There are SO. MANY. choices out there for free, printable wall decor. A quick Google search will pull up thousands of different sites offering free printables, but I often find it hard to sift through them all.
So, I’ve put together a list of my favorite free high-quality printable wall decor for you here, as well as some tips and tricks for choosing how to print them and display them in your home.
Oh, also…I was a choir teacher and am BIG into giving credit to artists and creators credit when and where it is due.
All of the below are either under Public Domain, or you are free to use them as you wish – and I’ve included my favorite Etsy print shops at the bottom as a bonus if you want to share the love.
PS: Want a quick win? Here’s an outline of the post so you can jump to your favorite style or vibe:
Historic – New York Public Library’s Digital Collection
Whimsical – Feed Your Soul (The Free Art Project)
Floral, Botanical – USDA’s Floral Expressions in Stone and Print
Quirky, Modern – Make and Tell
Anything You Could Ever Want – Unsplash
Things to Remember
The size of your print is somewhat dependent on the size of the image – while you can blow up low resolution images to larger sizes, the end result may come out pixelated. If you aren’t sure what size to print (or crop) your printable to, use the chart below!
To find out the size of printables, I like to open them up in Photoshop (or any other photo editing software), and usually, it will give me a readout of the pixel dimensions. You can also use this tool to find the exact dimensions.
Many free printables may not come in standard sizes – as long as the artist or copyright permits, you may have to crop/alter the image in order to make it fit a standard frame size.
Alternatively, you can order non-standard frame sizes…but speaking from experience, the piece better be worth it. They’re spendy. I’ve only ever custom framed a piece my sister got me from Paris, and even that took me a few years before I was willing to pull the trigger.
Free Printable Historic Wall Decor
New York Public Library’s Digital Collection
I love using maps to decorate. My husband and I have lived in multiple cities and we have a special place in our heart for each of them (miss you Kerby Queso in ATX!).
Displaying maps of significant places in your life is a great way to relive the memories that have been made there or look forward to the memories you’ll make when you visit one day.
I found this map of Louisville, Kentucky from 1880 (where we currently live) in the NYPL’s Maps and Atlases section. So neat to see the boundaries – back then we were barely within the city limits!
The New York Public Library’s Digital Collection also houses tons of public domain photographs of just about any subject you can imagine. I particularly love this photograph of a waterfall from 1936.
One of the nice things about the NYPL’s website is that it also gives you a lot of details about the particular item you’re viewing, so you’ll know who took the picture, where the subject of the photo is located, and so much more.
Knowing little details like this can really add that extra layer of appreciation and thought to your home decor, and can start a story if/when someone asks.
My Favorite Digital Collections from NYPL
Free Printable Whimsical Wall Decor
Feed Your Soul (The Free Art Project)
I stumbled across Feed Your Soul (The Free Art Project) by accident, but absolutely fell in love with the idea. Essentially, from 2009-2011, Jen Wallace, the writer behind Indie Fixx, recruited a group of artists to collaborate and create a collection of free prints for the public.
There are so many different styles of art in this collection – most are whimsical, but there is a wide range available. You can find a print for any color scheme, room theme, or design style you can think of!
These prints have been made available by the artists for personal use. I linked as many artist websites as I could find, so please check out their websites/blogs to show them support!
Free Printable Floral and Botanical Wall Decor
USDA’s Floral Expressions in Stone and Print
My mom had these prints in our half bath growing up that were so beautiful – they were simple images of flowers, but the way they were illustrated really took my breath away.
I haven’t been able to find anything like them since I moved out, but these prints from the USDA collection sure come close.
Magnolia flore albo, folio majore acuminato haud albicante; Formica villosa coccinea: The Velvet Ant
There seem to be quite a few magnolia prints – maybe they were a favorite of the curator, just like me!
We had a magnolia tree at our house in Texas, and I miss it every day. There is no plant more beautiful! I plan on hanging one of the magnolia prints in our half bath, too.
