The Gallery Wall Project
Morning Magpies. Niki here with something a little bit different today. Six months ago I moved into a new home and for about five of those months I’d been wondering what to do with an enormous, blank, boring, white wall in my kitchen. Having wall space in my kitchen is a new concept to me as my old kitchen was the size of a postage stamp. I’d considered buying a large piece of artwork but the problem was that there was a small television, on the wall, right in the middle. So where did I put my artwork? To the left of the TV or to the right? Either way it was going to look very unbalanced. I happened to discuss this predicament with a crafty friend one day who said ‘that’s crying out for a gallery wall’ – that was it, problem solved and thus began my quest to fill that enormous wall with lots and lots and lots of small(ish) things, incorporating the TV.
I didn’t really know where to start, so naturally I went straight to Pinterest. I began gathering ideas and settled on a large configuration, incorporating the colours from my kitchen: white, black and turquoise. I knew I wanted family photos on there but I didn’t want the whole wall covered in them, I wanted other things in there too. I began looking at free printables online that I could print and frame, but I didn’t have any frames and I didn’t fancy spending a fortune on custom sized frames. I also wanted things that weren’t just squares or rectangles. After browsing the internet (a LOT) I decided to just start collecting things and not to put too much pressure on this project. I figured it might take a few months to gather everything I needed. But of course, once I got started I couldn’t stop…
My first stop was to pop into my local home shop and see if they had anything suitable. I spent £91 and came out with 9 different things – a number of frames, a mirror, a canvas print, and a word-art picture. I then went into a cheap high street shop that sells a few homeware bits, spent £12 and came out with a house shaped frame, a chalkboard and a clear glass frame with black edging and a nice saying printed on the glass. On my way back to the car I dared go inside a far more expensive pretty-looking shop, and spent £30 on two items (a large heart, and a large tag shaped piece with an inspirational saying on it. All in one hour, and I had the beginnings of my gallery wall.
I ordered a few canvas photo prints online after making the photos all black and white. I also went into my loft and had a good rummage around in there – I found two black frames with prints inside them that I hadn’t put up yet in our new house (they must be 8-9 years old), two naked wooden frames that I picked up from a craft fair a few years ago and bought with the intention of decorating but never did, and a little wooden house, purchased from the same craft fair, with the same intention. All good contenders. I also managed to find, what was a blank canvas that I had decorated at a retreat once. Whilst I quite liked what I had made, there really wasn’t a good place for it in my house, so I wondered if I could do something with it. I also had a 7×5 picture frame in my craft room that didn’t have anything in (because the glass got broken ages ago but I still liked the frame), and a very old 8×8 box frame that had a very old (and cringable) scrap layout in. I figured these items could have potential too.
Someone then gave me a small 6×4 frame – perfect. And randomly at a trip to the zoo and a visit to their giftshop, I found a lovely white square wooden piece which said ‘smile and the world smiles with you’ in glitter. Even more perfect.
My collection was getting pretty big by this time and I was close to being able to decorate things and get them up on the wall. I ordered one final item – a giant wooden letter R (for Rowland) and when it arrived, I was ready to begin.
I had a lot of frames and I wanted to fill those with something other than photos. I went looking at Hey Little Magpie for scrappy supplies that were the right colours. I choose papers and embellishments from several different collections (all listed at the end of this post).
I started with the smallest frames and I printed nice sayings onto patterned paper, and then gave them the Minc treatment in that gorgeous teal colour. I added a few flat embellishments and popped them inside the frames. I then further embellished the frames on the outside.
(OK so this one I’ve cut the saying on my silhouette, not printed and Minc’d)
I then moved on to a couple of small layouts:
Then I moved on to the naked items that needed painting and decorating. Firstly two small frames. I painted the edges and covered the fronts in patterned papers. Filled the middles with papers too and then embellished the outside of the frames.
I think this little house is my favourite item on the wall. It was totally naked to start with, so I painted it, covered all the sections in patterned papers and embellished with all the small things I could find in my stash. I had great fun doing this house and I love the result.
And my giant letter R. This was also naked so my little Sophie and I spent a fun afternoon painting it (two coats) in black paint, then dipping it’s feet in American Crafts coarse glitter, and then painting the whole thing again with an entire bottle of Glossy Accents – this really made it shine and keeps all the glitter in place – this absolutely does not shed glitter now!
I filled the appertures in this frame with various papers and a few embellishments.
This frame was tricky becuase it was heavily textured. I filled the middle with paper, and then spent a fiddly 30 minutes trying to get things to stick to the outside 🙂
Again, with this frame I filled the apertures with papers (and a few photos) and then added all my embellishments to the outside of the frame.
And finally there was that canvas – I pulled off what I’d already stuck on it (very minimalistic in the middle) and then punched a load of circles in various papers, folded the edges in, and pieced them all together. I added a few pretty bits to finish off. I love how this turned out, apart from the deliberate mistake in the middle…
Once all the frames were completed, I laid everything out on the floor in my lounge, including a template I’d made of the TV and I arranged, and arranged, and arranged. I’ve never done this before so this whole process was entirely new to me. I didn’t know if it was going to fit, look too cluttered, look really tacky, or look amazing.
It looks AMAZING!!!
I took a photo of my arrangement and then set to work getting it all on the wall. It took me a couple of hours and I missed coffee with friends becuase I was just too involved to stop what I was doing. It’s super difficult to get a decent picture of it, becuase it’s sooooooo long and I have an extractor fan hanging down right in the middle of my kitchen so I can’t stand back far enough without getting the fan in shot, but here it is on an angle, and then again from the other side.
I had a go at taking a panoramic shot on my phone, but had to do it in artificial light due to too much sunlight at one end of the room (it totally overexposed one end), so it’s a bit grainy and a little distorted but I hope it gives an overall picture.
And that pesky TV now blends in rather nicely 🙂
Minc Foil Applicator and Teal foil
ZVA Creative Crystal and Pearl flourishes
Fancy Pants Office Suite ‘And’ paper
Simple Stories Summer Vibes Teal Wood/Grid paper
Amy Tangerine Rise and Shine Mia Foil Accent paper
Dear Lizzy Fine & Dandy Stripes Straws paper
Heidi Swapp Wanderlust Vineyard paper
Pink Paislee Atlas Captain Silver Foil on Vellum
Pink Paislee Citrus Bliss Bloom Paper
Shimelle True Stories Blueberry Muffin Glitter Accent paper
Crate Paper Craft Market Craftsman paper
Pebbles Jen Hadfield Cottage Living Classic Stripes paper
Bella Blvd Simply Spring Clear Cuts Transparency Woodgrain
Basic Grey J’Adore Flirt paper
Jillibean Soup Summer Red Raspberry Whipped Cream paper and Sliced Banana paper
Basic Grey Tea Garden English Breakfast paper
Websters Papges These are the Days Essential Arrows paper
Chickaniddy Crafts Yippee XOXO paper