Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DIY B&W Gallery Wall for $15!


This is one of those projects I've been meaning to do since the day we moved into our house. That was July 18th. It's now October 10th. Better late than never? When it comes to decorating, I truly have a champagne taste on a beer budget. We'll just say that I was strategically eyeing a few pin-spirations, trying to figure out the look I wanted and then trying to figure out how to mimic it for under $20. 

Was I crazy? Yes.

Should I just splurge (and I mean my idea of splurge, so $10 Ikea frames)? Probably.

Was I gonna? Nope.



When I first started looking around online for ideas, I immediately fell in love with the black and white gallery style. The walls in the room I was decorating were a red-ish/orange-ish color (identifying paint colors is not my forte) but I knew it would be a crisp contrast. 

I really liked the square frames but trying to find them for a reasonable price (in my book) proved more challenging than I thought. While one frame at $10 isn't so bad, 8-10 of them really adds up when you're ballin' on a budget.

If you're not as cheap resourceful as me, Ikea has these frames you could use. 

Here were a few of my inspo pics;


Inspiration: via
Inspiration: via



Before starting this project I decided to take a trip to the Dollar Store (where all good projects begin), hoping for that light bulb "AHA!" moment when you know exactly what you're going to make and how you're going to make it.

40 minutes later (how is it even possible to spend 40 minutes in the Dollar Store?) and still no light bulb... and still nothing in my basket. 

At this point, I thought about just ModPodge-ing computer printed pictures onto canvases and calling it a day but I knew that I really wanted these pictures to be interchangeable if I was going to put this much time into it. 

After no luck and no project materials, I called it a day. Maybe tomorrow. 




The next morning, like a sign sent from the craft Gods, (AKA the Michaels' marketing team) I got an email saying "75% off Select Canvas". I dipped out of work on my lunch break, decided on 8 10" x 10" canvases and spent the rest of my afternoon at "work" selecting which pictures I was going to use and how on earth I was going to make them interchangeable.

As much as I wish I had this super cool story of how I came up with what I came up with, I don't. And I don't know why I thought about using what I used, but it worked and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.


Keep scrolling ....





Back to the Dollar Store I go. I walked right in and right back out with two thick poster boards (almost Styrofoam feeling) and some Velcro squares (they carried a brand called "Tool Bench Hardware" and I totally used all of them before I remembered to take a picture). 

Three bucks, how bad could this be if I messed it up?

I had a ruler, painters tape, an X-acto knife and a pencil at home.




On the two foam poster boards, I measured out 8 8" x 8" squares using the ruler and marking the lines using a pencil, 4 on each poster.  I did this on the back of the poster board (or in my case, the side where the sticker was) so you can't see the pencil lines in the finished product.




I then cut out the 8" x 8" squares using an X-acto knife. I did this part on my carpet so that I wouldn't accidentally cut through something else. And knowing me, it would have happened.

Side note; probably should have vacuumed first. Keeping the dog and dog hair off the posters was the hardest part of this project.




On the same backside of one 8" x 8" poster board square, I measured and drew a line 1.5" in from each side (cutting a smaller square in the middle where your picture will go) and did this for all 8 squares. This is your "mat" that you'll Velcro to the canvas.




Then, using painters tape so I could remove it without ripping the poster board, I taped my printed images to the backside of the 8" x 8" square so that my picture was positioned the way I wanted it to be seen. I put tape on the left and right sides of the printed picture. Don't put it on the top because that's where your Velcro square will go.


 


Then, using the Velcro squares, I put one sticky side on the back of the poster board mat and the other sticky side on the canvas.

I used the Velcro squares because I could easily remove the mat from the canvas, take the tape off the current picture and tape another one on if I wanted to change them out. Just like a picture frame :)





I then hung my canvases on the wall in a 2x4 pattern using regular thumbtacks. 
LOOK HOW GOOD IT LOOKS!

PS. If they look crooked, blame my boyfriend. He was the DD - designated director.



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Materials 


2 Foam Poster Boards
8 10" x 10" Canvases
8 Velco Squares
7" x 7" Printed Pictures 
X-acto Knife
Ruler
Pencil
Tape


Instructions


On your foam poster board, measure out 8, 8" x 8" squares using your ruler and mark using your pencil. You'll want to do this on the back of your poster board (or the side where the sticker is) so you can't see the pencil lines in the finished product.

Cut out the 8" x 8" squares using your X-acto knife. I did this part on my carpet so that I wouldn't accidentally cut through something else.

On the same backside of one 8" x 8" square, measure and draw a line 1.5" in from each side (you're cutting a smaller square in the middle where your picture will go). Do this for all 8 squares.

With the penciled side up, tape your printed images face down to the 8" x 8" square so that your image is positioned correctly for viewing. (Hint: Use painters tape if you want to change out your images at some point. It won't rip the poster board)

Attach the Velcro squares at the top of the mat and canvas by putting one sticky side on the back of the poster board and the other sticky side onto the canvas. 

Hang on the wall using regular thumbtacks and possibly a leveler (which I probably should have done myself).


Total Project Cost: $15 
$12 for Canvases (75% off at Michaels), $3 in Dollar Store supplies


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There are a few mistakes I made in a trial-run (like cutting too far past the penciled line with the X-acto knife) but I learned my lessons quickly and overall I really couldn't be happier with how this turned out. I can't wait to have friends and family over to show it off! In the meantime, I'm sure my dog will love it. Maybe I should add a few more canvases with his glamour shots on them...