How to Make an Entire Room’s Worth of Wall Decor for Less Than $35: Part 2 of Lottie’s Nursery Reveal

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Just picking up where I left off in A Perfectly Pretty Turquoise, Yellow and Pink Nursery

Guess how much I spent on all this wall art?

Wall Decor Collage
$31. Seriously.

Once I settled on this lovely color palette from ColorWorld as the inspiration for Lottie’s nursery, the least expensive choice for the perfect wall art was to make it myself. With such a tight budget (less than $150 for the entire nursery, not just the wall decor) the task was a bit daunting. It’s one thing to need a single piece of wall art (find a rad printable and cute frame); it’s another to need an entire room’s worth.

So I hope by sharing my process, you feel inspired to take on the upcycled wall art challenge yourself:

Step 1) Settle on a source of inspiration, something to help narrow your focus and fuel your creativity.  Resist the urge to get too specific at this point. It can cripple your imagination when you’re sifting through you options for free or inexpensive materials. I landed on birds. They suit her chirpy personality and constant cooing, and thankfully for me they are also relatively easy to draw and cut out.

Step 2) Gather the raw materials. I actually love this part of the process because I get to imagine all my existing stuff reincarnated in a fun, fresh way. Check your closets and garage for inspiring items: frames, wood scraps, fabric scraps, crafting supplies, odds and ends — anything that could be tweaked or painted or given a new purpose, breathing new life into it. Also, take note of the tools at your disposal. During my sifting process, I gathered:

  • a thrifted empty white wooden picture frame
  • a plain black nine-photo picture frame from my closet
  • two brown unused walls shelves found in my garage
  • a small piece of unused wall art I hadn’t been able to sell on craigslist
  • jute twine from my crafting supplies
  • fabric scraps
  • a 8″x10″ canvas leftover from my toddler’s painting party
  • my staple gun
  • mod podge from my crafting supplies
  • tiny clothes pins leftover from my toddler’s first birthday party
  • fallen branches from a maple tree outside my house (I just thought they looked cool)

Step 3) Get creative…or borrow someone else’s creative genius. Pinterest is your best friend here. One simple search for “repurposed picture frame” produces a plethora of ideas. I was largely inspired during step two, so I took to Pinterest to flesh out some of my ideas and came across this birds-on-a-string DIY from Julie’s Jotter as well as this refreshingly simple paper bird mobile craft from Martha Stewart. Note: you will likely go back and forth between step 2 and step 3 as you come across new inspiration.

Step 4) Fill in the holes. Figure out what you’re missing to complete your projects, and go get it! I ended up only needing one small fabric bundle and some craft paper.

Step 5) Get to craftin’! The thing about DIY projects is that they do take time. Some are faster than others, but if you whittle away at it a bit during your free time, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

When it was all said and done, I had:

  • two wall shelves, painted white
  • one fabric birds-on-a-string frame
  • one paper bird mobile
  • one multicolored fabric scrap framed picture
  • one bird’s nest art
  • one small, unframed mod podged fabric bird art
  • the sampler with the frame repainted to match the color palette

Time, materials, cost:

In addition to the list of materials I listed in step 2, I also purchased:

  • one extra can of white spray paint, Walmart, ($6)
  • one 10 pack of small quilting fabric pieces, Walmart, ($10)
  • one multipack of craft paper, Target ($15)
  • Time (this is where it costs you): 20+ hours, spread out over a 1.5-2 week period

If you’ve got the time, imagine what projects you could complete using stuff you already have laying around the house?

In my final post about this nursery, I’ll briefly delve into the how-to for each project (hello, mod podge!)

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