Use chalkboard paint to create change-your-mind wallpaper by repeating stencil shapes. We chose a regimented pattern of tropical leaves, but the only limit on the look is your imagination. Keeping the chalk above a chair rail reduces the chance of smudges. Buy stencils at crafts stores. The background color in our photo is Benjamin Moore 2147-30 Jalapeno Pepper.
An assortment of bargain-priced white platters discovered at a discount store becomes lively art when adorned with boldly patterned wallpaper (any decorative papers would work). Size and cut wallpaper to fit the center flat areas of each platter, leaving a wide rim as the frame. Use spray adhesive to affix the cutouts. Group the platters, and display on the wall using wire plate hangers.
Real specimens cost hundreds, but you can replicate this trendy, nature-inspired look on a budget. Cut butterflies that coordinate with your room color from old butterfly photography books, garden magazines or calendars. If necessary, use a color copier to adjust size or to make multiples. Pin faux "specimens" to foam-core board cut to fit in inexpensive shadowbox frames. Gently fold the wings forward for a realistic look.
Layer art and/or scrapbooking papers with torn edges for the modern look of horizons depicting sea, land and sky. Tear uneven widths, and vary the color order. For impact, tightly group four ready-made crafts store frames with mats.
Display trip souvenirs with these shadow boxes. Cut out maps of your vacation spot and mount to the back of the box. Fill with souvenir buttons, wine corks, concert tickets and other vacation keepsakes.
Create modern art by grouping similar items. We chose balls of twine for their neutral color, texture and 3-D effect. Each ball hangs on a long nail driven into the wall (or into a sheet of painted plywood if you want fewer holes in the wall).
Create art from everyday objects. We used clothespins for this quirky art project, but other small, heavy objects, like keys or tools, will work. Choose a series of frames and a background color. Artfully arrange your objects on paperboard and lightly spray paint to create silhouettes of the items.
Get splashes of color and pattern with framed wallpaper. Choose wallpaper patterns with similar colors or themes. Cut out 12 squares of wallpaper in four different patterns and frame. Hang in a rectangle for eye-catching art.
Transform an old quilt or a vintage cross-stitch into a unique hanging display. Hanging tip: Trace the frames onto crafts paper and cut out. Tape the pieces to the wall and try different groupings until you find the best arrangement.
Pay tribute to pets with a classic silhouette. Print silhouettes off the Internet or freehand your favorite animal, then trace onto thick black paper and cut out. Choose a fun pattern as the background to add visual contrast.
For art that acts as a memory keeper, remove the glass of readymade frames and paint the backboard with blue chalkboard paint (this color is Benjamin Moore 2057-40 Ash Blue). Hot-glue on found vacation treasures. Label them with state names or personal notes written in chalk to identify where or how you found each item.
Refurbish old dishes with fresh paint and a striking silhouette. Print and cut out an animal or image. Secure outline using tape or a small heavy object. Spray paint over silhouette items. We chose a bright matte pink to coordinate with the furniture.
For an easy focal point, paint an accent color on a section of wall directly above a mantel. Here, the sky blue above the mantel complements the pear green and natural neutral tan elsewhere in the room for a tranquil palette.
For bargain wallpaper, cover an accent wall with pages pulled from atlases. Starting in the middle of the wall, apply one page using decoupage adhesive. Repeat, overlapping edges, until the wall is covered.
For a similar yet temporary effect, decoupage pages to large plywood or foam-core boards, and hang or lean them against a wall.