In the age of digital downloads and mass produced artwork, original, handmade pieces can add such a special touch to a space. Don’t get me wrong — I love the ability to download artwork online and have it printed to virtually any size, as well as the convenience and affordability of artwork from places like Target and Hobby Lobby, but there is something about mixing in pieces that someone created with their own two hands that makes a space feel special, unique, and curated. On top of that, purchasing original pieces, whether that be from artists themselves or secondhand, can help support individual artists and communities.
Until somewhat recently, original art was something I always thought would be out of my price range. Although the generally high price of original pieces is without a doubt well-warranted, these prices aren’t always feasible for the average budget (including my own). Over the last couple of years, however, I’ve stumbled upon quite a few sources for original artwork that won’t break the bank, and I’ve slowly begun collecting original pieces for my home.
In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my top seven places to source affordable, original artwork for your home, along with some of my favorite artists, shops, and pieces from my personal collection!
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Instagram has been the source of quite a few of the original pieces in our home. So many artists use social media to grow their business and gain exposure for their work, and I have come across so many amazingly talented people in this space. While not every artist you come across on Instagram may have original pieces that fit in your budget, I would encourage you to start following those who inspire you, and exploring artists with similar styles from there. With so many artists at varying points in their career utilizing Instagram, it’s only a matter of time until you stumble upon the perfect piece at just the right price!
Allison, the artist behind the three landscapes shown above, paints some of the prettiest landscapes I’ve ever seen. Her paintings are not only incredibly stunning, but also very affordable in the world of original art. Another thing that I love about Allison is that she thrifts vintage frames and paints artwork to go in them, offering you an original, framed piece at an incredible price. Additionally, she takes a limited amount of commissions each month, so you can work with her to create a completely custom piece for your home. The top left painting in the set of images above was a custom commission I worked with her to create, and she was such a pleasure to work with! I needed a piece that was thin enough to fit inside the groves of that gold easel, while simultaneously being thick enough to stand upright without a frame, and she went above and beyond to create the perfect piece for me. I feel honored to have her work displayed throughout our home!
Amanda, the artist of the stunning figure sketch above, started her business in early 2022 after her pup Hemi was diagnosed with Cushings disease. To help fund his treatment, Amanda combined her love for Hemi with her love for drawing charcoal figures and silhouettes, and started Hemi’s Handmade Silhouettes. She has created so many stunning poses to choose from, and each drawing is priced at just $25, with all proceeds going towards Hemi’s treatment. I thrifted the beaded gold frame above and ordered a custom mat from Frame it Easy, and I am absolutely obsessed with how this piece turned out. It gives me all the vintage, french-inspired vibes, and I can’t wait to purchase more poses in the future.
Click here to give Amanda and Hemi a follow on Instagram, and take a look at all the gorgeous pieces available to purchase.
2. FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE
While I haven’t personally purchased any original art from Facebook Marketplace, I have sold some on there, and I have seen quite a few original pieces for sale just scrolling through.
While I don’t consider myself an artist, I did create the large, textured canvas shown above for our Home office, but ended up changing my mind after seeing it in the space. I didn’t want this piece to go to waste though, so I posted it on marketplace, originally for $70, but went down to $45 in the end (which is a steal for a piece this size that is professionally framed).
If you are willing to consistently browse, and aren’t afraid to bargain with sellers, Facebook Marketplace may be the perfect source to find affordable, original pieces for your home!
3. ANTIQUE STORES / THRIFT STORES
Next on the list are antique stores and thrift stores! While these two types of stores can be very different, I’ve seen original pieces for a steal at both! My friend Sarah of Sarah Scott Interiors found this gorgeous framed oil painting pictured above at an antique store for just $38, and I just love the character it adds to her bedroom! Check out her blog post Three Easy Steps to Navigate an Antique Store Without Being Overwhelmed for her tips and tricks for navigating antique stores, and click here to check out her Instagram page.
