So, now before I show you what I've come up with to display his art work, I have to admit something. I don't keep all his work. I throw some away. *gasp* I know. Horrible mom, party of 1 right here. But before you go thinking I'm horrible, let me explain. Anything that he's truly MADE, I keep. Like painting projects, actual coloring projects, actual art projects (that require glue, etc), I keep. What I throw away is random stuff that's not really "made" like tear outs from a coloring book that he's scribbled on or letters that he's traced. Call me horrible, but I don't think I need to re put together a coloring book of pages that he's scribbled, so while I'm glad he's had fun at the time, it goes in the trash (when he's not looking, of course) when he's done.
That being said, I have all this art work that Mason's done over the past year at preschool and nowhere to put it, so what did I do? I made an art gallery wall to hang it! Coincidentally the timing was perfect because I had a ton of Halloween/Fall stuff from last year that I had saved that I was able to hang on the gallery wall. For inspiration on how exactly I wanted it to look, I used Sarah's gallery wall and various finds from my Home Decor Pinterest board. As for actual execution of the project, I followed most of the directions from this post.
Here's how you can make a gallery wall of your very own.
- frames - quantity and size will depend on your preference
- 1/2 inch eye hooks - similar
- monofilament - I used this
- clothes pins - I used the 1" ones below that I found at Michael's Craft Store
- picture hanging nails - similar
- tools - screwdriver, hammer, pliers, scissors
Step 1: Go shopping for frames. I found my frames at HomeGoods and IKEA. You can definitely find frames at other places like Michael's, JoAnn's, Target, etc but I was looking to keep it cheaper so we bought most of the frames at IKEA. Tip: Know what size art work you're going to want to hang. You might not know exactly what size the art will be (since it hasn't been made yet), but knowing kids, art work is never small. Having said that, I tended to buy more big frames rather than small.
Step 2: Go shopping for supplies. I had most of the tools on hand, so we didn't need to buy those, but I did pick up some monofilament (at ACE Hardware), the clothes pins (from Michael's), and the eye hooks (from Lowe's).
Step 3: Arrange the frames. I knew that most of Mason's art work was using horizontal so I tried to have most of the big frames face this direction. I didn't want them all the same though, so I used some of the smaller ones to go vertically. I rearranged A LOT. Don't settle on your first arrangement. Take a picture and rearrange. This is my third or fourth arrangement. Tip: don't delete the picture after you decide on an arrangement! The husband finds it very helpful when trying to hang the frames on the wall.
Step 4: Remove the glass and the backings from all frames. Discard. All you'll need is the frame itself.
Step 5: Screw in the eye hooks. Measure how far down you want the eye hooks to be. Keep in mind, this is how low the monofilament will hang as well. We measured down 1 inch on each side of the frame and made a little mark so we knew where to put the eye hooks where they would be even. I wanted the monofilament to hang slightly down but not too far, so we basically just gave the clothes pins a little leeway.
Depending upon how hard the wood in the frames is, you may need to use a hammer to get the eye hook started by creating an indent in the wood. Seth had to do that for only a couple of the frames. Then use pliers and screw the eye hooks into the frames.
Step 6: Attach the monofilament and clothes pins. Tie one side of the monofilament to one of the eye hooks. Measure out enough to stretch across to the other side and some extra to allow yourself to be able to tie. Before you tie the monofilament all the way across, string 2 clothes pins on the monofilament. Then tie the other side as tight as possible to the monofilament doesn't sag.
Step 7: Hang the frames on the wall.
Step 8: Hang pictures in the frames.
And you're done! You can definitely color the frames too if you wanted them all to be the same color (as seen in this post). I preferred them all to remain in the colors that we bought them in since I liked the gray and black combination and they coordinated with the other frames that were already in our family room.
I absolutely LOVE the way it looks and can't wait to change out the art work for Thanksgiving!