By Kelly Grigg

We all have it. That ginormous, empty wall that begs for… something. Anything. And we all have that teeny-tiny, framed photo that needs hanging. But we know this: there’s no way in heck we can put said photo on said ginormous wall because it needs something MUCH BIGGER. What to do? 

Read on, intrepid decorators! I’ve uncovered 5 DIY wall decor ideas that look great, are inexpensive and often use things you already own.

Grab A Collection And Toss It On The Wall!

The gallery wall is a fabulous way to jazz up space with either a collection of things you have or objects found on the cheap. A mismatched assortment of mirrors looks chic and adds depth to a small room. Photos are another solid choice, and can be placed directly on the wall, Tetris-style, or displayed on ledges

What about that antique dinnerware set you inherited from your nan but have never used? Arrange the plates on a wall to appreciate them outside of the box. 

Got a collection of wearables taking up room in your closet? Jewellery, hats and shoes can be displayed as art while relieving space and becoming more accessible for dressing. 

I hang my earrings and necklaces from a bright orange framed window screen. It looks groovy, keeps my jewellery from tangling and helps me see my collection better. Win-win!

My top choice is a pretty plant wall. If you don’t have a green thumb, use fakies – it’ll still look terrific!

Boho Yarn Art = Y’art!

My roommate made a piece of yarn art a few years ago, and, let me tell you, she is not what you’d consider “crafty”. If you like the boho look, this gig is easy and yields such a high colour-pop reward you’ll just want to eat it up! 

All you need is a rod/stick/tube-shaped item, various yarn colours, and some time and creativity. You can even combine the mirrors and y’art idea for a simple and affordable display.

Many variations of this idea can be employed to take up more or less space. Recycle rags or t-shirts and let out your frustration by shredding them and tying them together. Then, hang them from a rod and, viola! These pieces can be as big and crazy as your imagination allows. 

Try hanging costume jewellery necklaces or beads for a similar look on smaller walls, making your space really personalised and fun.

Funky, Functional Flourishes

Functional wall art is the way forward if you’re crazy about multi-purpose things or are running short on storage space. 

Pegboards with shelves and cubbies look fun and provide a spot to put your stuff or show off your knick-knacks. A DIY corkboard wall is another fun way to display anything from your grocery list to concert posters. 

And don’t forget about shelves! There are countless ways to make shelves from upcycled materials that look awesome sporting your books and candles.

Cloth, Fabric And Tapestries Abound—Hang’ Em!

Being an avid thrifter, I often find blankets, dresses and shirts with dazzling vintage patterns. Upcycle this fabric by cutting a large swatch, wrapping it around a canvas, and stapling it to the back. 

You can even mix and match fabrics on the same wall for beautiful, organised chaos. I absolutely adore this shower curtain wall art, and talk about budget-friendly! 

If you have a rug that you love but aren’t using, hanging it on the wall is a beautiful way of displaying it and will reduce wear and tear.

Don’t Just Paint—Create!

I know. You’re probably thinking, “Paint my wall? How unoriginal.” But I’m here to tell you that gone are the days of solid-colour paint jobs. You can do many things with paint without being the next Monet. 

This DIY painted mural makes me happy because it’s fun to look at, and I genuinely believe I could create it! If you’re brave enough to freehand paint your wall, the look is charming and, best of all, often looks better for its imperfection.

Another avenue (which I will be embarking on ASAP!) is partially painting over thrifted art and showing it as a set (sorry, original artists!). I can’t tell you how often I’ve passed up spiffy paintings at yard sales because I thought they were too cheesy to display. 

This half-painted treatment can add a hipster look to your wall that says, “I’ve got ideas, baby. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

From displaying collections you already have, to embarking on artful projects that even the least crafty of us can take on, these 5 DIY wall decor ideas will turn any empty, tired wall into a stunner. 

So now’s the time to stop staring at that blankety-blank wall and get your hands dirty (or host a craft night—wine optional!). Happy decorating!