Friday, August 24, 2012

Kids' Artwork Gallery Wall (The Lazy Way)

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My family/play room is one of the places in my house that have been the most neglected.  Mostly because it is always a hot mess of toys and shoes and clutter.  It is also the room that houses the TV and the room we spend most of our time.  

I have updated the fireplace and built-ins, but that is about all that has been done.  I have a bunch of cheap IKEA furniture (since I love the washable covers in bright colors), but it isn't really a cohesive design. It is definitely very kid-friendly with lots of toys and colorful artwork above the fireplace:

Because the room is really intended to be the kids' playroom, I decided I wanted it to truly reflect them. I have been collecting their art work for a while and frequently taped it to the sliding glass door in this room.   After a while I got a little sick of scraping tape residue off the glass and I decided that it was time for a gallery wall. 

I mean, come on.. with drawings like this how could I resist? 

Because I was going to be using all sorts of random art and photos, I knew I wanted the frames to be one color.   I have previously done an all black gallery wall (with black and white photographs) in my dining room, so for this space I settled on white. 

Inspired by this pin on Pinterest I knew I wanted to use the girls' initials, and also wanted to do something other than all rectangular frames like I did in the previous gallery.

Enter the thrift store:

I picked up these lovelies for a steal:
And although they were FILTHY dirty, a little bath in the kitchen sink made them look as good as new.  
 

I removed the embroidery and sprayed them white.  A quick trip to Ikea (where I spent about $25 on cheap frames of various sizes) and I was ready to start my gallery.
 
I know there are a ton of tutorials out there on "how to make a gallery wall" and most of them require all sorts of templates and measuring and blah blah blah.    And if you know nothing else about me, you know I am BUSY and I am LAZY.   Which means, no templates or fancy markings.  A little chalk and I am good to go.

The first thing I did was collect up my frames and laid them out on the floor until they were basically a large rectangle. 

I measured the length and width of what was laid out on the floor and drew it with chalk on the wall:

Starting in the outside corners and working my way around, I added all the frames to the wall, eyeballing them as I went and making sure they aligned with the chalk line.  

Eventually I got them all up on the wall.  You can see how some frames (which previously held photographs) were turned on end.  I re-used the large black initials that were previously in the girls' room, and I also added in my fabric 'home is where the heart is' art. 
 You will notice that the frames aren't all perfectly straight at this point, since they are all going to come down and get filled with artwork.  That also gives you a chance to tweak the nails if you need to.

And after the art is added I made sure all the frames were level and used a small square of double stick foam on each frame to make sure they didn't rotate (especially in a room with two kids constantly banging into stuff.)

I used some of my favorite drawings and pages of homework that I have been collecting:
 

Some of the art is a little more abstract than others, but that is because one of the little artists is only 3! 
 

 I also considered the idea of constantly upgrading the art as I get new favorites.  This little guy reminded me that fall would soon be here:

I have a sofa table pushed against the wall, and I set up a vignette with some fruit, a plant and a little ceramic rabbit that the girls picked out during that same trip to the thrift store.  They love her (she is a she since she has eyelashes) and eventually I have big plans for her, but for now she can hang out in the playroom. 

Not bad for a couple thrifted frames and a quickie trip to Ikea! 
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17 comments:

  1. adorable - I need to design one in our new house...along with a million other things!

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  2. I love it! It looks fantastic. :)

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  3. Erin {Home Everyday}August 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    This looks great! I completed a family photo gallery in our living room not too long ago. Great work.

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  4. There is really a knack to creating a wall grouping, and you've got it!! I like the initials and the round frames that you worked in. It gives it real interest!


    Super nice job!!

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  5. That is darling- I am a tad lazy, too, ahem...and that is a great way to do that. I have always been a tad lazy..ahem. One day when my son was about 4 I asked him to run and get Mama a hammer (as I wanted to hang a picture). He ran straight to my closet and got me a high heeled shoe! lol xo Diana

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  6. Daniela@frugalain'tcheapAugust 24, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    yes, all of it! awesome!!

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  7. That looks fabulous! And my kind of tutorial - no measuring!! I have stacks of frames, canvases and artwork that I can't wait to make our own art wall collage!

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  8. Laura Ingalls GunnAugust 25, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    This is absolutely adorable! No doubt your children also feel very special. Well done!

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  9. Love your art wall! Hopefully I can get mine done soon. I can't wait to have a designated placw for my kiddos art;)

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  10. beautiful job! I love, love this! i did mine in the kids rooms but yours is so cute especially those letter plaques in between!

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  11. It looks fabulous! I love the fact that you used round frames and the letters - looks amazing!!

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  12. This might be the sweetest thing I have ever seen!!! I LOVE it! My boys are too little to really draw yet (every time the colors have been brought out they seem to color on everything BUT the paper!) But when they do start drawing I am definitely doing this!

    Thanks so much for the inspiration. I am now following you!

    Feel free to drop by my blog http://mysweetlittlesteinerfamily.blogspot.com

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  13. This is really cute. I need to do something like this with my little girl's art.

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  14. My husband, the art professor, is always insisting his students from in white or black. And a lot of galleries and shows only accept white framed pieces. It really does make everything look clean and put together. The art is what you see not the frames. As a new mom, I completely see this project in our future.


    We'd love to have you participate in our new Eat Make Grow blog hop:
    http://foyupdate.blogspot.com/search?q=eat+make+grow&max-results=20&by-date=true
    We are always looking for bloggers with great content!
    Foy

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  15. Fantastic idea and really well done. Your kids are lucky!

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  16. Elena @ `a casarellaAugust 31, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Hi! Found you through Debbie's pinning party. Love this gallery and I also love your daughter's name!
    ~Elena
    acasarella.blogspot.com

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  17. Thank you for the great ideas! Here are some more ideas for storing,
    displaying and making keepsakes from kids’ art.
    http://www.happydoodles.com/blogs/news/6041344-63-of-parents-feel-guilty-about-ditching-kids-artwork

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