19 June 2013

A Cheap Gallery Wall

Let's get a few things straight to begin with:
1) My preferred method of decorating is with personal family photos. On the whole, I have no use for knick knacks and artwork in my home.

2) I'm extremely cheap when it comes to decorating. When I have money, I either want to eat it, wear it, or buy a vacation with it. I do not want to hang it on my wall. Photo frames can be expensive. I know there are thrift stores and clearance sales, but still, that's money.

3) I don't own my home, therefore, I try to avoid putting holes in its walls.

All of that explains why, about a year and a half ago, I made this:
It was inspired by some idea from A Beautiful Mess. It took me a good number of hours--chopping all of my 4x6 prints into squares, matting them with scrapbook paper, and carefully calculating how to create the perfect grid.
I didn't buy anything new to accomplish the original project. This was shortly after I had painted three rooms in the house, so I had some painter's tape left over, and I figured that that would be the perfect way to stick my pictures to the wall. After all, that tape is both designed to stick to walls and to come off without ripping the paint off, too.

I loved my picture wall. The pictures were totally random. Leftover copies of family photos, wedding pictures that hadn't made it into the wedding album, snapshots that I thought I would use in my scrapbook but changed my mind about, and photos that friends and family had given me were all included.

People who came over for our parties liked studying the picture wall, and spotting themselves in a few pictures. It was as if we had a scrapbook on our dining room wall.

Plus, I discovered that after a year and a half, the painter's tape was still holding up and none of the corners were peeling.

However, I wanted more. I'd seen these pictures for so long that I wanted new ones. Angel didn't want me to take any of the old ones down. And when I remembered how headache-inducing creating that grid was, I decided that the perfectly orderly, organized look wasn't for me. And that's how our new, messier, larger, and more overpowering picture wall came to be:

This time I included different sizes of pictures, as well as different sizes and colors of mats. I didn't measure and I didn't calculate. I just stuck pictures up, mixed things around till I liked the look of it. I know it doesn't look all that much bigger in the pictures, but in person, the change is quite noticeable.

I liked my grid of photos, but the messy look is kind of cool, too! I didn't spend anything for this newer version of my picture wall, either, because I still had leftover photo prints that I'd never gotten around to using, and that roll of painter's tape is still holding up.

Call it picture wallpaper, call it a cheapskate's gallery wall, but whatever it is, it's my version of interior decorating.
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Holly said...

cute idea :) i might do something similar after we repaint my daughter's room!

Moonofsilver said...

wow, thats so cute! And I love the color of your wall! So bright. Your writing makes me laugh--this line was my favorite

"I'm extremely cheap when it comes to decorating. When I have money, I either want to eat it, wear it, or buy a vacation with it"

So naturally I pinned it to pinterest. :)

Myranda said...

This is super cute! We don't own our home either so this would work perfectly for us :)
Thanks for sharing!

mckenziewinkel said...

I like this! And the second one is definitely a lot better than the organized one ;)

Unknown said...

I love it! My friends have a collage on the wall and I love looking at the pictures. Perhaps I'll have to figure out a way to add more fun pictures to my new shelf I put up.

Kari said...

Nice! I was wondering about the painter's tape holding up...and then you answered that question for me. :)

Maggie B. said...

This looks great! =) I want to do a gallery wall someday on the wall going up our staircase. I live in a log cabin, so I'll have to actually hang pictures in frames, with nails, into the walls. Tape doesn't work so well on straight logs. Someday though!

P.S. Still haven't heard back from the hair salon re: orange hair. If they don't call me by the end of business today, I might get a wee bit nasty tomorrow. I left that message on Sunday! I know they were closed Sunday & Monday, but still. 2 days to return a call? Gr.

Jessi said...

I saw that on a beautiful mess too! I totally want to do something similar. I like the uneven look! I think that's kind of a thing right now anyway :) and hey, if it's easier then that's a bonus!

Suzanne said...

I love it. I think it really works because of the bright contrasting paint that you chose for your wall colour.

Smart idea about the painter's tape too.


Whitney @ EHFAR said...

I totally agree with you... picture frames are expensive! There's so many I want, but there is no way that I am paying $15 to put one picture in a frame. I usually buy mine at Goodwill (50 cents to $2.50) or Wal-mart ($3-$10). The other day at Goodwill, I found 5 pictures (holds 8 pictures) for $6.50. We don't own our own home. We just rent. I'm actually in the process of making two more gallery walls. There's one that I want to do really bad, but I don't want to spend the money on the frames. I'd rather spend it on other things lol.

Cramer Coffee and Jesus said...

I like your decor! It looks good...I have to say though, we are opposites when it comes to spending money on the home - I thoroughly enjoy spending money on things to hang on the wall :/ in living room wall is going to cost me 500.00 to decorate (I haven't spent the money yet...hahahaha)
we are opposites in a lot of ways my friend - which is just another reason why we should meet!

Anonymous said...

I did this in my kitchen! Whenever people send us pictures of their kids or announcements, I tape them up on the wall. We have a nice little cloud formation going on right now.

Nicola Kirsty said...

When I had my own place, I basically decorated my living room with photographs. It started off all random like yours but then the neat freak in me ended up putting them in columns of landscape and portrait. As seen here.

I used white tack though and the wall needed repainting before I left. I'll have to remember that painter's tape trick :) I like your little borders too.

Now I'm back home my Dad would go mad if I tried something similar so all those photographs are in a box for another day!