Monday, November 28, 2011

Photo Gallery Wall: Part 2 (The Reveal)

If you missed the first installment of my photo gallery wall, here's a quick reminder of what our empty stairwell looked like:

Then I spray painted a bunch of different frames white and ivory for a slight two-tone effect.

Then I used frame "templates" to determine the placement on the wall. For the most part, I just eyeballed the spacing between all the frames (I prefer this method over measuring).

Then I had to decide on what photos to display. I went through a bunch of our digital pics and chose several from various vacations, a couple from our wedding, and a couple more random ones. And because we don’t have any kids yet, I of course had to include the dogs. So other than that, we probably look really conceited by having so many pictures of ourselves. But in my defense, I do have a separate collage frame in our living room with photos of our families, so that counts for something…Anyway, I now present to you several gratuitous pictures of the finished wall!

Overall I really like it, and I'm glad I chose to do both white and ivory frames for a subtle contrast. Although now I kind of wish I would have used a couple round- or oval-shaped frames to break up all the square-ness. But I must say, having all our photos displayed on this huge wall really makes a big difference and makes our house feel more “homey” (3.5 years later)!

Here's a more recent picture taken after we painted all our walls gray.

Someday -- maybe when our basement is finished -- I may add more frames on the second flight of stairs to keep the gallery wall wrappping around the stairwell. (Update as of November 2016: This still hasn't happened yet... but a girl can dream!)

Oh, and if you're curious about the cost of this project, here's my estimated breakdown:
Frames: $25 (I used several I already had, then bought a few more on sale)
Spray paint: $10
Photos: $10 (printed at Sam's Club)

So, whaddaya think?  Was it worth the wait and the 2-part blog post?

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Linking up to:
Made by you Monday @ Skip to my Lou
Make It Great Monday @ Etcetorize
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
Show Me What Ya Got #51

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Updates

Okay, so November’s been a little slow around here, as you can tell from my one measly post this month. Aside from being pretty busy in general, I’ve also been having some computer issues, so I really haven’t been able to blog (or check out other blogs) lately. This makes me sad, but I should hopefully be back in business soon. A few things you can look forward to:

- Photo gallery wall reveal
- New storm door on the front porch
- A Christmas project (or two…or three?)

Oh, and I’ve also finally succumbed to the peer pressure and joined Pinterest! Better late than never, right? I think I had been putting it off because I knew it would become dangerously addicting…and I was right. (I'm pretty sure I could spend days on end just pinning things.) Anyhow, I’d love for you to check out my boards and follow me! I’ll also start adding the “Pin It” buttons to some of my projects on here, so if something really strikes your fancy, you can pin it and make me feel special. ;)

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In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t believe it’s just a few short days away. Where has this month gone?!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Gallery Wall: Part 1

Dry your eyes, my bloggy friends -- I'm back! But my little hiatus over the past couple of weeks doesn’t mean nothing’s been happening. In fact, I’ve been feverishly trying to finish my latest project to share with you lovelies.

Let's remember a couple months ago when I first hatched the idea for a photo gallery wall...I knew I wanted to display my frames in our stairwell, but I had to choose between the large wall next to the stairs, or the smaller wall above the landing.

Yuck, bad lighting (or bad photographer?). It's not really this orange-y.

Originally, I thought I was going to do the smaller wall above the landing. So I gathered all my existing hodge-podge frames, but my collection seemed a little sparse.

After trips to Goodwill, Walmart, and Hobby Lobby, I had acquired several more cheap-o frames in a variety of sizes. I also bought two small ledges and a decorative "D" from Hobby Lobby (for our last name). Then I laid everything out on the floor in our office to visualize how it would look on the wall.

But first… Since the frames were all such different styles, I wanted to make them a little more cohesive, but not ALL the same, so I decided to buy white and ivory spray paint. This would also provide contrast with the dark reddish-brown wall color and tie in to the white trim in our hallway.

And so began the spray painting. I spray painted like I've never spray painted before. Unfortunately, most of the dark frames needed several coats. Needless to say, I was probably high on the fumes on more than one occasion.

It was definitely an exercise in patience, but finally – after painting in my spare time over the course of a couple weeks -- all of the frames were painted. Because of the materials a few of them are made of, they almost have a distressed look to them, which I actually like. I didn't want everything to look "perfect."

At some point during this process, I changed my mind and decided to put the frames on the wall next to the stairs instead. It was just such a big wall that it really needed something on it. Plus, the photos would be more visible from upstairs then.

So to help map everything out on the wall before going crazy with a hammer and nails, I traced all the frames onto paper and cut them out to make templates. Then I used ScotchBlue painter's tape to place my paper “frames” on the wall. (I'd seen this idea on another blog before - genius!) It really helped to visualize what it would look like.

I ended up switching around a couple of the frames once they were up on the wall.

Once I was finally happy with the placement, I measured where the hangers were on the backs of all the frames, and used this measurement to place my nails in the wall. Luckily, most of the frames had only one hanger on the back instead of two, which made my job easier. Gradually, the paper frames came down, and the real frames went up...

However, I'm not quite finished putting the pictures in the frames (deciding what pictures to use is the hardest part...I'm tempted to leave some of the nice-looking fake people in them). So you'll have to wait until next time to see the final reveal! Yep, I'm totally leaving you hanging.


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