Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Say Goodbye to the Naked Wall

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Usually I'm pretty pooped after work. Today I had an unusual amount of energy because I wanted to finish up a half done project from the weekend. A few days ago I showed you a glimpse of a project to finally get some art hung in our family room.

Although we've been in our house nearly a year, our walls are pathetically bare. I feel a lot of pressure to choose *just the right thing* and therefore haven't been able to make any decisions. I've bought and returned napkins to frame. I've hung up and taken down old photos. After reading a post from Young House Love about inexpensive art, I finally had my solution.

I hope they don't mind I borrowed their idea (albeit changed it up a bit). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

A few days ago the biggest wall in our family room looked like this.

Not a whole lot going on there. Our family room is pretty big and this particular wall is massive, so I had a lot of space to fill. I liked the idea of lots of smaller frames and a simple design with bright colors. I used the YHL idea of scrapbook paper in different colors, but switched it up a bit with dark frames and a design on the front.

It was pretty easy to make. First, I found the frames (12x12) at Michael's, on sale for $9.99. $7.50 each with a 25% off coupon. Not Bad!

Picking the colors for the background was the hard part. I think I sat in the scrapbook aisle of Michael's for half an hour putting different paper on the ground, arranging and rearranging it. The other customers thought I was crazy.

To make the design on the front I bought a stencil and used some white acrylic paint I already had.

I measured from corner to corner to find the center of the paper and used a screw tip to put a tiny mark on the page.

Then I used a foam brush to put paint on the stencil and just eyeballed the stencil onto the mark I made in the center. I didn't actually measure the stencil size compared to the paper to find the exact center (but I did look up the word eyeballed. Its a real verb). I decided to embrace the imperfections in the interest of time.

The stenciling was pretty easy. After one row I decided that stenciling the whole paper might be too much so I did this plus sign-looking design. But the possibilities are endless!

Hanging 8 frames evenly spaced intimidated me a little bit, but it was pretty easy to do with a tape measure and laser level. I laid out the frames on the ground with the spacing I wanted, back side up. This allowed me to measure the distance from one hanger to the other.

I repeated this exercise on the wall, using a laser level to keep the frames even.

Carl helped. That cat is obsessed with light!

I just hammered in some nails on my pencil marks and that was it!

For some scrapbook paper, paint and cheap little frames, it turned out pretty well!

In the YHL post, they mentioned this art from Crate and Barrel that retails for $369.

I'd say for 70 bucks including the frames, my DIY version will work just fine :)

For fun, the before and after of our family room.

Thanks again to Young House Love for the inspiration to get my booty in gear and make some art on the cheap!

This post is linked up at 5 Days 5 WaysThe Inspired Room, Today's Creative Blog, The Stories of A to Z, Someday Crafts, The DIY Showoff, and


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  1. What a great idea! I'm going to need some art for my guest room soon (once I actually decorate it) and this is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look great! So simple and stylish. I love the stencil you did.

  3. I think you did a great job on these and am IN LOVE with the color scheme...I hope they make you smile when you walk in the room :)

  4. Love this. If it makes you feel any better, I've been looking for "just the right thing" for a couple of rooms in our house for TEN years. I just recently put up something in our kitchen and I can't believe how much better it looks. Ten years that spot needed something!! Glad I found you on Stories of A to Z--you might have solved my bathroom artwork dilemma...

    Your wall looks fantastic!

  5. What a difference that makes to the wall and the room! It's beautiful! I am featuring this at somedaycrafts.blogspot.com because it was the most viewed link last week at the Whatever Goes Wednesday party! Grab my "featured' button.

  6. I was just admiring those prints at Crate and Barrel a couple of weeks ago and love your version!! Great idea for a big wall space!

  7. Looks great and I love how it pulls all the colors in your room together so well!

  8. Such a great idea! Looks awesome!

  9. I LOVE THIS. I have saved wrapping paper from our wedding (many courtesy of Alyssa) with which I want to do something like this. Like you said, Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?!

  10. Very nice work. I like especially that you did not hang them too high. Your choice of colors is excellent. You have a good eye. Thanks for sharing!

  11. I LOVE it! It really brings your room to life!

  12. Just popping over from The Inspired Room. It is great to see your gallery wall. Mine is #10.


    Gg - Notes on the Journey

    ps. A really lovely job and a great tutorial.

  13. This turned out great! Well done!

  14. Oh, love it! Great job on the artwork! It looks nice over your couch~! :D

  15. I love this idea! I'm already thinking where should I put mine. BTW: I really like your little laser. What is the brand and where do I buy it?


  16. You did an awesome job on your wall! I bet you are proud too and that you did it all and created your own art. Love it and thanks for sharing!

  17. Thank you all for the nice comments! Makes me very happy :)

    Rebecca- The laser level is black and decker and I got it at Home Depot. Best 15 bucks I've ever spent!

  18. Great job! I really like the colors you chose and the stenciling is way cool! So glad that you shared your wall art. Have a great week!

  19. I have the same problem in my family room - massive wall to fill. I picked out 12 matted 10x10 frames at Michael's for only $2.99 each, now to figure out what to put in them. I was thinking scrapbook paper or material, but I love this look. Great job.

  20. You did a fantastic job, the pictures look great there!

  21. I loved the YHL pics, too! What a cool take on them!

  22. This is great! Was looking for something like this and saw it on Pinterest. Now I'm motivated!

  23. I think these turned out fantastic!

    Simple yet colorful = great!

    I would be thrilled if you would link this up at my second ever Feature Friday FREE-FOR-ALL...going on right now (we had almost 300 links last week...can you tell I'm excited??! : ))


    Would love to have you by for a visit!

    P.S. I'm a new follower. : )

    ~Abbie (www.fivedaysfiveways.com)

  24. I love how simple these were to create. Well maybe not picking the paper. ;-) Seriously, it came out great and makes such a statement. I am stumbling this post. I am a new follower visiting from Five Days 5 Ways. Vicky from Mess For Less


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