Saturday, August 27, 2011

DIY Sunday: Children's Art Gallery

Hello There!

I'm really excited to show you this project! I've had it planned for a while. I often see in magazines and on blogs parents making an art wall for their children by using a matte and replacing the pictures periodically. I always thought it was kinda pain to take the frame down, remove the back and change the art. So I decided to create an art wall with just open frames and picture wire. I'm pretty excited by the way it turned out.

Children's Art Gallery


Old frames sans glass and backing (found most of mine at a thrift store for $13.00, however if you slowly collect them, I could see this being much cheaper if not free)
Spray Paint ($3.00)
Picture Wire ($2.00)
Staple Gun (had around the house already)
Binder Clips (or clothes pins $2.00)

My collection of random frames I found.

Total Cost: $20.00


Step One: Clean & Spray

Take all your frames and remove the glass and backs. Wipe down with a wet wash cloth. Spray paint with your chosen paint color. FYI: Places like Ace will do custom tint spray paint with any color they could do with regular latex paint. I used Rustoleum in white. It's a spray paint that has both a primer and a gloss enamel finish.

Frames in the middle of spray painting

Step Two: Staple & String

Decide where you want the wire to be. I put mine towards the top, about one-two inches from the top. Take your picture wire and staple one end to the back of the frame. Make sure you leave two inches or so sticking out from the staple. Tie the picture wire around the staple. Pulling tight, staple the wire to the other side of the frame. Cut the wire with a few inches sticking out, pull tight and knot. Repeat on all your frames.

Staple with little tail of wire sticking out.

Wire with knot

Step Three: Hang Your Gallery

There are several ways to decide where to put your frames. I've seen several tutorials using kraft paper. You cut the paper the same size as the frame and tape the paper on the wall. That way you can see how everything looks on the wall and reposition if needed. I never have done this because a) that's a lot of kraft paper and b) that's a lot of cutting. Time and money I don't want to spend.

I am not a measuring person as you may know. I hate to measure fabric or spend the time to center things. I prefer to just wing it. However with my gallery upstairs, I thought I would be all exact and measure things out. I placed frames on the ground so it looked pretty and measured where everything would go. It was a disaster! I ended up moving almost every frame. The stupid gallery took me like eight hours!

So, this time, I decided to use a method I saw in Pinterest. You would put a bit of toothpaste on the hanger and put it on the wall. A bit of toothpaste would remain where you should put the nail/screw. I used some diaper cream I had nearby. It worked GREAT. I will never hang a picture frame another way.

So, I placed my gallery on the floor. I used the floor tiles as my guide for how wide I could go (I knew the place I had chosen was three tiles across so I arranged my gallery on the floor within three tiles wide.) I took a picture of my creation. Then I used the picture on my camera as a guide and did the toothpaste guide idea from above.

It was so fast. The entire gallery took me maybe 10 minutes. I've never been able to hang a bunch of frames that fast.

Empty wall ready for frames

Gob of diaper cream ready for hanging.

The wall after putting the frame up to it. Ready for a nail.

My arrangement on the floor.

Gallery on the wall.

Finished Wall!

One frame was a causality of my dogs chewing.

You're finished! Now you just need to clip your budding artist's creations to the wire! I used binder clips to match the wire, but something like clothespins would work too.


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