Category Archives: DIY

Post-Derby DIY: Outdoor Drop Cloth Curtains

The mint julep fog has finally lifted from my brain from Kentucky Derby weekend, so I’m back at it, cleaning up the yard and sprucing up our back screened-porch for the season.

kentucky oaks pic

First up in a long line of projects: replace the curtain panels we have hanging on both ends of the porch. The moldy, turned-yellowish panels from Ikea still do a great job in providing privacy for us and our close neighbors, but they’re not so pretty anymore. We’ve had them up for nearly six years and they’re just now starting to get funky, so for only costing $7.99 a piece, they had a pretty good run I’d say.

drop cloth porch pic

Since free time is tight lately, I went online first to see if I could find a deal on buying some outdoor drapes instead of making them myself.  We needed six panels which came out to be: oh-my-I-can’t-afford-that. Yeah, curtains are expensive.  Especially the outdoor ones for some reason, and there’s not much to them.

drop cloth curtains pottery barn

Outdoor Banded Drape, Pottery Barn

I remembered that a few months back, I had bought some canvas drop cloths from Home Depot with the intention of making drapes for the living room.  Of course that never happened, so I went digging in the basement to find those suckers.  Have you all seen people making curtains from drop cloths?  I’ve seen a few different ones on Pinterest, like these here.

drop cloth curtains diy

I went back to get four more drop cloths and just my luck, they didn’t have the Home Depot brand anymore.  I found this other one in the 6 x 9 dimensions I needed, brought it home and thankfully they’re exactly the same.  They’re $9.95 each for the 8 oz. version.  Not a bad price considering one outdoor curtain panel averages 75 bucks.  Not to mention, drop cloths are already hemmed on all sides, and less sewing = one happy momma.

I wanted to add a little color, but something dark because the last curtains would get really dirty on the bottoms from dragging across the deck.  I bought this navy canvas at Joann’s to sew on for a bold band.  If the drop cloth color is too neutral for you, you can get totally crazy and dye the entire thing like this blogger did.  If you decide to do this, make sure you fully read her tutorial because she talks about washing them first to get even color.  Tutorial here.

drop cloth curtains 7

drop cloth curtains 8

I’m a total amateur when comes to this sewing thing, so I apologize for not having the correct terminology, exact measurements for seams, etc.  If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Supply List

6 x 9 canvas drop cloths – I used these from Home Depot (except mine were the cheaper 8 oz. They weren’t listed on the website when this post was published, but I found them in the store.)

Canvas fabric in contrasting color, (for optional bottom band).

Sewing machine, (or you could use hem tape for a no-sew version without the stripe).


Fabric glue or pinking shears, (to prevent unraveling).

We have these curtain wire things from Ikea that you can buy in the store, or here and here.


Measure the height and width of your opening.  I wanted it to look more like panels and not drape-like, if you know what I mean, so I cut a few inches off the side of the drop cloth to take some of the bulk out.  Next, I hemmed that side and then I took some fabric glue and ran a line of it along the outside of the hem because it was already unraveling a bit.

I wanted my band to be about 20″ tall, so I cut 20″ off of the bottom of the drop cloth.

NO-SEW VERSION: If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could use hem tape or a glue gun like Shanty-2-chic did here, and then use fabric paint to add some color if you want, like this roundup of drop cloth DIY curtains here .


drop cloth curtains sewing hem

I cut the navy canvas into 21″ (height plus an inch for seam allowance) x 53″ (the width of my panel) pieces and sewed three sides with a 1/2 ” hem.


drop cloth curtains 4

Pin the cut side of the navy panel to the cut bottom of the drop cloth, right sides together.  Sew the pieces together.  I trimmed the fabric outside of the seam, so that the pieces lay flat together.

Iron your new panels, (including/especially the seam where color canvas and drop cloth come together), and install.

drop cloth curtain pic


After I had them installed, of course Jeff asks, “how will you protect them against moisture and fading from UV rays?”

He told me to go to the automotive store and see if they have a spray for canvas, you know like for convertible tops and such.  I haven’t had time to do that, but I’ll update you all as soon as I find out.

