DIY Wall Art Before & After. Wanting to change out your home decor? Check out this awesome before & after to find out how you can make your own DIY Wall Art for as little as $0! Grey, white and black living room decor with a pop of red! The Nesting Place inspired this project!

Sometimes we need a change…normally, change involves some type of risk. I will be the first to admit, I hate risk. I hate not knowing what the outcome will be. But, it is in the not knowing and forging ahead that we learn to trust and we grow in ways we never thought possible. Now, this may all seem very philosophical for a home decor / DIY blog, but sometimes taking risks in your home can somehow empower your soul and help you realize that so much is possible if you simply try something and stop doing nothing…

Thank you Myquillyn Smith, author of The Nesting Place The Nesting Place(an amazing book where the theme is ‘It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful’) for encouraging this risk taking in her book. In a chapter of her book, she does an awesome job convincing you to simply try making your own art work and see how much more meaningful it can be to you than a generic piece from a local chain store. There is some risk involved in doing that of course, but she discusses taking decorating risks in another chapter and somehow by the end of reading those two sections, I was half-way convinced I could do this project of updating a large generic canvas (have seen the same picture in a number of hotels and office buildings) hanging on our wall into a new and meaningful one that actually matched the style and colors in our home today.

Idea #1: So, I said above that Myquillyn half-way convinced me I could do this project, the other half wasn’t so sure; so Idea #1 was to sell the old canvas on Craigslist and then shop to find a new picture in that same price range. I went shopping at all my favorite home decor stores to see if I could find a really large picture that had more black, white and grey in it, to tie in with our other decor in the house. Nothing seemed right. I had a picture in my head of a white backdrop and a black tree. Couldn’t find anything that would work.

Idea #2: I could still sell the picture on Craigslist, then buy a plain white canvas from Michaels and put this cool tree decal I found at Target on it (very low risk-taking here). After shopping around for a giant canvas, I realized that I couldn’t buy a canvas large enough for the cost of selling this picture on Craigslist:( Here is the big canvas BEFORE…

picture before

Idea #3: So, I decided (after much deliberation) to just paint the canvas I had (risky- what if I totally screw this up and have nothing) and then put the Target tree decal on it (low-risk).

Step 1: Painted it white…for some reason it turned ‘Elsa Blue’ as Ashlyne called it. (Worried a bit…what am I doing?) 

step 1

Step 2: Painted grey over it…was too grey. (Do I even know what I am doing??)

step 2

Step 3: Painted it white again. Loved the layered look with grey peeking through. (Breathed a sigh of relief…Thank goodness!) 

Step 3 A Coat of White Paint

Step 4: Left to go buy a tree decal at Target (this will be easy I thought). 

Target Tree Decal

When I got home and read the instructions it said to NOT use on a freshly painted surface and if you need to, you must wait 3 weeks…3 weeks?!! No time for that! I have a blank canvas hanging on the wall and company coming over in two days! Oh no…

Idea #4: So, I set the decal down and decided I would have to free-hand this tree with a paint brush and some black acrylic paint (panic-attack anyone?).  I was nervous (I am not a painter by any means) but in the back of my head I could hear Myquillyn from The Nesting Place telling me this would mean so much more to me because I made it…so I forged ahead:)

Step 5: Free hand painting the tree! (risky!)

Free Hand Painting Tree DIY Wall Art Before

I let Ashlyne (my mini-Picasso) help color in some leaves with me. 

Ashlyne Helping Paint DIY Wall Art

Hiccups: While Ashlyne (5) did an truly awesome job, when she was coloring one of the leaves, she went some-what out of the lines and one of the leaves attached to the trunk and looked, well, maybe looked a little like…a manly-part (enter panic)…But we were able to make that ‘leaf’ into a ‘branch’ and added some new leaves around it… So, when ‘hiccups’ happen as you risk-take, remember – these funny, quirky, ‘mess-up’ type things actually give the decor a life, a story and a memory…and one that you get to see and smile at each day.

Step 6: Added duct tape around the edges to give it a black ‘frame’.

Duct Tape Black Frame


So a little bit of risk taking and zero dollars out of my pocket (used paint & duct tape I already had at home), and we now have a picture that matches our other home decor as well as a piece that Ashlyne and I had a blast making together:)   

DIY Wall Art After Photo Marlowe Lane

Blending in the black, white and grey colors room to room…with a little red…so much better:)

DIY Wall Art After Living Room Photo Marlowe Lane

Risk it! So friends, if you are wanting to change your wall art, your home decor, the look of your furniture, paint your walls, whatever it is… I’d encourage you to take risks, to use your imagination, to try things you didn’t think possible (like painting your own picture). What is the worst case?… You have to buy/fix/repaint?… While not ideal, it’s not the end of the world and in the midst of trying, you will create memories and masterpieces along the way that you will treasure. Have fun and use the creativity God put in you!

Oh.. and read The Nesting Place, it might change your life:)

Part 2: Coming Soon!… Was inspired by making my own art and made a pallet picture above the fireplace. Stay tuned!


Comments are closed.