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In this post: Having large-scale art on your wall is a great way to make a big statement in any room. The key is to find large prints while not breaking your budget. Find out how here.
I have DIY’d more art than I can remember. And for good reasons – art can make such a statement in a space, but it can be really expensive too. So what do you do if you need extra large wall art, but you have a not-so-extra-large budget? Keep reading for extra large wall art ideas on a budget!
Determine your budget
Before you choose your large wall art, you need to know how much you’re willing to spend. Knowing your budget will help narrow down the direction you go when searching for your art. Original or limited edition art will cost more, while the more common art prints tend to cost less. There are plenty of options out there no matter what your budget.
Find your style
Finding your unique home decorating style is a crucial step in choosing artwork too. And while it can seem daunting, we’ve got some great tools for helping with that:
Once you know your decorating style, that can provide some hints at what kind of art you will love for your home. Maybe you’ll love:
- Minimalist wall art – is more blank space than filled and uses shapes or lines to depict people, places, or things
- Pop wall art – definitely for color-lovers, but also super fun and playful
- Urban wall art – often features iconic architecture and popular cityscapes
- Abstract wall art – super fun art that encourages playful fun
- Nature wall art – provides a calming effect
- Vintage art – lends a bit of a collected over time feel to a space
Or any other combination of art styles.
Choose what you like
There are certain rules with home decor, but art can be a place for expression and juxtaposition. Or it can be a way to tie all your decor together. The point is you get to pick what you like!
Take your walls and furniture into account
If you have busy wallpaper or furniture you may want to choose simple and calming art. Or if you have solid colored walls and furniture, you can feel free to choose art that’s a little more bold and busy.
Consider the size of your space
You may want to choose smaller pieces for a tiny space. Or conversely, you may need an extra-large piece of art or multiple pieces working together as a gallery wall for a larger room.
Take color into account…or don’t
If you want to have a uniformly coordinated space, choose art that fits the color scheme of your home. Or use art to create the color scheme, by pulling colors from a piece that you love to use on walls, accents, and furniture. Or if you want an eclectic look, don’t worry about the colors at all and simply choose the art you love!
Art size matters
When it comes to art, size matters. And much like with area rug sizes the tendency is to buy art that is too small.
A good rule of thumb for large-scale wall art is that it should take up 2/3 to 3/4 of the wall space.
For example, if the art you’re hanging is above a piece of furniture like a bed or couch, the art should be about 3/4 of its width.
How to hang oversized wall art
General art hanging guidelines
- The optimal height for artwork is eye level or 56-60 inches from the floor to the center of the art piece or grouping.
- Over a sofa, the bottom of the art should be 5-8 inches from the top of the back of the sofa. The width of the art should be 2/3 the width of the couch.
- Gallery walls – space between frames should be about 2 inches depending on the size of each piece.
Hang Art Using Its Center
The optimal height for artwork is eye level or 56-60 inches (most experts use 57 inches as their go-to rule) from the floor to the center of the art piece or grouping.
- Measure up the wall from the floor 57 inches (or whatever height you’re choosing) and mark with a pencil.
- Next, find the center or focal point of the art by measuring its height and dividing it by two. For example, if your piece of art is 30 inches tall, the center point would be 15 inches.
- Measure from the top of your piece of art to its hangers or wire. Then sub- tract this from your center point measurement from step 2. So, if your hangers are two inches down from the top and your center point is 15 inches, you’d subtract 2 from 15, leaving you with 13 inches.
- Now take that new number (in our example, 13 inches) and measure UP from your mark on the wall and add a new mark. This is where your hanger needs to be installed in order for your art to hang with its center point at 57 inches!
If you want to frame your art prints you can choose to spend a little or a lot. I typically just use store-bought or thrifted frames for my downloadable art prints.
There are plenty of places that will do framing for you online. Here are a few:
Some stores still do in-store framing too. Like Micheals. This would be the most expensive option and I wouldn’t really recommend it for free printable art per se.
DIY framing is obviously the cheapest, fastest, and easiest method for framing your art prints.
You can find frames for your free printable art at:
- Home Depot
- the thrift store
- garage sales
- some grocery stores
10 Extra large wall art ideas
01. Engineer Prints + Poster Frames
Engineer prints are very inexpensive prints that can be ordered from places like Staples.
You can print them in color or black and white and they are usually about 24″x36″, which is quite large for such a low price.
Engineer prints will fit into most 24×36 poster frames, which you can find at Michaels, Amazon, and even Walmart.
We used this trick when I wanted some large pieces for our stairwell.
- Quote prints, free downloads from The Navage Patch
- Frames from Micheals
- Printing done at Staples
02. DIY Chalkboard
Not exactly art by itself, but rather a ‘canvas’ for putting art on, a DIY chalkboard can be as big or as little as you like. And the “art” can be changed out with the seasons, or whenever you feel like being creative!
We built one and shared the tutorial for it in my book, Home Made Lovely. Our daughter drew the trees and snow for the holidays one year.
03. Juniper Prints + Ikea Frames
To get our wall art for our living room, we ordered a huge print from Juniper Prints and then framed it using a large Ikea frame. This piece is HUGE and costs about $300.
- Lakeside 40×55, Juniper framed in Ikea Bjorksta 55″x 40″ black frame (spray-painted gold, since we can’t just buy the gold one in Canada)
- Oil-Rubbed Bronze electric gallery light from Amazon
04. Large Frames + Custom Mats
Plus using oversized mats, makes any framed photo look like a piece from an art gallery. Add gallery lights and it’s even more of a large statement.
05. Gallery Walls
While individual gallery wall pieces aren’t generally large in size, overall a gallery wall can be put together to form an extra-large “piece” of wall art.
- 12″ square frames with 8″ square mat opening, from Michaels (several years ago)
06. Check Second-Hand Stores
Oddly enough you may find art that is no longer someone else’s style, but that matches yours perfectly.
This happened when we were visiting a second-hand store in Port Perry earlier this year and found a beautiful old-school gold-framed landscape painting for only $30! Years ago I would have painted the frame and changed the art. But this time, I realized that it fit into our new dining room look perfectly! And while it’s not huge, it is quite large and it cost MUCH less than anything else I was looking at online.
Posters can make great large wall art for more casual spaces like games rooms, family rooms, and kids’ rooms.
Below we hung three average-sized framed posters. But you could also hang oversized posters as art in a larger space too.
Canvases without frames are one of my favorite farmhouse-style types of art. You can find unframed canvas art online at at stores like HomeGoods/HomeSense.
09. Framed Photo Prints
You can also print out any photos as prints and frame them. If you’ve got good digital photos, you can have them blown up at Staples or another print shop. Then you can hang them framed or unframed.
10. Tapestries & Quilts
Tapestries are another large-scale type of art that will add warmth, dimension, and instant history to a space.
Back in our more country decorating days, we had a couple of beautiful quilts that we hung on some empty walls in our first house. They were cozy and added inexpensive color.