If I take them down to spray them, I’ll probably add a horizontal stripe or two with fabric paint, right above the navy stripe.  I definitely think they need something else.

Until then, I’m making some throw pillows and adding some more color this week. This porch is brown, brown and brown, and I can’t handle it.


An update on our foyer, ’cause I know you’ve been wondering

painted front door swing insideSo…I painted the front door last week.  I was cruising around the internet one afternoon and came across one of those “simple-weekend-projects-that-can-change-the-look-of-your-home-so you-can-turn-around-and-sell-it-for-$100,000-more-than-what-you-paid-for-it” type articles, and it was talking about how painting your front door is “a simple and inexpensive way to add a pop of color…blah di dee blah blah.”  By the way, I swear that will be the last time you read “pop of color” on this blog again.

I’m pretty sure they were referring to the door’s exterior, but it gave me the idea to paint the inside of our door and bring some color to the otherwise neutral palette going on in the foyer.  This project was not even on my mile-long to-do list, but when inspiration strikes in this house, you drop everything you’re doing and go full steam at that project and never finish it. Yeah, that’s how we do.

Painting front door before picture

I realized that I haven’t showed you all recent pictures of the foyer lately, (or most of the rooms in our house for that matter), so I wanted to bring you up-to-date on what’s going on around here. I painted the walls a chocolate brown color right after we moved in 7 years ago, so not only were we way overdue for a change, (I can not believe a single paint color was on the walls for this long under my roof.), but I was also kinda tired of it being so dark in there all of the time.  We have a covered front porch, and only one window in this area, so combined with the color it was dreary city.

foyer redo before pic

foyer redo before pic stairs

I wanted to go with something way at the other end of the spectrum, like a light grey or cream.  On the first go ’round, I picked out the color “Penthouse” by Benjamin Moore.  Sophisticated and modern, clean and bright, a shade reminiscent of a chic top floor apartment overlooking Central Park, just like the name implies.  Sounds nice, right? But oh darling, it was not.  It was so, so wrong.  Jeff came home from work and did that little gesture, you know the one where you hold your hand up over your eyes to shield them from the sun?  “What color are you gonna paint over this primer?”  Seriously? This is the second time that an all-day paint job has been mistaken for wall priming in this house.  How did this happen again?  And why on earth did I go ahead and buy 2 gallons of the stuff without doing a test swatch first?

foyer redo first paint color

I headed back to the paint store with my tail between my legs; this time asking for help from their on-site designer.  I should have done that the first time, but you see, a lot of interior designers have this weird pride thing where they feel like a failure asking for another designer’s advice, which is really stupid because picking out paint colors is what this girl does all day long.  She’s an expert in her field.  Anyway, my paint store, and I’m sure yours, has a designer that specializes in paint colors and lighting and which wallpaper you should use in the bathroom. You can bring in a throw pillow or show her pictures on your phone, and tell him or her what kind of lighting your dealing with, and most of the time, they will help you find the perfect color.  In this case, it’s “Royal Flax”, and it’s a nice, non-blinding beige-y grey.

foyer redo stair runner

We also installed a stair runner, (how-to coming soon), and my in-laws got us the braided, jute rug as a gift.  We’re talking about building a mudroom on the back of the house soon, (since that’s where we enter the house most of the time), so then we’ll be able to get rid of those coat hooks and all the “drop zone” clutter.  I can’t wait to make a pretty table for in there and maybe add some molding and framed artwork up the stairway wall.

foyer redo coat hooks

So finally…after all that…back to painting the front door. I did a little prepping by cleaning with one of those “magic” sponge things and then I caulked the cracks between the moldings.  I wanted a minty green/blue color, but I didn’t want it to stand out too much because it’s next to, and open to the living room, which unfortunately has not been updated in a while and consists of dark reds and browns mostly.  I Google’d the Ben Moore paint color “Palladian Blue,” to see how it looked in other rooms, and if anyone had an opinion about it.  Again, I collaborated with my paint store designer, who agreed that it was a great choice.

