Friday, November 4, 2011

Gallery Wall: Part 1, Inception

About a year ago I started seeing gallery walls (aka memory walls) popping up all over the blogsphere, in shelter magazines and catalogs. It was the perfect thing for our stairwell. As you recall, it wasn't much to look at.

On Tuesday, I found images like these on Pintrest.

Then I read this post on {twenty}something about her gallery wall.

I decided to be brave and see what frames I could pull together from around the house. I had some pieces lying around already, like Darin's father's lightning photo that used to hang over the piano (more on that later) and the letter photos piece that I wrote about here. They were just sitting on the parlor floor, making me nervous that one of the boys would ruin them. To add to the collection, I started pulling random pieces from other walls in my home and raiding the basement.

When I had everything together, I started cutting and taping grocery ads to use as templates for placement. Normally I would lay out my arrangement on the floor, use a sheet of wax paper to mark all of the nails, hang the wax paper on the wall, pound the nails in, tear off the wax paper and hang away; but that wouldn't have worked so well with the angle of the stairs. However, I did mark all of my templates with nail placements and a brief description of which piece they represented, which made hanging so much easier. Tuesday night I started hanging my templates on the wall.

I was really surprised by how many pieces I actually had. I thought it would takes months to get enough pieces to make a good size display.

I started putting up the largest template pieces first (per {twenty}something's advice), and noticed that I needed some smaller pieces to round out the collection and really pull it together. The smallest I had were 8"x10"s. (Seriously?!?)

I ended up at Target that night for something else, and I spotted this. A black, ten piece frame set for $25! That's only $2.50 a frame. Sure, the frames weren't high quality and the sizes ranged from 8"x10" to 2.5"x3.5", but it was perfect for what I needed. Needless to say, I bought them.

When I got home, I added my new little frames to my pile and took a step back. How on earth did I come up with so much stuff? I was impressed. (Sorry for the bad lighting, it was night.)

On Wednesday, I started driving nails. I was so glad that I had the templates to work with. As the frames slowly went up, I would rearrange the other templates until it was just right. It was a slow process of hanging the largest pieces at the bottom of the stairs, filling in the medium frames, hanging the largest pieces further up the stairs, hanging the smallest frames at the bottom of the stairs, putting up the medium frames around the larger ones further up the stairs... You get the idea. It was a lot of working my way up the stairs, going back down to put up another smaller piece, etc.

Half of the frames have pictures in them, the other half don't. I need to paint some things black, others I need to craft before framing. It's a work in progress (hence the "Part 1"). Thursday was consumed by finding and developing creative ways to frame some keepsakes, as well as printing off some pictures I found online that I really like.

Today, Friday, you guessed it, I'll be working some more on "The Wall."

Look forward to more details on what's going up. In the mean time, here is a sneak-peek at what it currently looks like.


Shannon said...

I am very excited to see your finished wall!

Heather said...

Thank you! I'm excited to see my wall finished, too!

I think in part the blog has become a blessing, because it is extra incentive to finish my projects!