DIY Home

Our Best Tips & Decorations For Covering a Big Blank Wall

April 14, 2016

If you've ever moved into a new home, you know how large the prospect of covering all the walls looms—even if you brought lots of art with you! And for plenty of us, indecision (or fear of drills, or a tendency towards procrastination, or a busy life, or the passively-expressed wish that your spouse do it instead) hampers us from hanging the stuff we do own, as if every nail that goes into the wall is the end of the story. For others, it's just overwhelming: Where are all the good ideas in the mess that is Pinterest?

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Deep breath. They're here! The time-honored tradition of hanging things on the walls—a.k.a. making your house a home—can actually be fun. Here are some of our favorite ideas, from the easiest to execute to a little more project-like.

No Hanging Required

  • Consider your mantel: Is it barren? Fix that right up by leaning some frames against wall in a layered arrangement.
  • A tall decorative ladder can also be garnished with hanging plants or linens, but we like it just as much as a tall piece of simple decor.

Stuff to Hang

  • Art is nice, but it's also expensive. Try making your own with construction paper!
  • Dry some flowers, bundle them with twine, and loop the knot over a nail.
  • Have coffee filters? Make a garland! (You can also rig one out of bay leaves, if you're feeling lush, below.)
  • Or put tomorrow's outfit on a pretty hanger that's a little bit more decorative than wiry.
  • Consider a traditional cork board, painted the same color as your walls—or find a magnetic picture hanging bar—that you can tack pictures up onto.
  • For the crafty, DIY-ing a weaving is actually something you can do without a loom (all you need is an old picture frame).
  • Make a cyanotype now that the sun's coming back around.
  • Embrace wall mobiles, which are part art, part jewelry for your room.
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Hanging Supplies

  • The easiest way to get art on the wall, especially if its the paper kind: Spring for a roll of washi tape.
  • So you have posters you like, but they're still in the roll? Opt for a hanging frame, or DIY your own plexiglass covering (they look so fancy, and are actually so simple).
  • Alternatively, clipping two large binder clips to the top edge, another few to the bottom to weight it down, and looping the top clips over nails will do the trick too.
  • And are you wondering, too, about hanging real art you've bought? We love using vintage frames, because they have so much character and are less expensive than springing for new ones.

Hooks & Shelves

  • Certain walls beg for decorations, while others might be better off a little more useful. What about DIY-ing a hanging shelf out of simple leather straps?
  • Spray paint a branch that you like, so that it's a color you like, and hang it on the wall. (If you mount it securely enough, some of the pokey parts can act like hooks.)
  • Also, real hooks are very easy to get on the wall, especially if you can twist them right in.
  • As are larger ones, better suited for your coats and towels:
  • For extra tiny spaces, we like a a little folding shelf that ducks out of the way when you don't want to use it. And a rack for your plates!
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • And in the kitchen, maybe all you need is a dinner bell... or a piece of copper cookware, or a cutting board on a rope, or a pitcher looped over a hook.
  • A "cubby" has to be the cutest word (and shelf) in the world. This one's exclusive to our Shop.

Wall Coverings

  • Not sure if you heard, but plain old washers pinned up in a grid lend a very lightly-industrial look to any column or slice of drywall.
  • Tile can also make a huge impression if you're covering something small.
  • Sometimes you don't even need art—you just need a less barren wall: Consider plastering, which lends a cozy sort of worn-in warmth that might look best just left alone.
  • Try looping a rug or large textile over a sturdily-mounted rod and suspending it against the wall.

Tips for Arranging it All

  • Need a bike rack, or a little extra space to hang some clothes? Consider the lowly gas pipe.

  • Tidy your open shelves like our Art Director, who makes everything she touches looks like its living its best life.

How have you filled up the biggest, widest-open walls in your own home? Share your tips and inspirations in the comments.

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Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.