DIY and Affordable Large Wall Art 

Yellow monochromatic painting

Ah, wall space. It’s always great to have it — but what about when you’ve got almost too much — and you don’t know how to deal with it? If you are fortunate to have a two-story entryway in your home or another large blank space, you probably enjoy the ample space and gracious welcome it offers to guests.

However, you may also lament the amount of wall space there is to fill. What do you hang in a two-story foyer? Large-scale artwork is wonderful, but it can be pricey. Likewise, enlarging some prints you already have is a great idea in theory, but custom framing for those prints can be cost-prohibitive as well.

There are a few clever ideas, however, that can save the day. From projects to affordable art finds, here’s how to fill that space without breaking the bank.

Hang a Shower Curtain as Art 

Women hanging squid wall art

Let’s start with one you probably never thought of. Did you know that a pretty shower curtain—like with one large motif like this octopus, for example, could work as large-scale art in a two-story foyer? It’s true! If you carefully remove the top where you would usually hang the curtain (or fold it over a wood frame), you can display this large piece as a fun and funky piece of art that takes up a nice big space on your wall, just like the women from House of Jade Interiors did here. Remember to avoid curtains that have repeating patterns because these will end up looking more like bed sheets on the wall than unexpected art.

Hang a Rug 

Bedroom with a rug as wall art

Have you ever thought to hang a rug on a wall, as opposed to the typical tapestry? Rugs in graphic patterns make a bold statement in a stairway or behind a bed/couch in your home. Just be sure to choose a rug that looks like it could be meant as a wall tapestry. This rug with an intricate, vintage-looking design, for example, works perfectly because it is woven (i.e. lightweight) and fits beautifully with the eclectic decor of this room.

Hang a Collection of Doormats 

Living room with painted doormats as wall art

Here’s an unusual but effective idea, straight from the imaginations of some DIY professionals. You can spray paint inexpensive rubber doormats and hang them in a group to look like large-scale metal fretwork panels. Cool, right?

Architectural salvage—such as old windows, doors, and shutters—would also work for this farmhouse-chic look; but, in the event you can’t find authentic pieces, a series of doormats like these ones mimic the look rather well, and definitely on a budget. We’d recommend sticking to painting them white for that rustic iron look, as other colors or metallic paints may verge on the slightly gimmicky. 

Hang Wallpaper Panels 

Flower wallpaper panels hanging as wall art

Instead of using rolls of wallpaper in the traditional way—which can get seriously pricey—skip the messy paste and time-consuming process, and hang a few rolls as wall art instead. Seen here hung from DIY curtain rods, unfurled rolls of wallpaper take up a lot of real estate and make a bold statement, especially when mismatched like this.

Hang a Gallery Wall  

Finally, depending on the height of your walls, just one or two pieces of art—even large one—can look lonesome in a two-story foyer or a room with cathedral ceilings, which is why many people opt to hang a gallery wall instead. Lots of small, mismatched frames hung tightly together look stunning and uniquely yours as a group. Collect frames at yard sales and the dollar store, and watch for sales on frames at stores like Wal-Mart, JoAnn, and Target to keep costs down.Another solution is to find a set of four, six, eight, or even ten art prints you like (Etsy has very affordable options as does Society6, some are even available for instant download from Etsy) and hang them in a grid.  One final tip: Molding on the wall underneath a collection of wall art acts as a grounding force.  This way, whatever you choose won’t look too diminutive on a grand, two-story staircase. 

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