How to Decorate the Walls of Your Ballroom For Under $50

How to Decorate the Walls of Your Ballroom For Under $50


I am almost half way through decorating the room for House for Hope.

It is a little overwhelming.

The challenge I’m facing right now is decorating walls of a room the size of the ballroom at Downton Abbey with a budget that could maybe cover the cost of a really good meal at a fast food restaurants.

I was pricing wall decor for the space and quickly figured out that I could afford one corner of one piece of a giant over-sized galvanized clock.

When faced with an almost insurmountable decorating dilemma….

….what’s a girl to do?

Shop the home improvement store.

I came up with the idea of painting giant signs for the space.

Giant signs I could paint in an afternoon.

Giant signs with one inspirational word of the year on them.

So I turned to my old friend plywood.

Here’s how the cost broke down.

I purchased 2 sheets of 48″ x 48″ pieces of plywood and had them cut in half just like this to measure 24″ x 48″.

Then I purchased 10 pieces of 1″ x 2″ x 8″ inexpensive pine board (I think we only ended up needed 8 for the project) to use as a frame.

The grand total for everything was $48.74.

I started with priming the plywood and painting it with SW Alabaster that I had leftover from another project.

You can have the pieces of pine cut at the store, too.

To make the sign, you’ll need 4 pieces cut.

2 cut to 48″.

2 cut to 26″.

I stained the pieces with some Dark Walnut from Minwax that I had leftover from another project.

Then I decided on my word of the year for my family that was going to live in this House for Hope.


I printed it out using the Courier font from my computer with 200 size letters.

It took two pages to print the letters, so I taped them together.

Then I flipped the paper over and colored each of the letters with a pencil.

It’s a great alternative if you don’t have carbon paper.

Make sure you cover each letter with extra pencil.

Then flip your word back over, place in the middle of the sign and firmly trace each of the letters onto the painted plywood.

Then fill in with a sharpie or paint them with craft paint.

Here’s the over-sized finished sign.

I’m painting four of them which will go along way to filling up the walls at Downton Abbey.

Here’s the thing….I need a little help.

I painted this one with one word, but now I have three empty signs ready to paint.

If you could add a word to encourage our imaginary family from the House for Hope for 2017….

….what would it be?

PS  I wish the ballroom came with a Mr. Carson, too. 🙂

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  1. hope. believe. joy.

  2. Breathe!

  3. Diane Anderson-Edwards :

    My suggestion is” CREATE

  4. Gratitude

  5. Great idea!! How about Brave or Courage?-

  6. I have four words for their special room…


  7. Dream. Persevere. Reach.
    Those on even a tighter budget could use a large canvas for the sign and frame it out with the wood.

    Thanks, KariAnne. You always INSPIRE. 🙂

  8. I love your creativity! I pat myself on the back for finding you.
    I love the word, PERSEVERE and all the potential hang in there and atta girl/boy to keep on keeping on.

  9. Dream

  10. Intentional

  11. Love this idea! How about “believe”, “courage” and “faith”.

  12. Promise.

  13. Nurture

  14. Courage

  15. Encourage. Listen. Refresh.

  16. In our home these days the word is



  17. Smile. Relax.

  18. What a great idea… Simply great.
    So, my words to go with INSPIRE would be :
    you know, good action verbs. 🙂
    Do Inspire
    Do Create
    Do Dream

    and if you needed an idea for a small sign ; how about !!! or a smiley emoticon? 🙂

  19. ‘Explore’ goes hand in hand with ‘inspire’. Inspiration always comes from the exploration of ideas. It’s first cousin is ‘create’.


    That’s it from me, JudyC

  21. flourish. forge. create.

  22. Grow- Believe- Create -Dream are all good ones!

  23. Myra Freshwater :

    My favorite word, HOPE

  24. Somebody said “REACH” I think that’s perfect.

  25. Love. Hope. Create


  27. Love. Hope. Faith.

  28. I have the word “imagine” in my living room. I love it…congers up great memories of John Lennon a favorite musician and great song. Plus I have it by my wedding picture.

