DIY Wall Art, Simple & Affordable.

There are two things I’ve tried to be better at in 2020. Saving money where I can and supporting other people who have a dream like mine. Small, maybe unconventional, but valuable to the right person. My most recent home project checked both boxes, so I wanted to share in more detail!

If you weren’t around this summer, we moved back to a rental in our home town after a 7 month adventure on the Washington Coast. I didn’t really have a lot of wall decor in our old house that still fit my style & I wanted this home to feel different but didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on wall art that I might want to switch out again in a couple years or that might not have a place in the next home we live in. And also – I felt like I could never find exactly what I wanted. So the only solution? Make something myself. Kind of. 😉

Okay, enough of the nonsense – aren’t these prints beautiful?
(click the photos to shop these exact prints & the frames)

Here’s how I created two 18 x 24 prints for $50

  1. I found these on Etsy. I searched for a few hours to find exactly what I wanted (I’ll leave links below to a few great small shops to check out). They cost me $4 a piece. Why so cheap? Because I bought a digital download of the artwork. How does that work? You purchase whichever art you want & immediately receive an email with digital files of the art. You can download them and print them in whatever you size you want, as many times as you want, at whichever print store you prefer. JJDESIGNHOUSE is the Etsy shop I ordered my artwork from. The quality is amazing, the artwork is beautiful & I received the digital files instantly after purchasing.
  2. I chose to print mine at Office Depot because I’ve printed there a ton in the past for various things and have always had a great experience. I uploaded them to the Office Depot website, ordered the prints in size 18×24 posters (posters because the paper is much thicker that way). It cost me about $16 and they were ready for pickup within 4 hours.
  3. Michael’s just happens to be next door to Office Depot for me, so I grabbed some frames (70% off) that were around $13 each. Michael’s almost always has a sale on their frames & if they don’t, always check their website for coupons. You pretty much never have to pay full price for anything at Michael’s.
  4. That’s all! Put the artwork in your frames and hang ’em up! (I always employ Marty’s help to hang shit because his brain works faster than mine when it comes to measuring things, making them level, etc.)

Etsy shops with awesome digital art –
JJ Design House (this is where I ordered from)
Print Era Prints
Pip & Paper Co.
BoHouse Prints

If boho isn’t your style, I suggest just searching Etsy for “*your style* digital prints”

Hope this helps! Love y’all!
XO, B.

Watercolor Seashells

Disclaimer – this is definitely a kid friendly craft but if you want it to be relaxing or therapeutic, do it alone, with a glass of lemonade.

You will need :
– shells (we used various kinds of clam shells) If you don’t live on a beach, you can buy some here.
watercolor paints & a paint brush! I forgot to get a paintbrush and used an old crusty one we had in the cupboard. Don’t be like me! lol
– a white paint marker
I also bought a set of regular paint markers for the girls to use because watercolors are expensive and I figured they’d probably mix all the colors and make a mess of them. The markers are a little more kid-friendly, but I did let Paisley use the paints a bit under close supervision.

If your shells are fresh from the beach, make sure you clean them well and leave them out to dry before painting. I soaked ours in bleach water & scrubbed with a toothbrush to get all the weird stains off of them, but they never turned totally white and that’s okay. It didn’t affect the painting process. Once your shells are dry, you can start making artwork!

The best advice I can give is – don’t try to make them perfect. The first few I painted have a really perfect rainbow on them but they don’t look nearly as cool as the ones where I just let the watercolors follow the curves of the shells. The messier, the better!
If you purchase the watercolor set I linked above, you will see that a tiny bit of paint goes a long way with this set. Just wet your brush, dip it in the color you want and paint away. If you’re a control freak, this craft might make you a little crazy, but letting the paint run in the grooves of the seashells really makes a beautiful pattern. So that’s what I ended up doing in the end!

Once the paint is dry on your shell (it only takes about 30 minutes), you can use the white paint marker to change up the pattern a bit. Follow the grooves on the shell, make little spots, whatever you want. You could totally skip this step, but I love the uniqueness it gives each shell.

And voila! That’s it! So freaking simple and no huge mess to clean up! I’ve gotten my paints back out three different times in the past week because it’s just so calming to sit and create for a few minutes. The paints dry so quickly you can just close them up and throw them in the drawer as soon as your done and you really only need one brush.

Now go get yourself some paints and some shells and paint your heart out! But don’t forget the lemonade.

*This project was inspired by Rebekah Steen. If you don’t already follow her & want to see her watercolor seashells, find her at Goldfish Kiss!