Create a unified wall gallery with old frames

I don't know why I am always surprised at how much I have collected throughout the years--picture frames not withstanding. The other thing that startles me is how hard it is to just let go. 

Our office/guest bed room for one featured a collage of memory lane. I knew I wanted to do something with this wall and seriously contemplated chucking the whole gallery for some large statement piece. 

create-gallery-wall-collage-with-existing-frames

Here's the thing though...this is the wall that guests are drawn to. It has become a conversational piece. When I look at it those frozen moments, I am taken back into time. Those memories are alive once again. So I couldn't let it go.

Instead...

I got to work.

gallery-wall-where-to-start

I removed all the frames except for the fence and the frame above the fence. Then I sorted the frames into black, wood, and gold. At first I thought I would just create a black framed collage similar to the one seen on megonthego.com. But I just couldn't swing the cost nor was I going to town anytime soon (oh the rural living challenges).

I'm all about figuring out how to use what I already have. Hence, paint...here I come. In the past I have tried spray painting frames and wasn't too successful. When it comes to prepping your surface, I'm like, hell no...I don't have time for that. The discovery of chalk paint has been one of the best things ever. I. Mean. Ever.

I chalk painted the wood frames that I wanted to keep then added black acrylic paint over the top. Then I followed Meg's idea and established my tape line using the fence as my starting point. 

Tape-guide-line-gallery-wall

The most time consuming was taking out some of the pictures and replacing with updated ones or rearranging some of the collaged frames. Instead of my original idea of moving from black to gold, I intermingled the gold frames. 

Gallery-wall-kids-art

The other addition was adding my kiddos art work. I'm so happy I found my son's Kindergarten piece (the red cherry tree). He will be surprised that I held onto this jewel. 

Now, I didn't do the smart thing which was to cut out paper templates of the frames and place them where I wanted them (see Lulua's "behind the seams" for how she did this.). I already had many holes from the first college, so much of my placement was to hide these holes. Not the best visual tactic but for me it worked.

In the end this project cost me nothing but time. Guests will continue to enjoy memory lane. And I? Well, I'm happier that it looks a bit more polished.

before-gallery-wall-transformation

As you can see the before had all different types of frame colors and no rhyme or reason for placement.

Here's my present black~n~gold gallery wall...

DIY-corner-gallery-wall-design

What do you think?