Monday, December 19, 2011

TV Wall - Finally Un-Empty

I can't tell you how many ideas I considered for the wall behind the television.

(in case you don't believe me, here's proof....)

This is one of several considerations.  (Those are cutouts of wrapping paper of various things I was considering). I't could have turned out really well, but I wasn't completely sold.  So  I went back to the drawing board (once again).

I don't know why it took so long to make up my mind.  Maybe it's that I wanted to do something different.  Maybe it's the fact that I hate putting holes in the wall (and we're not talking one little hole here.... we're talking about a lot of 'em) makes me anxious.  Maybe it's because whatever ends up hanging on this wall could potentially crash on top of our vintage dresser and tv - ruling out some of my wilder ideas (which I will spare you).  But for whatever reason, that bare wall just kept calling out "C'mon, Erin... Please... Do something...So I decided to keep it fairly simple with a grouping of seven frames: five above the television, and one on each side.

Here's how the process went, and some details about resources that might be helpful if you're planning one yourself. 

The frames.  I decided large (14x18) frames would do the trick, but after shopping around I realized seven frames that size could get crazy expensive, fast.  If I was certain that I would be in love with this wall for years, I would be willing to invest in some nicer pieces.  But I ain't real certain, Paw, so I wanted to tackle this as inexpensively as possible in case I change my mind down the road (for whatever reason). On top of that, I couldn't find 14x18 frames in the big box stores.  Thank goodness my little fingers can walk all over the inter-web to find some deals.  I finally found simple gold frames here for $14.44 (plus shipping, about $17) a pop!

The art.  Believe it or not, I bought the frames before I even knew what I wanted to go inside them.  I  was at a point where I was determined to move forward, and reasoned that even if I used the free art sources I posted about awhile back (here and here), we would be moving in the right direction, and that empty wall wouldn't be driving me bananas.

Shortly afterward (and completely by luck), I stumbled upon Dreamery Studio and knew I found the answer.  Such a charming idea: "Vintage illustration is printed on a page from a tattered antique book. The page has beautiful golden patina of old age and nostalgic charm to it."  

Dreamery Studio prints on vintage paper
Talk about incredible selection and great prices.  They're around $8.50 a print, and I snagged a buy three, get one free deal) to make the deal even sweeter.  I chose a combination of black and white and color images for some extra interest and moved on the next step.

Matting + Art, Part II.  Next, I set out to find equally good deal on the matting.  You pretty much need to go custom for 14x18 mats to 8x10 size, so I was seeing dollar signs all over again.  Eventually I bought custom mats for the prints online here.   I ordered eight (the minimum) at $3.13/piece!  The shipping was $10, so it was all done at around $35.  Super-cheap for this large custom mats!

I measured another 8x10 mat that I already had hanging for the inside dimensions and waited for everything to come together.  But sadly, when the prints were delivered they were too small!  SAD!  NO!  I was almost done!  Apparently the matting I measured wasn't a standard size. (What are the odds?) So I contacted Jo at Dreamery Studio to see what we should do.   You guys - I can't tell you how helpful she was.  Not only did she insist on replacing them without charging me again, but she also hand-selected books with larger pages so they would be large enough for the mats I ordered and let me choose the format (two column v. three column, etc.).

As if that wasn't enough, she emailed me the sweetest idea (even though it meant more work for her!): "I was thinking since we are most likely be using the dictionary pages, you could perhaps choose a dozen or so of desired words, like happy, love, passion, etc..."

After weeding through the pages that were too heavy on illustrations to work with the prints, we were done. I had art that is not only full of character and interest - but also full of meaning for our home.  *smiles*

Hanging It Up!  I was planning on doing a step-by-step of the process of hanging and arranging these, but my process didn't go too smoothly.  I was originally planning on using Command strips, which I tested on one frame.  The frame ended up falling off the wall and I ended up changing game plans. So I'll just give you a couple of tips that worked for me.

1. Paper cut-outs. I cut out some wrapping paper and hung it on the wall to get the spacing and leveling just right.

2. A new toy!  This Hang & Level picture hanging tool really helped me out, too.  This video does a great job explaining how to use it.

And finally, here she is. Remember the lonely blank wall from ages ago?:

Gallery Wall Behind TV -- After

Here's a close-up of the one of the pages. 

What do you have on the wall behind your television?  Any experience working with gallery walls or good resources for frames, art, matting?  


  1. I really should try this in my living room! Thank you!

  2. So simple. But really posh looking. Found you on Pinterest, thanks!

  3. Darling yet sophisticated and chic, oohlaalaa, i looove it!

  4. Afterthought, btw, love you title...and...i enjoy your end ressult much more than the mix n match gallery wall type of set am soooooo like you in that sense, in that i like a wide variety and want it all in a small space but then realize, hmmmm, why am i not digging this? Go back, redo...and go for a toned down more sophisticated or simple yet stylish look...i know i know how cliche...but wow if i had a nickle for how many times my mother told me the K.I.S.S. rule...ugh got sick of hearing it planning "the wedding".. ;) anyway, once again, great job, so thourough...i never ever and i mean NEVER comment on theses things and im online checking out decor stuff ..props to you...u rock! Hopefully our lil gallery wall tv will turn out half as well;o take care.. thanks for the tips/advice whatnot....seee this is why i dont comment, i cant shut up!

    1. mis write, thanks so very much for the comments and feedback! I appreciate it so much. Good luck and let me know how it turns out!!


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