For a long time now, me and my parents have talked about updating the living room walls. They’ve been left rather bare looking after a number of years ago we had a flood and had to redecorate, and after saying we’d update our picture choices, we never got round to really putting anything up. However, Mum took some time off work and with me feeling too delicate to go anywhere too far after a bout of food poisoning, we had the perfect excuse to set about our project. Operation gallery wall hangings.
We already had a sizeable number of frames collected over the years – some dated, some photographs, some pictures – so we quickly arranged these into a shape we liked on the floor.
Here are some that didn’t make the cut and a rather attractive pre-school picture of timid old me who had to have her Mum there for moral support.We headed over to B & Q to get some small paint pots to paint the rather dated and scruffy frames into something that matched our colour scheme. The walls are a grey/cream in our living room, our sofa is dusty grey, and the sofa cushions are light blue and dusty pink (hence our colour choices). Can I just say, back when I was a nipper these paint pots were free! They’ll now set you back £1.55 each (£12.40 for all 8) but all in the name of a bit of upcycling eh!
Masking tape was our friend – for the frames which we thought we might leave the pictures in, we didn’t want to cut the masking tape at the back so merely masked the glass.
Mum in actionThese were the heart mount insets of the little frame with my parents in – I have NO IDEA who thought red and lime green would be a good idea with a deep green frame, but I was determined to make something a little classier.
This ‘dip-dyed’ frame was created using our old friend masking tape and was actually inspired by a frame we saw in Next (pictured below). The wood was so gorgeous it seemed a shame to totally cover it up, unlike some of the other tacky frames, and in it, we added a piece of our favourite music photocopied from a piano book.
Now here’s where my Dad really came into his own – hanging like no tomorrow! We started with the large blue frame with the flower inside and worked outwards on both sides. A quick note about fittings – my Dad found a large set of picture frame fittings at B & Q for £7 but decided he could find much cheaper elsewhere, and a trip to the 99p store and Wilkinson’s later, total expenditure = less than £3. It pays to shop around.
The (semi-)finished project! We are all so pleased with how well the frames gel together – we had to repaint one or two as we found there was too much grey and cream, but other than that, it worked pretty well. (Disclaimer, we are aware that a lot are wonky! But until we’ve added in the pictures, we’re not too worried). Obviously we need to find some pictures to add in to some of them, and eventually pictures such as the Winnie the Pooh frame on the very left will come out, but for now, I’m so glad we’ve made a good start, and it really does brighten up the room already!
Another ‘dip-dyed’ frame with Mum and I in.
This frame was filled with a wallpaper sample we got from B & Q a few months ago. We are going to pick out a couple of houses and paint them pink and blue to match everything else.
This is the only frame we actually purchased for the project, but at £2 from Asda I think we can forgive ourselves! I think the typography element works really well to break up the other frames – all that’s left is to pick a picture that fits the bill!
Finally, my graduation picture sits top of the stack.
I think up-cycling like this is infinitely satisfying, not only from a money point of view – we spent £17.40, so less than £20 on everything, including fittings – but also from the point of view that we’ve used things that are very fond to us. A lot of these frames have been around as long as I can remember, and although fashions change and they aren’t in style in the same capacity anymore, it’s lovely to paint something that once held my year 3 school photo into something fit for 2014.
What do you think of the gallery hanging style? Have you completed any up-cycling projects recently?