Fill In Your First Apartment, Fast: 7 Larger-Than-Life Wall Art DIY Ideas (On a Little Budget)

published Jun 2, 2016
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: My Scandinavian Home)

Believe it or not, this may be the year we say goodbye to the gallery wall, and hello to oversized statement-making wall art. The trick to large-scale pieces that won’t bring you over budget is mixing in some simple DIY magic. Whether you order an engineering print of a favorite vacation photo or turn your grandmother’s vintage fabric into a wall hanging—all of these ideas take what you love and place them front-and-center in your home.

(Image credit: Magnolia Market)

Giant (Free!) Botanical Prints

Sure, you can scour flea markets and thrift stores for vintage botanical prints—but the internet is a treasure trove of free, out-of-copyright scientific illustrations. These images are in the public domain, meaning they’re yours for the taking (and printing, and framing). Check out sites that already have a curated collection, like The Graphics Fairy and Vintage Printable, or hunt through the archives of William Curtis’s The Botanical Magazine and the Botanicus database (where the image above was found). Start with the largest, highest resolution image you can find, then order a print of it from Staples or an online print shop. Display your pick in a DIY dowel frame, made following the how-to on Magnolia Market, or buy a similar version.

(Image credit: Monster Circus)

Folded-and-Framed Palm Leaf

This clever DIY combines two popular wall art trends: botanicals and weaving. To fit in the frame, each frond is folded at a 45 degree angle so that they interlace. Follow the full how-to on Monster Circus.

(Image credit: Lovely Life)

Fabric Wall Hanging

Finally, an excuse to use that pretty patterned fabric that’s been waiting in your craft bin! The floral fabric panel above was originally a curtain, but the creative team at the blog Babes in Boyland gave it a new life as a decorative wall hanging. All you need to make this easy-to-assemble wall art is a length of fabric, a dowel, and some twine; visit the blog for the step-by-step instructions.

(Image credit: Woonguide)

Oversized Photo Portraits

Large-scale, expressive portraits add personality to an otherwise sparsely decorated space. To get the look, use a photo editing program to make your images black and white and remove the background. Find helpful hints for preparing your photos on Chris Loves Julia. When your photos are ready, order engineering prints of the images from Kinkos or another local print shop. To imitate the frameless photos above from Woonguide, ask the shop to mount the prints to foam core.

(Image credit: Francois et Moi)

Gift-Wrap as Wall Art

To anyone who’s ever felt guilty tearing open a present because the wrapping paper was just too pretty to ruin—this how-to’s for you! Follow the tutorial at Francois et Moi, and browse the beautiful papers at Rifle Paper Co. and Norman’s Printery. Seriously, how stellar would this galaxy print paper look in a bedroom?

(Image credit: Lauren Kolyn)

Transporting Tapestries

Calling all perpetual vacation planners—these scenic tapestries printed with landscapes and mountain ranges fulfill a sense of wanderlust without ever having to leave home. Savannah and Mike’s tree line tapestry from Society 6 serves as an inventive headboard, but it could also act as a conversation piece in a living room. This oversized design works well in small spaces, particularly in rooms where an entire wall can be covered. Look for options by various artists at Society 6, where the largest size tapestry (88″ by 104″) is only $79.

(Image credit: Moon Wall Stickers)

Geometric Wall Stickers

Bold and bright wall stickers, like these from Moon Wall Stickers, make it easy to customize a room. The company sends you a pack of adhesive shapes, and you arrange them at random or in any pattern you like. The set above is enough to transform a wall, and it will only set you back $70. Other options are available on Etsy, like the removable ones from UrbanWalls, which are a renter’s dream come true.

Re-edited from a post originally published 6.2.16