My Entryway/Gallery Wall

The best way to plan out a gallery wall (or any set of photos and artwork) is to “fake” your layout with paper. After collecting all of my items and putting my photos in their frames, I traced their shapes on a roll of paper. You could use magazines, newspapers, or construction paper. I used a newspaper end roll that you can buy from The Forum for $2 (there are so many uses for these!).

After cutting out my shapes, I taped them on my wall. This is the easiest way to figure out exactly where you want your items to be placed. You can easily reaarange without drilling or nailing holes in your wall. I like to draw a little stick figure on my paper, too,  so that I’m reminded of what photo is going where.

And here’s my final gallery wall! You can see the DIY items I made, like the signs and the photo matting here.


I did go with a more simple route, with dark brown frames. I chose to use pops of color in my DIY photo matting. The opposite wall has an accent color of a guacamole green, so the green matting ties that in. I purchased the “Welcome” sign at Hobby Lobby at 50% off of $4.99. The ledge shelf was purchased at the Boys and Girl’s Ranch Thrift Store a few months back for $4.99.

Then included a wedding photo and an engagement photo underneath my romantic sign.

After taking the above photo, I realized my frames are constantly going to be brushed up against and I will always be arranging them to make them straight. I found some of that gum-like tacky stuff in my junk drawer and stuck some on the backs of everything to hold it in place better.


What do you think? I feel like this wall will evolve, but I think I have a great starting point. I want to add a few more cutesy items that you wouldn’t normally find on a wall. And my stepdaughter pointed out that we don’t have a photo of our dog, Nash, on the wall — and he is part of our family, after all. I’ll have to figure out how to add him in. :)

I’d love any suggestions — I’m even considering painting the “All You Need Is Love” sign in a dark red to match the red matting and add another pop of color. But right now I like how it balances out the white shelf.


See my previous blogs on gallery walls:

I Love Friday!…and Gallery Walls | Gallery Wall: DIY Items


Gallery Wall: DIY Items

I told you I would work on my gallery wall this weekend, and I did! It’s so much fun! The best part was finding great ways to reuse items I already owned. Here are a few of the DIY and budget-friendly things I did with my gallery wall decor.

Tank Decor = Wall Decor

Since I got rid of this seashell tank decor tray thingy….

…I wanted to find a way to reuse the tray part. I have held on to it for a few months, trying to determine the best way to use it. Then I saw THIS GALLERY WALL and noticed that she used a similar item in her wall decor. Off to Hobby Lobby to burn that gift card I got for Christmas! I spent $4.99 on these little wood letters (only to find out later that Walmart has a similar set for cheaper!):

Originally I was going to write “family” but realized the letters were too small and I could actually fit a quote. Then the romantic in me came out and I ended up with “All You Need Is Love” because who doesn’t want that song stuck in their head all day, every day? Then I cheated on my hot glue gun with Elmer’s glue (shhh…don’t tell!).

Next up: a few coats of glossy white paint. For some reason I neglected to prime it first…so I think I need a few more coats. Oh well. Isn’t it cute!? (PS. I got rid of the little flower things.)

Next up…

Painted Glass Sign

 I had this 11×14 frame I bought from Savers for $2.99 a few weeks ago, planning to use it for my gallery wall. Then I didn’t have a picture to fit it, so my plan changed. There are some cool painted glass signs floating around on Pinterest lately, so I figured I’d try it out. I printed out my “sign” on vellum paper, so that I could see through it. I taped it to the FRONT of my glass, exactly where I wanted it.

 Then I flipped it OVER, and used this Americana Writer paint to trace my letters on the back side.

I painted on the back because I wanted the paint to be protected so that I can easily clean the front of the glass when it gets dusty. This paint is essentially puffy paint, which I didn’t realize when I bought it, but I like the fine tip. My first idea was to use a fine paint brush and a multi-purpose paint (like the Martha Stewart craft paint I used for the hand print ornaments), but I was really happy when I realized how easy this would be. It literally took me about 30 seconds. And from the front, it looks like regular paint – you can’t tell it’s puffy paint. After the lettering was dry, I put the glass into my frame. I used my hot glue gun around the edges of it to hold the glass inside the frame.

