A friend’s Facebook posts about 20×200 and the site’s images of hip zippy art walls inspired me to tackle the blank hallway wall that has been mocking me since I moved into my place four years ago.
An art wall! It will be fun! It will be easy! I can do it on the cheap! It will be fancy!
Using a canvas painted by my Great Grandmother Sinback as the focal point,
I found three complementary prints from 20×200 (Art! Really pretty affordable!).
Over the next several months I bought frames, I bought some IKEA prints, I bought some IKEA frames (on the cheap!). I tested out prints in various frames and one of the IKEA frames fell apart (maybe just cheap!). I returned that frame, I bought another one. I decided to swap art around in the frames I had. I bought a couple of photographs at an arts festival (“Would you like the version with them already framed asked the artist?” “That’s crazy expensive!” I said, eyeing the price tag, and wondering “how much can it cost to frame something?” Note: This will become important later.).
I bought more frames, I returned those frames, I bought other frames. I discovered some prints that I’ve had for years that never made it to my walls. I decided not to use some of the IKEA prints and frames I had purchased. I discovered that I needed to buy one more frame for a print that I’ve had for years that was in a frame that did not coordinate.
I finally had all the art and all the frames ready to go except for Grandmother Sinback’s painting, which needed to be framed. Off to Michael’s I went (“I will get Grandmother Sinback’s painting framed on the cheap!”).
I first thought I would price framing a larger painting of Grandmother Sinback’s for a different wall (I was at Michael’s! I would get things framed on the cheap!). They were having a 65% off framing sale (exciting!). I spent a lot (A LOT) of time with a very friendly framing consultant, considering frames, and mats, other mats, and borders for between mats. Finally, we settled on a beautiful framing arrangement and the friendly framing consultant pushed the button that would calculate my estimate. It was … over FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS (NOT on the cheap). I gasped in horror. I told the clerk I did not need/want glass. The no glass estimate was still very high. I told the clerk I would not be getting the large painting framed that day.
I decided to price framing the smaller painting anyway, since the completion of my art wall hung in the balance. The (now somewhat less) friendly framing clerk showed me some options (notably fewer than before) and gave me a (less expensive, but more expensive than I would have liked) estimate. I paid the (holy cow framing is EXPENSIVE) fee then learned that it would be another THREE weeks before I could pick up my custom-framed artwork.
I waited three weeks.
I picked up my custom-framed artwork.
I arranged my art on the floor. I then contemplated how to move the art from the floor to the wall. I measured. I measured more. I taped a tape measure to the wall (don’t ask). I remembered that I suck at math. I gave up on math and decided to wing it. I began hammering nails and hooks into the wall. I hammered more nails and hooks into the wall. I pulled nails and hooks out of the wall and hammered them in again. In some instances I did that a couple of times. One of the discovered/older frame/prints threatened to fall apart. I attempted to keep it together. I drove pliers into my finger tips once, twice (two times too many) until I deemed it together enough.
I hung art on the wall, then took it down while I hammered the next nails and hooks in (two frames, three frames, four frames, more frames at a time! Ah ha ha ha) . I did this over and over again until finally, FINALLY!, all of the frames were hung (just a couple of hours later!).
And now. NOW! I have an art wall!
It was (sometimes and sometimes not) fun! It was (probably not what you can call) easy! It was (decidedly not) on the cheap!
It is, however, (sort of) fancy.