  29. All above are wonderful. I would also add:

  30. CREATE gets my vote. It’s my word for the year.

    Ah, how I do miss Dear Mr. Carson. I love Victoria on Sunday nights.

    Have a happy weekend!

  31. DREAM!

  32. Perseverance or Persevere

    P.S. Have a happy day!

  33. Janice Stewart :

    Blessed !

  34. Dream. Hope. Love., maybe Laugh. or. Give. or Share.

  35. I’m on board with Melissa E


  36. To go with Inspire


  37. I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to my liver and lymph nodes in September. Reeling from the news I went to a relatively new store in our town (rhymes with Schmaxx) for some literal retail therapy and a chance to just think. I found my inspiration word for this season in my life on a pillow. It simply says: “Blessed.” After four months of intense chemotherapy, I can say my family and I are truly blessed!

    • Blessings to you, Ann. You are also brave and overflowing with goodness. Will continue to lift you up. Susie from The Chelsea Project

  38. Rejoice!
    (This always reminds me of: “Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, ‘Rejoice!'”)

  39. Seek

  40. Judy H Cranford :


  41. Rejoice!

  42. Imagine

    A great idea as always, Karianne!

  43. FAITH
    I think in a house built for hope, one must have faith.

  44. Sandy Gooselaw :

    My friend gave me a metal sign that read, “Laugh Out Loud”.

    I also love the following – “She believed she could – so she did”. More than one word – I know.

    Or – “Just Jump”.

    Good luck Karianne! Your creativity always inspires me.

    Happy day to you!! 🙂

  45. onward

  46. There are so many good words that have been suggested. But the one that stands out for me is Believe! Such a strong word! Maybe I needed to hear that word for myself today. LOL! Keep up the good work!!!

  47. SHINE

  48. Greyscale hands in a row light to dark and Together

  49. Enjoy.

  50. Sandra Warthen :

    My word is STRENGTH. People that fight illness find an amazing power of strength.

  51. Believe





  52. Love, hope, believe, dream and joy. But truly I think you’ve got this!

  53. FAMILY and my favorite word-GRACE

  54. Kindness
    Grateful or Gratefulness

  55. Strength

  56. PRAY

  57. Just BE..

  58. Glad to see that Gloria said, PRAY. Goes along with all of the other inspirational words but submits to God’s action rather than merely to our own. Yes, PRAY.

  59. I really love a lot of the suggestions! Especially LOVE! I also want to suggest “Try.” Some people don’t feel they can inspire anyone… but all of us can try – to be our best, do do our best… just start somewhere.

  60. Hope was our word for my husband’s cancer journey.
    No matter how the journey resolved…
    There was hope.

  61. Live

  62. life. Create. Hope

  63. Courage. I have worn a little ring with that on it for years…refer to it many times a day.

  64. inspire. share. love. sparkle.

  65. inspire. smile. wonder. thank.

  66. be wise. begin. initiate. originate. simplicity. life. fruitful. fortify.

  67. Smile Love Joy

  68. I love this idea – YOU are an INSPIRE-ation!! I need a sign just that size for our Indian Shadows Guest Bath and this will fit perfectly.

  69. Dream

  70. Snuggle

  71. Faith

  72. TODAY….. if not for today nothing would be possible.
    I so enjoy you 😀 Have a wonderful weekend!

  73. I chose the word “Think.” It doesn’t appear in any of the previous comments, but I would like for everyone to stop and think, before you proceed!!!

  74. encourage, include, involve, engage

  75. Kindness, Blessed

  76. It is a new day!

  77. Tolerance

  78. What if you don’t have a ‘ballroom’? 😉 Look at the top page title. 😛

  79. SAVOUR to enjoy an experience slowly, in order to enjoy it as much as possible
    this is a word i have looked for in signage and cannot find. i know, i will have to make my own. it reminds me to stop and smell the roses, take time to really enjoy all the little things that make life so wonderful….

  80. Two words.. not one… “in love”… I always want the members of my family to be in love with each other. 🙂

  81. Teresa Gonzales :

    Love and hope.