I hung it on the wall, and it’s done! Okay, honestly the word “done” is hardly in my vocabulary. I think I’ll add some decorative swirls.

On to...

Photo Mats

I also made my own “mats” for my pictures since most of my prints were 4×6 and I had 5×7 frames. I wanted a pop of color on my wall since I did go a more generic route with the items and their colors. To make the mats, I cut 4 strips of paper into 3/4 inch widths, then trimmed two of them to 5 inches and the other two to 7 inches. I arranged them in a square, used some tape on the back to hold them together, and voila! Colored matting for my photos.

Ready for the final gallery wall reveal???

Check back tomorrow!


I Love Friday!…and Gallery Walls

We have a split-level entryway in our twin home — which, by the way, I despise. First of all, the person that decided that a 4×5 space was sufficient enough to enter into and take your shoes and coat off did not have children. (I will admit that the real-world dimensions of the space may be bigger than my perceived mental measuring tape.) We come home and perform an assembly line: “Okay, you go!” as child 1 takes off his shoes and coat and rushes up the stairs, while I stand waiting at the storm door, then send child #2 in to do the same, before I enter and try to juggle a baby, purse, lunch box, and diaper bag. On those occasions when we all try to stand in the entryway together, someone is at risk of falling perilously down the stairs. Sure, we may only fall down 7 stairs rather than a full flight, but I’d rather the chances be more slim (especially since I’m somewhat famous for falling down stairs). Another peril of the split-entry is that in the passage from upstairs to downstairs, your socks will get wet, specifically in the winter and spring seasons.

Okay, a lot of my split-level hatred is due to the fact that our house is a small twin home design. Sometimes,  the architects did it right. I have a friend whose split-level entry is rather roomy and even includes a closet on that level for coats and shoes. All I know is that when we look for our next home, it will NOT have a split-entry.

Now that you’ve suffered through my lamentations, onto the home decor and gallery walls!!!!

Separating the upper-level living room from the staircase in the entryway, there used to be a railing. Since we’ve redone our flooring, the railing didn’t match, and it seemed rather unsafe for children because it was getting loose. For a long time we talked about replacing the railing, but we couldn’t decide what to replace it with. About a month ago, my husband came up with an idea: drywall a half-wall up there. Duh! Many split-entry homes simply have a half-wall going up the upper staircase side. The moment I stared at that spot, picturing the new wall, was the moment I realized I will finally have my entryway gallery wall.

My husband is a rather talented dude for not having any professional instruction in home repairs or construction. He built, drywalled, textured, and painted the wall, and created a trim piece for the top ledge. This is my blank canvas (via a crappy phone photo for your viewing pleasure):

We still have some trim left to do along the stairway and the top ledge, but you get the idea.

I’ve loved gallery walls for a long time. I also love the unique things so many crafty people include, and somehow it all works together. Let me expand on my love for gallery walls! (As always, click the photo to follow the source/link!)

This gallery wall includes things, which I think is great:

This one also includes a mix of family photos and things you may not ordinarily find hanging on a wall. See that little concave, rectangular shaped piece below the flowers? I have been trying to decide how to repurpose a back-of-the-toilet tray that once held seashells. I suspect this piece was once the same thing:

This one is my favorite, for the mixture of colors and frames that somehow fit together:

And I especially love the unique items in this gallery wall, and the center monogram:

I love the angles that a staircase allows – your items don’t have to be perfect or symmetrical. I love when mismatched things somehow match.

But…I have a fairly small wall space to work with. AND I don’t want people to walk in and see a cluttered entryway…I already mentioned that we’re working with a tight space.  And how do you decide which photos to hang? And how do you decide how many? And how do you find cool little things to include, like the vinyl monogram above, or the doorknob hook, or the keys, and just know that they’re going to work out together?

So maybe I could go with something more clean, steamlined, and safe? Like these:

I plan to work on my gallery wall this weekend! I’ll keep you posted. :)