5 DIY Wall Art Projects + Cheats to Prevent Glued Fingers

WA hero

Walls need a little love? These DIY wall art projects will sort you out!

Give your walls the personal touch with these super-cute artworks that you can make yourself. Love the look but blessed with ten thumbs? We’ve added in some not-so-DIY-cheats.

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Image sourced: buzzfeed.com

Paint/Coffee Stirrer Art

We adore this easy DIY art project shared by Buzzfeed. Transform your humble coffee stirrers into dynamic art.

What you need:
A frame (with or without a glass front, painted or au naturel)
Coffee/paint stirrers (Starbucks is your friend or Bunnings)
A paintbrush
Water-based paints (acrylic or latex will do)
Wood craft glue (e.g. Elmer’s Craftbond)

Images sourced: buzzfeed.com

The how:
Get busy with the paint! No need to prime the wood. Imperfect is interesting. (It’s the new pale.) See our post on the colour wheel for some palette inspiration. Cut the wood to fit the frame. Glue it in and you’re done!

From L to R: Box Frame with Mat, 6×4″, Square Slim Box Frame with Mat, Large, 10×8″, Square Slim Box Frame with Mat, Wood, 4×4″, Square Slim Box Frame with Mat, Wood, 6×4″, Slim Box Frame with Mat, 10×8″, from Corban & Blair, available online at Zanui.

Work with upcycled timber offcuts to achieve this look on a larger scale.

Our cheat:
Say no to sticky fingers and opt for the wall décor or panels like the below for a touch of texture in your interiors. For larger scale wooden wall art, see here.

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Bird & Branch Wall Art from Mes Homewares in natural and white, crafted from bamboo, available online at Zanui.

Framed Fancy Wallpaper + Wrap

So ridiculously simple and effective. Find some Japanese-inspired or decorative patterned prints and display them in a simple photo frame, an old window frame or a painted wooden box. If you’re handy with a hammer, you can also stretch wallpaper over a simple wooden frame and staple-gun it to the back to create large-scale chic wall panels. (See below left.) Textured wallpaper works a treat!

These work well in tandem. Create a gallery wall, or display them on the sides of your bookshelves, above your console tables or in miniature size on your door frames.

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Effortless wall panels, Orla Kiely designer wall paper displayed in painted wooden crates, and an old-school window for your favourite memories. Images sourced: buzzfeed.com

Our cheat:
Got five thumbs? On both hands? These paper cut prints are perfectly pretty and pre-prepared AND they come ready framed!

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From L to R: Skull Antomica Paper Cut, Branches Paper Cut, A Piece of Love Paper Cut, Pinup Girls Couture Cut and Deer Couture Paper Cut from Almond Tree Designs, available online at Zanui.

Pixelation by Hand

This is infinitely scrumptious for the eye. Amanda from Wit & Whistle took a holiday pic of Iceland showcasing cool wintry hues and created her very own pixelated piece de resistance for her wall.

Pixelation

Images sourced witandwhistle.com

What you need:
Photoshop or similar photo-editing software
A digital photo with just a few different colours (you may need to try a few. And remember, the larger the image, the more detail it will have, and the more time-consuming it will be)
A ruler
A pencil
Watercolour paper
Square-tip watercolour brush
Watercolour paints
Some basic maths skills and a significant amount of patience (you were warned)

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Images sourced witandwhistle.com

The how:
Open your image in Photoshop. Resize it to 10-20 pixels wide. (Experiment with different widths to decipher what gives you the best result.) Draw a grid on your sheet of paper to match the number of pixels on your screen (e.g. 12 x 18). The size of the grid will be defined by the size of your paper!

Grab your paints and mix and blend. Fill in the squares according to the colours on your screen. Don’t get too het up about staying strictly between the lines. A little overlap of colours adds to the magic.

*It’s best to paint every other box first, then let it dry before you go back and paint the rest so the colours don’t bleed into each other.

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From L to R: Looking Everywhere Framed Print, Memory of Saigon Square Canvas Print and Autumn Springs Landscape Framed Print from The Canvas Workshop, available online at Zanui.

Our cheat:

Even Amanda willingly admits this exercise can end in eye-crossing. Love the look but like your eyes straight? Opt for painted canvases and prints like the ones above instead.

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Image sourced: everythingemilyblog.com

Washi Tape Wall Art

This DIY feature wall from Everything Emily is so elegant and cute. It works in both kids’ and adults’ rooms.

What you need:
2 rolls of washi tape in your colour of choice (washi tape stays on/peels off well, order it online or look in your local craft shop)
Pencil
Scissors
Hair dryer
Tape measure
Credit card (!)

The how:
Clean your wall with a damp cloth first. (It will prevent a lot of grief later.) Measure and mark up your wall with your pencil to your desired width. (Emily’s crosses are 5 inches apart.) Cut two x two inch strips of washi tape for each cross. Apply them to the wall and smooth them down with your credit card. Seal with a blast from the hair dryer. La voila!

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Image sourced: everythingemilyblog.com

Our cheat:
Shortcut the process and purchase decals for the purpose! Spots, dots and stripes work well.

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From L to R: Little Studio 8 Bit Blocks Wall Decal (Set of 140) by Little Sticker Boy and Dotty Smiles Wall Decal by Campfire Graphics, available online at Zanui.

Gold Accented Art

Copper accents are all the rage. A little Art Deco and a lot luxe – what’s not to love? Here’s how to make your own courtesy of Sugar and Cloth

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Image sourced: sugarandcloth.com

What you need:
A printed artwork
A gold-leafing kit (with an adhesive pen and gold leaf sheets)

The how:
Trace over your pic with your adhesive pen. Allow it to dry for 5-10mins. Lay the gold leaf sheets over the parts you traced with glue and rub gently with your fingers.

Pull the leafing away, and brush away excess with your fingers or a soft brush. And frame!

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Image sourced: sugarandcloth.com

Our cheat:
Couldn’t be simpler, hey? But you can’t be buttocked to find a gold-leafing kit? Try these gorgeous prints from Americanflat’s Khristian Howell collection.

So what do you think? Are you going to give them a go? Which one’s your favourite?

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.