Friday, October 29, 2010

Mommy's New Gallery Wall

Do you love a gallery wall as much as I do?  I have an obscene lack of wall decor in my house, and have been slowly trying to correct this particular deficiency.  The problem is how pricey it can get!  So, after I found a set of six large frames for $8 at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago, I set a challenge for myself--turn those frames into something fabulous without spending another cent.  Could I do it???

I won't make you wait--here's the final result:

The close-up, and...

The (not so great) shot of the wall.  Why are walls so hard to photograph?

I've been wanting to use these pictures for a long time.  My grandmother, who passed away in 2005, gave most of them to me years ago because she knew I was interested in our family's genealogy. I wish she could see how I have displayed them here.  A few are from my husband's family, and I was so glad to have those too.  I know I will love coming into this room and seeing them.

I love seeing what mattered to them--posing with their cars or fur coats.
That one in the middle is my Great-Uncle's school bus.  There he is posing in a
barrel that has the words "The Prize" on it.  Wish I knew the story behind it!

I love these pictures.  The one in the upper left-hand corner
is my Great Grandmother in 1924 when she was 14 years old, posing with
her dog Peggy.  I just love these little glimpses of their lives.

So, how did I get here?  Here's what the frames looked like before I started:

Six big wooden frames with glass, mats, hardware...all for $8!

The women who sold them to me said she wanted to paint them all black but got sick of it halfway through.  I can totally understand that, because she was doing a very careful job with a paintbrush.  I, however, decided to go another way and did a very sloppy job with a can of spray paint.

Truth be told, it hurt a little to cover the black paint since I am usually all about black frames.  But these were going in my Craft/Guest Room, so they just had to be Heirloom White.  It was really the only choice out of the paints I had on hand...of Heirloom White, Silver, Outdoor Rustoleum Black, or Brown Primer, which would you choose???

I also got lazy with the backing and just used (what else?) burlap which I cut to size and attached to the included cardboard backing with spray adhesive.  Again out of sheer laziness, I used the cardboard fold-out hanger rather than attaching hardware to the frames.  If it works, I'm doing it!

Little tip: make sure you mask your cardboard hanger so you don't adhere your fabric to it--
I used little post-it notes and it worked great.

The most fun part of this project was building my layout.  I got to sift through old pictures and play with the layout until it looked right to me.  I love this gallery because it is cohesive and simple, but I still got to showcase 32 (!!!) photographs.  That's a lot, peeps.

I used mostly black-and-white or sepia, but if I liked a color photo, I used it.  I love this one of my Grandmother's brothers playing their accordians together.

And these reddish ones of my husband and I:

Awww--we're so cute!  Why were the Seventies so red?

I hesitated because they are so very, very red, but in the end I included them because they relate to the other pops of red in my room:

An Ikea pillow and a Mod-Podged coaster.

If I change my mind later, I can always change out the pictures.  I was careful to use a light touch to mount them to the burlap.  I used Stampin' Up's Stampin' Dimensionals (SU--here I go again endorsing your products!  I'm not even a consultant!)  They are removable and won't harm the backs of the pictures, all of which have notes on them.

Speaking of the notes, I didn't trust my memory to come through in case someone asks me, "who's that?"  I can't even remember how to dress myself most days.  So I made a little chart for the back of each frame for reference:

Note how carefully I trimmed the burlap:)  Yes, the backs still look like this!

So, I met my goal of not spending any more money, plus I have a gallery which showcases my ancestors, uses lots of pictures while still looking tidy, and fills a giant blank wall.  Here's what it now looks like from the hallway into my guest room, and my hope is that it warms up this room and invites people in to have a closer look.

P.S. I'm lovin' the linkys at:

Updated on 4/6/11 to add this
fun party from The Inspired Room
The Shabby Nest

Beyond The Picket Fence
Beyond the Picket Fence


  1. This turned out really nice! A very nice way to display old family photos.

  2. I am popping over from the Gallery Wall party. I love seeing your work. (Mine is #10.)


    Gg - Notes on the Journey

    P.S. what a great way to honor your family.

  3. Your gallery wall is great, love how you displayed your old family photos in those frames!! And I love heirloom white! Thanks for sharing your gallery wall with us!!


Your comment makes my day!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...