It all started with these unfinished frames from Cut It Out Frames.
I had a hard time deciding what color to paint the frames. In the end I opted for white that matches my trim because I wanted the fabulous pictures my sister Wendy took of us to shine through.
Here’s a tip that can save you a lot of time and frustration: Instead of trying to hang up the pictures and make mistakes resulting in extra holes in the wall, trace the frames on craft paper and hang the silhouettes on the wall.
Here’s what I did to create the family picture wall:
We also recently painted our entire downstairs, so I knew I didn’t want a bunch of holes in the new paint. I decided to use 3M Command Strips to hang the pictures. The Command Strip line has many many different options for hanging projects. I ended up using three different types for this project — Large Picture Hanging Strips, Medium Picture Hanging Strips and Sawtooth Sticky Nail Strips.
Another cool thing about using 3M Command Strips is that even if the placement of the strips isn’t perfect, the special hook and loop backing gives a little room for adjusting the placement. And that can make ALL of the difference.
- First I primed and spray painted the frames. I sanded in between the coats to get the smoothest finish.
- Once painted and dried, I sanded the edges.
- Then to get a “worn” finish on the edges, I skimmed the edge of a Ranger Walnut Wood Colored Stamp pad along the edges. (thanks Shelley from House of Smiths for showing me this tip).
- Then I laid the pictures out on my floor in the placement I wanted. I cut out silhouettes of the frames with craft paper and hung them on the wall. Then I lived with it for awhile to make sure I liked the placement. I actually ended up moving the frame papers around a few times.
- This sign is from Kristi from Barn Owl Primitives. I love it!
- Once I was sure of the placement, I got my 3M strips and got to work.
- I used 4 picture hanging strips on each frame just to be safe. I peeled off one edge of the strips and attached them to the frame.
- Be sure to read the directions on the 3M strips for more in-depth instructions.
- Then I peeled the top off one strip, snapped the two sides together and then peeled one edge off of the paper frame silhouette. I placed the picture frame over the silhouette and pushed that edge down, adhering the strip to the wall. Then I took the picture back off, and the one side of the 3M strip sticks to the wall while the other side stays on the frame.
- When I stuck the second side onto the wall, I used my level to make sure it was straight.
- I did this with each of the corners of the frame.
- The directions on the 3M strips say to let the strips stay on the wall for at least an hour so they can adhere to their full strength before you hang the picture permanently.
And, at the last minute I decided to spray paint my table. This is my grandmother’s table. Over the years the finish has worn off. So I sanded, primed it and added a layer of satin yellow. I love it!!!
**And I was considering covering up the thermostat that’s inconveniently located on my wall. But a reader pointed out that if I covered it up, the thermostat wouldn’t gauge the temperature correctly and my heating would get messed up. So for now, I am ignoring the thermostat. Pretend it isn’t there, mmmkay?
The last thing I wanted to add to my gallery wall was an initial. But the plain letter looked too, well… plain. So I took a canvas and covered it with some fabric and then hot glued my spray painted initial onto the canvas. And I love the way it adds a little depth to the wall.
So there you have it. I am loving my new picture wall. Every time I walk past I see another aspect of the photos that I love.
And more good news. If you want to win some of these pretty frames, there will be a Cut It Out Frames giveaway coming up soon.
UPDATE: Questions? I might have answered them in this post: Gallery Wall: Your Questions Answered!