Six years ago I dreamt of this blog coming to life. I wanted a place where I could share all of my crafts, builds, and tips and tricks along the way. I wanted a place to share about my personal life, as well as my struggles. It has taken six long years to muster up the courage to finally hit launch! So here goes nothing. Without wasting any time… let’s dive into our first project.

 

I lied, there is more backstory!

Well, all right I am already lying… but it took me six years to get to this point, so it may take me five minutes more to get to the point of this post. You can’t blame me right?! So here is the backstory. Ryan and I bought a new home back in 2015. We are the first owners of this cutie. My mom was in town and we were looking at apartments to rent. Somehow we ended up at some model homes and found this speck home that was exactly what I had always dreamt up. And when I saw that it was in our budget, I almost cried. It was absolutely meant to be.

Like all new homeowners, my mind was spinning with new ideas. Where were we going to start first? It would be our biggest DIY yet and I could not wait to move in. We had to wait several months to move in, but once we got in we started our projects right away! I am hoping this blog will be home to all of the different types of projects we have completed in this house: crafts, woodworking, decor, and random happenings in our life and our home. My goal is to walk you through a project and share all of the happy things that worked… and warn you of what not to do. Because let me tell you, Ryan and I have extended our project times by hours just because we didn’t measure 20 times before we cut down our wood. Also, not going to lie, fractions are hard and that is coming from a girl that absolutely loved geometry. Okay, fast forward. We moved in and needed things up on our walls before our first guests arrived. First stop, Hobby Lobby. One more disclaimer, these are iPhone snaps from my actual frantic work of installing this gallery wall. In the future, now that I have decided to try to be a blogger, I will attempt to take better photos. But I am not promising that :)!

 

How do you pick what goes on your gallery wall?

A few people (like maybe 1 person) have asked me, how do you decide what to put on your walls. Well after spending countless hours on Pinterest and then deciding that I am fully experiencing information overload, I go shopping. I stroll down the frame aisle and often end up in the section of already made art. I pick whatever jumps out at me and throw it in my cart. At some point, I take up an entire aisle and lay everything out on the floor hoping that inspiration strikes.

I continue picking up things and placing them on my makeshift wall until I am satisfied. I guess at this point I was satisfied because I stopped taking photos. This is a key point- TAKE PHOTOS! When you get home and have no idea how everything was laid out, you will thank me when you look at your camera roll. You don’t have to be married to this layout, but this is the basic starting point and it gives you a good idea of how much space your art will take up.

 

Wait… I want custom art!

Me too girlfriend, me too! The last thing I wanted was to have something up in my home that wasn’t meaningful to both me and Ryan. So take your pieces home and get to work!

You can see some new things must have been added to my cart, I was at Hobby Lobby for quite some time. Story of my life… All right- take your items and determine a color scheme or general theme you are going for. I consider my style to be kind of industrial and vintage with a little farmhouse… I picked up some off-white paint and a chalkboard-esque black. I used some blue tape and painted over the art already on these boards. Yes– this is counter-intuitive, but most of the pieces I purchased were on sale or damaged. So I didn’t feel too guilty. I also figured that this was less expensive them building them from scratch (if you consider the amount of time it would have taken). I then used my Cricut Explore Air 2 Machine to add some customized sentiments to each board. The lyrics are from Ryan and my wedding song, the dates represent the day I met Ryan, the day he proposed, and the day we got married, and I added some cute lettering art by Jenny Highsmith because it was so cute!

 

But, I don’t know how to hang that. What do I need?

Materials

1. Art for your wall

2. Command Strips

3. Level

4. Tape Measure

Optional: painter’s tape, wood spacer

Yes, you do! I am going to let you in on one of my favorite little hacks! COMMAND STRIPS! I am so impatient when it comes to hanging things with a hammer and nails. Nothing seems to sit where you imagined and no one has time to fill all of those holes. So let’s ditch the hammer and nails and stick with the strips. I kid you not when I say I was doing this about an hour before guests arrived at my house. Armed with an hour of time, a level, measuring tape, painter’s tape, and command strips, I got to work on our first project. The trick to using Command Strips is following the instructions on the package. On these frames, I use at least four strips, two on the top and two on the bottom. Depending on how heavy your item is (default to the packaging instructions), I may use up to six strips.

 

 

Stick two Command Strips to each other, velcro to velcro, and leave the lining on them so that all of the stickiness is contained. Flip over all of your frames so they are upside down and determine where you need to put your Command Strips. Peel off the liner on one side of the strip and, with the pull tab facing down, place the strip on the back of your frame. Do not peel off the other liner just yet.

 

 

Once you are done, flip over all of your frames and lay them out exactly as you’d like them on your wall. Now with your masterpiece of the floor, measure the length and the width of the entire gallery wall. This will give you a good idea of how big your entire design will be and will allow you to find the center of your design and match it up with the center of your space. I like to mark it out with tape and then start hanging!

 

 

Once I have my first frame up, I usually take a scrap piece of wood and use it as a “spacer” so that my art is all perfectly spaced out. Ensure each piece is level, and push it right into the wall. The command strips will hold that baby in place for years and years! And when you are ready for a change, pull the frame off the wall and release the strips! No nails holes or damage!

Clearly, I am missing some important how-to photos in this post, but done is better than perfect right?! You will quickly learn here that I am not striving for perfection here at Apartment 413. I like to say I am surviving… maybe not so much thriving at this whole blog thing just yet!

Please let me know if you have questions about this process or if you have any helpful tips and tricks that you have learned while making beautiful gallery walls!

 

Happy decorating!

Karley