My Family Gallery Wall under $100
Hello Everyone! Life has been crazy in the last few months and I haven't been able to take a breather to actually sit down and share some of the projects I've been working on recently.
Today I'm sharing a space that I've had on my to-do list for quite some time. Gallery walls are floating all over Pinterest and everyone is jumping on board with this beautiful way to display your favorite family photographs in your home. I was keeping my eye out for the right spot to do this in my own home and after MUCH shifting and selling and moving of, once again, my dining table (sorry babe!), we've finally landed on the perfect wall.
BEFORE the BEFORE:
Isn't it funny how your home is one thing when you move in and then you have children and you can see your homes weaknesses and strengths a little clearer? I've been dreaming of an extra living space for awhile, a place to spread out and have coffee and let the kids run around. This room for us is the dining room. For a lot of families, this the least used room in the home. Even though we do sit at our table every night for dinner that was all we used it for. Its hard to imagine an entire room in your home devoted to only 30 minutes a day. Now don't get me wrong, I still do have grand ideas for an extra long farmhouse table in a dining room but that day is not today.
So I moved some shelving around and moved the dining room table INTO the kitchen. More on that later...
When deciding on the size of the the gallery wall I put up painters tape to see the scale. My two initial thoughts were to use 12 11x14 frames matted down to an 8x10. OR 9 16x20 frames matted down to also an 8x10.
I quickly saw that using the smaller frames, 11x14, felt way too cluttered. Knowing I was going to have chairs in front of the wall and it would be the busiest wall in the room, I knew this wasn't the way to go.
What I discovered my dilemma to be:
I wanted a 16x20 thin black frame and an 8x10 mat. This scenario does exist, but is hard to come by, and can definitely not be cheap. The most common is 16x20 frames matted down to an 11x14 and 11x14 frames matted down to a 8x10. I quickly realized adding in 9 frames and 9 mats separately would add up. Mats are just a thick card stock and I thought I could get away with using poster board. I found these frames at Walmart for $5.88 each and they fit the ticket.
I then went to The Dollar Tree and bought 9 sheets of white poster board playing very close attention to the "matte" side of the paper and any potential scuff marks. I planned to use the matte side and not the glossy side.
Next Up I chose my photos. I did mostly professional photos in the collage but did include a few favorites of the girls. I also tried to mix "close ups" and "distance" shots as well as keep the overall color scheme in mind. I did worry the color of the grass appearing to be the same shade in every photo, but in the end if ended up looking just fine.
Photo Printing: I do have some 8x10s lying around the house but needed to print more. I always use Walgreens because they have a quick pick-up for photo printing. Though it is not THE BEST quality, most of the time it is good enough. Another reason I chose to do 8x10 photos and not 11x14, is the cost to print. At Walgreens, to print an 8x10 photo is $3.99 each, before coupons. An 11x14 is $10.99 before coupons. Boy that's a big difference. A word to the wise, NEVER buy Walgreens photos without at least waiting to use a 40% or 50% discount coupon code. They have these sales weekly and are listed right on their website.
So with the 50% code, I printed nine 8x10 photos for $17.95. Instead of printing nine 11x14 photos using the same coupon for $49.95. That's a no-brainer.
Gathering supplies: 9 Frames, 9 pieces of poster board, glue dots, scissors, painters tape, tape measure, level, 9 photos. (Links are at the end of the post.)
The first thing I did was measure the piece of paper that comes inside the frame on top of the potser board and cut to fit.
I then placed each of the photos on my newly trimmed poster board and measured 4 inches on each side of photo across.
... And 5 inches at the top and bottom of the photo. I didn't make any marks with pencils or anything like that. I just winged it.
I then placed a single glue dot on the back of the photo in each corner. The beauty of the glue dots is, unlike tape, they will not crease your photo.
Hanging them up was a breeze. You definitely need 2 people so you are leveling them correctly and after using the middle picture as my starting point it went rather quickly.
TIP* - You know that plastic on the glass that comes on some frames? Go ahead and leave that on until they are all hung up on the wall. You'll thank me later.
We really love how this wall turned out. One night my sweet husband stood in front of the wall looking at all the photos and said, "This is my favorite wall in the house". haha! I would absolutely have to agree with him on that one.