Make your own Gallery Wall

Everywhere you look online there are these amazing-looking gallery walls.  I knew I wanted to incorporate one into my house, but I just wasn’t sure where.  Then I realized that I had a large wall that was completely blank and I honestly had no idea what to do with it– the stairwell.

Here’s my inspiration picture from Pinterest… yes, more inspiration from YHL.

I purchased most of my frames at Goodwill or other thrift stores.  I watched for 50% or tag sales and got most of mine for $1 or less.  Then, I purchased some semi-gloss black spray paint from Home Depot and sprayed them to match.  I loved that I had all different kinds of frames, but that the color is what pulled them in as a whole– and made the wall less “haphazard” and more “on purpose”.

To hang them (I learned this trick from Young House Love), lay the frames on newspaper/ads and cut out to the same size.  Mark an arrow pointing in the direction that it needs to hang (if appropriate), and mark where the nail holes need to be on the newspaper too.

Then, all you have to do is hang the newspaper up, move things around until you’re happy with it, nail in your nails per the marks on the newspaper, and then play a long game of “which frame matches this one?”

TIP: Filling your frames before hanging would be easier– that way you can write a keyword on your newspaper outline so that hanging the frames later is less of a guessing game (if you have a lot of similarly sized frames).

And this is what mine looks like now.

I love it, partially because it allows me to display (and create) some great art, and also because it’s a fun thing to see each day.  Every day when I walk down the stairs I see something different.  I also love it because it was such an odd space that I had no idea what to do with.  I get more compliments about it than any other thing in my house– I think it’s a fun surprise as you come up the stairs.

NOTE: I hung A LOT of frames on that wall (yeah, I know, you can see them all), but I didn’t have enough art to fill them all yet.  The collection grows as I get inspired to make something, or find something I want to frame.  It’ll be an ever-changing collection of things that make me happy– or things that inspire me.

Here are a couple of the art projects that I’ve posted about that are up in my gallery wall.  Basket weave paper art, Yarn block stamp art,

What art have you been creating lately?

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Ombre paint chip art

I’m linking up to the great Pinterest Challenge bloggers today. Young House Love, Bower Power, Hi Sugarplum, and The Great Indoors.

I love paint chip art, partially because there are so many color options available, and partially because paint chips are F-R-E-E.

Here are a couple of my inspiration pictures.

and

I wanted something that would match the colors I already had in the room, so instead of it truly being ombre, it’s more of a pixelated color gradation from blue to yellow.  And I absolutely LOVE it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paint chips
  • Frames
  • Scissors
  • Tape

Here’s what you do:

1. Cut your paint chips into squares.  I measured the width of the matting in my frame and divided it by different numbers to figure out what the best size of square would be.  I didn’t want my squares too small, but I also didn’t want them too big.  Mine ended up being 2×2″ which worked perfect with the Ribba frames from Ikea I used.  I cut one square out and used it as a template for all the rest– that way I knew the sizes were staying consistent.

2. Lay out your pattern.  Move colors around until you’re happy with the layout.

3. Use double sided tape, or roll little pieces of tape to adhere the paint chips in the pattern you selected.

4. Frame your practically free art.

I ended up doing two of them, with the same colors in the same pattern.  I have them flanking a window in my TV room, but to keep it from looking too “matchy matchy”, I flipped one of the frames upside down.  So the pattern is the same on both sides, but opposite.

What projects have you been working on lately?

Striped canvas art with painters tape

This is SUCH a simple piece of art, but it looks fabulous.

HERE is my original inspiration from Pinterest.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Painters tape (I’ve heard that the green frog tape works best) I already had some of this on hand, so it was free)  The stuff I used was 1/2″ wide.
  • Two/three (including white) paint colors (I used what I already have, but a cheap option are the sample paint pots you can get at Home Depot for less than $3)
  • Canvas (I bought mine at Michaels with a 40% off coupon) COST: 15.00

TOTAL COST: $15

WHAT TO DO:

1. Paint your entire canvas with the white paint.

2. Tape off your canvas.  Use your finger and/or the edge of a credit card to make sure that every edge of the tape is secured to the canvas.

3. Paint white paint (again) on every edge where the tape meets the canvas.  (What this does is create a seal between the edge of the tape and the canvas.)

4. Paint your colors on in the places the canvas shows.  Try to use dabbing motions around the tape edges instead of sweeping motions.  Don’t put too much paint on your paintbrush when painting the tape edges either.

5. As soon as you’re done painting the colors, remove the tape.

6. Let art dry & then hang.

And a close up of some of my edges.

Linking up with Home Stories A to Z’s Tutorials & Tips Link Party.  Check it out!

Melted Crayon Canvas Art

I saw this and had to make it.

HERE is the link to it on Pinterest.

Supplies:

  • A glue gun that you can ruin (one that takes the larger size of glue sticks–not the mini ones). COST: $4.00
  • Crayons (with the paper peeled off) COST: $2.00 (I bought two boxes, I only needed one box, 64 count)
  • Canvas. COST: $15.00
  • Long, skinny ballpoint pen (like this one, but without the cap on)

TOTAL COST: $21.00

Here’s what you do:

1. Do this outside (or in a garage).  The melting point of crayons is much MUCH faster than that of glue sticks.  That being said, they splatter a little as you’re learning how it all works.

2. Sit in a chair with the canvas leaning back on your knees (like below).

3. Practice with the glue gun before you start on the canvas.  Use a similar color to whatever color you want to start with.

