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Do-It-Yourself Wall Art
How to Make Your Own Wall Decor
Rental Decorating Digest

(RDD) Fresh and original artwork hanging on the walls used to be the privilege of those with plenty of money to spend, but not any more. Craft shops and variety stores have a wide range of inexpensive canvases, paints and other craft items that you can use to create your own original and striking artworks.

Best of all, your own designs can prove a talking point, as well as being expressly created to harmonize with your décor. You can create groups of small canvases, on a related theme, or go all out and create a stunning large canvas to make a bold statement. You can use collage, blend contrasting or harmonizing colors, get bold with geometric shapes, or try your hand at something baroque and unusual.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Striped and Striking: All you need are a couple of bold paint colors and some masking tape. You can work with large or small canvasses. First cover the canvas in a bold background color. Then use strips of masking tape to make stripes. You can make them a mixture of wide and thin strips by laying strips of masking tape next to each other. Paint in the gaps, using the masking tape as a stencil and let dry. Peel off the masking tape and you have very striking striped artwork.

Stencil art: If you have a collection of stencils you have never used, or always wanted to buy some but didn’t know where to use them, try making art with them. Use the unpainted canvas background, or paint it a pleasing color. Now use your imagination to arrange your stencils on the canvas to make a striking image. A group of smaller paintings can be created by using a single stencil on each small canvas, related by the theme or background color. Don’t just use stencils, either, look around for other exciting possibilities. Ferns arranged on the canvas and sprayed over with gold or silver paint will leave striking stencil images behind.

Scrapbook collage: If you love scrapbooking, and have a talent for making great pages, why not take that a step further and use a large canvas as your page? You can paint it or leave it blank, but look at it as a scrapbook page on which you can display beautiful images of the family, your favorite holiday spot, or your home. Add embellishments as you would on a scrapbook page, with some personal touches like dried flowers from your garden, postcards and souvenirs from your favorite travel destination and children’s artwork from school.

Altered canvas: A canvas is always altered when you paint on it, but the new `altering’ techniques most often seen in altered books and CDs can make spectacular canvases to hang on your wall. Cover the canvas with pearlized paint, using one color or blending many colors together to give you an exciting background on which to work. Use glitter, odd pieces of jewelry, pages torn from books and magazines, chipboard letters and numbers, old DVDs and CDs, items from nature like leaves and twigs, pieces of fabric and fiber, coins, chips of mosaic tile and china, photographs, bottle caps – anything you like!

Seasonal art: The best thing about acrylic paint – apart from the brilliant colors – is that you can paint right over it if you get tired of the existing artwork. Using acrylic paints means you can change your artwork according to your mood and the changing season. For example, if you make one of the Striped and Striking canvases above, and you change you décor, or change your mind and want something warmer for winter, just grab some more masking tape and paint and change the colors of the stripes. It’s that easy! You can keep up to date with changing moods and fashions just by changing the paint color.

Calligraphy: Japanese calligraphy looks wonderful in a dining room or lounge space, but it can be very expensive. You can create your own facsimiles and all you need are canvas, black paint, a calligraphy brush and a steady hand. There are plenty of sites on the Internet that will show you how to draw Japanese characters. Practice on throwaway paper first, and then draw a simple character on white canvas in black paint. You can use a single word that has meaning for you, like harmony, peace or family.

Collage: Remember the fun you had tearing images out of magazines and sticking them in a scrapbook or on construction paper? Collage is still fun and easy, but with an eye for design it can also be art. First go through your magazine collection and tear out images and headlines that resonate with you. Now sit down with your canvas and move the images and words around until you get something that speaks to your heart and eye. A theme may emerge, it may even be something deeply personal, or a treasure map of the kind of life you’d like to live. It doesn’t matter – every collage is different, and yours will be unique. Use a good collage glue and varnish to stick your images in place and seal the finished work.

Patchwork in a new way: Love patchwork? Instead of sewing up a new artwork for your wall, why not cut and paste brilliant fabrics onto canvas and create a stunningly different work of art? You can use traditional quilt patterns or a crazy quilt effect, gluing the fabric pieces into place. Add strips of fibers, braid and silk ribbon to make it extra special, and seal with fabric sealer.

These simple ideas should soon get your creative juices flowing, and before you know it, your home will be a showcase of contemporary art.
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Wall Decorating Ideas & Wall Covering Treatments
If you can't paint (or even if you can) try these great wall decor ideas to makeover your apartment, home studio or dorm room.

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