It’s been a while since we’ve talked DIY. I haven’t stopped being a do-it-myself’er (huh?) but I have become terrible at photo-journaling the activities and then talking about them. So, here is a long-winded one with two photos. I’ll host a contest to see who can guess which is mine*.
I had been searching out a gallery wall to reside on the wall behind my media stand and TV. The problem is … my media stand and TV. I have a reasonably sized flat-screen that sits atop the media stand and sort of awkwardly covers up a good chunk of the wall. I figured someone else in the world did, too, so all I had to do was find him/her.
I found this pin …
and I first reconciled the fact that my gallery wall would look nothing like this gem. And … I wasn’t willing to do the work this heroic woman did to make it happen (which is also why it wasn’t going to turn out as awesome but whatever; the furniture was not going anywhere). I did, however, find another similar gallery project on her blog so I morphed the idea of the first one with the look of the second one and voilà! An idea was born.
The first, and most challenging part I think, of creating a gallery wall is finding frames. I didn’t want to spend a fortune because 1.) I’m cheap and 2.) I knew that other people had frames they no longer wanted and may have donated said frames to places like The Salvation Army and Goodwill. I found several frames in the basement that I’d yet to put anywhere and purchased several that had been previously loved. And, I also found a couple at Hobby Lobby that I refused to purchase unless they were 50% off. Since that happens every other week, I was in good shape.
The first task was painting. I had hoped to keep all the frames white since I have white chairs with my dark wood dining table and could tie in the concept of white accents with dark wood again here. Wow. I’m coordinating! Or something.
So, I painted. It was winter-ish when I was painting (which was likely early May here in Michigan for pete’s sake) so I was in the basement. Fumes are bad, mmmk? Many catch-my-breath breaks ensued. I bought some spray paint from Meijer (Blossom White, I believe it was) in a Satin finish. I didn’t want glossy frames. To avoid having a bunch of clean-up after the fact, I also had to remove all the pieces and parts associated with the frames. A few of my older frames were mad at me for trying to paint them so I taught them a lesson with the sander and they cooperated thereafter.
The spin-off idea from the other gallery wall was cutting brown paper to the size of each frame and then taping it on the wall to get a sense for the overall layout. I’m so, so glad I borrowed this idea. It allowed me to shift and re-configure the layout multiple times without putting a single hole in the wall. Not to worry; I added plenty of holes later.
Once I had the layout I had hoped for, the frames started to go up. Several of them would include photos I’d taken. I wanted to have a mixture of portraits and landscapes as well as objects to reflect the original idea. I also needed this exercise to actually print some photos. My track record at printing photos is less than stellar. So, having a gallery wall means I have to print photos every now and again. New and different content keeps them coming back, you know?! Also, I was kidding about the holes. I really just measured up my frames and made pencil marks where the anchors sat on each. I think I only have two extra holes, and the coolest part? You can’t even see them.
I also mentioned objects. I bought an ampersand and spray painted that a seaweed color (to match my chair cushions). More coordination. Mind.Blown. I also found an el-cheapo shelf that I painted. For now, there’s a photo on it but I also want to find some other “thing” to rest on its top. I also found a key that I’d bought a few months ago to throw into a rectangular frame I’d found at The Salvation Army. It fit perfectly.
So, when all was said and done, I’d created myself a little gallery wall. It took far longer than it should have, but honestly? I was super-nervous about putting this sucker together. I love it because it wraps nicely around the media center and coordinates with my life and because I get to see it everyday and there, staring back at me, is my smiling kid. That’s really the best goshdarn part.