Magnolia altissima, flore ingenti candido: The Laurel Tree of Carolina
Free Printable Quirky, Modern, and Colorful Wall Decor
Make and Tell
Make and Tell is a really neat website where Sydney-based artist Steph can share free art to brighten other’s days.
You can find out more about Make and Tell and explore her website here!
Steph founded Make and Tell in 2014, and since has partnered with tons of different brands (including Urban Outfitters and Etsy).
I love the feminine, cheery, bright feel of each and every one of her illustrations. They tell stories much deeper than one could say with words alone, and once I found Make and Tell, I fell in love.
Free Printable Photographs for Wall Decor
Unsplash holds a special place in my heart. I was VERY into photography as a child and teenager and spent hours and hours and hours looking through other people’s work on Flickr.
There are over one million photos in their collection, and the photographers that submit them are generous to share them with a do-whatever-you-want license (even without attribution).
And in this day and age, that’s pretty amazing.
So if you are looking for, well…anything – Unsplash has it. This isn’t sponsored, I just think they are really cool.
My favorite part of Unsplash is that there is a ton of new art to look through every day. The best category for wall decor though?
The experimental section. There are so many different styles of photography here, and even if you don’t find something you are in love with for your walls, you’ll definitely be inspired.
Want to Support Artists Directly? Buy Wall Decor and Prints From Them!
While I LOVE free printables, sometimes it’s nice to support some of the amazing artists that create so many pieces that make our lives richer by purchasing their prints. Here are my favorite shops and picks.
I am OBSESSED with everything Clare Elsaesser makes. Someday I hope to own an original of hers, but until then I’ll
settle swoon over some prints.
She’s a professionally trained artist who went to college at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and it shows…everything she makes is stunning.
You can check out her Instagram here: @clareelsaesser
I also recently discovered a UK-based Chilean illustrator named Carla Llanos – I love her style, and especially her use of color.
She uses a lot of earth tones, and I really admire and appreciate the empowerment of women of all colors that she achieves without words.
What is even more amazing is that Carla is self-taught. She started knitting in 2014, opened her first Etsy shop in 2015, and started painting when she couldn’t source the fabrics she wanted in Chile.
PS: These are affiliate links, but I’ve bought prints from these shops in the past, and would never recommend something or someone I don’t believe in.
Want Even Better Wall Decor? Try One Of These Professional Printing Services
While I LOVE my $70 printer that I’ve had for years and years, it doesn’t print at the same quality that a higher fidelity professional printer. If you want to take your prints up a notch, you can always invest a little extra cash in a printing service. I’ve used the following and have been very happy!
PS: None of these are affiliate links, I just genuinely recommend them.
Shutterfly has been a big name in the industry for a long time and has gotten even stronger since the addition of Snapfish. Oh, and they own Lifetouch (who probably did your kid’s school pictures), so they know a thing or two about prints. I also love that you can order prints online through Shutterfly and pick them up at Walgreens, CVS, or Target in 1 hour!
I got the big engineer prints we have in our living room from Office Depot, and the entire process was wonderful – the staff, print quality, and price were all superb. I actually want to update those prints soon, and will probably go back to Office Depot! If you want large format, be sure to check out their page specifically on that.
Anybody else have memories of taking your click scroll disposable cameras to the drugstore to get them processed? Me too. Drug stores are still great places to get prints, and the turn around time is usually pretty amazing.
Mpix has a really cool feature called Collagewall – they let you arrange several pictures together, get them professionally printed, and send you a template to tape up to the wall to make gallery walls easier than ever. Such a cool idea!
The Most Important Step – Just Print and Hang Some Wall Decor Already!
So whether you choose to incorporate some kid’s art with your free printables, or hang a meticulous gallery wall with perfectly equidistant spacing, the most important part is that you actually do it.
Don’t just read this article and save it for later – print some out, grab a hammer, and get some new art on your walls! And if you do, share a pic with me over on Instagram @diywithoutfear. I’d love to hear from you and see what you did.
PS: Enjoying this article? You might like reading about shiplap or board and batten paneling, which are also wall decor related – check them out!