Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Little Gallery Wall

In between supportive carbo-loading for John's marathon this past weekend, I finally got around to hanging some art to create a little gallery wall in our basement:

Here's how I did it...

Step 1: Collect all the frames you think you may want to use and cut out newspaper in the exact size of the frames. I didn't have newspaper on hand so I used some inexpensive wrapping paper I had lying around. Then when I ran out of that and got desperate, I used a sheet of paper from an Ikea frame and a paper towel (whatever's handy!) I find it helpful to write a description of each piece of art on its corresponding template as a reminder what each paper represents, like: "pink flower" or "Civil War General." The art in our house is proof that marriage = compromise.

To make your gallery wall look clean, keep a rectangular edge around the grouping. (In this case I left five inches above the top row of frames, five inches below the bottom row, and 3 inches on both sides.) Then like a puzzle, move the pieces around so they fit within the confines of the rectangle. To hold the "templates" in place I recommend using a soft medical tape, which holds the paper for just the right amount of time you need it to, but won't take any paint off your walls when you pull it off.  

Step 2: If you're using frames with different finishes as I did here, try to space them out. You don't want all of the black frames on one side and all of the gold on the other. This is what increases the "puzzle" element. Obviously if you use frames that are all one color you save yourself this hassle, but the collected look of different frames is very nice. 

Once you have the templates in an arrangement that looks good to you, take each frame and measure the length from the frame's hook or hanging wire (pulled taut) to the top edge of the frame.  Then measure down that exact amount from the center top of the corresponding template and mark the paper.  This way you don't have to mark up your walls. You can then hammer in a nail on the mark, rip the paper off, and hang your art. (These hangers are my favorite.) If all goes according to plan, you should have a perfectly aligned gallery wall.  

Here's my final product one more time:

If you're wondering why the shelf isn't centered, you're not alone.  For some reason previous owners bolted it to the wall so it can't be moved. I'm going to leave it this way for now until I'm ready to repair/repaint the wall get a different cabinet for this space. 

In other news, I'd like to welcome you to check out my portfolio page for a peek at some new work. The photos were taken by the insanely talented Caty Smith. You will definitely thank yourself for clicking over to Caty's website...her photographs are breathtaking!