At the beginning of this year one of my big goals was to finish my house or at least get it further along. You would think after living here almost 3 years we would be pretty much done but that is the total opposite of how we feel. We still have mostly bare walls, old furniture, an empty room and other uncompleted rooms. In all honestly don’t I think we have one room that feels completed, maybe a bathroom…does that count?
So in the spirit of working toward my goals for the year I thought it would be a cool idea to make a Valentine’s Day gift out of an improvement. My husband and I have never been big Valentine’s Day people we are romantic and such but that day just doesn’t hold anything terribly special for us. We don’t usually get each other gifts or anything but this year I had an ulterior motive.
We have a hallway with a massively tall wall that needed something to complete it. After hitting Pinterest and trying to find something amazing in all of my local shops, I was no closer to figuring out what I wanted. Then I had an epiphany, we have travelled all over the world as a couple…why not use some of the amazing photos we have taken as our art.
Then I decided to go back through the thousands and thousands of jpegs from our 10 years together. I had only collected 15 frames in total so I only had a 14 to use (you will understand why later). They varied in sizes from 8×12 to 3×5. Half were matted and half not which I loved the look of.
After days of searching I found the 14 photos, which would make our wall. They all had different meanings, some I had taken, some he had taken, which was great.
Next, I had to decide how I wanted to display these 14 frames. Again I took to Pinterest. There are thousands of ways to arrange a photo wall; some make more sense than others. I did not want to incorporate anything other than the frames; I will save that for a different part of the house. I knew I wanted them in a tight-ish pattern so that I can add more to the grouping later down the road. I finally found my top three patterns I thought would look best and arranged the frames on the floor in front of the wall to see what I liked. I went with number 1.
I know my husband and OCD is not a term that I use lightly with him, if I was going to pull off the tight grid I had in mind I needed a way to make sure everything was properly spaced without a thousand holes in the wall. Normally I take kind of a blind approach to hanging but not this time.
- I traced all of the frames on the blank white paper, for bigger frames I taped papers together to get them the exact right size.
- I then cut everything out and flipped the frames over. I took the pencil and feeling with my hands, punched a hole through the paper where the nail would have to hang.
- I then took the papers and taped them onto the wall.
- I measured and leveled each sheet. Moving the painters tape is a thousand times easier than moving and re-measuring a whole frame.
- Once everything looked perfect (and that took probably 2 hours alone) I placed the nails into the previously made holes in the paper
- Then it was time to start hanging. Again I wanted to make sure it was perfect before taking down the paper so at first I hung the frames over the paper then later removed and rehung everything.
In the end there was only one frame that was a little low, everything else was hung perfectly straight and spaced! What a huge sigh of relief!
I chronicled our travel love story from beginning to current and I think it turned out pretty great. There are no photos of us except for frame 15, the one in the middle is one taken on our wedding day, and we are very small so it technically is still an architecture photograph.
Here are some of the biggest things I learned:
- Always measure the spacing exactly, one millimeter can throw your whole eye
- Don’t just look at the frame spacing remember the nails, one of our photos is a little low because the nails hang differently on it, I now have to rehang that one
- If it’s a big space create a design you can add to. I want to buy more frames and hang more photos, we have gone to so many more places than the 6 I have chosen and I would love to add those to the wall soon. If I had chosen design #2 it would not have been as easy to add.
- A center focal point creates drama. I saw tons of gallery walls with no center focal point and they were pretty but for my big wall the focal point was an absolute must.
- Remember furniture will go under the frames. You can see a random piece of blue tape under the frames. We are buying an entry table for that wall and I wanted to make sure I did not hang the photos too low or it could have been a problem. (Truly almost happened)
I think this is a great thing to do. In this world of instant photos where we literally take thousands why not put some of them to great use and send a love letter to your partner.
Have you ever created a wall like this? What are some of your tips?
The Perfectionist Mom
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