Why I Buy Big, Cheap, Ugly Art

A couple of months ago, I was at IKEA and stopped in my tracks when I saw this:




Not because I was overwhelmed by the Mona Lisa being painted by a strange boy, but because it was huge, framed, lightweight and clearance priced at $20.  (Way cheaper than buying a big canvas.)  And, it was the right size for this wall on our patio:





I could’ve attempted a mediocre painting.  But, I decided the easiest—and most practical—solution was to turn it into a chalkboard.




There was just enough space between the frame and the art that I could insert a piece of cardboard and spray paint the frame.  For the “art,” I went with our lucky number seven, but I think it’ll also be fun to use it for birthday wishes, holidays, menus, etc.


chalkboard art


I can never pass up something that’s big, cheap and paintable.


When I was our Charlotte IKEA store a few weeks ago, there were still lots of these there. . .


  1. says

    I didn’t realize you live there! I’m just an hour and a half south, in Greenville, SC. The Charlotte IKEA store is the one we visit because it’s the closest. Might have to check that out soon ;)

  2. says

    Where is the other print from? I’ve been looking for that verse, just like that, everywhere! If you could email me at alliferguson (at) gmail (dot) com, I’d really appreciate it!

  3. says

    Great idea …. I actually picked one up as well a few weeks ago myself. I was standing in store debating to get it or not and figured for $20 it was silly not to. Was thinking of doing version of those b&w west elm paintings. Thanks for the inspiration. Love your blog!

  4. says

    Awesome! I wish you could come to my house… :) I know you could work wonders, even if for only 30 min… your rooms, ideas, and spaces make me smile!

    Have a great afternoon!

  5. says

    That is so smart Emily!! I see huge ugly canvases all the time in the clearance area and have never thought about buying for the canvas. Brilliant! Love your fabulous chalkboard! Thanks for the idea.

  6. says

    That is seriously the weirdest art I have ever seen. What is with the BRB tucked into the corner? Was that in case Mona got scared away by the strange boy? Your transformation makes the whole thing much better. :)

  7. donna briody says

    I have been searching for that Mona Lisa print…cheap art! Do you know if still available cannot find in my IKEA

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