Back in 2014, after catching a glimpse of a wall of leaning frames India Hicks featured in her book , Jasmine set out to create her own take on the style. It's a riff on a classic gallery wall, only much more dramatic — and perfect for a long hallway. Since then, she's created all kinds of gallery art shelves, becoming a total pro at nailing the look.
The premise itself is simple: Hang shelves; arrange frames in the order you like, letting them overlap slightly; fill in frames with photos you love; secure frames with Museum Putty (AKA earthquake putty, AKA removable mountable putty). But, like any DIY project, there are a few tips worth knowing that can save you a lot of headaches — and trips to Target, HomeGoods, and well, every hardware store in a 20-mile radius.
Choose Your Shelves First.
You'll probably have to nail a few shelves in side by side to run the full length of the wall, so you want to choose a design that'll fit together seamlessly. Jasmine picked a clean-lined set of for that very reason, and — real talk — because they're incredibly affordable.
One Tool Will Make A Huge Difference With This Project.Spring for a laser level. "The longer the run of shelves, the more you have to measure," Jasmine explained. A laser level takes up very little space, and it's great for checking whether longer shelves and pictures are level, rather than readjusting every few feet.
You're Going To Need A TON Of Frames.
Jasmine used about 75 frames for her wall, and if she could give you just one piece of advice, it'd be to buy more frames than you think you need. "Chances are you will use all of them and even more," she said. "Purchase a mixture of three sizes of frames: extra large, large, and medium. The small ones can fill in later."
Once you've hung up the shelves, arrange the frames along the wall, letting them overlap a bit for a more collected look. Don't even bother taking them out of their packaging — that way, if you realize you have too many XL frames and need more medium-sized ones, you can easily return them.
"Once you feel you have the right composition, make a list of how many vertical and horizontal photos you will need and the sizes," Jasmine explained. "It's a lot of work but so worth it when you're done!"
You'll Spend Twice As Long Prepping This Project As You Will Actually Doing It.
From there, the tricky part is finding the right mix of photos to fill in all of those spots. Sticking with black and white photos can create a more cohesive, uniform look, particularly if you're worried about the style being a little too extra for you.
"The installation of this project is less time then the prep work that goes into curated and printing the photos," Jasmine said. "Once the photos are printed, you just have to pop them into the frames and secure the frames with earthquake putty." (Earthquake putty keeps them from toppling over easily, should you race by or accidentally knock into them. Or, you know, face an earthquake.)
It's definitely more than a Saturday afternoon project, once you factor in shopping and choosing your photos, but it's the type of showstopper that will truly reflect who you are and what you're about — and nobody who visits your house will forget it.
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