Sunday, January 8, 2012

{So Many Photos - So Little Space}

I am the girl with the camera.

I take it everywhere. Vacations, parties, GNOs, holidays, movie theaters, dates with the hubby, a trip to the park, preschool, family night, and even at church. Basically nothing is off limits.

I guess the reason behind it being attached to my hip (well, technically hanging around my neck) is because you never know when you are going to have an awesome photo opportunity arise. There have been so many times when I almost left the camera at home and then grabbed it last minute only to be so thankful that I did because of the fabulous pictures I managed to grab of our family/kids.

Because of this "habit" I have quite a bit of pictures. In fact, I have 29,762 pictures to be exact. All taken within the past 4 years. Which averages out to be about 620 pictures a month. Yes, you read that right.

So what does one do with all their pictures?

After I got Christmas taken down and put away, my house was clean, my walls were all bare, and I was ready for something new.

I have always struggled with what to do above my couch. The problem is the three little windows on that wall. In the past, I've had two big frames centered over the couch with family pictures in them. It looked ok but I wasn't in love with the overall look.

I was looking through all my boards on Pinterest when I came across this picture of a FABULOUS photo gallery from Belle Maison (click here to see the original post)

It occurred to me that I could basically do this exact same thing in my empty space. Mine would just have to be a bit wider and not so tall but it would definitely solve my problem.

I also remembered seeing a tip on Pinterest about making sure you had the layout you were looking for BEFORE you actually put the frames on the wall. This is what I'm talking about:

(Click Here to see the original post from Censational Girl)

Pretty genius right?

Armed with inspiration from Pinterest, I was ready to tackle "Operation Photo Gallery"

Here's how I did it ...

#1. Went around my house and collected random frames in all different sizes and styles. I had frames with outdated pictures that needed new photos and I had spare frames that had been empty for awhile and needed to get used. Out of all the frames I ended up using in my gallery, I only had to buy one!

#2. Decided on what pictures I wanted to use, ordered them online at Costco, and then picked them up the next day.

#3. Put the pictures in the frames and then laid them out on my floor to see all of the frames together.

#4. Wrote out numbers on a mini post it notes and stuck them on each frame.

#5. Traced each frame onto scrap paper to use as my templates and then wrote corresponding numbers on each template to match the mini post it notes.

#6. Arranged the templates on the wall and taped them in place. I decided to place the big square template on the wall first and then work off that. It was a great starting point.

#7. Once I was happy with my layout, it was time to start hanging the actual pictures on my wall!

#8.We didn't want to put a bunch of nail holes in my newly painted walls so I bought these picture hanging strips from Home Depot. Depending on the size of strip you want, they ranged from $2-$4 per pack.

#9. Place the strips on the back of the frame (for the bigger and heavier frames we used 4 strips and we used 2-3 strips for the smaller frames.

#10. My fantastic dad came up to help me put the gallery up and he decided to staple the strips to the the heaviest frame we were using just to reinforce it. Here he is hard at work!

Once the pictures were all hung, I grabbed my cute pillows that I had been stashing in my closet, threw them on the couch, and stood back to enjoy the new look.

Drumroll ..........

I LOVE IT!!!!!!! It ended up being so much easier than I expected. I loved the idea of taping the paper templates to my wall. It helped make everything so much easier. I would absolutely recommend doing that step if you plan on doing a gallery.

Here's how it looks with the all the overhead lights on.

I am so glad it's done and I love the way it turned out. Thank you Pinterest for the inspiration and help. I am not really sure how I survived before you came along!

- Junkie Tawni

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  1. This is amazing!! Now I need to work on my own! Thanks for the inspiration Tawni!

  2. I've had the pleasure of seeing in person and it is even more stunning than in the photos! Such talent you have Tawni!

  3. Awesome! I love that you two have a blog!! Your house looks sooo cute! I love the wall!

  4. Wonderful ideas and beautiful results. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Tawni...this is darling....thank you for the good advice.

  6. Love this! I need to do this in my upstairs hall, but need to find more picture frames. Any tips on finding/making cute, cheap frames? I get stuck in the black rut because they "match". I know...embarrassing!

    1. Jenna,

      My collection of frames has all come from cheap places like TJ Max, the DI, Target, and Walmart. The ones at the DI were only $1 or $2 and super easy to paint any color I wanted. I used to only buy black frames with white mattes. I think I was comfortable with black and I knew that everything would match. But as I have branched out over the past few years and started using brown, gold, silvers and white frames, I realize I actually like the fact that they don't all match perfectly. Good luck with your gallery, we would love to see pictures of it when you finish!

  7. I LOVE it! I'm also really liking the grey paint. You picked the perfect shade! Fabulous job my dear. I need to do a photo wall. You have officially motivated me!

  8. Tawni, This is awesome!! I have been wanting to do something like this in our living room. We have the same 3 little windows that you do. I couldn't decide if it would look weird with the windows. I love it! You have inspired me :)