Expenses quickly add up when you’re trying to dress up a space. Furniture is ungodly expensive, and good art can be, too. Luckily, with a good eye, camera, and a decent printer (or coupons), you can hack your way to beautiful art for much less than you might expect.

For the Master Bedroom, the splurges will be on the fabric for the curtains (we need something heavyweight to block light), reupholstering the chair, and materials to make the closet doors, so everything else needs to be skimped.

With the exception of the beautiful painting from Italy that hangs in the Kallax, all of the other wall art in the room cost less than $13 in total. How? by re-using frames and being strategic on how I print the art.

The beautiful black-and-white photographs are all from my travels in Italy. The clip frames are ones that I’ve had since (gasp!) 2003. And the prints in those were? Printed on plain ole 11×14 paper and centered on a page to make it look like they’re matted, those cost nearly nothing. Best of all, not one of our guests have ever been the wiser. 

For this room redesign, we only need to replace the ones above the bed.

While I (JZ) love the style of the prints, they’re representative of a place and time that is no longer meaningful. However, I loved the pops of color against the light grey wall—they pulled in the colors from the bed and stood out against the more neutral art in the room. So, I wanted to stay close in style.

So, I dug into the 1000-strong iPhone camera roll and flagged a few of my favorite shots from my recent travels. I then used a FREE app (Glaze) to “artify” them a bit and make them look more like art and less like photos.

Here’s a sample of a before and after on a photo from St. Thomas:

I had way too much fun on the app, but ultimately printed out my 14 favorites on a basic color printer to start whittling them down.

Once I had it down to the six or so contenders, I literally just taped them up in different configurations until I landed on the three we felt worked best together.

However, I knew we’d need them more professionally printed, as the mat sizes in those frames are wonky and I didn’t want to buy new frames. No standard printer was going to be able to print them big enough to fit my current frames.

I did a bit of research and saw that Walgreens could print poster-sized prints, and for not that much money. Even better, I could get all three prints on one 20” by 30” poster and then just cut them down to size. Add in a 40% off coupon for poster prints, and I literally spent $12 on printing the new art.

And now, we have gorgeous new art above the bed without breaking the bank!

What are some of your art hacks and savings tips? Share in the comments below!

And if you liked this post, Pin the graphic below 

Life Hack: Art on a budget from Just Might DIY


  1. Sometimes I will pick up old frames from thrift stores and paint them a different color. Then i go to the fabric stores to find unusual fabric prints to frame. I love lots of colors. I have one in my office that is all flowers. I added little gemstones and painted tiny details on the flowers for extra detail. Fabric usually runs $3 a yard and that is pretty cheap for all that you get. Your posters came out beautiful, the colors just pop out. I also love the idea that they are of places you have experienced in person.

    Liked by 1 person

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