Album Wall Art Displays
So creating metal art, a windowpane mirror and stenciling isn't your thing.
If you're beginning to worry that there's no hope of you making your own
unique wall art display, don't fret, this project should have you humming a
different tune in no time.
If you (or your parents) have retired a vinyl collection in favor of an iPod
packed with digital tunes, don't ditch those albums. The design potential
they possess can bring any room to life in no time. And if you're not lucky
enough to possess any old album covers, you should be able to find some at a
number of places, including thrift stores, local music stores and yard
Hanging record albums on the walls is not a new trend, and it's not just for
college dorm rooms or co-ed apartments. A clever display of old Clash albums
or Johnny Cash covers would look equally fitting in most any home.
Old records carry twice the decorating punch. You can use the record and its
decorative sleeve or cover to hang on a wall.
By following these basic steps, old album covers can provide a modern, edgy
look or a classy, stylish verve to your walls in minutes:
- Draw out a plan for how you want the albums to hang. You can have a
simple, side-by-side, grid-like arrangement for a clean look, or you can opt
for something less organized and more organic; don't be afraid to get
- Set aside two L-shaped screws for each album cover. These screws will hold
the album covers in place.
- Measure the area of the wall you're decorating and the album covers. Then,
following your plan, mark spots on the wall where you will put the screws.
The screws need to be set in from the edges of the album -- 2 to 4 inches (5
to 10 cm) should work OK -- just make sure the measurement is the same for
- Insert the screws into the wall using a drill or by hand. Depending on how
long your L-shaped screws are, you might not want to screw them into the
wall completely. Just make sure you have plenty of room for the album cover
to sit comfortably atop the screws without falling forward.
- Hang your album covers on the screws [source: Pash].
Cundiff, Karen. "Choose Stenciling For A Creative Wall Décor Idea." My
Country Home. 2005.
Forcier, Polly. "Wall Stencils: Advice from a Pro." Bob Vila.com.
Galloway, Willi. "How to Make a Wall Mirror Out of an Old Window Frame."
Jenkins, Virginia. Personal Interview. (Conducted 4/10/09).
Pash, Adam. "How to Build an Album Art Wall on the Cheap." Lifehacker.
Rowland, Victoria. "How to Make Wall Art for Your Home." EHow.
Sherry, Kelly. "Stenciling Tips." Wall to Wall Stencils. 2009.
Courtesy: Juliet Kaman