4. First, drop the crayon into the glue gun shaft, and then, holding the top of pen, “push” the crayon through the gun.  Then pull the pen back out. (Because the crayons are smaller than the glue sticks, they don’t activate the “trigger”, and the best way to get the crayon to come out of the gun is to push it through–like you’re loading a cannon).

5. Repeat across the canvas.  You can vary the angle of the canvas against your knees to get different patterns of drips.  The crayon comes out in an almost water-like consistency.

**Yellow was really difficult for me to achieve.  Once you start feeding the crayons through the gun they melt in there (and on the sides of the gun too), so the colors do naturally mix a little as you go.  You won’t need as many crayons as you think you will, but you will use several crayons as martyrs, as you’re trying to switch between colors).

Here’s how mine turned out

And here is a close-up of the texture that the dried crayons make on the canvas (one of my favorite parts!)

I’m linking up to Home Stories A2Z today.

Basket weave paper art

This was my inspiration piece from Pinterest.

Supplies:

  • White computer paper (or other kind of paper)
  • Food coloring
  • Shredder, scissors, tape, and a frame

Here’s what you do:

1. Over the sink, drip different colors of food coloring around the page.  Wet the page enough to smear the colors around, but not too much water to turn it all brown.  Trust me, I did this several times.

2. Let it air dry.  I tried to dry mine with a hair dryer because I was impatient, and I ended up having to start again when all my colors bled into, yet again, a brown hue.  Just let it air dry overnight.

3. **Something to note: Because of the weaving pattern, you’re going to need twice amount of colored paper.  So if you’re looking to cover a large area, make sure you make two pages with the food coloring.

4. Run the sheet through a shredder.

5. Line up as many rows of strips as wide as you want your art.  Tape that line (at the top) to a table or a piece of paper.

6. Weave paper in from left to right through the rows you’ve taped.

7. When you’ve made it the length you want it, carefully move the tape on the top row from whatever you taped it to, to the inside of the matting of a frame & tape the bottom in place as well.

And you’re done!

Canvas tree art

This was my inspiration picture.  I wanted some large (inexpensive) art for my dining room, and I love the symbolism of trees.

This was originally from JCPenny, but it was no longer available for sale, so I decided to make it myself.

Supplies:

  • 3 canvases (mine are 15″x30″; JoAnn Fabrics has them 40% most of the time)
  • Grey paint (used from a different project; eggshell finish)
  • White acrylic paint (or white wall paint)
  • Small art paint brushes
  • A pencil, an eraser, and a large paint brush

Here’s what I did:

1. I painted the three canvases grey and let them dry overnight.

2. I set all three next to each other (as they would hang on the wall) on a table and stated sketching my tree design in pencil.  I printed out the inspiration picture and just drew freehand–no one would know if it didn’t look exactly like it.

3. Once I was content with my pencil sketch, I started painting with the white acrylic.  The acrylic paint took probably 3-4 coats.  If you want to speed this process up, use a white wall paint instead–that would probably only take 2 coats.

4. Let it dry.

5. When it’s completely dry, you can use the grey paint to cover any errant pencil marks not covered by the white paint.

Here is how mine turned out:

And a close up of some of the branches

Pinterest Challenge: DIY State art

This was my inspiration piece from Pinterest.  It’s from an Etsy artist (her store is called Curiously Wrought, definitely check her stuff out).  I loved it and wanted to try it out myself.

Here is the link to my pin on Pinterest HERE.

Here are my supplies:

  • A board (not particle board), mine was about 12″x14″.  I was too lazy to cut it. Cost: FREE
  • 2 packages of wire nails (I used #17 x 1″ 1.75 nail head) COST: $2.60 (for both)
  • A picture hanger for the back of the board COST: $2.97
  • Crochet cotton (I used the “fine” kind).  Found in the yarn section of craft stores. COST: $1.49
  • Paint for the board.  I bought one of those tester kits and it was more than enough. COST: $2.94

TOTAL COST: $9.97

Paint the board.  Give it plenty of time to dry.

I printed out my state outline and taped it on the painted board, but I should have just used it to draw a pencil outline on the board.  Nailing through the paper actually caused some problems for me–not recommended. Instead, put the paper outline on the board, use a metal/plastic blunt edge to trace around the state and create a small indentation in the wood to create your line.  **I’ve tried this, and it worked really well!**

Start nailing around your outline.  Keeping a tiny bit of space between the nail heads is preferable.

Draw a heart outline and add nails.

Remove the paper.  (This is where I ran into trouble, little bits of the paper stuck near the base of the nails–you can see it in the picture below–and I spent at least 15 minutes picking out the paper I could with tweezers)

Choose a starting point to weave the yarn and tie to the state outline.  Pull the yarn to the heart and then back to the state outline.  Continue around the state.

Add the hardware to hang your art to the back.  Measure to make sure it’s centered.

Done!

I’m linking up with Young House Love (one of my absolute FAVORITE blogs) for their Pinterest Challenge.  Check out their blog, you’ll be blown away.

I’m being featured on Daily Do It Yourself today, check the post out HERE.

Yarn block stamp art

I “pinned” this on Pinterest ages ago and just finally got around to copying it.  It’s SO simple, I can’t believe I didn’t try it out sooner.

Here are my supplies:

  • Paint (I used leftover interior house paint, but any paint would work)
  • A wood block
  • Yarn
  • Small paintbrushes

You can’t see it well, but wrap the yarn around the block in any pattern you like.  Tie it off.  Then use the paintbrush to “paint” on the wood block.  Use a paper plate to test out the block (usually the first press has too much paint.)  I used a pretty simple pattern and I think it turned out really well!

Once you’re done, frame it.  Voila!  Cheap art!