I finally did it! This weekend I tackled the longest, most drawn-out project I think I have ever started for myself. Overall it’s not a difficult one, but the amount of prep work behind it and dollars that went into it is what seemed to stretch the timeline from conception to completion.
12-Months in the making…I FINALLY HUNG A GALLERY WALL!!
**Before I proceed any further some serious credit is due here. Thank you to my fantastic parents who helped me tackle this project yesterday. I think I would still be staring at all of the pictures on my living room floor trying to figure out the best layout if it wasn’t for the two of you. Thank you!!**
Flash back to mid-2016 when we were off galavanting somewhere in Europe – Amsterdam, Prague, Rome? Who knows! I was brainstorming all of the fun and neat projects I could create with the thousands of photos I had (and was anticipating) taking.
- Gallery wall
- Momento photo frames
- Photo book/album
I figure I can’t be the only one with thousands of photos or mememto’s from travelling, so I thought I would share a few of the ways I have chosen to showcase our more cherished travel memories as a couple.
Some of my inspiration for a gallery wall came from an AirBnB we stayed at in Venice. The host loved to travel and in her living room there was a MASSIVE world map mounted on cork board with polaroids around. On the map itself she had different coloured string connecting her (in Venice) to the places she had been to, where she has lived and where her family currently lived around the world. It was so cool!
I find in this day-in age it seems that the old fashioned photo album no long exists, and the norm is to sit in front of a computer and sift through all of your pictures in slideshow form. NO thanks! This doesn’t have the same effect for me. I love technology but I still want something that I can hold, something tangible, something that you can stare at for longer than 10 seconds before the next picture flips up.
Make way….for the gallery wall!
This project was one of the first I ever drummed up. I knew immediately that I wanted a travel theme and started to hunt for a world map poster as soon as we returned home. I ordered this one from art.com and couldn’t be more pleased. We both love the antique-ey feel to the poster but the splash of colour keeps it more modern (and ‘Meghan’).
All of the frames I used were either ones I had on hand or (mostly) purchased at Michael’s. It can sometimes be an expensive place to shop, especially for frames, but the key is to sign-up for the daily newsletter and take advantage of all the coupons that roll in on a daily basis.
The final task that took me the longest was getting the poster framed as I knew it would be pricey. I finally bit the bullet last week and took it to a local framer who did an amazing job! We opted to move away from a typical glass/frame because the poster is so large, and instead mounted the poster to board, laminated it (non-glossy) and used a light-weight gold metal frame. This saved a lot on weight and my budget!! Overall a great success.
Now comes the fun part – hanging the frames! It can be a little tricky but as long as you follow the golden rule of “measure twice, cut once!” (or in this case “measure twice, hammer nail once”) you really can’t go wrong. Some of the guides online suggest creating a mock-up on your wall using kraft paper but we chose to tackle this head-on. We took a picture of the layout on the floor in advance to hanging so that we had a visual guide to follow.
The world map was hung first as this is the focal point and is centered over the couch. The other frames were hung next, starting at the bottom where we determined how far below the map we wanted them to be, and then worked our way up ensuring the same distance between each frame and the map was maintained. It did take some time at first but at some point got into a rhythm and my masterpiece came together.
Momento Photo Frames
I kept all of our train ticket’s, museum stubs, maps, ID’s, etc… that we accumulated while we were away because I wanted to find a way to showcase this. At first I thought of combining them into a home-made photo album but eventually steered away from that idea. I decided to create 3 individual frames (similar to a shadow-box I guess) with all of our travel memento’s from each country we visited.
The frames I used were found in my parents basement and used to be a glossy red with ugly gold embellishments on each corner. I removed the embellishments and sanded them down before repainting an ‘espresso’ brown that matched the furniture in our office.
I created a log of all of the tickets/stubs to get a feel for the quantity I was dealing with and how to best divide them up.
Frame #1 – Sweden and the misc countries where we did not acquire too many memento’s
Frame #2 – Germany
Frame #3 – Italy
Again, it’s another example of a way you can showcase the memories you make while you are travelling. If I hadn’t created this frames all of these memories would be stored away in an ugly brown envelope on a shelf somewhere and would probably never get looked at.
I am super pleased with how this project turned out.
I haven’t begun this project yet but plan on utilizing Shutterfly to create gorgeous travel books for each country we visited. I’ve created calendars but never books with them before so am excited to get this one going soon!