Art on a Shoestring: How to Decorate Your Walls with Free Public Domain Images

Feeling at home in your space is essential for overall well-being and happiness.

Vincent Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Cypresses (1889)
Download a digital copy of the Vincent Van Gogh painting shown above, for free! You could then print, frame and hang a famous piece of art in your home for a seriously affordable price. Use code AMBER26325 or this link to get 20% off printing at

Your living environment plays a significant role in shaping your mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. It's a place where you can unwind, recharge, and express your unique personality. However, the challenge often lies in decorating your space to reflect your individuality when everything seems prohibitively expensive. Budget constraints shouldn't deter you from creating a cozy and personalized space. Fortunately, there are numerous creative and cost-effective solutions available, such as using free public domain images to decorate your walls or upcycling furniture. Embracing affordability and resourcefulness allows you to transform your living space into a warm and inviting haven that truly feels like home. Remember, a home is not solely defined by its price tag; it's a canvas for your imagination and a reflection of your heart.

How About Public Domain Images?

Did you know that there are tons of images and illustrations available for you to use for free? You might even see famous photographs and paintings that are public domain being sold at places like HomeSense. It sounds a little sneaky, but it's totally legal. YOU could even sell these (public domain) images, if you wanted to.

Image description here
This 24x36 Santorini sunset for $239 from the Brick could be downloaded for free from Rawpixel and then printed with Posterjack for $36. Then buying a 24x36" frame from Amazon for around $32 would save you $173!

Public domain images refer to creative works, including photographs, illustrations, artworks, and other visual content, that are not protected by copyright or any other intellectual property rights. These images are essentially free to use by anyone, for any purpose, without needing permission or payment to the original creator.

Public domain status can be achieved in various ways:

  1. Expired Copyright: Works whose copyright has expired are automatically considered part of the public domain. Copyright duration varies from country to country, but once the copyright term expires, the work becomes freely available for use.
  2. Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License: Some creators intentionally release their work into the public domain through the use of the CC0 license. This license allows creators to waive all their copyright and related rights, effectively dedicating the work to the public domain.
  3. Government Works: In many countries, works created by government employees as part of their official duties are considered public domain.
  4. Unpublished Works: Some works may be in the public domain if they were never published or if they were published without proper copyright notice.

So, how can you get these free images to use for your own home decor?

Step 1. Discover Public Domain Image Sources

The internet is a treasure trove of free public domain image repositories. Websites like Pixabay, Unsplash, and Raw Pixel offer a plethora of high-quality images that are free to use for any purpose, including decorating your walls. Use search filters to find images that match your theme or style.

Rawpixel has both a public domain and free images filter.
Raw Pixel is a good source of free public domain images
Notice how the text underneath this image on Pixabay states "Free for use".
Raw Pixel is a good source of free public domain images

Step 2. Print Your Artwork

Once you've found the perfect images, it's time to bring them to life! You have several options for printing your chosen artwork. If you have a printer at home, use high-quality photo paper for smaller prints. For larger prints, consider using a local print shop or an online printing service. Many local print shops offer affordable rates for large-format prints.

If you're looking for high quality printing at great prices, I recommend Posterjack. I've ordered many different prints from Posterjack - on everything from paper and canvas to acrylic and metal. I am always impressed with the quality and customer service. Use the code AMBER26325 for 20% off your order!

Poster Jack is a Canadian printing company
Posterjack is a Canadian company based in Toronto. Their customer service is second to none!

Step 3: Frame Your Masterpieces

If ordering from a place like Posterjack then you can choose to have your print framed. But you don't need to break the bank on expensive frames. Look for discounted frames at thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces. You can also opt for DIY frames made from repurposed materials like old wood or cardboard. A little paint and creativity can turn ordinary frames into unique pieces of art themselves.

Step 4: Arrange and Hang with Flair

Now that you have your framed masterpieces, it's time to get creative with their arrangement. Try different layouts on the floor before committing to a final arrangement on the wall. Mix and match various sizes and orientations to create an eye-catching gallery wall. Don't be afraid to play with asymmetry for a more dynamic display.

Gallery Wall Inspiration from Poster Jack
Try searching 'Gallery wall layout ideas' for help with arranging a gallery wall beautifully!

Decorating your walls with free public domain images is not only budget-friendly but also a thrilling journey into the vast world of art. By curating and arranging your gallery wall, you'll add a touch of personality and flair to your living space, making it a reflection of your unique style. So go forth, embrace your creativity, and turn your walls into a captivating art exhibition.