While I definitely have some favorite local places I love to shop (message me if you’re in the Madison/Huntsville area and looking for recommendations), I figured I would share some of my favorite online “thrifting” accounts here with you. These shops find and curate collections of thrifted and vintage pieces, and sell them on Instagram for really affordable prices. I have seem so many original art pieces in these types of shops, and I would highly recommend following a few if you enjoy finding vintage pieces without having to sift through the thrift store shelves yourself. Below are a few of my favorites that I’ve shopped with before:
Etsy is a gold mine for artists and secondhand sellers! No matter what you’re looking for, whether that be a vintage landscape, custom architectural drawing, or a hand-drawn portrait of your dog, Etsy is sure to have you’re looking for, and likely to have an option that fits your budget! I generally go to Etsy when I need something custom, but like Instagram, there are a lot of secondhand and vintage shops too. The original, vintage water color above was purchased from a small shop on Etsy called Scottish Found, that sources vintage pieces from around Scotland. I got this piece for just $36 (including tax + shipping), which I thought was a great deal for a piece like this.
My all time favorite Etsy shop for all things custom artwork has to be Dear Margo. She’s done quite a few custom pieces for me, but my favorite is this original, watercolor painting of my favorite coffee shop from college:
I feel like people always forget about eBay, or maybe people they just don’t realize how great it can be for finding affordable home decor, but it is always one of my go to places when shopping for a deal. I’ve found quite a few original pieces on eBay that are STUNNING, and with the ability to “buy now” and make offers on a lot of pieces, it can be the perfect place to source affordable, original artwork.
The image below is from one of my favorite bloggers and home decor accounts, A Glass of Bovino, and I am absolutely obsessed with this vintage landscape painting she found on eBay for her bathroom. If you’ve never shopped on eBay before, or just aren’t as familiar with it as other secondhand websites, she has some great tips for shopping on eBay in this blog post!
Earlier this summer, John and I took a trip to Italy with some of our friends, and the one souvenir that I really wanted to bring home was a piece of original artwork. In my head, I had imagined stumbling upon a vintage Tuscan landscape painting (which I would still totally love to find one day) in an antique store somewhere, but the art I actually ended up stumbling upon was this beautiful painting of Mount Etna along the Sicilian coastline in the streets Taormina.
I fell in love with this painting as soon as I spotted it from the street, and I honestly could not believe that he was selling them for just 20€. This view of the ocean and Mount Etna was actually just around the corner from where he was painting, and since Taormina was my absolute favorite of all the places we visited, this piece felt really special. I love that I was able to find an original piece that was not only beautiful, but also meaningful. Not to mention, it was so affordable too!
All of this to say, keep your eyes out during your travels for affordable, original artwork that doubles as a memory of the places you’ve visited.
Last but not least, the (probably) most affordable way to source original artwork is to make it yourself! As I mentioned earlier, I don’t consider myself an artist, but I did create this large textured piece shown above using a framed 3’x3′ canvas I found at Dirt Cheap, and a tub of Plaster of Paris! I needed something big, but not overwhelming, to fill this wall space, and the simplicity and texture of this DIY piece was just perfect! Not to mention, it was super easy and affordable.
The artwork above was created by Sara Hayden of Hayden Interiors, and I absolutely love the life and uniqueness these pieces bring to her home. She has a tutorial on Instagram for how she created the patchwork piece shown on the left, and it is so easy and affordable. The pattern and texture add so much visual interest, while the neutral tone of the piece grounds it, allowing it to blend seamlessly into the rest of the space. Click here to check out the tutorial!
Sara has also painted some stunning original landscapes for her home, and you can get a free digital download of one of her pieces by subscribing to her email list here. I promise you will not regret it — her content is amazing!
Check out her post Artwork Configurations & Tips to see more of her beautiful designs, and to get some inspiration for displaying art in your home.
There you have it — my top seven places for sourcing affordable, original artwork! Original pieces bring so much character and charm into a space, and while they may not always be in the budget, there are plenty of places out there to find affordable pieces that speak to you. I’d love to hear your favorite artists and places for sourcing original pieces in the comments below!
Thank you for reading!