Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Evolution of a Gallery Wall


This is one of those things I have struggled with getting "right" for a long time. I have admiringly oogled over beautifully designed gallery walls for a while now. I have pinned and clipped photos to my hearts content. I have saved every "fool-proof" plan on how to achieve the look and still...FAIL. No matter what I did it just did not look right. I wasn't 100% sure of what I was going for. I would put something up, think "Eh, it's okay", then a few days later start picking out all that was wrong with it. And...back to Pinterest or any of the other image packed sites. 

Just sad...trying pieces and having dismantled what was there...

This was an attempt. The shelf I had made years ago from some brackets that had been painted for my girls' bedroom when they were teeny-tiny. I used an old wood shutter as the top. I like the shelf but it looks small.

The large picture was one taken at Christmas of Mister and my two younger girls picking a Christmas tree. I had it printed at Staples and mounted to piece of cardboard and put it into an frame I had laying around.


While I liked these things individually, I could not get them to work together. There was too much space in between the pieces...it's just not right. I needed to start over. Everything came off the wall. I started curating a collection from around my home. (Shop your home before buying new stuff!) I perused my clipped and saved photos online and took note of what had initially caught my eye and made me want to save it the photo begin with. 

I had a mirror that I bought with mother at a craft fair back in 1989 or 1990. I fell in love with it when I saw it and it was one of those purchases that I have never regretted. It had been packed away for a while but I knew I wanted to use it for this grouping. (Don't be afraid to rotate your decor or pack things away for a while.) Mirrors are a great tool for decorating. They are less expensive than a piece of large artwork, they add light to a room,  and don't have to tie you to a color scheme. Make sure you place it somewhere that it will reflect something pretty or opposite a window. 

I measured the space of wall that I wanted to cover with my collage. I made sure to leave some room on the sides, a little at the top, and some area at the bottom that would not interfere with someone sitting close to it. Once my proportions were right I used a piece of chalk and a level to mark the outside lines on my wall. 





I used the measurements to lay out space on my floor. Now, if you do not have the luxury of doing this while everyone is a work or at school.... join the club. Everybody was banned from the living room. It took a couple of tries where I would lay stuff out, take a picture, have to pick everything up and try again another day. I think I did that three times before I was happy. 


Once I had it where I thought it looked good, I took more pictures. I took time to look at spacing, ect. in each picture. I still didn't like the shelf. It looked wimpy... "Ooh, I have those old brackets from our "before" kitchen", I remembered. (Sometimes, I am glad I am a hoarder!) They needed a coat of paint and that did the trick. 


I hung the center piece, my mirror, first.


I then placed the outer edges. From there I measured out each piece, held the piece to the wall and chalked an outline. I marked everything with chalk as I was going through it and when I was happy with how it looked on the wall, I used my chalk marks to measure and hammer in the hooks. 

I had an empty picture frame and needed something in it but it is an weird size and so as I looked around at odds and ends in my craft pile I came up with the idea to use an old drawer pull to hang a piece of slate from. I recycled a cup pull from my demo'd kitchen, turning it upside down, to hold chalk. It all got mounted to a 1x4 that I stained then put the frame around it. 


I later went back and rewrote the word in chalk pen.


An old house means some old treasures like the escutcheon plates and knobs on some of the doors. When we first moved in we made the bathroom door into a pocket door but saved the hardware. Mounted to the wall, it made a perfect hanger for my basket. 




Ugh! Still not quite right! There is just too much wall showing between pieces and it is not what attracted me to all my pinned and saved photos. Try again! I shopped my house some more...

A paper towel roll, some hot glue and twine served as great ingredients for a garland. 


Pieces from favorite local haunts, like Vintage Thymes, that I have collected filled in gaps and spaces. 



I needed something to fit in a space about 6"x8" above the mirror. I had a picture of a sunflower that I had found online. (I can no longer find the source.) I printed it onto wax paper then laid it, ink side down, on an unfinished piece of scrap wood. (Saw that on Pinterest.) I used a spoon to burnish the ink onto the wood. It worked! I put a hanger on the back and here is the finished product...



