Bare Walls: Installment 1

We have the sad combination of empty wall space and empty pockets. But it is kind of sad to live in a space that has bare walls: “artwork is critical for personalizing a space” and making the place you live in feel like home (emphasis added). I’ve used a variety of cheap tricks to get items on our walls in our new(ish) home, and I feel like a problem-solver when I think of some of the ways we’ve filled our wall space on a budget. So, I’d like to share with you all some of the ways that we’ve added art (or, at least “art”) to our lives. The first installment is about the gallery wall over our bed, which we made from scratch for less than $50. 


Through Pinterest, I found The Graphic Fairy’s website, which is a collection of free graphics that you can use for DIY projects. (Warning: do not visit this website unless you have some time to spare—it is full of eye candy.) On this site, I found a set of eight botanical prints, which I thought would look nice as a gallery wall. In fact, I think the curator of the website even says as much. I downloaded the prints and sent them to our local FedEx to be printed on a lightweight cardstock – after finding an online coupon for 30% off (from Printing cost just under $7.00. I also found some matted frames from JoAnn Fabrics for 60% off. Eight frames cost $35.20. (Grand total was $42.20.)

It was difficult to position some of the prints just right in the frames since they were sized slightly differently once printed on 8.5”x11” paper. But, the most difficult part was hanging them at the right height, at the right width, and with the right spacing. I used painters’ tape to make an outline of where I wanted to pictures to be and made marks on the tape to help with spacing before measuring to where I wanted each nail to go.



Overall, I think we got as close as we’re going to get to perfect… which isn’t that close, but is OK with me. I really like how this addition anchors the bed without us having to buy or make a headboard.

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10 thoughts on “Bare Walls: Installment 1”

  1. How did you remedy the, “It was difficult to position some of the prints just right in the frames…” problem? I would like to try this (you did a beautiful job), but I might not be able to pull it off if it is too difficult.

    1. Mostly time and patience remedied this problem – I also kept the piece of paper the comes inside of the frame and tried to position the picture directly over the writing on the promotional photo already inside the frame and carefully turning the frame over to check your positioning. And the paper has white edges, so even though some edges show, you can’t tell unless you go up very close to the pictures. You can do it!

  2. One of the easiest ways to hang a collage of pictures so they are where you want them to is to lay brown paper on the floor. Lay out the images exactly where you want them to sit and draw around the frame with a pencil onto the brown paper. Remove the picture and write in the square which one it is, then measure and mark where you need to place the picture hanger on the paper. Blue tack the brown paper in place on the wall where you want it. Simply nail your hangers straight through the brown paper into the wall. Pull away the blue tack and wah lah…just as you planned it….

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