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The Insider: How to make your own art


I never again want to spend my entire Christmas break redecorating. Especially as an easier way to update a space is with some new artwork. But if your January budget doesn't stretch to that...

Wrapper's delight

Gift wrap can be too good just for presents: I framed a lovely Penguin Books-themed sheet (£1.75, nottheusual.co.uk) and an old-style Manhattan map in wrap form. Brilliantly, they're a perfect fit for Ikea's chunky but cheap Ribba 50cm x 70cm frames.

At a clip

Have non-standard-size art that you can't afford to frame? Copy stylish online print stores and hang instead, utilitarian style, by two large bulldog clips at the top.

Swatch it!

I find paint test cards beautiful things. Plus they're free. And scissors, a frame and glue can turn them into art. Two nice blogs, What About Orange and Young House Love, use them to different effect: see how at bit.ly/niUIzL and bit.ly/x1PwxK.

Strong, silent type

Combine storage with art and turn a cheap antique printers' tray (try eBay) into a wall-hung jewellery display by adding cup hooks.

You've been framed

Enlarging a beloved photograph can be pricey – especially on to canvas. But I prefer foam board, plus it's a quarter of the price. Try bonusprint.co.uk (go matte).

You don't tray?

Plates on a wall are often confined to kitchens (what a waste!). On that theme, trays work too: mix and match husandhem.co.uk's assorted and affordable designs, shapes and sizes. I also saw and loved Apartment Therapy's idea of several wall-hung ceiling roses (decorative-coving.co.uk) painted different shades (bit.ly/n7IIs1). Surprisingly beautiful.

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at yourhomeislovely.com