DIY Gallery Wall Tutorial

So, I feel like I’m saying this ALL. THE. TIME. lately, but it’s been a crazy busy week so far here in the Mercer house!

Our handsome little man turned two this weekend and, though we didn’t plan much in terms of a party, we enjoyed a ton of family time celebrating.
Carson's Birthday

With our busy weekend, I didn’t really get started working on the gallery wall until Monday. I’m SO, SO sorry for the delay, but hopefully you’ll find that it was worth the wait!!!


The gallery wall, as it’s come to be known, is definitely a fast growing trend in home decor and for good reason, they really are a versatile way to fill a large wall space with a ton of creativity and personality!

Since moving into our house last fall, this super awkward wall in our living room has had me stumped.

Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

With it’s weird jump out and then back in, I’ve had no clue how to decorate it.  Enter the GALLERY WALL – I’m pretty sure if it weren’t for pinterest, this wall would remain empty and void of any personality forever!

Desperate to get some pictures up on my wall, I decided to create my own little gallery wall from the pile of frames we still had boxed up in our basement.  Fortunately Unfortunately, I don’t have a stellar picture, but this one of Brady reading a bedtime story to Carson will give you a good idea of what an epic fail it was!

How NOT to do a Gallery Wall

Turns out gallery walls aren’t as random as they may appear and there are better ways to hammer the picture hook in the right spot than trial and error … who knew?!

This time around I decided to take my time and do it right!  I chose some bigger frames to really help fill up the space (clearly that was an issue with my first try).  I played around with different layouts for weeks, leaving things set up on our guest bed and shifting pieces around every time I walked by.
Different Gallery Wall Layouts @ making it in the mountains

Originally, I was drawn to the layouts that lined up to make a perfect square – I liked how put together they looked and my facebook fans agreed when I polled them on their favorites.  Then I started looking through zillions of gallery walls on pinterest (why didn’t I think to do this at the beginning?!) and I realized that a less perfect look would not only allow me to add to it easily down the road, but it turns out I really liked that sort of haphazard, yet still collected look (you can see my favorite layouts here).  Plus, I came across these and just had to add them into the mix!

Sneek Peek Gallery Wall | making it in the mountains

So, after playing around with different layouts on the bed yet again, I finally decided on the one I thought looked best.

Just to be sure that everything would fit just right, I measured the width of the three sections of wall (divided up by that weird jut out), taped some kraft paper together to replicate that width, and laid it all out on the living room floor.  *You could totally skip this step as you’ll get another chance to move things around later before actually nailing into the wall, but with my weird wall(s), this step was extra useful.

gallery wall @ making it in the mountains

I ended up having to flip a few things around as I realized that some of the frames were going to hang over the edge of the wall.  Here’s where I finally landed.

gallery wall @ making it in the mountains

*Note: you’ll notice that the paper on the left has no frames on it – because it’s right next to the window, I’ve decided to leave that little section of wall empty until after we hang some curtains.

Next up, I traced all of my frames onto the paper and cut them out had Brady cut them out while he was relaxing on the couch watching golf (he offered!).  I marked the nail spots from the frames onto the paper cutouts and B (clearly this wasn’t a job for little 4’11 3/4″ old me) taped them onto the wall with painters tape to recreate what I had going on the floor.  *Tip: it definitely helped to have pictures of the planned layout to look back on to make sure we got everything in just the right spot.

gallery wall @ making it in the mountains

Letting it sit for the day on Tuesday gave me a chance to make sure the layout was just right and using painters tape allowed me to adjust things as needed.  Once I was absolutely sure everything was just where it should be (where was this careful thought the first time when I needed it?), all I had to do was hammer a hook into the holes I marked on the kraft paper, rip it all off and hang up our pictures.

Gallery Wall Tutorial @ making it in the mountains

I wish I could take credit for this brilliant idea, but in my search for inspiration (and my subsequent online frame shopping), I actually came across this handy video tutorial that the folks at Pottery Barn put together.  As I was doing this, I wondered many times if it would be as easy and seamless as it appeared to be in the video and, let me tell you, nobody was more surprised to learn that it absolutely was (well, maybe Brady)!

And …..

Here it is!!!

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

DIY Gallery Wall @ making it in the mountains

Need some inspiration for your Gallery Wall?  Here‘s a great place to start!

Already have a gallery wall in your home?  Did you plan it out or wing it?

