DIY Wall Art & Gallery Walls

imageI recently moved Stella into a “big girl” room and I want to get the full details and photos on the blog soon. Until the cabinet doors are finished, the curtains are hung and the shelving styled …. It is just not ready to share! Yes, just like you, my to-do list is far too long! One element that I did in both the nursery and her new room is DIY wall art; so today I am sharing this with you. If you have a wall in your home where you just don’t know what to put up; I hope this inspires you. I like gallery style walls because you don’t have to pick just one thing – you can find all kinds of things that you love to hang!

Gallery walls that are all the same frames in the same sizes – especially white frames and mats with black and white photos – looks stunning. BUT for the kids’ rooms I thought it would be more playful and fun to make everything different and mixmatched. Collect frames you love, perhaps keeping with a common theme like old, vintage, simple or modern. Think outside the box too – in the kids rooms I found oversized clips that I used to hang photos and artwork. Another look I love is all different frames but in the same colour! To achieve this look, collect your frames and then spray paint them all with a few coats. Various shapes and sizes of frames in glossy white, metallic or even matte black creates a great  look in a grouping together on the wall.

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Here are some ideas for simple DIY wall art:

Photos – either ones that you have taken or that you find online. Think about developing them smaller or larger than the standard 4×6 size.

Posters – my husband is a big Tragically Hip fan and has a poster from every concert he has been too. When we first met I went through them and realized that they actually would look great framed in our living room. Other sites with cheap large art include 20×200, PosterJack or AllPosters.ca (Discount MOM50 gives you 50% off right now!)

Letters – you can buy wooden letters at most craft stores and some Dollaramas. Paint them or cover in fabric/wrapping paper and add it to your wall. Maybe spell a name, word or ABCs for a kids room.

Quotes – you can find a quote to celebrate everything and anything online. Find one you love and print it out. Play with the design – for example colour or white words on solid black. Another source of inspiration could be song lyrics you love!

Words – sometimes a simple word like LOVE or Hello can make a beautiful piece of art. Play with fonts and layout to find something that speaks to you and then hit print! If you do not have a printer at home, save the document as a jpeg and send it to an online photo center or one hour photo place. It’s a cheap way to get a quality print fast and in any size you want.

Silhouettes – If you Google image search a favourite character you can easily make a silhouette to print. For Stella’s room you can see I did Tinkerbell, one of her current faves. If she decides next week that she loves Minnie mouse it will also be cheap and fast for me to switch it out!

Greeting Cards – the butterfly on Stella’s wall is a postcard from the art section of IKEA. In other rooms in the house I have framed greeting cards from small shops that I found and loved or was given. When Jeff and I lived on opposite sides of the country we exchanged love letters and cards all the time. I took 9 of my favourites and framed them altogether in one large piece of art.

ETSY – when you are not feeling inspired to create something yourself you can fake the DIY look for very little $$ by going to etsy.com and buying from the thousands of sellers with amazing wall art and prints in the online marketplace. Two of my favourites are: Hello Tosha or The Penny Paper Co.

BIG TIP AND TIME SAVER for GALLERY WALLS! Once all your art is assembled it can be difficult to get the motivation necessary to actually put hammer to nail and get it up on the wall – this will help you keep your sanity and even get it done in the span of one naptime! When putting these walls together trace the frames or objects onto paper and cut them out. Now you have paper templates and you can easily move and tape the papers to the wall while you’re figuring out the best design. Once you are happy with the layout you can measure the papers, mark your mid points for nails on the wall and then remove the paper props and put up the real thing! I am not taking credit for this brilliant idea… I saw it on The Marilyn Denis Show of course! ☺

Sources for Stella’s Room: Clockwise – Tinkerbell, DIY; Twinkle Twinkle ; Love you more than all the Stars, Hello Tosha; Giraffe, DIY; Our Promise to You, DIY and designed by BisforBrown on Etsy; Butterfly, IKEA postcard art; Embrace messy hair, Hello Tosha. Frames from Target, IKEA and Indigo Chapters. Large Clips from Michaels.

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