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Budget Buddy Fridays: Affordable Art

  November 25

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I have been a longtime fan of the blog, Chris Loves Julia. They have such a great style and a beautiful home. They’ve been on my blog roll for who knows how long, and I’ve been really wanting to ask them to guest blog! I know they are quite busy, being True Value squad members and working, etc. So, I feel really honored that they would take the time to write for my lil’ ol’ blog here. Julia is an amazing artist, and so I specifically asked her to write about her art. She is quite talented but always shows her art in a way that makes you can think you can achieve something similar. I know you’ll love her as much as I do. So without further ado, Julia:

In my home, I have around 35 pieces of art hanging on the walls right now.  Before you start whispering about the obscene amount of money we must spend on our art collection, you should know that thirty of the thirty-five are originals done by me.  Art in any home is a way to add individuality, personality and warmth.  It is extremely subjective, so I don’t expect everyone that we have over to love every painting, print or drawings I have done–but they always comment on all the art–that we have art.  I am here to share with you that any home can be outfitted with art no matter the budget or talent skill.  Here’s a few tips I can give you to amp up your walls:

1. Go big or go in your home.  Don’t be shy.  Why not do something HUGE for that big, bare wall?  One of my favorite gifts (and one that keeps giving) was 6 yards of primed canvas from my husband.  In case you aren’t quick with math that is 18 FEET of canvas.  The good news is it will cost you less than $60 here.  I still have a lot of the canvas left, but so far I have made two giant works of art out of it.  One is a Robert Frost poem that I wrote out with a brush and black paint:

And the other is a large abstract that is hanging in our dining room.  I used all house paint for this painting.  A combination of paint colors that are on our walls and 50 cent “oops” paint samples you can find at your local hardware store in the mistinted section.  That, my friends, is my favorite little secret.

2.  Makeover an old canvas.  So maybe building a canvas frame and stretching your own canvas isn’t your thing.  Hit up the thrift store and hunt for something that you can makeover.  Last year, I found a canvas that had a great mat and frame on it.  It didn’t look pretty, but I looked passed that and checked out the $5 price tag.  Score.  I took it home and painted right over it.

3.  Anything looks better framed.  In college, I busted out multiple pieces a week which has made for a great stockpile of rotating art in our home.  One project in particular that I wanted to display in our living room was a set of fifteen prints I did in my printmaking class.  The only problem was, at this point in our lives, we can’t afford 15 frames.  Even $5 frames would end up costing us $75.  So, I went to the dollar store and bought 15 gold document frames.  It did the trick and looks great!

If you don’t have a bunch of prints lying around from your college days, frame something sentimental.  We have framed an envelope from a letter that was written (my husband and I fell in love through letters). We framed the “M” from my daughter’s foam letter puzzle mat as a monogram for us.  Heck, I have even framed a great page from a magazine:

4.  If you’re afraid of doing something big and not liking it, do something big that can be changed and get the whole family in on the fun.  My husband recently built me a large (5’6″x3′) chalkboard in our laundry room so I could have fun with art and change it on a monthly basis.

October’s drawing:

November’s drawing:

Building the chalkboard cost about $25–including the chalkboard paint–completely affordable, unique and a great way to constantly have new art in your home.

Wow, isn’t she so talented y’all? And the prices for her projects are amazing. Seriously, you need to check out her blog. You can also find her on pinterest.


Thanks so much Julia for taking the time out of your busy day to be my “Budget Buddy” I so appreciate it!


Happy weekend everyone!


P.S. Would you like to be a Budget Buddy? E-mail me at [email protected]

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