Upcycled Gallery Wall Art

My “den” is a long narrow room. It was originally the second half of a 2-car garage. But the other owners once turned it into a den (that looked like the Golden Girls’ lanai). Of course, I made it look even longer when I shiplapped it (before I had any idea what Fixer Upper was and that it was called shiplap). I can’t even put the tv on the wall across from the sofa because it would be too close. So I have it in the corner. The wall next to that is the second longest wall in the room and I decided to turn it into a gallery wall, with my favorite pictures of my son.

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The picture on the far left, with the blue background, was taken at his first day care. I was actually living in Austin at the time, in the management program with the Hyatt. With a different schedule every week, Mr B stayed in New Mexico with my parents. I had come for a visit and visited him at school. I had told my mom about these cute pictures that had been in his locker, asked her if she had seen them. She hadn’t even known he had had a picture day. Hadn’t picked out special clothes or done his hair even. I loved them. She told me she would look into them and later told me it was too late to buy any. They surprised me with it for a birthday present.Sniff sniff!

The baby picture was the one and only professional picture I ever had taken of Mr B. It was his first Christmas, he was 3 months old. My mom shaved his head earlier that week because so much blonde had grown in, there was a perfect line of blonde on top and dark brown on bottom. It was weird. He did so good for these pictures, smiling and laughing. The next year, I took him right before Christmas time again and I couldn’t even get him to sit on the table for them. (He had had a cavity on his front tooth that had to be fixed and the dentist I took him to, a pediatric dentist, had strapped him to a board to take care of the cavity. Claiming that was the only way to do it. I never went back to that dentist again and it took awhile for Mr B to be okay with sitting on any table for any doctor after that.)

The other 3 pictures, I took myself, and are my favorites of all I have taken.

gallery wall

The tv is to the left of this picture and that black thing in the top left corner is the Leaf. One day I will put a frame around it and paint the cable coming off of it the same color as the wall. (I also still need to touch up some paint around the door and the trim.) I have a new favorite spray paint color. It’s Rustoleum’s Metallics in Flat Soft Iron. I went over 3 of the frames with this, and splattered some on the B after using a silver. The gears may be in that color too. Those were just 2 gears from the used bike shop that I spray painted and hung up with Command hooks. I actually have the B hanging upside down, but I liked it better that way.

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Even more than just the gallery wall, I am here today to tell you about the other 2 pieces I DIYed.

When I had done my gallery wall in my other house, and had to pack up less than 2 months later, I had wrapped all my framed art and pictures each with packing paper. Needless to say, the paper stuck to every single frame. I had to sand some of them to get it all off. All that I used again had to be painted again. I had some of the frames laying around wondering what I was going to do with all of them when I noticed some small leftover pieces of cedar paneling from the kitchen island. There happened to be two pieces that fit perfectly inside one of the frames, and there is a little bit of a lip inside so it holds the boards in place, they are the kind that slide into each other so they hold each other in place too. I stained them with Minwax’s Special Walnut and then “white washed” them with an aqua tinted paint.  They looked much like the back of the island does.02 07 16_2679

From here I sort of sat on them for a little while because I still wasn’t sure what I wanted to put on them. Then it hit me. I was always telling my son “love you more” (not knowing at the time this was all over Pinterest). So I used the technique from the Love sign and printed out the “u” and the “more” using different fonts. The heart I found at Michael’s and all of it fit together perfectly in the frame. And other than the heart, I had everything on hand.

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After I had gotten everything hung up on the wall, I had a long “hole” at the top. I needed something long and slim to fit in this space, to make the whole wall of art more squared off. I wanted to make an arrow and wanted it to be like the metal ones I kept seeing at Hobby Lobby. This took me longer than it did to decide what words to put on the other sign. Finally, one day I was out on the screened in porch and noticed a leftover piece of baseboard from the bathrooms (we had used taller baseboards in there to cover up where I had taken down tile). It was also already painted. It would fit perfectly in the space. So I sanded it up, getting the edges really good. After I cleaned it up, I taped off the arrow with masking tape (I had decided to use the board upside down). Then I stained it with Minwax’s Weathered Oak, but that really only got into the bare spots. The next day, I dry brushed it with a Lowe’s sample paint that says Summer 2012. I took off the masking tape right away and noticed that the stain, but not paint, had seeped under it some. After it was all dry, I was going to touch up the arrow but Mr B said not to. He liked it like that, more rustic. So I sanded it a little and hung it on the wall with those Command velcroy strips. This project cost me nothing, I had everything on hand. I love it.

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I am sharing at these great parties:

 

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