The Gallery Project - Foolproof

Since we moved into our place (10 months ago now), I have disliked this massive blank wall.  It's right when you walk in the door to our apartment and it says "Welcome to our stark, uninviting home!  Don't worry though, we randomly put up this star just for you.  Nevermind the fact that it is floating in white-outer-space, all by itself!  Please, come in." 

 YUCK.  I've had this grand idea to make a "gallery" of some of our million frames on this wall for a while.  The Hubby loathes hanging frames.  Especially hanging frames for me, because I have inherited the curse ability from my father to tell if something is even an 1/8" off.  And unless it is fixed, I go nuts (This is coming from someone who has an Excel spreadsheet for her grocery list.  So I'm a slight perfectionist.  No big deal).  (This just made me think of my motto for piano lessons when I was younger: "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect). 

So while the Hubby was completely absorbed in his books and I was feeling adventurous, I decided to tackle the gallery project on my own.  

Plan of Attack:
  • Trace the outline of each frame on paper and cut it out.
  • Measure exactly where the hanger doo-dad sits on the back.  
  • Measure where that exact spot where the nail would need be on the paper cut out, and mark that spot.  
  • Tape the cut outs onto the wall, checking for levelness and making sure everything is evenly spaced.
  • Once perfect, nail the paper onto the walls using the guides previously measured.
  • Remove paper from nails, hang frames on names and presto!  Perfect, foolproof gallery hanging.

I gathered some frames.  My personal standpoint is that you can do either one of two things. (A) You can have all black and white photos in a variety of different colored frames or (B) You can have all the same color frames with both black and white and color photos.  This isn't a rule for the world.  But it's a rule for me.  

Pile of frames?  Check.  Dusty and grimy from sitting in our garage for 10 months?  Check.
Next, I made my plan of attack.  

This was an "on the floor" type project.
Then I grabbed a stack of newspaper.  I positioned each frame in one of the corners and traced around it, being careful to stay consistent with how my marker was angled.  


For the first couple of frames, I was measuring and dividing to find the exact place for the center of the frame.  Then I realized - Dope!  It's paper!  Just fold it in half!  So that's what I started doing, just making a hard crease.  

(I'll try to explain this part as best as I can!). With the frame glass side down and the paper still folded, I carefully lined up the edges of my cut-out with the edge of the frame - the folded side should now be in the center of the frame.  Very carefully, I marked exactly where the nail would be placed in the hanger part of the frame.  

See the itty-bitty red mark (thanks orange arrow)?  That's where my nail hole will be.
I made the nail mark into a cross and put a square around it so I wouldn't lose them!  Also, be sure to label which pictures goes with each frame.  Even frames that match aren't necessarily exactly identical.  One tiny difference can throw off the entire gallery.

 Repeat for each frame...

Once all of the frames have a paper cut-out with nail hole placement marked, it's time to tape them to the wall!  Make sure that they are level with even spacing.  The more distance you put between each frame, the less likely you are to notice if they are a bit off center.

Doesn't the sprinkler make a nice decoration?
When you have the placement down, start nailing!

Then, remove all of your paper cut outs, say a quick prayer, and hang up your frames!

Ohhh...you almost got to see a photo of my dreamy Hubby.  Careful cropping wins again!
This was seriously my best frame-hanging experience to date.  I know, I know, it involves a couple of extra steps, but those extra steps meant that I actually LOVE the final result!  Our entryway/hallway is so much more welcoming!  Plus I finally get to use some of our plethora of frames.  

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  1. What a great tutorial on doing a wall grouping! I always end up with my "secret" holes in the wall where I have messed up. :-) This way I wouldn't have to figure out how to hide them! Thanks so much for linking up to Inspiration Friday this week~

  2. I do the same thing now when I ask my husband to hang pictures. It takes more time up front, but in the end it saves time. My husband is six foot four, so if I don't do this he tends to hang things too high...then when you move it down you see the original nail hole!

    I love your gallery.


  3. Oh, I love the idea of marking the nail on the paper as well! Genius! I totally can do the measuring thing and then I get the nail in the wrong spot and everything is ruined. Most of my frames are all wonky because of that. It's a great solution! You're wall looks terrific!

  4. There are these great little sticky tacks for the bottom corner of each frame that hold them in there "levelled" place. I do a similar plan just now so precise.

    Looks great, and a super plan. I wanna be you when I grow up!

    Love you

  5. What a great way to get it done perfect! Fantastic job!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!


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[Super-sweet reminder to family and friends: please refrain from mentioning the Hubby's name, school or our city. Thanks ;)]