How To Make Easy Cardboard Art

5 Materials
30 Minutes

Do you have some cardboard? In the age of online shopping the answer is most likely yes. Keep reading to see how you can make some easy DIY cardboard art!

This project all started because of a Zoom call. Well not just one, but several, where my husband’s coworkers commented on his sterile surroundings. Yikes!

My brother-in-law gave us the desk pictured above when he got a new one. I set it up facing the window so there would be something for hubby to look out to. In this new seating arrangement there was just a blank wall behind. On video calls husband was just a floating head on the screen. If you were around last year, you may remember the guest room refresh reveal. As part of the process I created a small gallery wall using items I already had. Does a trio of pictures constitute a gallery wall lol? Anywho, see below for the easy abstract art piece I used as the anchor in my gallery wall.

Step 1: Gather Materials

We have a ton of small art that needed to be framed, but nothing very large. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money, so off I went to my basement, where I stash my finds. When I decided to add some art in the multipurpose guest room/office I remembered I had this frame down there. Years ago I had found it left out on a curb. It’s been with me at least five years. Is that crazy that I kept it unused and moved it between at least two houses? The wood detail and linen inset are so nice though and I knew it would fit somewhere…eventually. The paints are leftover samples from other projects. The brushes are the cheapie test brushes. And of course the cardboard! That will serve as your canvas!

Step 2: Cut cardboard to fit frame opening.

I didn’t have a canvas that would fit this frame, but I always have cardboard on hand. It has a nice sort of texture. I figured if I hated it, I could eventually buy a canvas. It’s been about five months since I did this project and the cardboard is still holding up!

Step 3: Paint background color.

I wanted to make something graphic and abstract to match the desk and chair, while providing contrast to some of the more feminine details in the room.

Step 4: Paint free form shapes in a contrasting color.

I chose a blue paint since the bedding has blue and other art used in the room also has blue tones. I painted large overlapping circles, thinking the simple graphic would show well on a screen. You can get creative here and do splatter drops, lines, or whatever shapes you are drawn to.

Step 5: Staple cardboard to frame.

We did this step at night, hence the difference in lighting. If you are using a wood frame, just make sure it is thick and sturdy enough to handle a staple gun. An alternate would be small finishing nails that a professional framer would use. Or perhaps, use a frame with a backing.

Step 6: Hang your picture. Ta da!

The co-workers are happy to see a less sterile background now. I finally have art on the walls in this room, which I had been meaning to do and just never got to. Guess I can count this project as one more silver lining from the pandemic.

Check out a few more ways to use extra paint you might have laying around.

Thanks so much for reading! Hope you enjoyed this project!

Resources for this project:

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This Dear Casa
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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3 of 6 comments
  • MSLady1125 MSLady1125 on Mar 19, 2021

    I love that you were able to drop a bit of life into the room. Good inspiration!

    • This Dear Casa This Dear Casa on Mar 19, 2021

      Thanks so much for your comment! I appreciate your kind words.

  • Chris Keating-Ingelse Chris Keating-Ingelse on May 19, 2021

    What a great idea! I've been wanting to "paint" my own art for a while, but just haven't gotten around to it! You're an inspiration!

    • This Dear Casa This Dear Casa on May 20, 2021

      Thank you Chris! Go for it! You can always test on cardboard like I did.