Art that makes you smile

I love art. All things art — especially visual art. Whether it’s because I’m creative or low on funds, I seem to have a lot of home-made art in my house. 

I have my eye on a wacky, colorful painting of a giraffe at a local art gallery, but can’t seem to pull the money together to bring him home. Plus, my husband hasn’t seen it and I’m not exactly sure he would love the giraffe as much as I do. It does sound strange—a wacky, colorful giraffe, but I assure you it’s cool. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…but I digress.

I want to share some ideas for creating art in your home. The possibilities are endless, so these examples are only a small sample of what you can create. The goal—to have art in your home that makes you smile.

First, I recommend you collect things when you travel. When on our honeymoon in Aruba we visited the post office. Strange, I know (husband thought so, too). I wanted to look at their stamp books. Yes, stamps. The ones I bought are so colorful and graphic. I didn’t know what I’d do with them, but I knew I wanted to look at them often. When we came home I framed them, along with some coins from Aruba. It’s a simple project and they are interesting, unique and make me smile. Those are three great traits to have in your art!

 {These colorful stamps embody the Caribbean. From:  Post Aruba .}

{These colorful stamps embody the Caribbean. From: Post Aruba.}

Another great idea is framing scrapbook paper. I don’t scrapbook as a hobby, but some of the papers out there are fabulous. They often come double-sided, with different patterns on each side. And, they come in 12″x12″ sheets—I love square papers, they are so versatile.

 {A gorgeous, can't-help-but-smile kind of scrapbook paper. From:  Michaels .}

{A gorgeous, can't-help-but-smile kind of scrapbook paper. From: Michaels.}

I also encourage you to look at things not for what they are, but for what they could be. I received a beautiful box of soap as a gift. It is a 4 x 6″ chocolate brown, paper-covered box with a beautiful sheet of paper framed in the lid of the box. Anyway, I stared at that box of soap for months, loving the paper framed on top. It has a great combination of blue, green, magenta and brown in a bold pattern. I knew I wanted to use those colors somewhere. 

I ended up decorating my daughter’s room using that 3 x 2″ piece of paper as my inspiration! I used that paper for five pieces of framed art. I took that little piece of paper and blew it up on a color copier. I just randomly copied and moved and cropped and copied again. Right there at FedEx Kinkos I created these great works of art. I then framed to showcase the great shapes and colors and now they are center stage. They make me smile.

 {A palette similar to the one inspired by my soapbox. From: Design Seeds.}

{A palette similar to the one inspired by my soapbox. From: Design Seeds.}

One final idea. Monograms and initials are popular now in decor. I created my own “letter art” with a random plastic letter I found in the attic (you can do the same with wooden letters at a craft store) and an old wooden frame that I bought at a yard sale for about $2. I painted them both and now they are art.

 {Similar to my project, an up cycled frame makes for an easy and inexpensive DIY. From:  Good Housekeeping .}

{Similar to my project, an up cycled frame makes for an easy and inexpensive DIY. From: Good Housekeeping.}

See, it’s not that hard. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be fun. Surely you have something around your house that you love. Something that is in a drawer or box, not being viewed. Take it out. Frame it. Hang it where you can see it often and SMILE.

April Pardoe