entry wall gallery wall {step-by-step}

gallery wall

i love a good gallery wall!  i think they are a great way to inject a huge dose of personality into a home and can tell you so much about who lives there through pictures, prints, random decor, and style.

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when we built our home i wanted open open open space.  and we got it – yay!  but with the open space, we are lacking wall space, which means less space to decorate – boo.  in our great room (living, dining, kitchen) we have 2 walls.  TWO.  yes there are small 2″ wide wall spaces next to 2 doorways, but honestly other than that, we are pretty limited.

gallery wall

because of that limited wall space, i like to make sure those 2 walls have big impact!  one of our spaces is our floating shelves in the dining area, which i just love.  the other space is here in our entryway.  and because we only have those 2 walls, we also only have 2 options for placing the piano.  the dining room just didn’t work, so the entry way it is!  our enter is definitely not traditional, but we have to make it work.  it opens directly into our living room, so we tucked some hooks behind the door for guests to hang coats and bags.  our family typically uses the back door for our main entry, so our drop zone is back there.

gallery wall

our entry way has transformed so many times over the last 8 years here, and i’m sure will continue to, but i’m really happy with this combination i came up with.

i started by laying out everything i could hang on a wall that i gathered from around the house – posters, prints, photographs, instagram pics, monograms (“C” for our last name), numbers (5 for our family of 5).  then i measured out the space i had to work within and marked out that space on our dining room table.  then i got to work arranging and rearranging and rearranging again, then taking it all off and starting over from scratch.  it was a fun but long process.  sometimes i get in the same rhythm over and over that i have to purposefully go against my natural design instincts to force myself to try new things.  one of 2 things then happen: either i love it or i realize i gravitate toward certain things naturally because they work the best for me!  either way, i always think its good to try new things, even if they don’t work out. #lifetip

gallery wall

i’m really happy with the neutral base for this wall, but i was able to mix it up with a variety of frames i found around the house, mixing black, stained wood, gold, frameless and even a clipboard!  the “so rad” free printable was found here and i had it printed at costco’s photo center (my printer is a bit wonky).  i did the sketch on the lower right when i was in college – its me when was about 3.  the watercolored “c” was a gift from emily (tutorial here).  the salvaged “5” was a gift from my mom.

gallery wall

the “life is short” free printable is attached to a frame i had with the glass broken out of it, so i wrapped it with baker’s twine and attached the print with teeny clips.  to add a bit of color, i taped the pic of lily up with some washi tape.  the corrugated galvanized “c” was also a gift from my mom (yes, she’s awesome).  the picture of silas is matted with wrapping paper from target.  the “2 + 3 = 5” flash card was stolen from my kids.  i told them it was ok since they already knew that fact ;)

gallery wall

this wall has the thermostat inconveniently placed near the center of it (why?!), so i have disguised it with this framed “5”.  because i want to hide the ugly thermostat, but still need it to function, i had to come up with a cover that still allowed the air to flow.  i wrapped a piece of foam with fabric, but cut out the section that the thermostat would sit – hopefully it works!  thankfully, our weather is so mild that our heater rarely kicks on, so it should;t be too much of an issue.  i hope.

gallery wall

the plant, accessories, and little washi tape bunting add just the right amount of color to the mostly neutral wall.


i made this fun little gif to walk you through each step of creating this gallery wall!

everyday curly hair

everyday curly hair

i’ve been asked over and over how i curl my hair, and while i’m no expert, i’m going to share my simple technique with you today!

i basically have 2 ways i curl my hair – one for everyday and another, more full version, for fancier occasions.  this is the faster everyday version.

everyday curly hair

before & after

everyday curly hair

here’s the tools i use (and these may just blow your mind):  curling iron, bobby pins, and hairspray

everyday curly hair

i start with clean dry hair.  a lot of people suggest having day old dirty hair for better curls.  while i agree with that, i like to make good use of my time, and i want 2 days of curly hair out of my hair curling efforts.  but i have to wash my hair about every other day, so i start with it clean.  but you do whatever you want ;)

everyday curly hair

i start in the front with a smallish section, separating it from the rest of my hair.

everyday curly hair

i give it a few spritzes of hairspray.

everyday curly hair

and then i use my curling iron upside down, without the clamp bar thing.  i know there are curling wands that do this same thing, but i already had a curling iron and don’t want buy a new tool. #cheap

everyday curly hair

i wrap from the roots to the tip, and hold it for a few seconds.

everyday curly hair

then i slowly slide the hair off the curling iron to the end, keeping in the circular shape…

everyday curly hair

then take that little loop of hair and pin it against my scalp!

everyday curly hair

then i grab the next section and start again.  another tip: i generally curl away from my face (think farrah fawcett) rather than toward my face (think pollyanna).

everyday curly hair

when i am curling on my left side, my arms have to get a little funky and go over my head to hold the curling iron upside down.  consider your arm exercises done for the day! #multitasking

everyday curly hair

wrap…

everyday curly hair

wrap…

everyday curly hair

wrap…

everyday curly hair

wrap!

notice i don’t curl my bangs.  they get real wonky when anything other than a flat brush and a blowdryer hits them.

everyday curly hair

another odd, behind the back, over the shoulders position.  all for the curls.

everyday curly hair

each piece is curled and pinned (i probably do about 10-12 curls in this version).

everyday curly hair

if any curls come loose i just add another pin.

everyday curly hair

then i give another few spritzes of hairspray all over, for good measure.

everyday curly hair

then i wait for my hair to cool completely.  usually, i’ll just finish getting ready, do my makeup or get dressed, but today that was all already done.

everyday curly hair

after about 5-10 minutes i start pulling out the pins, letting the curls just fall.

everyday curly hair

 

everyday curly hair

once all the pins are removed i have nice bouncy ringlets!  sometimes i just leave the ringlets as they are until i’m in the car heading wherever we’re going.

everyday curly hair

everyday curly hair

then i finger comb my ringlets.

everyday curly hair

and now they are big and full!  wow!  but a little too full for everyday hair for my taste, so i pull it through my hands a little more to tame the size.  and the curls loosen a bit throughout the day to look a little more mild.

everyday curly hair

thats it – all done!

a couple things that i think help my curls: i have colored my hair, so i think that adds extra texture.  also, grey hair.  and my biggest tip: a newer curling iron!  this one is a couple years old, but my last one was from junior high, and i just couldn’t figure out why my curls wouldn’t hold!  duh.

 

everyday curly hair