Continuing On, Wall Decor!

I loved the wall décor right after we hung it and then things went sour. It just didn't jive with our new style. I’ve disliked it for months but I kept putting it off for a few reasons. One, because I couldn’t decide what to put in its place. Two, I wasn’t ready to drop any cash on new art. Three, Husband thought it would be pointless because we would be moving soon and we should focus on projects for selling the condo. Once I had taken care of One (knew what I wanted to do) and Two (saved up my funds), I rationalized Three. We needed to make the place look more modern for buyers so this would count as staging! Isn’t rationalizing a beautiful thing? Husband took more convincing, mainly because he didn’t want more holes in the wall. I told him not to worry, I had a fool proof plan and it wouldn’t be a problem.


Famous. Last. Words.

We’ve always had trouble filling the space but I knew I had found the solution. A lovely gallery wall!

Via here
Via here
Via here

There are many different styles of gallery walls but I think the symmetrical style would fit in with my OCD  sensibilities the best. Not only would this fill the space and look more modern, I could easily change out the art as my moods or style changed. Perfect! I showed Husband some inspiration pictures of what I wanted to do on our wall. He expressed concern because he just knew that a gallery wall would be hard to pull off and look symmetrical. It is too hard to make everything perfect, he said. They always look slightly off, he said. I told him I had been researching and knew of a great method for gallery walls.

Paper templates! It’s what The Petersiks used and it works! I’ve used it before for hanging pictures! It will work for a gallery wall I just know it!

See all of those exclamation points? They meant that I was confident. Ha.

Okay, Internets. Here is where Husband will be very happy. Are you reading, Husband? You were right.

No, I won’t say it again.

I’m going to show you a nice, bulleted list of all of the steps I took so you can see how this simple weekend project turned into a confidence destroying nightmare.

  1. Find nice, inexpensive 12x12 frames online and order.
  2. New frames arrive! Celebrate!
  3. Make paper templates of frames.
  4. Hang templates on wall with painters tape.
  5. Move and adjust templates for two hours until you have the perfect spacing and everything is even and level.
  6. Measure frames for hole placement.
  7. Mark paper templates according to measurements.
  8. Double check all of your measurements for everything.
  9. Triple check all of your measurements for everything.
  10. Close eyes, cross fingers, and hammer nails in the wall according to your triple checked paper templates.
  11. Hang frames.
  12. Step back to enjoy your work.
  13. Realize that the 12x12 size is too small.
  14. Confirm this with Husband. *sigh*
  15. Return frames.
  16. Thank the Lord for in store return policies.
  17. Find new, larger 20x20 frames at a higher price.
  18. Bite the bullet and spend the money.
  19. Bigger frames arrive! Yay!
  20. Make BIG paper templates.
  21. Hang new templates on the wall.
  22. Wait a week to continue because your weekend is gone. Paper templates fall because painters tape sucks.
  23. Rehang paper templates. For a third freaking time.
  24. Move and adjust templates for two hours until you have the perfect spacing and everything is even and level.
  25. Measure frames for hole placement.
  26. Mark paper templates according to measurements.
  27. Double check all of your measurements for everything.
  28. Triple check all of your measurements for everything.
  29. Close eyes, cross fingers, and hammer nails in the wall according to your triple checked paper templates.
  30. Step back to enjoy your work.
  31. See this:

  1. Cry because, where did things go wrong?
After I choked on my feelings of defeat, Husband was nice enough to help me out by bringing the dog to his mom’s (because Ty and True had been under my feet the entire time and I was already on edge) and he brought me Popeye’s because, God help everyone if I got hungry as well. We ate and discussed possible solutions and ways to salvage this mess. Lots of ideas were tossed around but nothing seemed to work.

During brainstorming, Husband summed up our problems very eloquently. "Common sense and math are not helping us at all. Trial and error it is," said Husband.

So, that's what we did!. First, we adjusted the slack in the picture hanging wire to correct the height differences of the frames. With me so far? Here’s a pic of Handsome Helpful Husband that might help.

He’s creating more slack in the wire because the frame was hanging too high. He did this for a few; I did it for the rest.

Once we figured that out, all of the frames were at the correct height but the spacing between the frames was still off. Here’s where some foresight on my part paid off. I’m gonna go ahead and pat myself on the back for that because I REALLY NEED IT YA’LL.

Luckily, I had attached some Velcro to the back of the frames already so we were able to use that to help us out. I originally attached the Velcro as a way to ensure the frames would stay level and even, because you know there’s always that one frame that likes to stay askew. Or all of the frames, in my case. Oy again.

I carefully measured an equal distance between each frame, no templates. I used the actual frames this time because *ahem* we’re not going through THAT again. I peeled off the backing of the Velcro strips (per the instructions) and stuck the frames in place. Since the Velcro is able to hold up to 16 pounds, I could have probably just used the Velcro, no wire necessary. However, I wanted to be double sure that nothing would come crashing down because this is where I sit on the couch. If those frames were to fall…oh I can’t even think about it. Let’s talk about something else, ok?

Here’s our new wall art now. Yay it’s all straight!! You best believe I did a happy dance after it was all fixed.

*Side note: The top row may be a millimeter off but no one say anything, mkay? Thanks so much!