  82. celebrate (this glorious world)
    harmony (strive for it with others)
    reflect (cherish quiet times)
    shine (like a ROCKSTAR!!!!!!!)

  83. Faith, Hope and Trust.

    Have a blessed day KariAnne!

  84. Achieve

  85. Definitely use verbs. Other readers have suggested great options. I like imagine, create, believe, hope, dream, pray, love. Listen is good too. A great idea!

  86. hope, thankful, imagine, dream, believe

    Beautiful sign KariAnne!

  87. Karen Simon Peterson :

    Dream, reach, kindness, gratitude
    Great idea!

  88. Fran Gospodarek :

    Truly listen.

  89. I’ve loved reading all the suggestions! What a great idea! I’m gonna make some for my craft room and kitchen! My word BE
    In the moment
    In the present
    In the world

  90. Airyckah lane :


  91. Trust (in God)
    Believe (in God)
    Listen (to God)
    Jean McGee

  92. I can’t just give one word that hasn’t already been given in the previous comments, but my favorite quote/scripture right now is

    “Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created” Ester 4:14.

    I love it and just bought a sign yesterday with this on it and it will be the inspiration for my craft room re-do that I’m working on.

  93. Ha! I was going to make these for my dining room! My words are grace, gratitude, and gather.
    But the house of hope has to have hope as a word!

  94. I have read all of the inspiring words. I especially like two.
    Breathe –I know this is a new word people are using but I like it. I am sure it will be overused in time.
    Relax– Sometimes we just need to take a step back and relax. Relax, to me, is a calm word.

  95. Home.

  96. I love your sign! I would choose~

    They all are to be ways we can share with others…happy weekend, KariAnne!

  97. inspire compassion patience humility

  98. I also like Persevere and Hope

  99. Perservance

  100. Fearless!

  101. Aspire

  102. Love Family Persevere So many good words. Love this idea !!

  103. Well, I think that since it’s House for Hope…HOPE would be just about perfect! I also like EXPLORE, IMAGINE, ADVENTURE! Since we’re moving to Nashville (or maybe I should say we’re TRYING to move to Nashville!!), I think I might get lucky enough to be able to tour the home & see all your hard work in person…Sweet!! Good luck & don’t forget to have fun with it!!

  104. My childhood best friend passed from cancer last summer and the words (verbs) I always thought of when dealing with the situation were:
    Empathy, pray, breathe, trust, and love ❤️

  105. HAPPY

  106. Meant empathize!

  107. Focus, Fearless, Brave, Resilient, Dream, Inhale, Balance, Smile, Gratitude are some of my faves.

  108. ABIDE

  109. I like words that make one think outside themselves.

    Look Beyond
    You are so creative, I know the right words will come. Thanks for including us though!

  110. Ange McAlister :

    From your first post: Jump, Dream, and Hope
    “I just jumped.

    Here’s to houses that dream.

    Here’s to making a difference.

    And here’s to jumping for hope in 2017. 🙂”

  111. Oh and
    Where we would we be without it!?

  112. HOPE
    For the walls of House for hope

  113. Karianne,your readers have some beautiful words. I’m laughing thinking of your best friend,plywood, going to lunch with you. I’m weird.

  114. Keep Hope
    Keep Believing
    Keep Doing

    I know not a single word, but “Keep” makes in so empowering.
    Maybe ” Empowering”.

  115. Devotion

  116. Funny, this reminds me of our family tradition on New Year’s Day. Before eating, we pray and then individually go around the circle and share one word reflecting on the upcoming year. The words have been all over the place over the years… graduate, health, golf, water, persevere, job, education, travel, thankful, roof, house, family, rain, downsize and improve are just a few. For this special project I like BEGIN and AMEN.

  117. Love Believe Inspire

  118. Believe. Hope. Love.

  119. What a fabulous project. Thanks for the idea. Our family has a different motivational word each year. For 2017 our word is BELIEVE
    I will be making one of these with that word.

  120. Hope, Believe, Joy

  121. So many great words! I don’t know how you are going to choose, but I will put mine in too! Rediscover and Renew. Have fun making a choice!

  122. Such great suggestions!


    Love all the positive comments and thoughts.
    Thanks for sharing.

