Monday, August 3, 2009

DIY: How to Create Interesting Wall Art

I've been working on a couple of projects for our living room upstairs and I'm finally ready to reveal them to you. The first is an old ladder from my grandparent's farm that I wanted to hang above the staircase to use as a way to use of the space in a creative way while also being practical because I can use it to display items on the little ledge.

First we had to clean up the ladder that's been hibernating in a barn and covered with spiderwebs and dust. We cleaned, sanded, and gave it a little TLC before it was ready to be hung up.

Secondly we had to remove the metal hangers that were attached to the ladder. Back in the day they were used to attach a second ladder to it when you needed an extension ladder. I don't like heights so there's no way I'd be getting on that.

Lastly, we had to attach the ladder to the wall above the staircase that leads to the upstairs. A trip to Ikea helped us find these cream colored vases which fit perfectly between the steps of the ladder. It's hard to see the detail but the vases really are cute and just the right size.

So what do you think about the ladder? A little different but I love that it's aged, came from my family, and fits the space perfectly.

The second wall art project I've been working on is the set of 18 photos and frames that are hung in a very casual style in the space that separates the dining room from the living room. I have to thank Layla from The Lettered Cottage for the inspiration for this project and she also helped by offering her photography for sale as well. Sorry folks but I can't take credit for that but the photography is exceptional and mine doesn't come close to this. Seeing it in person is even better, I promise.

Once I had the art ready to hang; I took a trip to Homegoods, Target, and Hobby Lobby to purchase the frames. I had to buy 8x10, 5x7, 4x6, and 5x5 frames so I bought a bunch that were interesting to me (more than I needed) and brought them home to figure out which would make the cut and which would need to be returned.

Next I matched the photo to the frames and then laid them out on the ground. This part required a lot of patience because there was lots of moving around until I got the layout that I really liked. Then it was time to bust out the hammer and nails and it's time to get to work.

Tip: If you prefer, using kraft paper cut-out paper squares the size of the frames and stick them to the walls using painter's tape to ensure you are happy with the layout on the wall before you commit using nails. While I wasn't patient enough for this technique, I highly recommend it if you are commitment phobic with wall decor.

After I got them all hung, I had a problem with keeping all of the frames straight which was a bit frustrating for me especially after I kept ensuring they were straight with my handy dandy straightener. Therefore I had to come up with a solution fast otherwise every time I walked by the wall I would notice any frames that had mysteriously shifted.

Tip: I purchased a package of velcro fasteners that are little 5/6" round dots and I attached one to the back of the frame and the other to the wall and magic happened - the frames don't shift anymore!
Here's the end result which I'm very happy with. While this look isn't for everyone, I love the wow factor it offers. Have you created some interesting wall art that you would like to share?


Brooke G. said...

The ladder looks really cool. I liked it before but I have to admit that the vases really finish it off. Glad you found a cure for the frame shifting issue (before you started yanking out hair - ha!)

Fryer Family said...

The ladder looks great! It's really cool your grandpa still had one like that:)

Allison said...

Love the frames and what a good idea for the ladder! You are amazingly creative. Bryan and I did a collage of photos in our main hallway last was TRICKY business to get them all straight and lined up just right! We only bickered for about 2/3 of the project.


Terri said...

you are creative inspiration my friend! i'm going to go hunt in the garage for an old ladder:)
and i love the frames and all the positives trapped inside!
very cool.

Fryer Family said...

I always notice your ladder when we visit. Did you have new vases or something new in the vases last time we were over? It looked so pretty. And I checked out your collage again, very nice!! I wanted to tell you about our interesting wall art too. I found an old tin ceiling tile that was painted white, and now it is hanging in our dining room. It isn't perfect and you can see some of the original color of the metal where paint has chipped off, which I think makes it more interesting. I was told it was from one of the old buildings downtown. Whether that is true or not, I think it is pretty unique.