Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gallery Wall

This project has been many months in the making so grab a cup of coffee and settle in because this post is going to be long. I'm a bit embarrassed to say how long this project actually took me.  And the thing that finally kicked my booty in gear? Having people to the house for Adalyn's birthday party next week! Isn't it sad that it takes having a party to make me finish a project? We had a very blank empty wall in our dining room. I really wanted to bring color into that room because the walls are dark and the furniture is dark, but I didn't know what to hang.

Then one day many months ago I was reading Young House Love and they were doing a gallery hall in their house.  They were using white frames and it looked awesome and all of the sudden I decided I needed to do a gallery wall in our dining room using black frames. I had a bunch of black frames left from the office in our old house.  We had black and white pictures with our friends at sporting events we had been to. Well, our lives have now changed because instead of sports pictures I really wanted some family pictures and pictures of Adalyn in the frames since I literally had ONE picture of her in our main level of the house. And I decided I wanted to do colored pictures in the frames.

So I used YHL's tips on how to arrange a picture wall and how to hang the pictures using paper templates.
I'm embarrassed to say how long these papers lived on my wall. (Please note the Happy Everything Grill = July. But I took this picture when I was ready to take the papers down and the papers had lived on the wall for a couple months.) They drove me crazy, so one day I decided that I just needed to hang the frames!
I got all of the pictures hung and HATED it! Sorry for the phone pic (my new phone takes much better pics but this was months ago!)
There were just too many similar large frames. I needed more variety. My mom volunteered to bring a box of frames that were living in her attic for me the next time she came in town. So, thankfully Jes was willing to come over and she got her creative self on and laid a bunch of frames out on the floor.
I took a picture of the arrangement and then my mom and I carried the frames into the dining room one by one and used my camera to hang them in the right spot.
As I said before, I had wanted to use only black frames and only colored pictures. And my mom said I could paint any of her frames she was giving me. But once I saw the arrangement, I just couldn't bring myself to paint a few of the old frames.  And I also couldn't bring myself to take the black and white pictures of my ancestors out of the frames. These are pictures that were on the walls of our house when I was growing up and I know them well.  The picture at the bottom right? My grandpa when he was 2. He was so cute. This was the last picture of him before he lost one of his eyes in an accident. The other pictures are of my grandpa and his brother and sister and my great grandparents. I love looking at the old fashions. One of my great great uncles was into photography so the pictures are really good. I just love having them on my wall. So I decided I would work them into the arrangement instead of changing them.

There were 3 frames that were just plain ugly and they weren't "good" frames, so I didn't mind spraying on two coats of black paint.

Then a few weeks later (I told you it's been a long project) my mom and I sat down with the laptop at the dining table and figured out which pictures to upload to Snapfish to have printed for which frames. And we decided to add two more 8x10 frames at the bottom of the wall for two reasons. First, I really wanted to have frames for our parent's wedding pictures and second, I felt like the layout was a bit too pointy so I wanted to even it out.  So this is what we came up with (can you believe this is a phone picture? I love my new 4s!):
See the picture of grapes? That was a place holder because I had Adalyn's silhouette made this past week so it was for her silhouette.  See the silhouette that is already on the wall? That was mine from 1982. Once I had her silhouette made, I realized that I actually needed a smaller sized frame for it and that the wall was really off balanced with the two so close together, so I made a few switches and we now have a finished gallery wall!
Here is an up close picture of the wall. The picture in the center was my anniversary present from Jonathan this year. It is a picture from Adalyn's 6 months photos wrapped on wood and it has this awesome shiny metallic-y finish. I love it. You might also be able to spy a few of Jonathan and my baby pictures. I love the mix of the old and new pictures and old and new frames. Even our parents wedding pictures are mixed black and white and color. And we added a few fun pictures of Adalyn with her friends and cousin.
 Please notice the Happy Everything Pumpkin = October
I am so thankful to finally have this project done. Even if it did take me most of this year to do this in stages. Although there will be some pictures that stay, I think it will be fun to swap out pictures from time to time. I love how it filled in the once empty wall.  The other evening, Jes was leaving my house and called me to tell me how cool it looked from outside the front window when the lights are on dim. So of course I had to check it out and I love it! I really am so happy with the end result! What a fun low-cost way to bring some life to my wall!


Aishlea and Brandon said...

Great job!! The pics look really good!

Savannah said...

This looks awesome! You did a great job!

Crystal said...

The wall looks so good! You did great! I have a wall I want to do but I'm scared I will never finish it!

Em said...

LOVE it! That looks soooo good. Love the variety in shapes and colors....friend you are amazing. Miss you