DIY Art: Make Your Walls Pretty

“What is Art? Are WE art? Is ART art?” ~ Lisa Turtle

Art is a subjective term. One patron’s masterpiece is another patron’s W.T.F. No one person can decide what truly qualifies as “art” (although people certainly try). If you are a person who simply defines art as “something that you enjoy viewing” then art is great regardless of the source… including if the source is yourself!

An easy option that allows you to mold your décor to your personal style is do-it-yourself art using pre-prepped art canvas. There are multiple tutorials available on the web for how to make a plain white canvas your own using various forms of “masks” or pieces that cover a part of the canvas for which you paint over them. How About Orange has a tutorial using sticker dots and art tape, The New Domestic uses painter’s tape, and A Beautiful Mess uses vinyl letters forming song lyrics. Using any of the methods, you could paint a light color as a base, then use a darker complimentary color when you’ve placed your masks where you want them (the lighter color will show once the masks are removed), or you could just skip painting a light color and stick with the lovely white of the canvas itself. There’s also the idea of taking an old painting/print and painting over it so a myriad of colors show through, which is the method employed by A Beautiful Mess.

Feeling adventurous? Use painter’s tape to make a pinwheel painting a la Elise Blaha Cripe, who used the painter’s tape to make triangles, painted inside the paint, then used the paint to protect the previous triangles while coloring in a new triangle area. She explains it better in her Pinwheel Painting tutorial. There’s also an easy way to make your own abstract watercolor art, using rubber cement as the mask, with the tutorial provided by the Grow Creative blog.

All that painting too much work? There are options that involve gluing with little to no painting required! You could glue wood letters on a canvas to say a simple word like “Love” then paint the whole canvas; a simple search for “canvas wood letters” on Pinterest will show tons of examples of this idea. Virginia and Charlie traced a pattern on a canvas in pencil, then traced the pattern with puffy paint onto wax paper, finally gluing the wax paper/puffy paint combo onto the canvas. You could print out a big single letter in your favorite font, trace the letter onto the canvas, then glue on buttons of various sizes until the letter is filled in. You can decoupage a bright piece of scrapbook paper (or several!) onto a canvas. If a canvas is still too much pressure, use the tutorial at Styrofoam Crafts to make your own wall art using large-print fabric (such as the kind made by Marimekko); all you’ll need is glue and patience.

If your walls are looking bare and your wallets a little light, creating your own art is a way to beautify your home while making it look as unique as you. Even if you’re not a “crafter,” you can still make gorgeous wall art in colors you love to reflect your personality with a little motivation and a free afternoon. Make your walls pretty!


Samantha Mann

Samantha is a born-and-raised Northern Californian, who still talks with a slight Midwestern accent due to her parents emigrating from Chicago 2 months before she was born; both places feel like home, although she prefers California’s weather. She is a pop culture addict who spends way too much time geeking out over her favorite things from childhood or current entertainment trends; oddly enough, the only thing she doesn't "get" is the appeal of most reality TV shows. She pays the bills by believing children are our future (and that they should be able to read and write well in that future), and spends her evenings cuddling with her adorable dog and even cuter husband. Occasionally she steps away from the computer to make stuff with her hands, either to eat or to adorn her home and body.

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