June 22, 2011

DIY Wall Art

Yesterday I left you with this image of my gallery wall, but not that much information on how I made the non-photo items. So today I’m back to share a little more about what is in those frames.

First, I love my fortune cookie fortune. I slapped some of my favorite colorful scrapbook paper in that frame and used a photosquare to hold the fortune in place. So easy.

Big things start off small.

Next off, we have the two shadow boxes with my grandmother’s jewelry. They were also super easy. I found the shadowboxes at Goodwill for a dollar each. This was one of those times where I had to look past what it was and see the potential. When I bought them, they were an ugly brownish gray with little clay dresses inside. Definitely not my style. After I got them home, I wrenched off the backs (they weren’t made to be changed… the backs were nailed in and broke when I took them off), covered the glass in painters tape, and then sanded, primed, and painted those suckers. How thankful I am that I spent two bucks for these little beauties. So once I got them hung, I realized that I was going to have to be creative in using them since they had no usable backs. I had already decided that I wanted to put something special in each one, preferable something with a little family history, but I didn’t exactly know what. That’s when I started raiding my jewelry box. I had inherited these two pieces of costume jewelry from my grandmother that I absolutely loved. They aren’t worth much in monetary value but every time I look at them I think of all the summers I spent at Grandma’s house; needless to say, they definitely fit the bill of something special with family history. I made a flimsy back out of some of the extra posterboard that was left over after I had made all of the different mats (yes, I cheaped out, but you really can’t tell) and covered it with patterned scrapbook paper that tied in some of the neutrals in the rest of the room. I then literally pinned the brooches right onto the poster board and taped it to the back of the shadow boxes. I think they are beautiful and the perfect way to honor my grandmother.

I had seen lots of artwork around Pinterest and various blogs that had the state where you lived and a heart to represent the city you call home. Here are just a few that caught my eye:

From Lolly Jane Boutique

From LilyGene on Etsy

From RootedInPaper on Etsy

While I loved these, I knew that I could make it myself. So I opened a new canvas in Photoshop elements and got to work. I really like my end result:

The other two pieces of DIY art that I made both involved just typing. The “Love Life” piece took about one minute to make… It’s just a solid color fill layer with a piece of digital patterned paper clipped to it at about 20% opacity with the words “love life” typed over it in Becky Higgin’s free CK Becky font (available from here). The drop cap art in the middle of the gallery is something I made a few months back after being inspired by (again, I know) YHL. They suggest finding an article from a magazine that starts with the letter you want and then scanning and enlarging it. After going through at least 15 copies of Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens, I could not find an article that started with a J and was usable for this project. So I opened up a Word file, and made my own. I spent way less time making it than I did going through the magazines, so this may be an easier way for you, too. This piece of art will most likely come down because Joseph really doesn’t like it. I’ll have to find somewhere other than the main living space to display it. It all works out, though, because I’ve got another piece of art that I’m considering making that will make a great replacement.

So there you have it. A little more insight into my gallery wall. Have you made any DIY art recently? Have you bought or made a state print? Do you have jewelry displayed somewhere in your home? Please share!

June 21, 2011

Gallery Wall Finished!

I’m back with the before and after of my gallery wall entry way! It took 3 weeks, but I finally got it all up on the wall.

Back in my last post, I shared my inspiration from YHL. I basically followed their method for making a gallery wall, but I’ll share all the details here. I started by taking all of the frames I wanted to use and laying them out on the floor until I found a pattern I liked.

Then I made newspaper templates the size and shape of each of the frames I wanted to use. I put numbered post-it notes on each of the frames (the blue things in the previous picture) and wrote the corresponding number on the newspaper template. This helped me keep my layout the way I wanted and made hanging the frames easier. Sorry about the bad quality of the pictures… they were taken late at night. You can do this at any time of the day, but I was working on this around 3 am thanks to a bout of insomnia caused by Prednisone which I was taking to get rid of the worst case of poison ivy I have ever had. Yeah, it was a fun week. Enough complaining; I then put the templates up on the wall using painter’s tape which turned out looking like this:

Not exactly beautiful, but a great start. I played with it a little because the spacing seemed off a bit, but I kept the same general layout. Once I got it like I wanted, I started hanging up frames. I marked on the newspaper where the nail should go, then hammered it in. I didn’t remove the paper until after the nail was in place. It was a slow process…

But eventually I got them all up on the wall. And I really liked it. Like, jumping up and down squealing with joy liked it. But even though I liked it, it looked like this:

Rather unfinished. And, yes, I did have company over for dinner one night with it still looking like this. Well, I did take the time to pick up the newspaper trash and put awway the drill, but the frames were still mostly empty. So I started the long process of picking out what to put in my frames. I started looking through pictures that I already, went to my Pinterest for inspiration for some artwork, and then got to work. Within a few days, I had an order with Shutterfly and was patiently checking the mailbox daily. Maybe not so patiently… then last Monday the pictures arrived! Time to put it all together. I am overjoyed with how it turned out:

And for those of you who want to be able to actually tell what is in the frames:

I finished off the console with a globe that Joseph gave me, a  tray from Goodwill that I spraypainted white, and some milk glass pieces that I love. I do plan on getting a bigger basket to hold the wireless fence controller (the big ugly thing barely concealed in the white basket to the left). I’m thinking one of these from Ikea may help tie this overly-white vignette in with the rest of the room.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more info about the three pieces of art that I DIY-ed and about the shadow boxes with my grandma’s jewelry. I know, it seems a splurge to get two posts in as many days after I was gone for weeks. I’m trying, I promise!

Please let me know what you think of my gallery wall! Do you like the contrast of white frames with the dark console? Or do you think it looks crazy? Do you have your own gallery wall? I’d love to hear all about it!

May 26, 2011

Work In Progress

I’ve got a few things that I’m working on around my house. I’ve been completely inspired by YHL‘s gallery walls, so I have been collecting frames to do my own.

Here is the inspiration:

And here is my work in progress:

I will be sure to keep you updated as this project progresses!

edited: Sorry the bottom picture wasn’t working! Hopefully its fixed now!

May 16, 2011

I’m done!

This weekend marked a huge milestone in my life – I graduated from North Carolina State University with two Bachelor’s Degrees.

Congratulations to all of the graduates of the Class of 2011! (Here and everywhere else!) GO PACK!!!