Unique Wall Art

Last year, I became disenchanted with a bare wall in my living room, and I vowed to find an art piece to fill it.

I brought home several paintings and ended up returning them all, at one point or another, because they just weren’t right. I perused every store and website I could think of in pursuit of art that was colorful, yet classy. No luck.

Then one day, I was looking through one of my favorite catalogs and there it was — a wall abacus with colored beads. The perfect, slightly exotic, vibrant, and definitely conversational piece of art I had been searching for.

The only problem? It cost more than twice what I budgeted for the art! I mulled over the abacus for a few days, and even thought about splurging on it, but I finally decided that it would be better to make my own. For one thing, I could choose all the bead colors, and I would have a totally unique piece for my home.

I began the project by visiting the craft store, where I bought up the entire stock of wooden toy wheels. (I had to drive around town to several stores to buy up all the wheels, which look just like abacus beads when they are strung on a metal dowel.)

Next, I bought a piece of wood to make a frame, several metal dowel rods, flat black spray paint, and craft paints. After drilling holes in the wood for the dowels, and building the frame, mon mari painted it black for me. Together, we painted the wooden wheels in bright colors and coated each one with polyurethane for shine.

We strung the wheels on the metal rods and pushed them into the holes we had drilled, securing each one with glue.

After all the work we did, I had my art piece for a fraction of what the store-bought version would have cost. Of course, I like my abacus better. It’s bigger and it matches my living room, and I got to use all the colors I love.

The moral of the story? Never be afraid to make something your own. It may take more time, but it will have a special place in your heart!

Want to make your own wall art? Consider painting objects you already have, and mounting them to the wall with hooks or a hanging kit. You can use sculptural items, metal scraps, decorated canvases, or even create your own abacus.