Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gallery wall reveal!

Meet my newest love. My gallery wall. I could just stand and stare at it in a stupor for hours. And sometimes I do.

Isn't she pretty?

It took only five hours for my mother-in-law and me to get it up on the wall. Yeah, that is sarcasm. Really? Five hours? Should it really have taken so long? I don't know. Such is life with a hard-as-hell plaster wall, I guess. Oh and with a bunch of thrifted custom frames that have had the backs ripped off.

We used a lot of schtuff to put these babies together. Masking tape. Packaging tape. Grocery bags. Foam board. Staples. And to hang them? Hanging wire, many different kinds of nails, a few 3M products and lots of elbow grease.

Lots of work. Totally worth it!

To give you a reference point, here's my dining room back in November, when my nesting instincts went into high gear and suddenly the room HAD to be redone.

Well, this is actually after we got a new carpet (for $40 at Home Depot) and after one of those blue and white roman shades had come done. I can't believe I lived with those things for four years. So not my style. Why didn't I do it sooner?

Here's a look at the dining room now, as seen from the family room. With toys on the floor, as usual. Just keeping it real, here. We painted the wall a much cheerier blue. I made the roman shades myself. And I snagged the square painting at Home Goods. But the big walls needed something. They needed my gallery wall.

Here it is at our party last weekend, making a great statement over my food table. 

Here's a quick run down of my advice if you make your own:

-- To find frames, I first "shopped" my house, grabbing frames that were not in use. Then I found the rest at Salvation Army and garage sales. I bought one new -- the funky one with four conjoined pictures is from Target. Total spent on frames was less than $40.

-- To make the look cohesive, first I painted all the non-white frames white. I sanded the frames and gave each one a few coats with glossy white spray paint.

-- What to put inside? I wanted my wall to be personal, showcasing things and people and pictures I really love. This part of the process was actually the longest for me. I first "shopped" my house again, gathering up prints and photos that weren't being displayed. I then played around with a mix, looking for a bit of everything -- I wanted photos, art and maybe a "thing" or two. I also wanted a little bit of each of us to be up there. And I wanted cohesiveness and balance in terms of the scale of photos and the color palettes. That is a lot to consider! My dining room and family room have a blue/orange color scheme so I tried to stick to those colors. In the end, I wound up buying the Detroit map print for $30. All the rest were photos or items I had on hand, or pictures I printed onto photo paper on my home printer. Total cost for art = $30.

-- For matting, I reused a few mats that were around my house. In the case of the oval, I had to use a utility knife to cut a square oval down. Just trace the shape on and cut carefully! I also used two pieces of fabric scraps I had -- the blue and white linen for the main print and a piece of a pillow case to go behind the doily. Total cost was less than $5, and really it was stuff I already had here.

-- I DIYed two items. The "Be Good to Each Other" art. Easy enough to do by playing around in Microsoft Word.

 And the Mod Podged plaque with our photo booth pictures.

Easy right? Let me know if you'd like a tutorial for that one. I can write it up, just not sure it is necessary.

I am so happy to have this project dooooone. It is freeing to have it up on the wall and off my mind. And it makes my dining room look so personal. I love spending time in there now. Even when I am picking bits of mashed Spaghetti Os up off the floor. Even then. And the best part is that it cost me less than $100 to get it up. Not bad, right?

Linked at... 
Transformation ThursdaySomewhat Simple Weekend Bloggy Readingmonogram


  1. What a great looking wall, it is fabulous and I love the white on that pretty blue!!

  2. Great job! I love the blue wall and white frames. I have a blue dining room too and some bare walls that are in desperate need of something. Another project on my never ending list :) Love your photo booth pics too!

  3. Awesome job! If you would like to come and figure out how to display all of the pictures at our house, you are welcom ANYTIME! I love, love, love it!!

  4. It looks great! Thanks for keeping it real too! :0)

  5. Very nice! Love the white frames!

  6. It looks great! I love the color of your walls...such a happy color!

  7. Love the white frames and your happy wall colour.

  8. 5 hours well spent. It looks great.
    I really want to make a gallery wall but I'm not sure I trust myself to not make a mess of it.

  9. That wall is so cheerful! I like the contrasting shapes and styles of frames. And I'm glad it makes picking up mashed Spaghetti Os so much more enjoyable. I wonder if installing a gallery wall above my kitchen sink would make doing the dishes more entertaining? :)

  10. Your wall is beautiful! I love the white against such a bold colour and the frames are very pretty :)

  11. It looks wonderful!! Love the bold blue. So pretty. You did a great job bringing those colors in to coordinate!

    Thank you so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party (and for linking back-I appreciate that!). Hope you'll stop by Serenity Now again soon. :)

  12. Looks great! I did a gallery in my home and it took at least 5 hours- it's amazing how long something that looks so simple can take. I think I threw my back out when I did mine- ha!

  13. this is amazing! the white looks so good on that blue wall. i especially love the fabric matting idea! i'm tucking that one away (with the 555 million other ones thanks to the blogs!) thanks for the nice comment on my blog! :)