Home Decor: Colorful Vintage Illustration Gallery Wall // DIY Gallery Wall Tips

I’m always changing things up in this small, little apartment of mine. I was craving a little more color on my living room walls, so I planned on ditching the large abstract canvas and doing a gallery wall instead.

The LA Apartment of Melodrama blogger Krys MeloI’d been thinking about doing a gallery wall for awhile but art, even prints in the quantity I needed, were turning out to be too expensive for my project’s budget. I’m a big fan of vintage illustrations like the kind you’d find in The Saturday Evening Post, so when I came across a bunch from the 1950s, I ran to get frames immediately. Ok, more like power walked.

Framed vintage illustrations for gallery wallGallery walls can be scary! Whether you’re doing a random pattern or lining them up strategically, putting that first hole in the wall is scary business when you’re not sure if you’re going to like how it’s all laid out once it’s up there. I hate patching nail holes more than anything, and I don’t even know where the touchup paint is, so I had to get this right the first time.

Gallery wall tip - Use paper cutouts with nailholes marked first to get the right arrangement without putting unnecessary holes in your walls

One of my favorite tips for creating gallery walls is to cut pieces of paper to the size and shape of your wall decor. Mark where all of the nails should go, and tape the paper pieces up on the wall to get a better idea of where everything will go. I rearranged my pieces at least 4 times until I got a spacing I was happy with. Measuring is fine, but I like to actually see everything up on the wall before I start making holes. Once I was happy with it, all I needed to do was hammer the nails into the pre-marked paper.

Vintage Illustration Gallery Wall from Melodrama

I hung every picture up and used a level to make sure they were all straight and in line, because when one is out of place everything looks wacky. That’s something I’ll probably have to go back and do every once in awhile but it’s SO WORTH IT. If you have a problem with your pictures staying straight, try using a little piece of gum tack on the back corners of the frame.

Vintage Illustration Gallery WallThe illustrations add a lot of fun color and fun vintage character into the room. I’m definitely happy with it.

Vintage Gallery Wall from Melodrama blogger LA Apartment

DIY: Picture Frame Turned Chalkboard

I found these matching framed pictures in a heap of junk one of my crazy neighbors left behind after they moved. At first I was like “eh” but then I was like “oooo” because I figured I could use the frames for something. Oh, and fun fact: this is a print of a painting by Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman herself, Jane Seymour. I mean we know she’s talented, but I didn’t know she was a painter. (I Googled it to confirm.)

Old Jane Seymour art
Still life.

Anyway I took the print out (relax, relax, I didn’t waste it) and painted the glass with like 4 coats of black chalkboard paint. Do thin coats and let that crap dry very thoroughly between coats so it doesn’t peel off like a bad manicure. You know what I’m talking about. You might want to rough up the glass with some sandpaper too. This was already kind of scratched up so it worked fine.

I repainted the frame using Queen Martha Stewart’s metallic paint in Golden Pearl. It’s my favorite subtle champagne-y gold. Fancy.

GoldenPearl MS Paint

After I put it all back together and let it the chalkboard paint cure for a couple of days (follow the directions on your paint can), it looked like this. I used Command picture hanger thingies to hang it over the entry way table so we can write things like reminders and our shopping list. Tada!

DIY chalkboard