If finding the perfect framed art for your room's design proves difficult, then create your own. The nice thing about creating customized, framed artwork is that you can tailor it to coordinate perfectly with your design plan.
Creating your own allows you to develop the content of the art, pick frames of the correct dimension and finish, and choose matting colors or styles that are appropriate to your design.
Check thrift stores for old art that may have a unique frame you can restore, reuse or reinvent.
Spray paint is your best friend. There are many metallic color finishes available that emulate brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. Unify different styles and sizes of frames with spray paint.
Some of my favorites are metallic spray paints. I also use flat black or satin black often for projects.
If you need artwork of a specific item, theme or design motif, consider printing from internet image sources such as:
All of the framed art below contain images I found and printed from an online source. Check for copyright permissions if applicable.
This image was a great find for a medieval themed bedroom. The frame was spray painted with RUST-OLEUM Dark Bronze Hammer Finish to coordinate with the colors and gothic styling of the room.
These images were the perfect addition to this Tuscan styled bathroom. This example shows the dramatic effect of artwork in a grouping of three. The horizontal line and balance of the three framed pieces make the wall appear wider.
I didn't have a mat to fit this image properly so I improvised with some leftover posterboard.
These frames were a real bargain find at the local Dollar General as they are made of chunky wood with a black finish and cost $6.00 a piece.
I antiqued their finish a bit by using a metallic gold paint marker. Some very fine sandpaper could have also been used randomly along the edges and corners to produce additional aging and character.
Depending on the supplies you already own, you too can produced some customized, framed artwork for under $20.00.
Besides printing images for your framed art projects (as above), you can create some images of your own. Try putting your creativity to the test.
I again found some unique frames at a discount, retail store for a bargain. I bought three for a vertical grouping and created some pen and ink graphics to place within them.
I picked frames appropriate in size for this narrow wall space. This vertical grouping draws your eye upward, creating height.
To make some graphic art such as this, you will need:
These supplies can be found at most arts-and-crafts suppliers.
Here is another graphic art project that provides bold impact in a modern kitchen.
Four different art images were produced and placed within an old poster frame I found in storage. The cost of this framed art? FREE!
To create some similar art for your walls you will need:
Draw straight lines randomly or in patterns. Fill in various areas produced from the intersecting lines. Fill in areas randomly or symmetrically.
In this closer shot of a similar example, you can see how I repeated a design element in different orientations. I then filled in random areas to create the finished result.
You don't have to print or create the artwork for your frames. You very well may have usable "artwork" around your home.
You can use art images found in catalogs, magazines, old coffeetable books, calendars, greeting cards, book covers, giftwrap, fabric, wallpaper, etc. See what you have laying around. You may be surprised at all the neat ideas you develop for your framed art project.
TIP: Speaking of wallpaper, it makes a great background border for an image. Try using it behind a picture or image in place of matting, or behind a sculptural element as in the art piece above. This artwork is on a narrow floating shelf; another way to display art on your walls.
For a more organic feel, use a brown paper bag, brown craft paper or burlap as your background. For some cool, modern flair use black and white newpaper print.
ADDITIONAL TIP: The fleur-de-lis sculptural items coupled with the artwork above are actually bookends being repurposed as art. Be creative and inventive!
A saved greeting card became the artwork for this framed piece. I also spray painted the old metal frame a color that better coordinated with the other pieces in this room. Save unique greeting cards for use as future art.
This artwork is actually the front cover of a thin notepad. I was able to fit the entire book inside the frame. It is hung on a small area at the end of this kitchen's counters. The image is repeated in a larger focal art piece, creating unity in the space.
I love this group of images. These small wooden 3x5 photo frames were around $1.00 a piece. I painted them black, connected them with some jute twine and thumbtacks, and found some unique images in a stock photography catalog that had the color story I needed for this room.
I took an old calendar apart and used the images to create a bold statement in this linear arrangement. The art fit the motorcycle theme of the office and the black frames pop against the silver color block and contribute to a modern, industrial feel.
This grouping is one of my favorites. It was a large laminated poster that I cut into rectangle sections to accommodate this trio of black frames hung across this kitchen's bulkhead. The gloss black frames against the flat black wall provide some unique drama in this modern space.
This artwork was created from leftover fabric used in this bedroom. The navy blue background is polyester satin used for draping, the coat-of-arms image was cut from extra sheets bought for this purpose and some repurposed navy and gold ribbon created the cross pattern. All the fabric is simply wrapped over pieces of cardboard and glued or taped in place on the backside.
Using leftover fabric from drapes, sheets or upholstery for that particular room's artwork provides some additional, understated cohesion and detail.
I enjoy finding unique, old frames at flea markets, thrift stores, yardsales, etc. They are often more interesting and have more character than those purchased new. Put them to use as the framing for a special quote, a saying, words of inspiration or poetry. In this case, a lovely poem written by my mother is shared for others to enjoy and looks especially grand in this wonderful, carved wood frame I found.
If you have a personal computer and printer, you have the means to create some no-cost artwork.
Hopefully you have been able to develop some ideas from the examples above. Check back often for newly added, framed art ideas.