Five inexpensive ways to give your space a Catholic touch

Stained glass, beautiful blues and golds, intricately sculpted wood, a marble altar rail — these are just a few of the things you will see when you walk into my parish in Louisville, Kentucky. It is breathtaking and immediately draws all of your senses to the loving Jesus and the communion of saints in heaven. Nothing in there is by accident, it all has purpose: the glory of God and our worship of him.

But churches aren’t the only places that point our minds and hearts toward God. Our own homes are also supposed to be signs of God’s goodness and love of us, both to those of us who live in them and our guests who we welcome in. This can be intimidating, though, especially knowing how pricey it can get to decorate our homes with Catholic art and icons.

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A world full of Pinterest, Instagram influencers and decorating shows can be a source of constant comparison and make us think we need to change everything about our homes now, and the Catholic world is no different. So we wanted to give a few budget-friendly ideas of how to bring some Catholic decor into your home so that it may be an icon of heaven for everyone who walks through your door.

1. A place to hang your rosaries

Most of us have probably been receiving rosaries as gifts since our baptism and might even have a bag of them in a closet somewhere. There is no better way to remind ourselves not only to pray the Rosary but also of the powerful intercession and love of our Mother than by putting our rosaries in a place where we can see them.

You can buy an inexpensive key holder from a craft store or thrift shop, a necklace display, or even get creative and make something yourself! Drilling holes into a piece of wood and repurposing old door knobs (or even buying a few different kinds you like) makes a beautiful piece for any room. Here’s an example of how to do it.

2. Prints

So many amazing Catholic artists can be found all over the internet creating beautiful and unique art and using their gifts to produce famous saint quotes and Bible verses in eye-catching calligraphy. You can find many of these artists in our 2020 Christmas gift guide. (Please note: discount codes have now expired.)

If you’re trying to really save some money, some shops even have digital download options for their prints. This way, you can print them yourself at home or at an office supply store, repurpose old frames (or thrift for some new ones), and hang them around your house.

Here are four Etsy pages with digitally downloadable prints for any room in your home:

3. Hand painted quotes and canvases

If you have a crafty side, this is an awesome way to decorate your space with some Catholic flare. Finding a favorite quote or verse, or even using your own artistic abilities, you can create your own heavenly reminders that speak directly to you.

All you need is a flat surface — a canvas or piece of wood — some paint, brushes and maybe even a paint pen. This was a great activity we would do with students on campus when I was a FOCUS missionary, and it is even more fun paired with some music, a glass of wine and a few girlfriends. It is especially budget-friendly when you split the cost of supplies with others.

Here is a tutorial for a beautiful Immaculate Heart of Mary canvas. You can find many more tutorials like this from a quick YouTube search.

4. Dish towels

Bring your faith into your kitchen with these decorative tea and dish towels. They are a great inspiration when you see a counter full of dishes or a floor that needs to be swept. They also make great gifts for new homeowners, newlyweds or even a little treat for yourself.

5. A gallery wall

Over the years, from pilgrimages, sacrament gifts and wedding presents, my husband and I had collected a few crosses and icons that didn’t really have a place of their own in our house. So, inspired by some friends who did this in their apartment in college, we decided to create our own gallery wall in our kitchen right next to the dining table to display them all together.

We probably all have a few of these items tucked in boxes somewhere. Thrift stores and garage sales are great places to look if we’re on the search for other gallery wall decorations. Hobby Lobby also has a wonderful cross aisle (and if you’re watching closely, you can often find them on sale!).

Once your wall starts, frequent guests and visitors might find this to be the perfect opportunity for gift ideas for you as well. It’s been fun to have others contribute to our wall and then get to see their contributions in person themselves.

We also have started a tradition of our own where on anniversaries or special trips, we try to find a cross or other Christian decoration to add to the wall. This way, over time it will become a source of many more fond memories for our growing family to look back on.

If you’re tempted to go out to the store to buy all of the above mentioned items, remember that decorating is a process that happens over time. We will constantly be changing and updating our homes to be more of what we want, and over the years our spaces can really become the homes we dream them to be. Whether you’re personally on Step 1 or 21 of creating your home, remember that the most important parts of it are you, those you live with and the love that flows forth from it.

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