November 2013 archive

Easy Picture Hanging Tip

Before the frenzy of the holidays hits in full force, I wanted to take a minute to share with you an easy picture hanging tip that made my recent gallery wall project SO much easier!

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When it comes to hanging pictures, I’m usually a guess-and–eyeball kind of girl.  I always get the picture where I want it eventually, but it might take a couple of tries with my fingers crossed that the picture will hide any mistakes.  If I’m hanging pictures in a row and need to ensure that they are all at the same height, I might break out the level, but in those cases, I also have to measure the distance between the top of the frame and the picture hanger on EACH frame since the height is sometimes different, even on identical frames.  And even though I measure and use a level, there’s still room for error.

With the latest gallery wall that I created, I decided that there was no room for error and I didn’t want extra “oops” holes in the wall, so I followed a tip I saw at 320 Sycamore.  I first traced around each frame that I was going to hang.  I used butcher paper, but you could also use newspaper, paper grocery bags, or even old wrapping paper.

Tidbits&Twine Easy Picture Hanging Step 1

 

Next, I turned the frame over, face down, and also turned the paper template over so that it aligned with the frame.  (Note: It is especially important that you know which is the front and which is the back of your template if your picture has more than one hanger on it.)  I then used a pencil to make a hole in the template in the center of the picture hanger – the spot where a the nail would rest.

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Once I had my templates ready, I simply taped them to the wall using painter’s tape in the layout I had already determined.

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The last step was to nail through the hole I had already made in the template, rip away the template and hang the pictures!

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This process not only helped me visualize how the gallery wall would look, but also ensured that everything would hang exactly where I wanted it without making any unnecessary holes in the wall.  Making the holes in the wall and physically hanging all of the pictures took under 5 minutes using this process!

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I’m always a fan of any tip that makes life easier and hope that you find this helpful, too!
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DIY Holiday Wreath Tutorial {One Wreath for All Seasons}

I made my fall wreath so long ago that I’ve been itching to redo it for the upcoming holidays.  This weekend, the temptation was too much and so I gave in and made a Christmas wreath.  I decided to use traditional holiday colors with materials that would give the wreath an elegant look.

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As you may know, I use ONE wreath for all seasons because I find storing wreaths to be difficult, plus I’m short on space and don’t like the expense of multiple wreaths.  Instead, I use the same base wreath over and over and just wire on different accents according to the season or occasion.  My fall wreath looked like this:

 

To make my Christmas wreath, I first unwired all of the fall items and started with just the bare twig wreath, which cost just under $14.  I then purchased a variety of holiday floral stems during a Veteran’s Day sale to help keep the cost low.

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I started by trimming the stems and wiring the faux whte berries to the wreath.  I always choose at least one element whose shape mimics that of the twig wreath so that it blends better into the wreath and doesn’t look as if it’s just stuck on.

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At this point, I wasn’t yet sure whether I wanted to add additional elements on top of the berries and so decided to focus on the bottom accents instead.  I had found some floral picks in the holiday section and picked up a few different ones.  I started by wiring bright red shapes going out and upward.

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I then added in two flower heads.  Originally, I was going to use just the red, but after looking at it, I decided it needed the white to balance things out.

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Once this was done, I felt I needed a bit more red throughout the wreath and so added a few picks of red glitter berries.

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With those in place, I added a bit of ribbon and was ready to hang!

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I like that the wreath is made up of traditional Christmas colors, but not traditional materials.

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I hung it on my front door so that I could photograph it, but it’s much too big for the door and so I’ve moved it into my dining room.

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Of course, I used an upside down Command hook on the back side of the door to hang the wreath.  I have wreath hangers, but they always clank against the door whenever we close it and the Command hook is less expensive and silent.

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If you want to add a bow to your wreath, you can check out my step-by-step picture tutorial here.

 

 

I’ll of course change the wreath again come Spring and will then either store these holiday floral stems for next year or will use them on presents as decorative accents.

 

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Sharing At: Home Stories A to Z, Not Just a Housewife, Hope Studios

 

 

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The Easy Way to Lay Out a Gallery Wall

Today I am sharing an easy way of laying out a gallery wall to ensure you get the look you want without damaging your walls.  Plus, I’ll share my thought process for the layout I ultimately chose in case it might help you create your own gallery wall!  Basically, I’ll show you how to create a gallery wall from the ground up, literally!

Here’s a look at my completed gallery wall that surrounds the TV in my family room.  This is a collected (or eclectic) gallery wall, as it includes a mix of art, pictures and other objects.  I purchased the items for this wall over the course of a few months knowing the general look I wanted, but without having an actual plan in mind.

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Once I had purchased all of the elements for my wall, I began working on a layout.  If your gallery wall is symmetrical and uses identical frames, then the layout should be pretty straightforward.  In my case, though, I was using all different shapes and sizes of items, which made the layout a bit more tricky.  I was working with a confined space around the TV and I also knew that despite the varying objects, I wanted the wall to be balanced in terms of both weight and color.  With that in mind, here is what I did.

 

Step 1

First, I measured the wall and the TV so that I knew how big of an area I had to work with.  I then used FrogTape to mark out the space on my living room floor.  The outside square shows the wall space while the inside rectangle represents the TV.  (Note that the angle of the picture makes the lines look as if they aren’t straight even though they are.)

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Recreating the space on the floor allows you to easily move pieces around until you find a configuration that you like! 

 

The very first layout that I did looked like this:

Tidbits&Twine-Gallery-Wall-Layout-ORIGINAL(Yes, everything still has its price tag attached and cardboard corners!  I didn’t want to remove anything until I was sure exactly what pieces I was going to keep.)

 

I liked this layout, but didn’t love it.  To me, something felt off.  So, I decided to leave it on the floor for a day or so until I could get a better sense of why I didn’t like it.  In the meantime, I realized that it wasn’t going to be feasible to put an object directly over the cords that were hanging down from the TV and so needed to leave the bottom, center area clear.

A day later, I decided that the “problem” with my original layout was that there was too much white on the right and too much beige on the left.  I then tried a different configuration, which ended up being the one I used.

 

Step 2

I started at the top with the two areas that I thought would be most visible and used the two pieces that I wanted to showcase the most.  I could have put the vintage street signs in the middle, but then I would have needed to put a frame on the right and I thought that would be too matchy-matchy with the left.  Again, my goal was balance, not symmetry.

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Step 3

I then felt that I needed something to balance out the weight of the Eiffel Tower image on the bottom right and so used the moon picture.

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Step 4

Once that was in place, I needed to balance the weight on the left, as well as fill in the empty space at the top and so used two, similarly shaped pictures.

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Step 5

From there, I decided to add in my medium-sized frames objects, which included frames and a clock face.  I decided to vary the direction that the frames were hanging in order to keep them from looking identical.

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Step 6

I then added in my small objects, which included a frame and some numbers.

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Step 7

And last but not least, I added in a few other objects to fill in the remaining space.

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You might notice that my final layout includes different objects than I used in my original and that’s because I purchased a few more things than I ended up using.  Thankfully, I’m still within my 90 day return period and so can take back what I didn’t use.  :)

 

Next week I’ll show you an easy method for hanging everything on the wall so that you get the exact position you want without making any extra holes in the wall!  I’ll also share with you the progress I’ve made on the guest bedroom.

 

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