Here’s the BEFORE again; since I’m positive you forgot about it after all that wordiness:

Painting front door before picture

and AFTER:

front door paint after shot

Much better, right? The color is a subtle blue; not too bold and doesn’t compete with the colors in the living room.  This weekend, I’m working on doing some kind of shade for the window. We’ve never had one on there, and maybe I’m getting old, but lately it feels too open.  I can’t go to the kitchen in my underwear, and if you’re already standing in the hall or foyer, you can’t hide from salespeople.  I’m kinda over it.

Have you completed any paint projects lately? What kind of window treatment should I do?  I’m thinking either a roman shade or dressing up one of those cheap-y roller shades.  Do they still sell those?

Rosie’s Refashioned Ikea Brän Lamp

bran lamp diy after

When I showed you all Rosie’s chandelier project a while back, I told you that I wanted to re-do the lamp on her dresser.  We bought the lamp, with all of her shelving and most of the frames at Ikea, right before we started putting her room together.  I knew right away that I wanted to use it in there because it was the perfect size, had a handy switch on the cord, (perfect for her height and little hands), and it was pretty and modern, fitting in with the style we were going for.

I make it up to Ikea only once or twice a year because it’s a 2 hour drive from Louisville. I usually have a list going for months and spend hours there, making sure I buy every single part I need, because we all know, you can’t order off of their website with those shipping rates.  Why does shipping cost so much with them?  I just learned this though: there’s a lot of Ikea stuff on Amazon for just a little more than buying it from the store.  This lamp is not available, but check there first before you go and pay $50 to ship a couple of shelf brackets.


I started off putting the lamp on Rosie’s dresser as is, but it disappeared against the grey wall and white frames. I thought covering the lampshade in fabric, (like I did with the chandelier shades here), would help it stand out more, which it did, but then I wasn’t loving the minty green color I chose.  The fabric didn’t look the same in her room as it did in the store, and it was putting way too much emphasis on the shade and taking away from exposed cord.  It doesn’t look terrible in this picture, but in real life, the shade was a darker green, and I don’t know, it just seemed “off” to me.  This is how it was in Rosie’s Room Reveal:

Rosie's big girl room 13

The coolest part about this lamp and the reason I bought it, is the exposed cord.  So I thought, why not paint the cord a bright color like hot pink (Rosie’s favorite hue) to accentuate it?  I’ve seen similar lamps with a bright color cord like this  and various DIY lamps on the web.

So, I pulled the shade off to see what I was dealing with, and let me tell you, this ended up being the project from HE-double-hockey-sticks.  For those that are interested, I’m going to tell you all about it, but if you want to skip to the end where I’ve laid out the steps, I totally understand.

So here goes.  I unplugged the lamp, removed the shade, and figured I could just unscrew the socket part to get to the cord, but to my chagrin, the damn thing was glued on there.  I did a Google search for dismantling the Ikea Brän lamp, and came across this blogger’s post.  She heated the metal piece with a hairdryer to melt the glue, and fortunately for her, was able to pull it right off.  (Check out her post for a different take on redoing the Brän lamp. It is so pretty.)

The cord is painted and pulled out of the lamp in the following photos, which doesn’t make sense now, but I’ll explain that in a minute.

Bran lamp hairdryer

I made several attempts, keeping the hairdryer on it a little longer every time, and the top still would not budge; each time a nervous wreck that the lamp was going to bust in my hands and send me right to the emergency room.  (A few minutes into it, I did put on some oven mitts, so I wouldn’t burn or cut myself.)  I referred back to the comment section of her post and someone mentioned pouring boiling water over the piece to melt the glue.  I tried that too, and nothing.  I felt a little better when I read more recent comments from other people who were having trouble, and how they thought Ikea “caught on”  and was using stronger glue now.  “Caught on” to what exactly?  They don’t want people making a much more awesome version of their lamp? Come on now.

