my eclectic mix & match gallery wall

there are many tutorials out there on how to do a pretty gallery wall (aka a bunch of stuff all next to each other on one chunk of wall space). most of the most professional of them involve cutting out paper templates of each of your elements and taping them onto the wall to get the positioning just right before you actually nail the holes and hang the real deals.

if youre anything like me, just reading "make paper templates of all your..." makes you want to take a nap. 

To Whom it May Concern, i have had the frames and elements for over a year. i have just now barely gotten it up enough to actually get them onto a wall and now you want me to make paper versions of each one?! whatha hell?"

in addition to not really wanting to have to put in very much organizational effort, i wanted a gallery wall with no actual photos. since my particular chunk of real estate is in a corner thats blocked by a chair (therefore you cant really walk up and examine closely each item), i didnt want to "waste" cute family photos over there that wouldnt be seen without moving furniture or getting all hot yoga bending over said chair. i shall save  such photos for more well-travelled and easily accessible environs.

on the other hand, i didnt want this area to just be worthless crap (a la the walls of an applebees...here an antique washboard! there a softball team photo from 1987! everywhere an inane melange!). i wanted a visually rich, texturally diverse, personal, colorful and fun little collection that would mean something to our family or spark off a great story or memory in every piece.

that sounds ambitious, but basically i made up that description after that fact.  my real "plan" as i was doing that wall was actually: "imma put whatever the flip i want on that there wall." 

my 3 guidelines

1. it has to mean something to us (our names, our roots, our kids, our travels, our mottos)
2. diversify materials/colors (frames, textures, functions)
3. spend as little as possible (DIY as much as possible)

so here's where things stand hang as of right now (with room to grow!) and a little info on my finds/process.


these silhouettes were shockingly easy and fun and quick to make. i need to update layla's with her new haircut and when i do i will post a step-by-step tutorial for how i whipped these out with 100% stuff i already had.

because layla's frame was the same type and color (IKEA ribba) as a few others already on the wall, i spray painted it gold real quick to achieve Diversity Tomorrow (because today is almost over). both images are back with a piece of fabric which will be easy to change whenever my fickle fancy pleases.

when judah first saw this he exclaimed, "but i got no ear!" my little literalist.

the K is from anthro. they have a bunch of similar and awesome versions available now...including letters made of books?!?!  OR you can find these exact ones on eBay still every now and then

  the D is from urban outfitters and relocated from my kitchen where it had been for 7 years after my mom bought it for me on a newlywed shopping trip. (urban outfitters also has some really cool unique letter styles)

the J was wooden and from michaels for like $2. i printed out some maps of spain (where jesse spent a semester doing campus ministry in college and we travelled together for a month afterward) and just modge podged them all over; making sure that a few of our most favoritest cities were included. imagine how cool i felt to discover these for sale  at the hip young people store AFTER i had made my own.

i got this from pinterest a while ago. the tree is cut out of a page i printed out of our wedding first dance song lyrics. we are so totally sittin' in a tree.

a favorite hymn with a favorite lyric. just a wood disc (which i'd love to pretend was from nature but i actually bought it at michaels) traced/painted carefully in the same style that i explained here

an inexpensive IKEA clock, spruced up by taping off the indentations at each hour and painting gold.

 i google image searched our college stadium and just downloaded and edited the photo to be more like a sketch. then i superimposed some text over it and printed it out. nothing fancy.

this was one of the few 100% purchased elements. i saw these cool vintage looking pictured printed on dictionary pages on etsy. i asked the shop owner to print my boxing gloves in red and on the dictionary page that contained "Dukes." i love the nod to the blog, our family and our mission to fight for magic in our insane/boring lives. $12 shipped. 

another purchase. i found a bunch of these old slate numbers/letters at a vintage store in my town. i like to think they used to be for keeping score at baseball games. i was flipping through all of them and losing hope and BAM the very last one was my boy, #8. i love this guy.

anthro clearance. originally neon orange, i repainted it blue. i found an etsy seller who makes very similar ones.

as far as spacing i started with the grouping in the middle of the wall and just worked my way outward. 

it may be a gallery wall, but our home is no gallery, so i let myself off the hook (as i put everything else on hooks...BLAMMO!) on perfect spacing and styling. i think this busy, diverse, imperfect, fun wall represents and captures our Dukesy feel pretty well.

the moral of the story: GO FOR IT! dont be scurred.. i sat around for a long time not wanting to tackle this project because i didnt want to "get it wrong." as if! i cant live like that, fools. 

it's a wall. do watcha like.

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