Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Too Stuffy For Me...Part 2!

My photo wall in my former living room/dining room...soon to be craft room/game room,  make over is complete and I love it!  

My original idea was to use canvas prints.  However, I quickly learned that I'd either have to win the lottery to afford that or I'd have to alter my plan a bit.  I chose to switch things up since there is no hope of me winning something I don't play.

Here's what I came up with!

It wasn't a difficult process but there is no way I could have done it without my husband's and dad's help (a huge thank you and 'I love you' to both of them).  I started off choosing photos I wanted to use.  I chose all photos that I'd taken rather than using professional pictures.  I want this entire space to feel casual and comfortable so I thought snapshots and home photos would be a good way to go.  I used old photos I'd taken with my DLSR as well as pictures from my iphone and Instagram.  I added filters to many of these photos so they'd be a little more artsy.

Originally I was planning to do 16 large square photos.  After looking on line I decided it would be cheaper to do a more standard size, so I chose 16x20.  I uploaded my prints to Walgreens Photo Center and had my photos printed on poster paper.  They had them ready for pick up with in the hour!  I never pay full price for anything so I used an on line coupon and only paid half price for each print.  If you wanted to have all black and white photos, you can do this really cheaply by using Staples Engineered prints (only about $2 each).  I wanted color pictures since my family room has an entire wall of black and white prints.

Here's how I did it.

My awesome dad cut 1/4 inch thick plywood into 16x20 inch rectangles.  He also created a cleat system for hanging them but you can also pick up sawtooth hangers at the hardware store.  I purchased Mod Podge from JoAnn's (with my 60% off coupon) and got to work!  I slathered Mod Podge on a plywood piece and then painted more on the back of my photo.  Then I set the photo on top of the Mod Podged (is that a word?) piece of plywood and made sure it was straight.  I smoothed it out starting at the center.  Since my photo paper was rather thick, I did not experience any problems with tearing or bubbling.  The next step was to add a coat of Mod Podge right on top of the photo.  I wanted them to be streaky so I put it on thick and let my brush marks show.  Apparently you are supposed to use the Matte Finish Mod Podge on photos but I didn't.  I used gloss and I love them!

I did this over the course of a few days.  I Mod Podged a few at a time and put them away until the next day.  After I had them all done I set them on the floor to get an idea of how I wanted them arranged.  I even ended up swapping out a couple of the pictures for different shots.  

When it was time to hang the pictures I measured the wall (with my wonderful husband's help) and put a few pieces of tape on my floor to mimic the size of the wall.  I started out deciding where I wanted the finished top and bottom to be.  I had to contend with an outlet on the bottom too.  I set the pictures on the floor and saw that they looked good about 5 inches apart so we decided to make 5 inches the spacing size for them (vertically).  We put the center row up first, working top to bottom.  Next we measured out to the side 6 inches and worked horizontally, leaving 6 inches in between each photo.  It left about 7 inches on the ends but I like that.

So here is the finished product!  I'm very happy with it and I know that I can easily Mod Podge a new photo right over the old photo whenever I want to change the look!  The room is slowly coming together.  Now I have to decide where to go from here!  Wish me luck!

For more on this room design, check out these posts!
Painted Stripes 
Chevron Table
Chair Make Over