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DIY Art: 6 Simple Art Ideas That are Affordable, Fast, and Actually Look Good

Simple art ideas like this one will always be my fave! Today I'm sharing six easy art ideas you can create at home that you'll actually want to hang. But the best part about all of this art is that every wall art idea here takes less than an hour to make AND each one costs less than $20!
Total Time1 hr
Keyword: art, artwork, collage, diy art, painting, simple art ideas, wall art, weaving loom
Cost: under $20


DIY Art Idea #1: Canvas Scraps Collage

  • I always keep leftover canvas and other fabric scraps from projects to reuse for the next one. So, if you already have the canvas (or fabric) scraps for this one and some glue OR no-sew tape and an iron, you're all set.
  • BUT if you need to purchase everything for this (minus the iron), you'd still come in under $10. I think the exact number is $7 if you want to get specific.
  • To make your own canvas art like this one, first determine what size frame the finished piece will be going in. This will determine the size you need to make.
  • My frame is 16x20, but also has a mat, which shrinks the size I'll need to make, down to 11x14. Which means, my background canvas piece will need to be slightly larger than 11x14 to fit properly behind the mat in the frame.
  • I painted my background canvas, so there would be a contract between that and the raw canvas scraps on top, but that is completely optional. Once I cut out a few shapes and created a collage design that I liked, I attached each piece to the background with no-sew tape and an iron.
  • Or you can use fabric glue instead, but be careful not to let it soak through the material, creating a visible glue line. You could also sew the pieces together if that's a better option for you. Lots of choices for this one.
  • Once finished, pop the completed piece into a frame and it's ready to hang. *Add a hard backing before inserting into the frame if needed.
  • Don't feel like framing this one? You can hang it as is, like I did with the piece that I've had hanging in my living room behind the ficus audrey. That's also a DIY art pieces I made, but with that one, the pieces were sewn down with a sewing machine.

DIY Art Idea #2: Hidden Gem Book Jacket Art

  • This is an under 5 minute DIY art idea! If you buy the book Abode, and take the book jacket off and flip it over, you have a piece of art that you can frame! No creating required. And it's such a cool piece to have framed.
  • Honestly, I'm not sure if this was the intention when the inside book jacket was designed, but when I accidentally discovered it one day, I was so excited. The book is one of my favorites. It's authored by the two founders of General Store - one of whom is artist Serena Mitnik-Miller, and I really love her work.
  • So, if you don't have the budget for one of Serena's originals or even a print, this is great alternative that still supports the artist.

DIY Art Idea #3: Super Duper Paint on Paper

  • Anything can turned into a piece of DIY art with a simple phrase and a little paint. That's what happened with this Super Duper painting. It was made years ago (back when I had my very first studio space, but I never shared it here, even though I've been asked about it many times - whenever it pops up in a photo on my feed.
  • This DIY art idea feel pretty self explanatory. Just grab a paint brush, some paint, and a big piece of paper. They have large size colorful art paper, like the pink one I used, at tons of art supply stores...and some craft stores too.
  • I had the finished piece floated and framed over at Framebridge to make it look a little more special.

DIY Art Idea #4: Mini Mounted Weaving

  • Want to make something a little outside of the typical 2D box when it comes to art? Try making a tiny weaving - you can use my DIY weaving loom (the small lap weaving loom version) to make it.
  • *If you have to also make the loom, this one will go over $20 - since the loom cost is about twenty bucks on it's own. But the cost of yarn and a wood rod for this would be under $10, so you wouldn't be going too far over budget on this, even with making the loom.
  • And then once it's done, add a little stick or rod top the top and mount the whole thing onto a piece of mat board and frame. You can attach the rod to the mat board with heavy duty glue or stitch through the mat board, attaching the top rod that way instead.

DIY Art Idea #5: Doodle with Oil Pastels

  • This next idea also involves canvas. I like canvas for this better than paper because it creates more texture and overall is a more unique look when it's finished. That said, if you want to use paper instead, go for it!
  • All I did was grab a handful of oil pastels, like any of these (but these are my absolute fave), in four colors that worked together nicely. Then, I created grid lines that eventually turned into more of a plaid pattern and colored in some of the squares for a more linear design (since I'm not a big plaid fan).
  • Once finished, spray a coat of sealant over the top of it, if possible. If the completed piece is being framed with glass or plexiglass on top, you can skip the sealant.

DIY Art Idea #6: Cool Textiles

  • Here's another under 5 minute art idea.
  • I've shared something similar in the past, but didn't want to leave this idea out because it's so easy! All you need is a cool textile to frame. I used a napkin, but tea towels, small blankets, bandanas, and handkerchiefs would also be cool options.
  • The one I framed up is a block printed napkin from Kesslyr Dean and I love the mustard color and the simple shapes.
  • To frame a similar textile, you just iron it to make sure it's wrinkle-free. And then attach it to a hard backing (you can use the backing that comes with your picture frame). You either tape it all the way around or glue it, for a more permanent option. Then, pop it into the frame and it's ready to go.
  • Mine may look a little wrinkly in the photo, but that's because I removed the plexiglass from the frame to avoid the glare when photographing. The glass or plexiglass in your frame should really help to keep your textile smooth when framing.