I decided to try a different route, and dismantled from the other end at the base of the lamp. I was able to pull the switch mechanism apart and pull the cord through enough to paint it, (score!), but the next day when I attempted to put the lamp back together, the section of cord where the switch was (it’s split in two on one side), got trapped inside the lamp, and the acrylic paint was scraping right off of the cord.  Ugh!  It was even worse now than when I started!   Instead of throwing the lamp across the room like I wanted, I walked away like a sane person and didn’t look at it for 2 weeks.

I hadn’t totally given up, but you know when you just have to forget about something for awhile and regroup?  Well a few weekends ago, Rosie was at my Dad’s overnight and Jeff at the lake, so I did what I normally do when I’m alone and had myself an all day Craft-A-Thon.  Just me, my craft room and the Lorde + Bjork + St. Vincent Pandora channel.  Pure. Bliss.  And it put me in the mood to tackle this thing once and for all.  I got my hairdryer back out and this time, hit up the tool drawer, grabbing a couple of different kinds of pliers and screwdrivers to aide in prying off the stubborn top.  First, I twisted the socket part a little and pulled it through the top and away from the metal cap, aimed the hairdryer on the metal cap again for a minute, and then put a large flat screwdriver in the small opening and gently pulled.

Removing top bran lamp

Voila! It popped right off of there.  I was so happy, I laughed out loud and did a little dance.  I’m not kidding.

So, back to the reason why my photos don’t match up.  I didn’t take pictures until the second time around, after the original top debacle and when I had already tried painting the cord.


bran lamp diy top removed

Since painting the cord didn’t work out, I needed to explore other options to get the cord a bright color, my whole reason for getting myself into this mess.  My new repurposed craft carousel   was sitting there, and I had the idea to wrap the cord in embroidery floss, just like my stepsister used to do with her boyfriends’ giant class rings to get them to fit.  You can buy these at any craft store, and they’re only about 80 cents a piece and come in a million different colors.

bran lamp embroidery floss wrap

I pulled the cord out through the top as far as it would go, and began wrapping, starting an inch away from the socket thingy.  (I don’t know if it makes any difference, but I have a crazy fear of catching the house on fire, and I wasn’t sure if it was safe to put string so close to something that may get hot.)  I continued wrapping it around and then used fabric glue to secure it down.  After the glue dried, I carefully pulled the cord back through and reassembled the lamp, glueing the cap back on with Gorilla Glue.

bran lamp glue embroidery floss

Finally, I removed the green fabric from the shade and replaced it with this fun, crosshatch fabric from Stash Fabrics.

Bran lamp diy shade closeup

Oh my gosh, it’s so much better.  And although it took hours, (from bringing it home – to green shade – to the whole metal cap fiasco), I’m really happy with how it turned out.

bran lamp diy after 2


Have you had a project that took way longer than expected? Any other Bran lamp re-dos out there?  I’ve seen some that are filled with little toys, like Legos or plastic animals.  So cute.


What you’ll need for this project: 



Protective Gloves (I used oven mitts)

Flat Head Screwdriver

Embroidery floss

Fabric Glue

Strong Glue to Attach the Cap  (I used Gorilla Glue)

Directions (photos above)

1.  Unplug the lamp and remove light bulb and shade.  Gently twist the socket to pull it away from the glued on cap. Put on your protective gloves and turn on the hairdryer (hot setting), and heat the metal cap at the base of the socket, turning the lamp, for about a minute.

2.  Insert a flat head screwdriver and gently tug until the cap pops off.

3.  Pull the cord through.  Starting an inch from the socket, wrap embroidery floss around the cord until you reach the switch mechanism.  Glue down the end with fabric glue.

4.  After the glue dries, carefully pull the cord back through and reattach the metal cap and socket with glue.

Optional:  Fabric covered shade directions can be found here.


