Thursday, March 22, 2012

Picture Wall

We recently decided to mount our tv on the wall to save space. The spot where we mounted it was where my picture wall used to be. The pictures really needed to be updated. None of them included Julian. I made the picture wall in December 2009. Yeah...that long ago! Since I have recently been trying to simplify our house (less furniture, more functional), I had an empty wall in the dining room....which will now be my NEW picture wall. I've looked at lots of inspirational photos on Pinterest, and was finally motivated by this one. Buying all of the frames, and printing quality pictures, can get pretty costly. For this project, I used frames that we already had (purchased at Costco in 2009), and went cheap, and printed the pictures at Costco also. I know, not as great of picture quality, but if I were to order prints from the ideal place (like mpix), it would cost at least 5 times as much. Prints for this project cost me about $30 from Costco. 

I like the look of more eclectic photo walls, with different frames, randomly placed...but, my goal for our home right now is simplicity. That's why I decided to keep all the same frame, in the same color. First, I identified the wall, and placed tape across the middle as a reference point. All the pictures will go above or below it.  I measured the wall, so I would know how big to plan out the frames when spacing them out on the floor.

Things to think about when planning picture wall:
  • matting or no matting
  • color or black & white photos (choose ONE)
  • different size frames or all the same
  • how large of a wall
  • how many photos
  • where to purchase frames (if you want all the same, IKEA is a great place)
  • what pictures to use (I think it looks better with pictures all of the same "photoshoot"
  • randomly spaced or more organized

 Then, I laid the frames out on the ground, and played around with the positioning, until I found something I liked. I really wanted to cover that ugly white outlet cover on the top right (behind it is a random cable that we don't use. What an awkward place!). I didn't want to cover the light switch, so I kept that in mind when mapping it out.

Then, I made a collage in Picasa to get an idea of what pictures to use. I found it a lot easier to be able to see the placement of the photos. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Picasa? It's also how I made this collage for Julian's 1st Birthday, which I picked up on Monday, and it looks beautiful! The only thing I regret it adding my own white border to it, because Costco adds a 1/2 inch white border also, which made it a bit too big. Oh still looks great.

We had a family photo shoot last fall, with over 150 pictures to choose from (none of which were represented in my home).

The pictures in this collage aren't exactly to scale, but it gave me a good idea of how it would turn out.

If you haven't used Picasa before, it's really easy. Just google "free Picasa download", then download it. To make a collage, just click on a picture, then click on "Collage" at the bottom. You can drag more pictures into the collage, and position them however you like. Once you are done, click "Create Collage". Then "Export" it. If these directions are too simple, you can follow this tutorial that I used when I made my first blog header. 

Adrian volunteered to put the pictures in the frames. He actually said, "Can I put the pictures in the frames?", in a really excited voice. He also said, "Don't take a picture of me!"....sorry babe.

I was struggling for about 10 minutes to get the tape level, then I remembered that Adrian has a laser level. That helped a lot! I didn't take out the white anchors in the wall because I thought the picture frames would cover them. All but one was covered, so I still need to take out that one (far left), then patch and paint the hole. Or...I may just leave it.....

I cut these little slips of paper so that I wouldn't have to measure each time for the spacing in between and where the nail would go. 

I started on the far right, mainly because my goal was to cover that ugly white square. (scroll up for pic)

I love how it came out! In my opinion, choosing pictures that match your home decor is important. If we were all wearing yellow and orange, it might look out of place in my house.

All I see in this picture are our ugly baseboards, and yucky carpet. The carpet is coming up in the next couple months, and will be replaced with wood laminate and new baseboards!

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