Sidney’s Awesome DIY Project

NOTE: As Brent is out of town on business, Sidney was nice enough to fill in and takeover Don’t Blink. Enjoy tonight’s post where she describes her DIY Pinterest project.

Today was officially the first day back to school for my little 2nd graders. Although we had a wonderful and exciting day getting to know one another, I have to admit, I am still in a summer state of mind. I’m sure I’ll snap out of it in a week or two. Last week, Brent wrote about how he was feeling a little morose about my return to the classroom as I had been accomplishing so many tasks and projects during my vacation. So for tonight’s post, I thought I would share with you all my favorite project I completed this summer! I successfully designed and hung a gallery wall in our living room!!

All of you Pinterest lovers out there I am sure have seen many pins of gallery walls, but for those of you who aren’t as familiar… a gallery wall is basically a collage of photographs hung on the wall. But in today’s age, we must give it a more sophisticated name. Henceforth: A GALLERY WALL.

So let’s get right to it. These are the steps I took to install a gallery wall in our living room!

1. Go Shopping
The first thing needed for the gallery was to shop for new frames and a couple new pieces of art. I wanted our gallery to have a variety of frames. I wanted different colors, sizes, and even some with depth to help bring some dimension to the wall. But at the same time, I didn’t want the gallery to be made solely of photographs. So I decided to get 2 statement pieces of art as well. I went shopping at Hobby Lobby. I bought a framed print of pencil drawn feathers and a black and white graphic piece of art that reads “LUCKY ME”. I figured these two pieces could be my focal points of the wall. I also bought several plain white and black frames in varying shapes and sizes. Wanna know the best of this shopping excursion at Hobby Lobby? They were running a 50% off picture frame sale, and I made out like a bandit. SCORE!!

2. Decide on a Layout
Once I’d found all of my art and frames, I needed to decide on a layout. So I took all of my loot and spread it across our living room floor. I must also tell you that I took a few photos/frames from other parts of our house to help fill in some blank spots in the gallery. It took about 45 minutes of rearranging but I finally settled on this layout.

It is key to get the layout right.

It is key to get the layout right.

3. Trace and Tape
This next step was taken out of the Pinterest playbook. Some of the pins I had seen showed where DIYers had used butcher paper to help perfectly plan and place their gallery walls. So I figured I would do the same. I didn’t have any butcher paper on hand, so I had to be resourceful. Hobby Lobby used packing paper to wrap all of the frames I had bought. So I took the packing paper, laid it flat on our living room floor, and traced all of the frames. Here is the key: Only trace one at a time, and label each traced frame. For instance, I had a white 5X7 frame, so I traced it, and then wrote in the middle “white 5X7”. This helped me to stay organized and remember exactly what I had in my arsenal. Once everything was traced, I carefully cut them down to size and arranged them just the way I had arranged the actual frames in step 2. Here’s what my traced/labeled paper looked like:

Using traced frames is a great little tip.

Using traced frames is a great little tip.

4. Wall Placement
At this point, I took all of the tracings and placed them on the wall. I used regular scotch tape. This step was crucial. It helped me to tweak the placement on the wall. If I felt that two photographs were too close together, I could easily make an adjustment. This isn’t as easy if you start with hanging everything right away. If you hung everything right off the bat, then you run the risk of poor placement, and consequently unsightly nail holes all over your wall. With this step it also helped me to ensure that the ENTIRE gallery was centered on the wall over our couch; something that would have required a bunch of measuring and math otherwise!

Traced frames and scotch tape work wonders.

Traced frames and scotch tape work wonders.

5. Hanging the Art and Photos
This is where everything turned into smooth sailing. I had to have a level handy but overall all the hard work was done. One-by-one, I took each tracing off the wall and replaced it with the actual frame/art work that was intended to take its space. I have to admit that for most of my photos I cheated. I used COMMAND Picture Hanging Strips. If you’ve never heard of them, let me be the first to tell you…these things are the bomb. It’s basically Velcro for hanging pictures. It lets you adjust the picture over and over. It makes ensuring that your photos and/or artwork are level super easy. And it also helps cut back on the holes you have to put in your walls. I’d say this is ideal for those who rent and aren’t allowed to use nails or screws. The process of actually hanging the gallery took the longest. It took about 45 minutes for me to perfectly place all of item. This was the final product.

Not bad if I do say so myself!

Not bad if I do say so myself!

In the end this project took me a total of three hours. Not too bad for creating an entire wall full of art. And I have to admit, I’m really proud of the result. Everyone who has visited our home has given me compliments on my handy work. I hope you all weren’t bored to tears, and maybe I inspired some of you to create your own. This was my first Pinterest inspired project but I am sure it won’t be my last. So until the next one…Don’t Blink.

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