Repurposed Spice Carousel

I was doing some pretty intense cleaning the other day.  You know, the kind where you start giving away everything you own and cleaning out the refrigerator with a toothbrush?  No?  You don’t do that?  Well, I was trying to get rid of some unnecessary stuff, and one thing that immediately caught my eye was a spice carousel that has been taking up prime counter space next to our cooktop for the past 7 years.  We never use it because we have one of those awesome pull-out spice racks in our cabinet, plus I don’t know what half of the spices are in that thing anyway. When do you use celery seed or caraway?  What the heck is caraway?

repurposed spice carousel before

I didn’t want to just toss it, because the carousel works fine and I think the rack cost us around 50 bucks.  Suddenly, I had an “Aha! moment.”  Ugh, I can’t believe I just said that.  Did anyone else hate when Oprah said that?  I love her, but it drove me bat shit crazy when she would cut people off mid- sentence, look out into the audience with her finger to her temple and say, “yessss!  You had that Aha! moment.”  Oprah, please.

Anyway, spice carousel.  It hit me that this spinning house of old, useless spices would be perfect for some of my small art supplies, like needles, beads, buttons and so on.  So I emptied all the spices in the trash can, and I’m telling you, they were so old, they didn’t smell like anything.  Not even that funky, licorice-tasting fennel.

Next, I put them in the dishwasher and then set them out on the counter for a day to completely dry out.  Jeff came home from work and goes, “what’s going on here? Are you moving the spice carousel downstairs for your craft supplies or something?”  I mean, seriously, how did he know that?  Cause my man is smart, I’m tellin’ you.  The total package.

repurposed spice carousel dishwasher

I took it to my basement craft area and starting transferring stuff from inside the Dave Matthews-sticker-decorated college art box, into these handy, clear containers.  Buttons, embroidery floss, sticks of chalk, and sewing needles are now neatly organized and easily accessible.  Aaaah, I heart organization.

repurposed spice carousel craft 3

repurposed spice carousel craft 2


Have you recently repurposed something in your house?  Do you have a craft room/area/closet?  Soon I’ll post pictures of Jeff building mine.  Yes, not only is he cute and smart, he builds craft rooms.  Paws off ladies.




DIY Smartphone Case Cover

This week I’ll be posting a few really quick projects because Jeff has a house in the local home show, and I need to be around to help he and his business partner get a slideshow prepared, and iron blue jeans for local tv appearances.  I mean, shirts. Collared shirts.

smartphone custom cases

Anyway, first up is a little project I tackled a while back when I had to get a new smart phone. Don’t you just love how the technology is constantly changing and getting a new phone, requires a new charger, speaker dock and phone case?  Yeah, me neither.  I was bummed about shelling out more money for a new phone case, so I did a little search for DIY covers.  I came across all kinds of free templates online with fun designs that you print out and insert into a clear case,  but as y’all know, using your home printer ain’t really “free.”  Printer ink is like liquid gold, and I had tons of scrapbook paper laying around I could use instead.  So, I bought one of these clear cases on Amazon, cut out all kinds of different patterned paper, and made a different case for every day of the week.

smartphone custom case purse

I don’t really change it everyday, because that would be a huge pain in the ass, but at least I know I have options.

– My friends are like, “where’d you get that bomb-ass case girl?”

– I made it.

– Of course you did.

Some of my friends think just because I’m a little crafty, I make everything I own.  “I love that dress. Did you make it?”  Whaaat?!  Yeah right, who has time for that?

Cutting template smartphone custom cover

I found the template for my new phone here.  Don’t forget to uncheck the “scale to fit” box when you print it out, so you get the correct size.  If they don’t have one for your phone, just do a Google search for “insert brand of phone here template,” and I’m sure you’ll find a .pdf.  The first time around, I actually traced around the outside of my new, clear cover on to a piece of card stock, but the pattern ended up being just a smidge too big and when I tried to trim it, because of the curved edges, I royally screwed it up.  So trust me, save time and use a pattern.



  • Clear Smartphone Case – There are some on Amazon that cost only a few bucks, but that’s what I had last time, and it turned yellow and got scratched up pretty quickly.  I paid more for this one and it just feels better, and still looks new after having it for a couple of months.
  • Pencil
  • Scissors and Exacto Knife
  • Decorative Papers
  • Glue (optional)

Cut out your pattern with scissors, and then use your exacto knife to cut out the camera hole. Here’s a little trick I learned in design school.  Cut several slits and then cut out the shape.  It’s easier to get a more precise, accurate cut on small openings like this.

cutting camera hole smartphone custom case


Then, just pop your paper in the clear case and insert your phone.  It’s not necessary to secure the paper with tape or glue because the phone’s gonna hold it in there.

smartphone custom cases 2

The glitter paper, (which is super awesome by the way because it doesn’t “shed”), and most of my other scrapbook papers are from Paper Source.  I think it looks cool to glue a couple of different style papers together, or you could get really crazy and glue on a picture of your cat, your girlfriend, or David Bowie’s head.  Oh man, I love him.

