Monday, February 8, 2016

Wall of Love

My husband and I have been married almost 5 years. I don’t think I really comprehended how much work our marriage would be and I most certainly did not know what I was getting myself into when we decided to start a family. We both have grown and changed so much since we married. There are times when I miss the things I used to do or had before starting a family.  I also miss the naive optimism for the future that filled our dreams. This year for my husband I wanted to create something that would be a daily reminder of the crazy young love we had for each other and the future. I created a picture gallery wall using  a few of our wedding pictures. We had an intimate beach wedding on the island of Oahu in Hawaii, it was perfect. There were some things that went askew, such as our cake topper, but we were more amused than annoyed.

Picture Gallery Wall, Wall of Love
Notice how the girl cake topper is nearly falling off

I’ve never designed a picture gallery wall before. First I looked for help online, but I couldn’t monetarily afford the help being offered. That meant I was doing this alone and I learned a few things along the way. Here is the wall I  chose for our picture display.

Picture Gallery Wall, Wall of Love
Blank Wall

I measured the space I wanted to use and then played around with different size pictures on some notebook paper. Once I had everything figured out on paper I cut out templates from paper bags, along with spacers for in between the pictures. Using tape I placed the templates on the wall and decided I didn’t like my notebook configuration and played around with the templates until I arrived at a look I liked.

Picture Gallery Wall, Wall of Love
Playing around with the paper templates

Keeping in mind the sizes of pictures I would be using, I selected five of my favorite pictures and printed them through Shutterfly. After that came the hard part, finding the frames. I wasn’t able to find what I wanted in the stores around here so I was left with shopping online from a picture frame manufacturer. I had purchased a small made-to-order frame in the past from an online company with mixed review and was pretty nervous doing it again. This time I went with a different company, The website was easy to use, and I got my frames about a week after I ordered them. The frames were great, however due to an error during manufacturing I ended up with some frames having a clear acrylic cover (the website calls it glazing) and others with a non glare acrylic cover. After sending an email to their customer service, I had new covers sent out the same day hassle free.

Picture Gallery Wall, Wall of Love
Little E with the large box of frames

While my husband was at school one night, I put everything together and using Command picture hanging strips, created our wall of love. Once everything was up, which took about two hours, I taped a letter underneath it for my husband with the vows I had written to him for our wedding and a letter about our future. My husband knew I was up to something before I got this up. It was kind of hard to hide orange boxes from Shutterfly, a large box full of frames, oh and my daughter repeatedly telling daddy I was making him a surprise. In the end however he was really moved by my sweet  gift. He  is such a romantic guy.

Picture Gallery Wall, Wall of Love
The Completed Wall of Love
During this small adventure I learned a few things.
  1. When considering the space you want to hang your pictures, don’t forget to include the frame size  too. Luckily  I picked out slim frames so this little misstep didn’t cause too much trouble. Next time I will pick out my frames first, then base my templates’ sizes off that
  2. Consider mats for the pictures. This didn’t even occur to me when I bought the frames, rookie mistake, I know. What I did came out nice, but mats would have given it a more sophisticated look.
  3. Before using the ever awesome command hooks ensure a) you get the ones specifically for hanging pictures and b) that the picture frame you choose isn’t too heavy. I’m pretty cheap so weight wasn’t a factor for me.
  4. May I also suggest you do this while the kids are at school or asleep. I  did mine after bedtime. Once I started putting the pictures into the frames and especially during the hanging process it would have been too intense for me if they had been awake and running amuck. I truly mean amuck too, my just turned one-year-old son can climb onto the kids’ craft table in the living room using many different items to assist him. Do your kids do crazy stuff like that?

If you have any romantic gestures or gift ideas please share. No, really please share, I need all the help I can get!

Picture Gallery Wall, Wall of Love

Written by: Shawna

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