Saturday, February 7, 2015

{collage walls}

Hi everyone! I was recently inspired to dust off my blog and hopefully bring it back to life. Raising four kids doesn't leave a lot of time to blog but here's to hoping I can give it a little more life! I asked my friends on Facebook for some ideas on what to blog about. Several of them suggested collage walls, so here I am. Now, before I start, let me say this. I never want to discourage anyone in their own decorating style. We all have our own eye, our own preference, our own sense of style. I spent the last 30 minutes or so googling collage walls to collect some pictures. I decided a few minutes in to only save pictures of walls I liked instead of walls I disliked as well. I didn't want anyone to look at their own collage wall and think it looked too similar to my dislikes :)

I hope the following information is helpful and will inspire you to hang all of the lovely pieces you have been dreading doing anything with! It's really simple and a lovely way to display art, special photographs and unique pieces. If you have any questions or comments, please share them after you peruse this post. I can always do a follow up post if I forget anything. 

Here we go...

{no. 1} Here is how I would get started. Collect all of the pieces you want on your collage wall and lay them out on a bed or the floor. Get a good visual of how you want them to be arranged. I usually pick an "anchor" piece {usually the largest item} and put that in the center and then build around it. If you choose to have an anchor piece, I would suggest having about the same amount of pieces on each side of it. Not a mirror image, but similar amount and sizes on each side. So if I had 1 anchor piece and 15 pieces left, I wouldn't do 10 on one side and 5 on the other, I would do 7 on one and 8 on the other. And I wouldn't do 7 large pieces on one side and 8 tiny pieces on the other. You get the idea. It's all about balance without being exact, if that makes sense.

{no. 2} A collage wall doesn't have to be perfectly matchy matchy. Meaning you do not need to use all black frames, the same shape, with black and white photos inside. I think the best part about a collage wall is including COLOR, TEXTURE, SHAPE, and DIMENSION. If however, you really want things to match, try playing around with one of the elements I listed above. 

Here are a few examples. See how all of the frames are black and all of the pictures are black and white? Well, wouldn't it be boring if all of the frames were the same shape? With the frames being different sizes and shapes, it makes it much more interesting. {the spacing of these frames are bothering me but more on that in a bit}

Here are some examples of all white frames {both from young house love and I adore all of their work} In both of these pictures, almost all of the frames are rectangular and they're all white. But what gives it interest is all of the COLOR they add to the photos. I love the bright pops of color and to me, it makes it so much more interesting than if all of the photographs were black and white. They also added a couple of unique pieces to add more character, which I love.


This wall, to me, has all of the elements I listed above. Color, shape, dimension and texture. I really like it. 

{no. 3} You don't want your pieces spread out all over a wall. I would suggest leaving no more than 2 inches between each piece, usually less. If each piece is 12 inches apart from the other, it looks sparse and it's confusing to the eye. You don't know where to look. Collage walls should be a grouping of items, fairly close together. I would also suggest that you try and stay fairly consistent with spacing. So if two pieces are 1 inch apart, don't put the next piece 5 inches away. My current collage wall, which I'll share below has a little over 1 inch between each piece. 

{no. 4} You want to be careful with height. I may have been shaking my head at a few pictures I saw today. You want your collage wall and really anything in your house, hanging at eye level. The center of your art should be around 57-60 inches off of the ground. So you shouldn't be starting your collage at 7 feet and going up. No one, but a child, should have to look up at the art on your wall. If they have to, it's way too high. 

{no. 5} Collage walls, in my mind, can be as simple as 4 things. They don't need to cover the entire wall in your living room. If you are going for an entire wall and you have 40 frames you really want to hang, try keeping the subject matter simple. If you have too many busy pictures framed, it will look overwhelming and cluttered. Try doing mostly simple pictures. Maybe with one subject matter in each frame. Or make most of the pictures black and white with a few pops of color.

Using all white frames here helps it not feel busy even though there are over 20 frames on one wall. I would probably add a couple more pops of color but overall, this is really pleasing to the eye.

Here is a simple little wall I did above my youngest daughter's crib. This is an example of a "mini" collage wall. As I said above, they don't need to overpower a room. 

 {no. 6} This is a life saver tip. Write this down if you're going to do a collage wall. One of my pet peeves and something that literally drives me insane is crooked pictures. {ask my husband, I have actually straightened pictures in public places} I have done many collage walls over the years and had to remove them because all I was doing was fixing the pictures all day. Enter adhesive putty. Life. Changer. I hung my latest collage weeks ago with this stuff and not one picture has moved a centimeter out of place. This makes my OCD heart so happy. I had to include one collage wall that would drive me crazy {please forgive me if this is your wall} There are so many things wrong with this to me but the main thing is how everything is crooked. It literally makes my skin crawl. So go buy this stuff if you're doing a collage wall! Seriously. 

Here is my current collage wall. It is a work in progress and I am going to add more but I am so happy with it. I have my anchor sign in the middle that I made, I have black and white with pops of color, unique pieces and things that are meaningful to our family. An "h" for our name, "6" for the members of our family, keys that belonged to Bryan's grandpa, a pallet sign of Oregon I made and my 5 favorite family members :)

Now the how to. I'm not going to be much help here. There are all sorts of tutorials you can google. I don't have the time or patience for their techniques, like the one below. Genius idea, I'm sure but this is how I do it...

 As I said above, I collect all of my items and lay them out so I can get a visual of where things go. I start with the anchor piece and build out from each side. I don't measure anything, I eye ball it all. {unless something requires 2 nails on each end and then I do measure} I hold each frame and using my pointer finger on the back, where the hook is..I press the frame against the wall, put my pointer finger against the wall where the hook was and I remove the frame keeping my finger on the wall. {does that make sense? It's sounding really weird while I type) then I hammer in the nail and hang the picture or item. Using the putty and a level, I get it perfectly straight and press it against the wall making sure the putty is nice and firm against the wall. Voila! {and no, this doesn't always work and you end up with a few extra holes but it's what I do}

I hope this very long winded post will help and inspire you to get started on your very own collage wall!

Happy picture hanging!

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