Genius Wall Decorating Ideas
Out of the Box
Printed side panels and lids of wooden wine boxes and crates make for eclectic wood paneling on an accent wall, wine cellar wainscoting, or wet bar backsplash. Don't be afraid to piece together odd sizes or turn panels sideways -- that adds to the charm.
Brown Bag It
Plain brown paper can look like specialty wallpaper when torn into large irregular shapes and pasted on walls. Achieve a faux leather look by crumpling sections in your hands and smoothing them out before adhering. When dry, brush with a tinted glaze to enhance texture.
Borders Without Art
Tired of mismatched artwork and outdated photos? Dump the contents and keep the frames. Elaborate frames with scrollwork and detailing can be left as is and look good nested inside each other. A coat of spray paint unifies simpler frames. Display them empty or center a decorative item in one as a focal point to your arrangement.
Map Your Wall
Cartography goes upscale with old-school pull down maps -- those classrooms fixtures from bygone days -- as oversized wall art. Don't worry, there won't be a test on this afterwards.
Mimic the look of expensive stone using colored joint compound applied with a trowel through a plaster stencil. Choose from octagon tiles, stacked stone, herringbone brick, flagstone and other patterns. When painted and sealed, the resulting surfaces are hard to tell from the real thing. For outdoor surfaces, use concrete and concrete coloring for greater durability.
Large round wooden embroidery hoops -- readily available at thrift stores and rummage sales -- make inexpensive frames for bold graphic prints and vintage fabrics. Cluster several together for a pop of color and pattern.
Bring a bare branch to life with paper blossoms. Twist squares of tissue together and attach with wire, then mount branches on the wall. They're far less expensive and more dimensional than flowering branch decals...and you can switch out the blossoms with the seasons.
What's Old is New
Raid Grandma's linen closet for art with personal meaning. Frame colorful ladies' handkerchiefs individually and display them in multiples. For a more modern graphic feel, mount white crocheted doilies against a bold colored mat before framing.
Got Milk Glass?
The cheapest of collectible glassware, these opaque white pieces come in shapes from vases to reticulated dishes and are commonplace at thrift stores. Display them on a floating white shelf against a painted wall as art you can use.
Laws of Attraction
Too much inspiration to fit on your bulletin board? Roll on three coats of magnetic paint to make your entire wall an ever-changing display of ideas. Use rare-earth magnets for the strongest hold.
Linda Lowen is a freelance writer in Syracuse, NY, with more ideas than available wall space in her home.