Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Anniversary photo wall (home decor).

Last month, Matt and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary! We ate a few bites of (stale, freezer-burned) wedding cake, went out for a lovely dinner, and enjoyed each others company all day. The traditional gift for a one year anniversary is paper, so for part of Matt's gift I put together this photo wall commemorating our love.

This used to be a large, blank wall in our bedroom. I would stare at it in the morning when I woke up, and it's emptiness always bothered me. Now I have something fantastic to look at when I wake up! Matt loves it too, and it puts a smile on both of our faces.

With just a little bit of planning, I was able to put this together for very little money. Over the last few months, I have been on the lookout for cheap black frames. I scored most of these frames at thrift stores for just a few dollars each; the rest of the frames I already had laying around waiting to be hung. The hardest part was selecting the photos to go in each frame.

I was so excited to see this post from Four Marrs and One Venus about arranging a gallery wall. Jen's biggest tip is start in the middle. I chatted back and forth a little bit, and she also recommended that I practice laying out my arrangement on the floor first. Honestly, I ended up completely changing my design when I started to put it up on the wall, but it still helped me a lot to play around with the design on the ground. 

The loving spoon (I love this special frame too! It was a gift from my maid of honor).

The other thing that I loved about Jen's photo wall was that she included a few special items that weren't photographs. The carved wooden spoon is a loving spoon that my mom sent to us from Wales; it's too pretty to actually use, but I love the way it looks on the wall. The "Love is all you need" sign also came from my mother (and was very appropriate since our wedding song was All You Need is Love by the Beatles).

I made this plaque to include on the gallery wall too. I have to confess, it did not turn out at all like I had planned, and I am merely satisfied (definitely not delighted) with how it came out. I originally planned on using the mod-podge paper transfer technique on this, but that was a disaster (lesson learned: try new techniques on small, simple projects first!). I was short on time, so I quickly repainted my plaque, traced the design with a ball point pen to leave an impression in the word, then hand painted the lines and words. 

Of course, after I finished my sign, I saw that Jen had posted this excellent tutorial on how to make a wooden plaque. Her process is very similar to what I ended up doing, but more organized, and with stunning results. 


  1. Monica! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it- Your wall is Perfect! I love that you added special things to create your wall {that spoon-hello so so cute!} And your EST Sign is adorable lady-- give yourself more credit on that fun EST sign I LOVE yours!! Great job girl, your Photo Wall turned out amazing! Did the hubby just adore it? I would be staring at it all the time! Oh and I love the fact that you made it in your room, what a great thing to fall asleep too! NICE JOB CHICKIE!!!

    1. Thank you so much Jen! You are so sweet! The hubby was floored - I managed to get it all done without him suspecting anything (I'm so lucky he's not as much of a snoop as I am!). I love falling asleep & waking up to this view. It puts a smile on my face every time :)

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