9 Places to Find Frugal Art for Your House

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by the author of What School Should Have Taught You: 75 Skills You’ll Actually Use in Life

Let’s say you’re something of an art addict, and you absolutely love getting to look at the beautiful paintings that your friends have hung up on the walls in their homes. You are looking for the means of doing the same at your place, but you’re strapped tight enough for cash that you’re having a hard time of figuring out how to do it. You need frugal art.

This isn’t about just slapping a poster up on the wall. It’s about acquiring better quality pieces at a price you can afford.

Here are a few places that I know you have a good chance of finding some.

Estate sales

I have a relative who has done phenomenally with finding original art for very low prices at estate sales. I got the chance to take a look at some of what they had, and about $100 was spent on two pieces that are currently evaluated to be worth a few thousand dollars for the pair.

It was pretty cool.

If you’re just looking for something that looks cool, just buy what you like. If you also want to buy something that may be worth some money, you’re going to have to take your smartphone with you to research the artist on-site.

Artfinder.com

There are some cool original finds on this site, but be prepared to drop at least $200 for a piece. That’s pretty standard when you’re buying directly from newer artists, so don’t be too shocked there, but there is a lot of good work here to look over.

There are some alternatives to Artfinder.com, but I’m not a huge fan of a lot of them. Unless you like modern, Picasso-esque, Jackson Pollock-like art, the stuff at these other sites is rather ugly (if there’s no order, what’s the point?), but people have different tastes. For example, some have good, and some have bad.

Art.com

There’s some good stuff over here that I like that’s fairly inexpensive. Photographers, painters, you name it, they’re here. I’m partial to photography and acrylic. Watercolor, to me, has always lacked the vibrancy of acrylic or oil, making me feel as if I was looking at a piece that had been sitting on a windowsill for the past 15 years. If you’re of the same mindset as me here and are currently in the market for photography prints, Viviane Daniels is one of my favorites over here. Her work is superb.

Flea markets

Occasionally, I’ve seen original paintings at flea markets. Not often, but occasionally. You never really know what you’re going to find at these places, but you may just hit the jackpot. Who knows?

Art festivals

There are some awesome finds from your local artists at the art festivals in your area, but I have noticed that some of these artists think their art is worth a lot more than it really is. The sentimental value they have wrapped up in their art does not equal monetary value. Remember that. (Yeah, I know. I’m overly critical for a guy that can barely draw a functional cartoon.)

Gun shows

This may be surprising, but in my area, there are regular painters that set up shop at the local gun shows. Most of the scenes painted are of a historical nature, and some of the stuff I’ve seen has been put out by guys that absolutely know what they’re doing (aka, they’re expensive), but you never know. You just may be able to pick up a reprint or get tips on other artists in your area to check out that you may be interested in as well.

Your local art gallery

I typically hate these places, but the fact of the matter is that there is art here, a lot of times, these artists are small-time, and as a result, you can often get this stuff fairly cheap. Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for these galleries to charge a small entrance fee to come and look at what they have to offer.

Local restaurants

Another trend in my area is for restaurants to stock local artists on their walls, with everything being for sale. From what I’ve seen, the prices on these pieces go back and forth. Some of it is priced by people who are dreaming (something I suppose artists are already known for), and some of it is pretty reasonable.

The best part about this is getting to stare at the art that’s hanging on the wall by the table in front of you. You can only do this for so long, however, until the people eating there tell you to go away. (I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I’ve never done that.)

Etsy

There are a surprising number of great artists here. AngyPaintsNorth View Art Studio, and Kirkhouse1 are all pretty good (and there, I branched out. Those accounts are all heavy on watercolor.), and you can regularly pick up their paintings for <$200.

Art can liven up a room while killing your bank account. 

You have to keep that in mind. Know what your budget is and stay within the budget. If your rooms are looking rather barren, however, and you’re in need of livening up the place while simultaneously paying the weekly bills, the above resources may help you out.

What do you think? Are there other venues you would recommend? Have you ever used any of the above places successfully? Tell us your experiences getting art on a budget in the comments section below.

About Aden

Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, What School Should Have Taught You, The Faithful Prepper An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

9 Places to Find Frugal Art for Your House
Aden Tate

Aden Tate

About the Author Aden Tate has a master’s in public health and is a regular contributor to PewPewTactical.com, SurvivalBlog.com, SHTFBlog.com, ApartmentPrepper.com, HomesteadAndPrepper.com, and PrepperPress.com. Along with being a freelance writer he also works part-time as a locksmith. Aden has an LLC for his micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has two published books, The Faithful Prepper and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American at Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.

8 thoughts on “9 Places to Find Frugal Art for Your House”

  1. Some areas have art fairs where professional artists show original art and limited edition prints. My husband and I acquired several small pieces of original art by a well known regional artist for less than $150. They form a dramatic focus for a large wall. We also bought some limited edition prints showing familiar sites that were artist-framed for less than $100.

  2. A good question here is “what’s your definition of art?” My suggestions below are not paintings but I think they look good and would add individuality to decor. (Probably going outside the original intention of your post.)

    For example, I have some framed VFR sectional charts which I love. They are flight charts, for pilots, with lots of landmarks and detail. You can get expired charts inexpensively at sites like mypilotstore.com, and if it’s a location that has personal meaning to you like your home town, that is something that would appeal to many. Framed National Geographic maps, the kind included in the magazines, can also be nice (look for these at garage sales/flea markets).

    Etsy or other online sites may have posters on topics people like. Astronomy, reading (library posters featuring celebrities), all sorts of topics.

    1. I have a large map of a county where I lived for many years. It shows the location of roads, country schools, cemeteries, and churches. It is only black and white but very interesting and informative. It’s too big and heavy to hang but looks good leaning on top of a bookcase.

  3. You can frame old calendar pages – some of them are quite large and most have no reason to be saved when the year is over. If a person loves abstract art, I have seen cool things done with a plain canvas, house paint, and a mop or other such things! For example you could go to a thrift store, grab an old canvas, paint it white, and go nuts with colors you like.

    Cool article! I liked this one.

    1. I had to giggle at your comment. We just recently went through our storage unit and there’s this gorgeous calendar that I’ve saved for years to do just this…here’s the funny part. It’s from 2011! But one day, I swear, I will frame those pictures ?

  4. You can download photos and copies of paintings to your phone and order a photo print or poster from the photo shop at your pharmacy order place that does photo printing – Under $5 for an 8×10 of a Monet or a cool art photo, or under $25 for a poster size. It’s not illegal unless you try to sell copies for profit, and it’s probably the cheapest way to get art for your home. Thrift shops and yard sales sometimes yield good posters and paintings, too. Even commercially printed posters are a good buy, and sometimes you hit a good sale.

    You can also try making your own art work for the cost of materials and your valuable time, or perhaps a friend or family member has talent. Children’s finger painting looks like abstract art to me?.

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