Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gallery Wall

I haven't posted many (if any) pictures of our new house on the blog and we have lived there for over 2 months now.  I have been hesitant to share because we aren't totally settled yet.  There are no pictures on the wall.  We still have some boxes that have been unpacked.  And the landscaping needs some serious TLC.

Phil and I weren't in a huge hurry to buy a house before he finished his PhD because we didn't want anything to distract him from his work.  The next big life goal has been for Phil to finish graduate school and we didn't want to lose sight of that.  So when we bought the house, we agreed that there would be minimal (if any) projects for Phil to do until he was finished.

Do you know how hard that is?  We love our house the way it is, but we also want to make it our own.  A graduate school income and little time make that super challenging.  And I didn't really want to share pictures until it was all done.

I'm a bit of a perfectionist.  Shocking, I know.

But then I realized the before and after concept was a whole lot of blog material.  So it is silly of me to not capitalize on the blog posts, amiright?

So here it is... the first new house before and after post.

We have some nice, high ceilings in our great room and I really wanted to do a gallery wall using different size picture frames.  Plus the previous owners had left some anchors in the wall and rather than fill those in and paint them and run the risk of the paint color not exactly matching, I thought it would be better to just cover the anchors until we decide to paint the room again.

{Please ignore Henry's hat and the Mountain Dew can}

We received A TON of picture frames when we got married.  And then the Christmas after that, my cousin gave me like a dozen more picture frames (they are my absolute favorite, by the way Lindsay!).  So we already had the materials needed to stay on a budget (hooray for the one income family!).

The first step was picking out some pictures.  I knew I wanted a variety of pictures, some of us and some without people, and a mix of black and white.  I picked out several from our wedding, a couple from our honeymoon, some pictures I had taken over the years, a picture from our engagement pictures, a few from our maternity session, a few from Henry's newborn session, and a couple of Henry.  They were all electronic files, so the next step was figuring out what size I would need for each picture.  That meant laying out the frames.

It took several iterations, but I finally got a layout I like.  It felt like a good mix and not too cookie-cutter.  I didn't want it to be symmetric, but I also didn't want it to be cluttered.  Phil and I figured out what picture we wanted where and then ordered the prints.  We ordered them from Wal-Mart and I really liked how they turned out.  Much better than the prints I have gotten from Costco.

The next stage was to actually hang them on the wall.  Do you ever look at a project and go, "Where do I start?"  That's kind of how I felt.  I tried an intermediate step of hanging similar size pieces of paper on the wall.

I started with measuring down from the ceiling at a level that would cover the anchors.  This helped me get the outside parameters of the pictures figured out.  I also chose to use painters tape for the most part instead of pencil on the wall.  It helped me to visualize things a little better.

I started at the top and went down the sides, using painter's tape to get my nail placement just right.  I put a piece of tape along the top of the frame and then tape down to the hanger and punctured a hole where the nail would go.  Then I peeled the tape off the frame, made sure it was level and it the right spot and then put in my nails.  I can't believe I didn't take a picture of this part.  That was dumb.

I worked my way around the edges and then did the middle frames last, making sure I had the spacing correct.

Three and a half hours later, we had a finished product.

I have to say, it isn't perfect but I LOVE IT!!  And all of the anchor holes got covered!

If I were to do this over again, I might go through the process a little differently.  I know there are several different ways to hang a gallery wall, but they require a lot more prep and I really just wanted to get it done.  I ended up only needing to move 1 nail in the entire process, which I think is really good, considering there are like 16 frames on the wall.

The nice thing is that now that the frames are up, it will be VERY easy to change out the pictures.  I want to do something similar to this on our staircase, but I need some time to recover from this process.  And I need a couple more picture frames!  (I can't believe I just said that!)


  1. oh I love it! I've always wanted to do that, but my A type personality comes out and I want everything to match...but this looks GREAT. Just the right amount of variety in the frames to make it not feel "cookie cutter". Good job!

  2. Looks amazing! You have such a good eye!!!! Love it!


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