The Contemporary DIY Wall Art Guide:

Easy and Affordable Projects

Are you fed up with staring at blank, boring walls? Does your space lack personalized character, the reason we call four walls and a roof, a home? Or, the inevitable has happened — getting tired of the interior you’ve had since forever? Maybe, you’re one of us, DIY crazed maniacs, changing room décor mood accordingly? Whether your case is one of the above or not, if you’re looking for inspiration to make your place from blah to beautiful, you’ve arrived at the right page.

Handmade wall art isn’t limited to a can of extravagant coloured paint or figures made of toilet paper rolls (not that I’m dissing toilet paper roll art, oh no). Upgrade your home with wallet-friendly, creative, do-it-yourself projects for any space, using a variety of materials and techniques. This guide contains up-with-the-times, unconventional ideas for unique wall décor that will speak your style

1. DIY Washi Tape Wall Art

This is the most diverse material for DIY ornamentation and my personal favourite. Plus, it’s wallet-friendly, temporary and you can utilize the leftovers on virtually any surface.

Washi tape originates from Japan, it is fine paper made from natural fibers, such as bamboo or hemp. It comes in all your hearts desired motifs. Nonetheless, you can use normal multipurpose tape in any of these projects. Any colourful or shiny tape will do just fine.

Geometrical Washi Tape Wall Art

Example #1

A pretty straight-forward idea. Tape enables you to create any kind of geometrical shapes in any size or colour. This project can go as far as your imagination. Whether you want wall accents or a full blown wall mural. The freedom to explore your creativity is left up to you. All you have to do to get some adhesive tape, pick a design and start doing it yourself.

Example #2 and the reason I decided to write this guide

Faux Frames

Whether you don’t want to commit to real frames or you just want to experiment with colours and materials, tape frames look great in any space and take less than 5 minutes to make! Simple, yet effective room décor. Perfect for wild teenage bedrooms, for its raw, experimental look. The tape roll is the limit!

Click on the pic to get the tutorial!

Patterned Wall Art

Choose a theme, pick a colour and go crazy. You can work with washi tape, regular tape or vinyl. The only relatively “harder” bit about this DIY wall decoration is the need to measure the spaces between the figures, so you can achieve symmetry. Another creative way to hide the flaws of your rooms, like mold, holes from pests, discolouration from the years etc. Here are some examples, click on the photos to get to the tutorials:

2. DIY Upgraded Thrift Store Art

Stores offering second hand furniture or clothes is where you can find ready-framed art, ranging from very random to slightly disturbing. Rarely you’ll find a piece to hang on your wall as it is. But with a little imagination you can recreate a really bad painting into something you really love.

Dipping the artwork in paint, leaving whatever parts you decide undyed. It’ll flare up your fascination with detail, the alternatives are many and the result will be your own contemporary piece.

Art by Oliver Jeffers
Click for the step-by-step guide

Another alternative for literary or music addicts is redoing thrift store paintings to create a simple lyrics or quote wall art, as shown on the left. Only in ten easy steps! Hassle-free, because you bought it already framed.

3. DIY Yarn Banner Wall Art

Room ornamentation which leaves you with the opportunity to experiment as much as you wish. Banners can differentiate in fabrics, colours, lengths. This project is perfect if your wall has some paint imperfections, mold, traces of moisture, rat holes or anything you might want to hide.

Clickity click

4. DIY Mini Chalkboard Portraits

Having a whole chalkboard wall seems a little too excessive, but lately that’s all the craze in interior decoration. Besides, painting a whole wall black is a big commitment and can grow into a giant mess. So if you’re on a lease, can’t paint or won’t paint, this is the DIY for you. Mini chalkboard portraits are adorable and you can execute this method on bigger woodboards, just to hang and write chalk notes onto!

5. DIY Paper Wall Art

This one is sold ready-made, unfortunately. But you can craft it yourself with a little bit of imagination.

Paper and a tiny bit of skill is all that is required to create amazing adornments. Not only, but you can apply the reuse principle and make your paper diy wall art project with recycled paper (newspapers, magazines, childrens drawing, etc) to make it maximally customized.

Origami Wall Art

In Japaneese ‘Ori’ means to fold. Creativity sparks when one gives imagination a slight fold. Some of these lovely paper ornaments can be used as wall organizers as well.

Flowers Wall Art

Fabricate this breathtaking flower pattern super easy, using only paper doilies (or cupcake baking cups) and orange thumbtacks.

6. DIY Vintage Marquee

Personally, I have always fancied these vintage marquees at old cinemas, so this DIY project is a dream come true for me. It’s not as effortless as the rest of the list, but it is totally worth it. You can spell out your name, initials, favourite word, pet name, anything. Suitable for your home office, work station or art studio.

7. DIY Fabric Wall Art

Fabrics — amazing, affordable materials that can be used in variety of ways. Ideal for renters, who are forbidden to paint. To make it more eco-friendly, affordable and give it a personal touch — use scraps of fabrics, old clothes with cool prints, scarfs or buy such from second hand stores. Corn starch will be doing the gluing to the wall part.

This is actually the tougher, glue method, but you can apply the starch method from the picture below.

Textile wall art is also very flexible. You want your whole wall covered with fabric? Okay. Do you want specific shapes of fabric? Sure. You’re thinking of fabric lettering? Great. Get your creative juices flowing. Bets on, you can even paint a picture with different textures, colours and lots of spare time.

If you settle on “painting” your walls with fabric, because of rat trouble, be sure to consult with rodent specialists, so you won’t end up with eaten interior.

Click for the tutorial.

Now that your head is full of wonderful DIY ideas, it’s time for you to take action, to use your hands, your brain and start creating. Bear in mind that once you start doing it yourself, it’s hard to go back. DIY is not limited to decorations, it’s a world-spread culture. Happily, the internet provides DIY guides for every topic you can think of, including stuff like building your own yurt, solar panels, aquaponics, vegetable gardening, weaving, occupying schools; the list can go on forever. As the editor-in-chief of the do-it-yourself magazine ‘Make’, Mark Frauenfelder puts it — doing it yourself is having the courage to screw up. What do-it-yourself projects really are is a path to freedom, independence and connection with fellow beings. A deeper bond and appreciation to the things that keep us alive and well. So don’t hesitate, adopt the DIY ways.

Thank you for reading! Happy crafting!