DIY Rustic Wall Art

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If you've got a rustic styled home, complimentary wall art provides just the right finishing touch. No need to run out and buy expensive rustic wall pieces; you can easily make your own right at home.

Creating Art From Wooden Windows

Old wooden windows work particularly well in rustic wall art crafts because they are already framed in a balanced, attractive way. You'll find second-hand windows at garage sales, salvage yards and sometimes even thrift stores. These window projects will help you give those old windows a new life on your walls:

  • Plain windows: Even if you don't add a thing, vintage windows look great mounted on your walls. Finish the frames with paint or stain to create a colorful, deep or distressed look that matches your décor.
  • Add a sill or shelf: Nail a wooden sill or shelf to your wall-mounted window and use it to display glass vases with fresh flowers or other knick-knacks.
  • Remove the panes: Take out the glass and replace it with corkboard to tack up memorabilia, a chalkboard to write fun messages, or chicken wire for clipping up pictures or colorful pieces of fabric. Replacing window glass with mirrors is another way to create rustic wall art and also bring a feeling of space and light to your room.
  • Add pegs: Hang your window near an entranceway and screw in some pegs along the bottom of the frame to hang keys, hats, gloves or scarves. You might also want to create a jewelry holder by removing panes, replacing them with a corkboard backing and adding enough tiny pegs to hang lots of jewelry.
  • Create a scene: Find a print of a beautiful rustic scene, or paint your own. Attach the scene behind the glass to create a faux window looking into a peaceful nature scene. The larger the window and painting, the more dramatic the effect will be.
  • Add window treatments: Give your wall-mounted vintage window some country curtains for a charming effect.
  • Work with nature: Display a pretty arrangement of pressed, dried flowers and/or leaves on a solid backing behind your window.


Other Framed Rustic Wall Art

Windows aren't the only way to work with rustic wall art in a frame. Here are a few more projects you might want to try:

  • Take the glass out of an old wood or metal picture frame, replace with chicken wire and arrange dried flowers in the wire.
  • Use old rustic picture frames to display sepia-toned family, nature or historic photos.
  • Frame an antique embroidery sampler.
  • Frame a collection of thin branches for a natural look.

Rustic Wooden Wall Art

Since wood is a natural material with a warm feel, it makes a great medium for rustic wall art. You may enjoy creating some of these projects:

  • Finish and mount an old wooden ladder and display other decorative items on its rungs. You can also mount a ladder onto the wall, using large screws to hold it several inches outward, creating shelves.
  • If you have the room, mount an antique wooden door, canoe or toboggan on your wall.
  • Hang a collection of old wooden kitchen supplies for a cozy, homey feel. You might want to include a rolling pin, wooden spoon and some wooden bowls.
  • Wooden carvings of animals or plants work well to enhance a rustic style wall.
  • Hang a pair of distressed wooden shutters together to create the feel of another window in your room.
  • To add a sporty touch to your rustic room, you might want to hang a vintage wooden hockey stick, baseball bat, cricket bat, skis or oars.
  • If you can get a hold of an antique wooden wagon wheel, refinish the wood and display it on your wall.
  • Find some vintage wooden signs or distress some boards and design your own. Wooden pallets also work well and can be left alone or broken apart. Leave them in their original weathered state, or paint them to match your décor. Rub the dried paint with sand paper to create an antique feel. You can even paint pallets as the American Flag, your particular state flag, or the flag of your ancestor’s home country.


Rustic Metal Wall Art

Certain metals also lend a rustic feel to walls, particularly wrought iron and any other dark, non-reflective metals. Avoid bright, shiny metal wall art since it will look too modern for a rustic setting. Here are some ways to create rustic metal wall art:

  • Hang a collection of old fireplace tools.
  • Display a group of vintage farm tools such as a rake, spade and hoe.
  • Mount an antique gun.
  • For a western rustic look, nail a few horseshoes to the wall.
  • Display metal bear footprints or silhouettes of trees and animals. If you do mount bear traps, always be sure they are no longer functional, and cannot hurt a curious child.
  • Metal barn stars always add a nice touch.
  • Sconces with candles bring a soft, natural glow. You can create your own by drilling or nailing holes into an old metal coffee or soup can.
  • Hang a wrought iron shelf with hooks for necessities or rustic knick-knacks.
  • Scour antique shops and farm supply stores for rustic metal shelving, knobs, light fixtures and other small parts that can be hung or mounted throughout your home.

More Rustic Wall Art Ideas

Almost any rustic item can be wall-mounted for a unique statement. You may even want to hang:

  • A horse saddle and vintage leather saddlebags
  • Colonial flags
  • A cow scull with horns
  • Stone or ceramic tile trivets.

Creativity, natural materials and simple charm are far more important than strict decorating rules when it comes to rustic wall art. Do a little treasure hunting around your home and neighborhood, then have a great time creating rustic wall art that will make your guests smile.

Last Updated: February 4, 2013
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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