Bedroom Art for Less than $10

Remember nearly two years ago when I made this piece for our bedroom using free paint color samples? (Click here for the link to the post with step-by-step directions.)

BEFORE PHOTO: Paint sample art.

Well, that’s gone and I have a new one in it’s place, and today I’ll show you how I made it.

This was prompted by some nice new sheets and a comforter we got as a Christmas gift. While I usually love bright colors, I liked the idea of toning down the colors in the bedroom to something a little softer, cozier, more relaxing.

The new palette is: gray, white, yellow, some black. Wood grains and metal accents.

Ryan and I have been talking about making some custom built-ins around the bed, so things should be changing up eventually, but I needed some art for now, and here’s what I came up with.

Canvas before pulling all the paint samples off.

Step 1: Get a blank canvas. In this case, I just removed all the paint samples from the old canvas. This meant there were bits of glue and paper stuck all over it, but I actually liked that in the end because it lent layers and texture to what would otherwise be pretty flat. In fact, if you have a new canvas, try sticking some papers or things on it.  To seal (there was still some sticky glue on the canvas), I gave it one good coat of mod podge to lock everything in. Let it dry (may be overnight).

Seal all the little textured bits on the canvas with a good coat of mod podge.

Step 2. Get your paint and a business card/postcard to “paint” with. This is similar to silkscreening. On one side of the canvas, squirt a line of paint. Using a business card or a postcard, drag the paint across in a thin layer. You can go back over it multiple times, pulling the paint across.

Put a line of paint on the canvas, and use a business card or thin cardboard to drag the paint across.

It will look like this!

Step 3: Let one color dry, then do the same thing with a second color. I put my line of yellow paint where the gray paint ended (instead of on the opposite end of the canvas), and pulled it across in the same direction, so the left side of the canvas would have streaking with white canvas showing through. But do it however you want! Allow to dry.

Step 4: “Stain” the canvas in some areas (no photo).  On a paper plate, mix a small amount of dark color paint, I used black, with some mod podge. You are going to make a “stain”. Use at least 4 x’s as much mod podge as dark paint. Using a brush or foam brush, plop some of the “stain” on the canvas and then IMMEDIATELY wipe off/spread off with a paper. You should be smearing it and be able to see through the stain, this is just giving is some added texture, “aging” the look of the piece. Do this anywhere you need some texture. I focused on the edges and the corners. If it dried too fast and isn’t transparent enough, wet the paper towel and try wiping it off – this will take more of the color off but leave just enough.

Step 5: Paint words or images on the canvas (no photo). 

Since this was going in our bedroom, and my favorite thing on the entire earth is curling up in bed on Sunday Morning with a book, coffee, a cat and a boyfriend, it was clear I could only write one thing,

“Meet me here on Sunday morning”

I added the rain cloud after seeing very cute cloud-shaped pillows online and since it has been raining every day for a week, it felt right. Not to mention, Sunday mornings are all the better when it’s raining. I’m excited just thinking about it!


Sunday morning bedroom art.

All together now…

Perfect for naps, smoochin’ and reading.


  • one canvas – already owned
  • mod podge – $6
  • paint colors/3 – .59 cents each (!)
  • postcard or business card – free from recycling pile
  • foam brush – .89 cents
  • thin paint brush – 5 for $4.99

… as you can see, if I only bought one small paintbrush, this whole thing would have cost under $10.00!

I’ve always envied fine visual artists, and I’m not claiming to consider myself a painter, but I love that I made this by myself, and when Ryan saw it he said, “It’s so perfect for US.” Best compliment.

Go make something!

Eco-Art: Geometric Modern Wall Art (DIY!)

Since moving, I have about double the room I used to have in my old condo, and the ceilings are twice as high. I have a lot of artwork for the walls, but not nearly as much as I’d like.

I also had a TON of left over paint color samples from design school projects – I’ve hung on to them for some reason, and finally found a way to use them up!

Behold: The Free Paint Sample Paper Wall Art

I bought a canvas from the art store while it was on sale for 40% off, got some spray adhesive, and arranged the paint samples in random colored rows. Once the paint samples were stuck, I coated everything with a layer of Modge Podge to seal it in. (Many thanks to my ex for showing me the wonders of using this stuff for art! It seals it in and makes the colors pop!)


(Pierogi was so excited at the new colorful addition, he kneaded extra-long on his favorite owl toy.)

Cost for project (canvas, adhesives): about $22.00

Now, go make something beautiful (and then take photos and share them here)!