Oh! You may be wondering about the actual art in the frames! Doh. I gathered some pictures I had taken on various trips. Yup, those are my very own photos. They make me happy because not only are they my own making, but they remind me of some great trips.

The prints are 5x7 size and centered on 12x12 scrapbook paper sheets, that are then centered on top of some white poster board I bought for 2 for $1 at the Dollar Store. I may eventually cut out an opening for the scrapbook paper so it will look more like a “real” mat but I’m happy with it for now. I didn’t want to cut into the poster board right away since one of the big reasons for the wall art change in the first place was to have something I could easily change with my ever evolving tastes.

I played around with a few different options, such as DIY art (couldn’t get my vision translated to paper), just the 5x7 prints on the mat, or just using the 12x12 paper as art. In the end, I liked the pop of color behind the photographs. I picked the scrapbook paper to bring out certain colors in the prints. I promise I don't always try to copy what I see on yhl, but when something works, it works. And John & Sherry know what works!

True is helping me pick out colors. Color blindness be damned!

I already had the prints and the paper on hand, so no more money was spent on this project. Something that makes Husband very happy. 

I'm very happy that the curtains and the wall art are officially done now. Let's take another look at the before and after, because that is always the best part!

The Before

The After
I learned a lot from these living room updates. I learned I need to slow down and only take on one project at a time. I'm human and that's ok. I also know now that paper templates and picture hanging wire are not a fool proof solution. Well, not for me at least. I think if I hadn't used picture wire, I may have been better off. I'll know for sure when we move and I have to do this all over again. Second time will be easier, right? When it's time to cross that bridge, remind me not to plan anything else for that week.



That’s the name of the game for our “little” living room update. I put “little” in quotation marks because these updates turned out to be anything but little. Not only did they make a big impact on the room, they took foreeeevvvvveeeerrrrrr to complete. Well, maybe not forever but they sure as hell took longer than I anticipated.

I gave you a sneak peak in this post of the changes I was making to the living room. The first project was making new curtains.

The Before

Our old curtains were just plain dark brown. Our living room is a bit on the tiny and dark side (Star Wars joke goes here) and these curtains were not helping. Neither are the dark wall décor, dark brown couch, dark accent pillows and low ceiling fixture but one thing at a time, folks! Husband and I agreed that we should get some lighter colored curtains and maybe *gasp* a pattern!

I scoured the Internets and the real world for curtains and/or fabric. I got zilch. Nothing. Nothing seemed right. I am way too picky for my own good. I found a few options I kind of liked:

Via here
Via here
Via here
These are pretty expensive, at least for my budget. I really didn't want to pay too much for some fabric that I only kind of like.

For Christmas, my mom offered to take me shopping for curtains and she would pay for them. Shopping is our thing so she got something out of this gift too, no matter what she tells you. Husband was even brave enough to join us. I should have taken a picture but we were too focused on the task at hand. I decided that if we couldn’t find anything, we would just get white curtains. I know white would still be plain and simple but a least they would lighten the space. Then, if I discovered the most perfect magical soul mate curtains (which would likely happen right after we bought some), we could just switch them out and use the white curtains elsewhere. It wasn’t a matter of settling. It was a matter of saving my sanity and realizing that things don’t have to be perfect. I didn’t want to waste months trying to find the perfect curtains because, really, it’s not that big of a deal. Let it go, dude.

After searching around, Husband and I decided we liked one of my previous picks from

Via here

It’s still brown, but it’s a light brown and it has a pattern. This fabric is also a bit more modern, which is the direction our decorating style has been heading. Done and done.

Once I got the fabric in the mail, I cut and hemmed the fabric with some heavy duty hem tape.

I use this stuff because I suck at sewing. It works just as well, as evidence will show.Who needs a sewing machine?

I picked up some ring clips at Bed Bath & Beyond and here is where I give you a little tip. Did you know that ring clips come in different sizes? You did? O I guess it’s just me. Well, if anyone wasn’t aware, ring clips come in different sizes. I discovered this when I tried to put these on our curtain rod and they were a millimeter too small.

I tried and tried and tried to make them fit but they just wouldn’t. I almost had a mini meltdown because I was having lots of issues with some other projects and all I could think was, “Can ONE project go smoothly?!? Just ONE?!?!?!?!?!”

Another tip = one project at a time. That way, you only have one hurdle to cross at a time instead of sixty because you decided to do sixty projects at once. Ugh. Shortly after hanging the curtains, I did this post because I just needed to take a step back and breathe.

So anyway, I went back to Bed Bath & Beyond and exchanged the curtain rings for a larger size and all was right with the world again.

I clipped my curtain panels and strung 'em up!
Better open?

Or closed?

Viola. New curtains. Oh and I also hung the curtains higher because all of the experts recommend you hang your curtains high and wide. Little did I know, this action would spur quite the *ahem* debate between Husband and I. Let’s just say, I have yet to fill in the holes from where the curtain hardware was previously located so that I can easily put the curtains back where they were. I’ll keep you posted.

My original plan was to continue this post with my new wall art, but it was starting to get a bit long. The wall art gave me fits and a big headache. So, the rest of my living room update will be posted later. See you then!

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