Friday, August 23, 2013

Heart wall photo gallery and other picture galleries made easy

Kids art wall gallery
I love wall photo galleries.  I like being able to display a bunch of photos without it looking like kodak threw up all over my entertainment center (and so I don't get accused of chucking all my kids' artwork) Plus, they're ideal in so many other ways, too:
  • Wall galleries are a great way to decorate a large wall on the cheap 
  • They allow you to display a lot of large photos 
  • You can easily change the photos to get a new look without redoing the entire wall. 
I have had a large wall photo gallery in my house for several years.  The pictures, frames, and sizes vary, but I keep them all unified by using all black frames with black and white photos.  (I'm a sucker for black and whites.) Recently I added the kids art gallery above in my basement play room. 


The tricky part about a wall gallery is getting it hung.  Spacing the photos, hanging everything evenly and not making more than the necessary number of holes can be tricky - if not downright challenging.  

The first time I hang a wall gallery, I like to get all my frames arranged on the floor first.  This way I can move them around until I find the exact arrangement I like.  I then take a large piece of wrapping paper, large enough to cover the entire gallery, and I cut it off the roll.  I slide it under the pictures and trace an outline of each frame onto the white side of the wrapping paper.  It's easiest if you indicate which frame goes with which outline so you remember your arrangement.

After all the picture frames are traced, I mark exactly where the picture hanger is, so I know where to make the nail hole.   I do this by drawing a little dot of sharpie marker on the picture hanger, flipping the frame over, and pressing it down on the paper making sure to put the frame exactly inside the outline.  If you work quickly the sharpie won't dry and it will leave a small mark exactly where the nail hole needs to be.   Once all the pictures are traced and nail holes are marked, I hang the wrapping paper up on the wall.   Then just nail through the nail holes before removing the paper from the wall.  Now you'll have a wall full of nails and your pictures are ready to hang.

Of course, if you want to avoid all this work - and save your wrapping paper for wrapping presents - you can get pre-planned wall galleries.  The heart picture gallery is a popular one.  Steph recently did this in her house and it was a piece of cake.  She ordered a kit off eBay which came with a pre-marked, ready-to-hang paper guide.  She simply hammered the nails through the pre-marked holes and hung up the enclosed frames -- no need to worry about measuring, spacing or arrangement.  It doesn't get much easier than that!

Oh and that bench you see there <-- can you believe it used to be a full size entertainment center? You won't believe who Stephanie worked her magic on that! 


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