Make your own case and send me a pic so I can post it on my Facebook page.  Speaking of Facebook, The Potato House reached 100 likes the other day! Woo-hoo! Keep ’em comin’!

Rosie’s Chandelier and a Fabric Covered Shade DIY

A couple of months ago I said I would share some tutorials from Rosie’s room makeover, but then summer turned seriously cray, and I was cursed with a tiny bit (or bout?) of writer’s block, (I wrote about that last week), so I’m just getting around to it.   Anyway, the first project I’m going to share with you guys, is Rosie’s painted chandelier with DIY fabric covered shades.

DIY fabric lampshade chandelier after

The fixture was originally painted white and hung in the shabby chic bedroom when we bought the house.  This is the only picture I have of it:

DIY fabric lampshade chandelier before

Yeah, sorry about that.  Jeff took it from this room, (which later became the master bedroom. You can read about our room switch-a-roos here), outside where I spray painted it black, and then re-installed it in the guest room.  It worked in there for a couple of years, but when we started converting it into Rosie’s “big girl” room, the black was just too dark with her color scheme.

I didn’t want to ask Jeff to take it down again, (especially to paint it white), so I decided to lay down a drop cloth, hop up on the ladder and paint the thing right there.  Two coats of slightly off-white paint and 45 minutes of my time later, it disappeared against those light grey walls and looked just plain awful.  You walk in and are all like, “where’d the chandelier go, yo?”

I had picked up some dark grey paint from Home Depot, (one of those little $3.99 sample cups), that I was planning on using to paint Rosie’s doll basket, and I thought I might try it out on there.  Two coats and 45 more minutes of my time later, perfection.  Yes.

DIY fabric lampshade painting chandelier

Now on to the shade.  The original shade was thin plastic covered in off -white (or dirty?) fabric and beaded trim.  I tried to remove the fabric and salvage the shades, but they were kinda crappy anyway and they straight up cracked.  Doh.  So, I went to Lowes and picked up these   for $5 each.  Unfortunately, there aren’t many shade options, especially of the glamorous /princess/modern girly girl variety, so I decided to cover these in fabric myself.

It’s a little more difficult to cover a tapered shade than a drum shade, since the diameter changes from top to bottom, but hopefully this tutorial will get you through it.  The fabric is from Joann’s, and oops, I honestly forgot how much I bought.  Sorry.  If you’re math dumb like me, I’m sure you can take your shade in there, and they’d be happy to help you out.  I want to say it was around 1 1/2 yards.

Here are the supplies I used:

Approximately 1- 1/2 yards cotton fabric


“Disappearing ink” fabric pen (in the sewing supply aisle at Joann Fabrics), chalk or light pencil

Spray adhesive & scrap cardboard or newspaper to catch the overspray

Hot glue gun

Satin ribbon and fabric glue (optional)

Okay, so the first step is to lay your fabric right side down.  Place the shade on an edge of the fabric and slowly roll it, keeping your marker at the edge of the shade and drawing a line with it’s path.  Make sure your shade makes it all the away around, like the “big wheel” on The Price is Right.  Man, I’ve always wanted to spin that thing.

DIY fabric lampshade step 1

I don’t know what the heck I was thinking using an ink pen the first time around.  I had to do it over with my disappearing ink and I forgot to take pictures.  Don’t do that.

Pick up the shade and place it back at your starting point, repeating the step for the other end of the shade. You should end up with a rainbow shape.

