Last week, I showed you our DIY photo ledge. I've since sourced all of our art for the seven frames it holds. Seven pieces of art can add up quickly, so today I'm sharing some affordable sources. Be sure to come back tomorrow to see the full reveal!
Growing up in art classes and frequent trips to museums with my dad, I'm not afraid to spend money on good art. But, our giant photo ledge required 7 different pieces and one thing I don't like doing is rushing into a decorating decision. Even worse, art is so personal and finding a piece that speaks to you and your soul can take time. That said, I was getting sick of looking at the wrapping paper I had temporarily put in the frames. I decided that I would fill the frames with affordable pieces that I can swap out later if I find something I love and won't feel bad about the money spent.
Affordable Art Sources
Costco Art Prints
The majority of the prints for our ledge I bought from Costco art prints. This is a true hidden gem, especially for a gallery wall or photo ledge when you need multiple images. You will not believe the selection they have--from abstracts to black and white photography-- there is a wide variety of pieces and sizes to pick from. The best news? A 12X18 poster is only $3.99, great quality, and most prints are done the next day. You'll need a Costco membership number, but so many people have them that borrowing someone's number isn't too difficult.
Minted Fine Art
A bit more expensive than Costco, Minted has beautiful pieces. I love shopping at Minted because my money is supporting independent artists and the prints are limited edition-- so they aren't mass produced and you won't see them everywhere. I've purchased several prints from Minted and I'm always impressed with the selection, quality and packaging.
Letters and Mementos
Sometimes, the best art is totally free. My favorite image on our photo ledge is a picture I cut out from a to-go brown paper bag from Cowfish, the restaurant where Josh and I had our first date. I was having dinner there recently with a girlfriend and as I was walking out, I saw someone carrying a brown paper bag with the restaurant's logo stamped on. I turned right around, asked the hostess for a bag, came home, cut it out, and popped it in a frame. Instant art and it makes me think of such a special night in our lives. Have a letter or a card that you have hung onto? Frame it! A postcard, matchbook, stamp-- all are fair game-- and have so much meaning.
I'm telling you. You do not have to be an artist to create art. Let me say it again. You.Do.Not.Need.To.Be.An.Artist.To.Create.Art. I genuinely believe that we are all creative-- think about it, our ancestors all had to be creative, they had to build things and make things to survive, and that, my friends, is pretty creative. We all have it in our blood, some people are just more comfortable with that side of themselves. Don't believe me? Listen to the "On Being" podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert. Ok. now that my pep talk is out of the way! A great option for art is to create your own. I certainly couldn't paint a portrait of my handsome husband, but I can find inspiration around me and create something from there. I've been reading the book Living with Pattern by Rebecca Atwood and I'm totally inspired by her textiles. With one frame left to be filled on our ledge, I grabbed a potato from our pantry, an old white linen napkin, some navy paint, and I went to town. The repetition and the variation is interesting and it's something that I created-- not complicated, not expensive, but good for the soul. Tutorial to come, but you can figure it out on you're own. I promise. You're a smart cookie.
Art doesn't have to be expensive to be art. It's anything that feels personal to you, that makes you smile, or makes you think. Above are just a few ideas of how to curate art on a limited budget, but unlimited style. Come back tomorrow to see which pieces I picked and how they all work together on our ledge.