When we moved into this house, I knew I wanted to dedicate a large wall to having a family gallery — a spot to display the kids’ artwork, and be able to change it up without taking apart frames.
So here’s how I did it …
I went to the local dollar store and checked out the home decor aisle. I found a couple of “frameless paintings” (I guess that’s how the label chose to describe printed canvases?) as well as a few photo frames. The artwork and frames were just cheap gold-painted plastic, but I picked ones that had a nice size or texture — it’s “all in the bones,” as the designers say, right?
Once I brought everything home, I took the frames and canvases out to the shed and gave them a few coats of white spray paint. I also spray-painted a wooden “C” and some letters that spelled “CLARKE GALLERY” that I’d purchased at Michaels, because I’m obsessed with putting our family’s name/initial in as many places as possible.(It should be noted that I am the world’s worst spray-painter, because I get overzealous and can’t seem to remember the whole “several thin coats” philosophy. I happily spray and spray until the can is empty. Luckily, for a project like this, it didn’t matter.)
When the pieces were dry, I brought them back into the house and used my trusty glue-gun to attach black metal binder clips for holding artwork. A more organized crafter probably would have thought to do this before the painting process, but oh well.
Once the binder clips were firmly glued on, I played around with the arrangement on the kitchen floor until I figured out how I wanted it to look. I had a good chunk of wall to fill, but everything had to stay sandwiched between the light switch and the thermostat.
I hung all of the canvases up just using pushpins, because they’re so light that they don’t need much support. I used wall anchors and screws to hang the frames — mostly to appease my husband, who hates when I hang things with pushpins. For the wooden letters, I used my favourite sticky picture-hanging strips, because they’re easier to cut down to fit behind smaller items.
Although this gallery wall only cost us about $20 — for canvases, frames, spray paint, and wooden letters — it could easily be an even cheaper project if you use existing frames.
After I’d completed the gallery wall, I found the little wooden “Create” cut-out at Michaels, so I added it to the top. The nice thing about this arrangement is that I can add onto it anytime, if the gallery decides to show more of our work!
I really like how the wall colour shows through behind the white frames, so I try to hang smaller masterpieces on those hooks.
Our family gallery has been a bustling spot, as the kids constantly make new works of art to hang up. Dexter brings home at least two or three creations every time he goes to preschool, and he’s so proud to see his paintings and worksheets go up.
Did I mention that the gallery wall is conveniently located directly above our recycling bin? It makes for a very discreet transition when it gets too crowded up there!
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