DIY fabric lampshade step 2b


DIY fabric lampshade step 2

Cut out the rainbow piece 1/2″ outside of your lines, so that you have enough fabric to fold over the top and bottom of the shade.  Now GO OUTSIDE with your spray adhesive, spray the shade and the wrong side of the fabric and wrap the fabric around the shade a little at a time, smoothing out air bubbles as you go.  The awesome thing about spray adhesive is that you can pull the fabric back off and try again and again if you screw it up.  Also, try to get the fabric seam right over the shade seam, so that you only have one “bump” showing.

DIY fabric lampshade step 3DIY fabric lampshade step 4

Fold the fabric seam under and use your hot glue gun to secure it down. Then, use your scissors to cut slits for the bulb cage-frame-contraption thingy, and put a thin line of hot glue on the inside of your extra fabric and fold it over the top and bottom.

DIY fabric lampshade step 5

The bottom seam looked a little sloppy, and since the shades are up in the air and you can clearly see inside of them, I attached some satin ribbon with fabric glue to give it a cleaner look.

DIY fabric lampshade finalRosie's big girl room 3

Ugh, I really wish I had  a “before” picture.  Have you refinished/repurposed something that came with your house when you bought it?  Any lamp or chandelier re-dos out there?  I covered the shade on Rosie’s IKEA lamp, but I’m really hating the color.  I’ll keep you posted when I re-do it.  Someday.

Gallery Wall, Y’all

So, while our tree has decided to knock out the neighbor’s fence during Ice Storm 2014, I’ve been inside knocking out some projects.  Yikes!  Sorry girl.

Ice storm 2014

Today I’m sharing a Gallery Wall DIY.  Gallery walls are an easy way to fill up a large area of wall space with a collection of things you love.  They’re the “it” thing right now, in case you didn’t know. I love this one from Oh Joy!:

oh joy gallery wall

“Baby Proofing Your Stylish Livingroom” -ohjoy!

We have two really long hallways in our house, and I wanted to fill the walls with pictures of friends and family that I could look at all the time, (instead of putting them in an album that I would never open.)  I did one gallery wall with multi-color frames on the first floor, and upstairs I did a shrine to Rosie.  She deserves it.  In the dining room I’ve started a collection of our favorite artwork, including the Mt. Fuji piece I mentioned here, but it’s still a work in progress. There are tons of gallery wall tutorials on the web right now, but this has been the easiest one for me.

Gallery Wall Upstairs

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A roll of wrapping paper with grid lines on the back side
  • Measuring Tape 
  • Painter’s Tape 
  • Scissors
  • Collection of frames  (I usually get frames on my quarterly excursion to IKEA, at Joann’s or Hobby Lobby with coupons, or from my vintage sources.)
  • Marker 
  • Picture Hangers (I use these because we have plaster walls and they seem to work best.)
  • Hammer
  • Smart phone or camera 

Gallery wall blank

First, you’ll measure your wall space and figure out the width and height of the area you want to cover. Or if you have a cute little helper like I did, you can unroll the wrapping paper, hold it up to the wall and go ahead and mark the size that you’ll need.

wrapping paper measure

Mark and cut those dimensions from your roll of wrapping paper.

mark wrapping paper 2

Next, arrange your frames on the cut piece of paper.

gallery wall frames

Now, lift each frame a little and mark where the hanger will go.  My frames were arranged kind of randomly, but if your arrangement is more precise, you could draw a line around each frame and mark exactly where the hanger is on your frame outline.

mark frame hanger gallery wall

Next, (and this is important), take a picture of your arrangement with your camera or smart phone, so you can refer back and know exactly where each frame is supposed to go.  Remove the frames from the wrapping paper and attach the paper with painter’s tape to your wall.

gallery wall wrapping paper

Take your measuring tape and measure from the floor to the bottom of the paper at both ends and the middle, and make adjustments to get your paper straight.  Next, take your hammer and nail your hangers into their marked spots.

gallery wall hanger

Finally, remove the wrapping paper carefully.  You might even want to take your scissors and remove sections, so you don’t pull out your hangers.  Refer back to your smart phone and hang the frames in their correct spots.  Voila!  Easy-peasy gallery wall.

gallery wall finished