Beauty and the Budget

Beauty and the Budget: Project Framed Things I

Written by Jill – a former graduate wife

I was a graduate wife for 7 wonderful years and I am now in my 6th year of hubby having a full-time job! YAHOO! Hang in there girls, it does eventually happen!

I have found, however, that some former habits die-hard…like decorating on the cheap…or sometimes not decorating at all (GASP!).

When we moved to England for full-time job #2, we found ourselves living in a gorgeous Victorian home with lots of character.  And bare walls.  Bare white walls with 12 foot ceilings! Lots of space. So much wall space that I found it completely intimidating. So my walls stayed bare for 18 months. Yes, 18 months!

After a trip to Ikea with a friend, I came home and announced to the family that I was decorating.  They told me I couldn’t decorate in the living room because it was the guy’s tennis wall!  Not anymore!

I am not an expert at decorating, but I can assure you that enhancing your space (even on a budget) is incredibly important and enriching. So here goes!


Step 1: Find something you want to frame.  If I were in America, there is no doubt there would have been pictures of my 3 kiddos in those frames. Case closed. But we live in England and family pictures just don’t normally grace the walls of your living room. So I had to find something else…and that something else had to be cheap! So I headed to my box of scrap fabric that just so happened to match two of our chairs.

*Other ideas of things to frame: pretty leaves from your garden or local park, cool wrapping paper (MC’s idea!), postcards from a place you love, trinkets, the ideas are endless! (MC is posting more on this next week!)


Step 2: Find frames.  The frames I used are from IKEA. I found matching frames in different sizes and made a little grouping on the wall (all for under 20 pounds).  Frames can be expensive. So if you have time stroll through local charity shops and yard sales…you may find a beauty!  It is nice to find frames with matting as well.


Step 3: Frame it! I cut out the parts of the fabric that I liked and taped it to the back of the matting. Simple as that!


Because the frames were all different sizes and I wanted them to look mis-matchy, there was no measuring and obsessing.  I just got out the hammer and started hammering!

I threw in a few more knickknacks (some bought, some hand-me-downs from friends) and voila! a wall

that is no longer suitable for indoor tennis!


3 thoughts on “Beauty and the Budget: Project Framed Things I

  1. My favorite thing on my walls right now is a sheet of wrapping paper featuring brown and white birds that I snagged for two quid at Blackwell’s. And put in an old bulletin board frame.

    And yes, I’m a graduate wife. (How’d you know??)

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