There! I took pictures, filled in spaces, more pictures and tada! 



No, I couldn't leave well enough alone. I moved furniture around and now, I think it will stay this way a while...





What do you think? Is there a gallery wall in your future? Hope my trials help you to figure out how to work yours out. 


Link Parties I Am Going To: 

27 comments:

  1. Hi Jolena
    Yes, we've all been there....put up décor on the wall, only to start over. Your idea of arranging it all on the floor in a measured space is brilliant! I once used the Martha stewart idea of cutting out paper outlines & taping them on the wall to see how best to arrange the items, but the floor idea is even better. You did very well - it's stunning!
    Catherine

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    1. Hi, Catherine! I tried the cut outs on the wall, too but it just did not work for me. I need to see colors and frames next to each other and repeating elements, ect. Thank you for spending some time with me.

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  2. I have been working on a our gallery wall and every time I get it all pulled out and lay it out on the floor I change something about it! lol Your wall looks great, I love the hanging basket with the greenery!
    - Jaclyn

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    1. Keep at it Jaclyn and send me a picture when you get it done! I would love to see it. Thanks for stopping by today and thank you for the kind words.

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  3. I had one for a while with pictures of flowers only. Liked it, but got tired of it and took it down. Yours is full of interesting pieces. Love the variety. If I do another, I will use yours as inspiration. Great job!

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    1. Aww, that is sweet. Thanks for such a lovely compliment, Kathy.

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  4. Oh Jolena, that's definitely an inspiration. Where do I even begin. I love the paper towel roll garland and the door knob and hanging basket and the shutter shelf. Your chalkboard is adorable. I really love everything about your gallery wall. Beautiful. Thank you so very much for sharing with us at the Sweet Inspiration party.

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    1. Oh, my! Thank you for all the kind words, Michelle! I am glad you like it. Thank you for hosting the party. It is always fun to see the weekly features.

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  5. It turned out really nice. I love the architectural pieces you added! Hubby and I just hung a shutter shelf in my she shed this past weekend. Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks, Jann. Lucky girl with a she-shed! Thanks for the party and the visit.

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  6. How creative! Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home!

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  7. The door knob is just beautiful!! Your wall looks gorgeous.
    I have attempted to make a gallery wall last year, but only got as far as laying the frames out on the floor... after that I abandoned the project haha. Yours looks great.

    Best,
    Bibi

    https://simplesummit.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Bibi! Try again, 2nd times a charm.

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  8. I think you have done it Jolena. It looks fantastic with the right amount of texture and color and shapes... it is perfect. Lots of interest to keep the eyes focused there. And it is also full of so many sweet memories.

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    1. Aww, thank you, Mary. Thanks for the visit.

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  9. OMG,this is what i have tried to do several times and have failed miserably at it..Your gallery wall is just Beautiful and gives me great inspiration.

    We are in the middle of a remodel of the main rooms of the house,so i'm going to save your pictures,if you don't mind until i'm ready to do mine.TFs

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    1. Yay! I am so glad that this has inspired you to try again. Of course, I don't mind if you save a photo for later reference. I am on Pinterest for easier pinning. I would love to see a picture when you get it done. Happy remodeling and thanks for visiting with me.

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  10. I would love to do a wall like this. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

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    1. Hi Charlene, thanks for spending time with me. You should give it a try. What have you got to lose?

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  11. Jolena your lovely gallery wall is my feature tomorrow over at Sweet Inspiration. Come on over and get your button and congrats!

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    1. Ooh, thank you, Mary! I will pop over!

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  12. Love your style! THANKS FOR JOINING THE SEASONAL BLOG HOP JOY!

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  13. Wow...this turned out so amazing! :)

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. Thanks for visiting with me.

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  14. Wow...this turned out so amazing! :)

    I would love for you to share this with my Facebook Group for recipes, crafts, tips, and tricks: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pluckyrecipescraftstips/

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

    ReplyDelete