I mentioned before that the house I’m living in is a bit rustic. I don’t mean cute rustic like a little cabin in the woods. I mean more like, poorly constructed, never taken care of dingy rent house, squishy floors and shaggy carpets. While renting has lots of advantages it has a few dilemmas too. One is that you are stuck with the way things are. A fresh coat of paint would make a big difference, but is not an option, so for the moment I am trying to be content but I am struggling to feel cozy (trust me I am grateful to have a place to live, I know some people have a lot less, but seriously I just fixed a hole in the linoleum floor with a piece of duct tape).
I do have a couple mini-retreat spots, one is the patio, with my container garden, and the other is my daughter’s room. It isn’t that her room is any nicer than the others, but it is smaller and has a higher proportion of cute stuff per grime ratio.
I find it is easier to keep adding cute things to her room rather than deal with the challenges of the rest of the house.
This is a picture collage I made last summer. It was and still is the most significant home decor project that I’ve tackled (I know, not much, but for me it was an accomplishment). I didn’t take photos of every step but I think you can re-create something similar pretty easily. The total cost for this project was about 50 dollars including art, frames, spray paint and hooks and I did it over the course of two afternoons.
Here are the basics:
1. Find your art. These are actually greeting cards I picked up for a couple dollars each in Pagosa Springs, CO last summer. They are by a local water color artist there named June Jurcuk and you can buy some of her prints on etsy and through a few other online shops. If you look carefully you can see the fold since they were intended to be used as cards, but I don’t look too carefully so I don’t notice.
Be creative with your choices. You can do something as simple as frame pieces of cardstock paper of different patterns. Or use a mix of old photographs, pictures from magazines or other odds and ends you have collected. Even putting a few of your child’s art projects in frames makes them look more finished and are great wall hangings. Plus your child will probably think it is pretty cool to have something they made framed and permanently on the wall.
2. Find your frame: You can either buy frames the size of your art or buy matting to make any art fit in any frame These are inexpensive frames from Wal-mart. They were originally black and I spray painted them white. I trimmed my art to fit just inside of the frame. You can also buy matting either pre-cut in standard sizes or have them cut to size at a craft store. I try to pick up frames at thrift stores too where they are significantly less expensive than buying new.
You may have to buy a little kit that has different types of hooks and fasteners from the hardware department. This will let you attach wires or brackets to hang your frames. Additionally Command Hooks (which are amazing) now make an adhesive strip that works sort of like velcro, you can use this to attach your frames directly to the wall with no nails.
3. Arrange your art. I took pieces of notebook paper that were about the same size as my pictures and taped them up on the wall, I re-arranged them until I was happy with the layout. You may want to use a level to make sure you are keeping things lined up.
4. Put up hooks. I used Command Hooks here rather than deal with a hammer and nails. My pictures were a bit wobbly so I took a another little piece of the velco-like Command hook adhesive and put it in the bottom middle of each picture. Then I leveled them again and stuck it to the wall. Now they are level and have no wobble.
5. Enjoy your work.