One of the delights of being a twenty-something is the constant state of being practically broke. But just because I don't have a lot of disposable income to spend on expensive art pieces doesn't mean my apartment is bare.

Here are a few fun ideas you can steal from my apartment to dress up your white walls on a budget.


Sentimental Keys

Okay, I am mildly obsessed with keys... so I have not one but two framed keys in the house. The first key I framed is a copy of our current apartment key, as it is our first place we share as a couple. Call me a sap but I hope to build this collection to include all of the homes we share together throughout the years.

My obsession with keys, however, applies mainly to skeleton keys. So the other key I framed was a skeleton key my Nana gave me that used to unlock the doors to her childhood home. I love having a little piece of family history on the walls!


Retro License Plates

Speaking of family memorabilia, another idea we had was to snag a few retro license plates that belonged to my boyfriend's grandfather in the 50's. He had a bunch of them so we picked out ones in good condition and hung them proudly in our living room. If you don't have any old license plates in the family, you can always check flea markets so you too can rock some old-school home state pride.


Wooden Letter Wall Art

Finding family treasures to hang on the wall is great but there are cheap ways to create your own art as well. One of the phrases that kept popping up when my man and I started dating was "Life Is Good!" So we went to the craft store and got wooden letters for about $1.50 a pop to spell out our favorite phrase on our kitchen wall. Not only that but the wall art also functions as a clothesline for hanging our favorite little notes from the people we love.



Favorite phrases are a great way to make cheap art personal and sentimental. In our bathroom, I created a print with the lyrics "You Make Me Happy When Skies Are Grey" from a favorite song from my childhood. I found an awesome free font online (try rocks my world!) and spent a couple minutes playing in Photoshop. For a buck and change, I got it printed on card stock and put it in a frame. If you are on a print-your-own-art kick, check out my mother's day gift idea post for another custom piece of art: a custom pet silhouette.


Frame Anything!

Really. You can frame practically anything and call it art. I found a couple of adorable greeting cards by Positively Green recently that I intend to frame over my computer desk. You can also frame movie stubs, old letters, vinyl albums covers, wallpaper, awards, seashells from your last vacation, autographs, little doodles from your notebook... I could go on forever but I won't subject you to that increasingly-strange list of ideas. And when all else fails, go for the good-old standby: a favorite photo. We have photos everywhere and it makes the apartment feel like our home.


So there you have it: several easy ways to dress up your walls for not much moolah! For other ideas, you can always check out my blog at