Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Make Your Own Gallery Wall
The wall behind my sofa, which is the first wall you see when you enter the house, has been blank for a long time. At one point, I wanted a super giant painting there. I thought I found a gorgeous, oversized abstract painting at a thrift store near my house. I spotted it a while ago, and over time, in my mind, it became the perfect piece to put there. I remember that it was priced at $275 and was going to go back to the store and offer $200 cash. However, when I returned to the store and saw the painting again, I realized something. It was ugly! Totally, seriously ugly. And it wasn't an abstract, like I had thought. It was a very motel-lobby painting of the Golden Gate bridge on a foggy day. Yikes. Not this bad but almost:
My next thought was to have two large abstract-ish landscapes painted by a local artist I know (a.k.a. my dad). I think he is still working on these? It has been a loooong time. I guess he is busy? Who knows, he is a strange individual. Anyway, if they ever get finished, I can put them in another room.
Then I decided that the simplest thing to do would be to create a gallery wall. You know I had enough Ikea ribba frames to do this. I used art I had around, including four prints from 20x200. I filled out the arrangement with a plate and rectangular dish that were collecting dust in the china cabinet. I also added two random postcards as place holders - when I find something better (like maybe an oversized antique key or something interesting/lame like that) I'm going to remove the post cards. (Leave your address and I'll send one to you).
The hardest part of all this is making the arrangement. Here is how you do it:
1. Look at images of gallery walls online. Decide what style you want -- an orderly grid of matching frames, a grouping of similar frames, a mish-mash of thrift store randoms, etc. I decided that I wanted an arrangement that had an even outer perimeter, but was a mish-mash within those borders.
2. Using wrapping paper or newspaper, make templates of all your frames. Note which frames are to be hung horizontally or vertically.
3. Using blue painter's tape, tape them to the wall. Start with the biggest pieces -- for example, my largest frame gave me the height of my project. Going from biggest to smallest made sense for me. This step took a while -- maybe 2 hours? I took a lot of breaks.
Here is what my arrangement looked like once I was happy with it:
4. One at a time, hang each piece. Leave the paper up and put the nails right through it. When all the nails are in, rip out the paper and hang the frames. You may have to make adjustments -- I moved a few pieces and leveled out some others.
5. Enjoy! Here is my finished gallery wall:
Don't you feel just like you are in a gallery, looking at a wall????