DIY Gallery Wall Tutorial @ making it in the mountains


Sources:

Mirrored frame: Target (I couldn’t find it online)
Small silver frames: Target (here)
Wood frames: Target (here)
Cream ceramic frame: Target (couldn’t find this one online either)

The antlers, ampersand and M were purchased from The Shabby Shak on Etsy.   I won’t link to this shop simply because I don’t want people to mistakenly click on it thinking I am encouraging you to shop here.  Though I was happy with the antlers and ampersand, the letter M was sent in the wrong colour.  The owner, Angela, sent a bright white when I had actually ordered a creamy white and, because I had requested “creamy white” (as I saw here) rather than just “cream” as listed in her colour choices on this particular listing, she decided that she would only fix it for me if I paid to ship it back.  Feeling like I’d already paid a ton for shipping, I decided to suck it up and use it anyway.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was disappointed in not only receiving what I felt like was the wrong colour, but even more in her correspondence and the way she handled things – making me feel as though she was so busy that my order didn’t even matter to her.  I wanted to be honest about my experience with this shop and suggest that you seek out one of the many other fabulous shops that make similar wall decor.  I also want to point out that I have had many, many purchases on Etsy and this is the first and hopefully the only time I have been disappointed with my shopping experience – if you haven’t tried Etsy yet, please, please don’t let my crummy experience scare you away from scoring some amazing things that you would never find anywhere else!

Wishing you a lovely week!!!

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Shared with: From My Front Porch to Yours, The Style Sisters, Sew Crafty Cat, A Stroll Through Life, Green Willow Pond & Mostly Homemade Mom.

 

 

 

 

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DIY Pottery Barn Picture Ledge Shelves

Happy Monday!!!  Somehow the weekend came and went in the blink of an eye.  We had a super busy Saturday shopping in Spokane, so the only useful thing we tackled on Sunday was to get those shelves up on the wall.  I am SO excited to FINALLY share this post after so many weeks of talking about it!

DIY Pottery Barn Shelves | making it in the mountains

Since turning our wedding collage picture frame into a giant bulletin board (see picture below), I needed a new way to display some of our pictures.  I bought some barn wood frames a while ago to put the pictures into, but since I wasn’t really sure where to hang them, they’ve sat stacked in the corner of our guest room for months now just waiting to be used.  When I came across this post by Shanty-2-Chic, I knew that some picture ledge shelves would be the perfect way to display our beautiful photos and frames.

DIY Bulletin Board | making it in the mountains*My DIY Bulletin Board.

Here’s what you’ll need for each shelf to make your own:

  • 2-1x4s cut to length
  • 1-1×2 cut to length
  • some screws (I used #6 x 2″ wood screws to put together the shelves and 2″ drywall screws to attach it to the wall)
  • some finishing nails
  • wood glue

I had Brady cut our wood to 3′ lengths and then I stained each piece with Minwax wood stain in Dark Walnut.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains*Note: The 1x6s shown in this photo were used to make this DIY Art Display Hanger.

To attach our 1x4s together, I added a line of glue to bottom edge of one board and then pre-drilled through the back and screwed them together.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountainsDIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

To attach the 1×2, I simply ran a line of glue along the bottom 1×4 (not the the back piece with the screws) and attached the 1×2 with some finishing nails.  That’s it … easy peasy!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

Although my original intention was to leave the beautiful walnut stained wood exposed, in the end, I chose to apply a coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White over top of the stain because (1) I didn’t like the way the colour turned out on the 1x2s and (2) I thought the white colour would contrast more with my barn wood frames.  I’ve only just begun experimenting with Chalk Paint, but I’m in love with it already!!!  It’s so easy to see why it’s become so popular … you don’t need to prepare the surface at all (though if you have raw, unfinished wood, you’ll need to shellac or stain it first), you can paint ANYTHING, it dries quickly, distresses easily and just a little paint goes such a long way.

Here’s what the shelves looked like after the first coat of chalk paint.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

And after the second coat.

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

I also chose to sand it down a bit to give it more of a distressed, rustic look.  I absolutely love the way the dark stain shows through!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

To hang these babies on the wall, I screwed a couple of 2″ drywall screws through the shelves into the wall studs.  It didn’t really matter to me that the screws into the wall were visible because they would be covered with pictures anyway, but you could always nail some art hooks onto the back if you didn’t want them to be visible.

Shelves

Finally, it was time to pile them full of pictures!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

I am so in LOVE with how these turned out!!!

DIY Picture Ledge Shelves | making it in the mountains

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Shared with: Sew Crafty Cat, Kleinworth & Co, Craving Some Creativity, Saving 4 Six, No Biggie, Too Much Time on my Hands, DIY Showoff, Pieced Pastimes, The Blissful Bee, It’s Overflowing, Miss Mustard Seed, The Charm of Home, Chic on a Shoestring, My Romantic Home, The Thrifty Groove, French Country Cottage, Craftberry Bush, Liz Marie Blog, Imparting Grace, From My Front Porch to Yours, Green Willow Pond, Maison de Pax, A Stroll Through Life, I Should be Mopping the Floor, Mod Vintage Life and Elizabeth Joan Designs.

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