  123. Michele Riggsbee :

    Let go and let God!

  124. Love all the suggestions and add Simplicity, Compassion, Forgive

  125. So many great words and phrases. my mantra for this year, especially seeing so many cruel acts and words the media is reporting, is Be Kind. I am working hard on being kinder, saying nice things or keeping quiet! 🙂 and looking for and dwelling upon all the good things and people in the world.

    Love your sign! So clever and great idea for a big impact for not much money.

  126. Leslie Reichert :

    So many excellent words for your wall art… Enough to fill the Guggenheim!
    But my vote is to include Celebrate as the last one because the power behind each word suggested is worthy of Celebration!!! KariAnne, when I read the stories you share in your blog, I’m inspired to remember my own stories and take a few minutes to give God thanks and Celebrate this adventure we call life! You Jump in with inspiration, joy, blessing, love, abundance, resilience, gratitude, perseverance, humility, dreams, creativity, strength, belief, etc. as you weave your tales of cheerleaders and basketball players, baseball left-fielders, bowls made from trees, red lipstick and big earrings – not to mention twinkling brown eyes and endless additions of beauty in you home. For sure you’ll choose the right words and they will Sparkle like the stars you see on a clear night. Eager to see what they are.

  127. Lisa Alderson :


  128. Renew

  129. Hmmmmm.
    Pic like hope (perfect w/project name), love, peace, calm (sooo needed now) or create, dream (to go w/inspire) …
    Great idea, and what wonderful suggestions you’ve received, KariAnne.
    Very “inspired” dear girl! kj

  130. There is a word that seems to be popping up everywhere these days. I think it would be unique in your room for this special family. These days I think we are all wanting a little hygge in our homes. I think you have the gift of doing this in your home KariAnn. See

    Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, every day moments more meaningful, beautiful or special. Whether it’s making coffee a verb by creating a ritual of making it then lingering over a cup to a cosy evening in with friends to the simple act of lighting a candle with every meal. Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special.

  131. Giggle.

  132. DREAM
    LOVE ❤️

    I love this project! Thank you for sharing!

  133. Initiate.

  134. This is a beautiful post. Every word offered by the ladies is special. So I will leave it at beautiful and special. It’s 6am on a chilly Saturday morning. Reading this post is a lovely way to start the day. 🙂 Have a nice weekend! Susie from The Chelsea Project

  135. Love it!


  136. Inspire


  138. Nurture.

  139. believe, courage, treasure

  140. Abide.

  141. JOY my word of the year.

    Search for joy in everything.

  142. Listen.

    Your blog is awesome. I so enjoy your candor and creativity. Thank you!

  143. breathe.

  144. This post has stuck with me…I’ve thought about it several times. When my devotional came, the word “hope” – which was sticking with me as a possibility was made even more special. Thank you for sharing your creative, positive energy. God bless!

  145. AMAZE

  146. My word for the year is – determined!

  147. So creative! It looks so nice.

  148. Kathy Vislosky :


  149. When I saw your post at the link party, I (mis)read the title as: How to Decorate the Walls of Your Bathroom. When I saw my error, I literally laughed out loud. Whilst I do not have a ballroom (and never will), I do have a bathroom (and always will). Do you have a post about that? Because once I get around to taking down the wallpaper in there, it will never again have wallpaper and I’m going to have to figure something out. Let me know, Kari Anne! I’m counting on you!

    PS I see you have a post about choosing the perfect paint color. As someone who is, as we speak, sitting in a room that is not the perfect paint color, well, I am inspired to rush right over there and bookmark that post!

  150. WORTHY

  151. I think simple artwork can have the biggest impact – this is beautiful! Thank you for linking up with our Merry Monday party this week.

  152. believe



  153. Kelly Dexter-Miller :

    I love this and am always inspired by you!







    I can’t wait to see this amazing room that you’ve worked so hard on!

  154. Kelly Stanford :

    I always say


  155. Reflect

  156. Reflect

  157. Hi Kari Ann! I love this so much! I am featuring your project tomorrow at Totally Terrific Tuesday! Have a great week.


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