Tips for creating a gallery wall

tips for creating a gallery wall

When we got married we used photo frames for our table names. Alongside this, I seem to have collected a ridiculous number of the things over the years so I decided last week to create a feature gallery wall to spruce up my hallway.

A gallery wall not only creates a great focal point, it also gives you an excuse to frame all of those photos you love but that aren’t quite professional or staged enough to warrant a place on the mantelpiece alone. It’s a doddle to do and all you need is a handful of nails and a hammer (don’t even mention it to the Mister – queue “I’ll go and get the drill”). Alongside your frames it’s a good idea to include some other decorative pieces to add a little more interest and break up the images – I had some large typography pieces around the house which I incorporated.

There are also some great online resources and blogs that offer free printable downloads such as littlegoldpixel.com, which are great if you don’t want every picture in your gallery to be a photograph.

I started by laying out all of the frames on the floor in front of the hall wall to get an idea of how wide and tall I wanted the gallery to be. I admit that I felt like my mother a little bit here, obsessing over which pieces looked best where, but it’s worth spending some time until you get a layout that you’re happy with. I then took a photo of the layout so that I could replicate it on the wall. Starting by nailing the highest frame onto the wall, I then worked my way out until I got the finished gallery. Definitely an easy and cost-effective way to make a great feature in your home!

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Tutorial: Hand-made Christmas tree decorations

handmade christmas tree decorations

Now that we’re in December it’s considered acceptable to put up the tree and get into the Christmas spirit – hooray! I decided to make some of my own decorations for our tree this year and spent last Sunday setting up my little craft station and singing along merrily to Slade and Mariah, whilst Mr M sank a bottle of red wine (how selfish of him).

I consider myself a bit of a novice when it comes to arts and crafts, with very limited materials, and get frustrated if things start to take too long. So I decided on two fool proof designs…

Hanging heart tree decorations:easy christmas tree decorations

You will need:

  • Sturdy cardboard/ mount board
  • PVA glue
  • Cord/ twine in various colours of your choice
  • Wrapping paper in the colours of your choice
  • Glue dots

How to:

  • Cut out one large and one small heart shape from the mount board
  • rip up the wrapping paper in strips and dip into a bowl of the PVA glue
  • Cover the hearts with the paper and glue (think paper mache technique)
  • leave the hearts to dry (this took a couple of hours)
  • stick the smaller heart onto the larger heart using a glue dot
  • Tie a ribbon out of cord/twine and stick onto the small heart using another glue dot
  • punch a hole in the top and attach twine for hanging on the tree!

Pine cone tree decorations:

You will need:

  • Pine cones
  • Glitter spray (if required)
  • Ribbon
  • glue dots
  • Twine/cord (for hanging)

How to:

  • Spray the pine cones with glitter spray if required (I used Plastikote Project Enamel in silver glitter which is subtle)
  • Make a bow out of the ribbon and stick it to the bottom of the pine cone with a glue dot
  • Use the twine to make a hanging loop. I used glue dots in the first instance to stick it to the cone, which did seem to work initially, but after a week they seem to be dropping! I’ve taken the lazy way out, turned the pine cones the right way up (narrower section at the top) and simply wrapped the twine within the cone – they look equally as lovely (see pic). I’m sure you could attach using a glue gun or similar if you’re a more prepared crafty than I am…

Pine cone tree decorations

Would love to read about any other ideas you have – please feel free to share them with me.

Happy crafting! x

Mamas & Papas nursery furniture range at Argos – what’s the catch?

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I think I may be turning into my mother…

Mum gets into a bit of an excited frenzy when she spots a good bargain. Perhaps it’s all part of becoming a mum, but I also got very excited this month when I discovered that Argos sell their own range of Mamas & Papas nursery furniture – at almost half the price of those in the Mamas & Papas stores.

I’d mooched around the sets in Mamas & Papas for some time, which range from £449 – £1957. I had my eye on a white one so was made up when I found a similar set online at Argos for £329.99, with a further discount at the time which made it £249.99. The set was the Teo 3-piece range including cot, dresser/changer and wardrobe.

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Teo wardrobe

dresser/changer and wardrobe

Teo dresser/changer

I was skeptical about the quality given the difference in price, but once it arrived (and 4 hours of flat pack hell later) we were more than satisfied with our choice and I felt pretty smug with my bargain. Granted, these sets aren’t identical to those in Mamas & Papas, but aside from a few small finishing touches, I can’t see a huge difference in the quality.

One of the main differences is that the Mamas & Papas dressers have draws which are probably more practical than the shelf/door combination on this one, but for the price I think this is a brilliant buy.