Playroom Wall Art Projects

The playroom walls have been empty since it was painted nearly 5 months ago.  At first I had trouble figuring out what to do with the big wall over the futon.  I bought a couple of 16×20 canvas prints but they were MUCH too small for the wall so they are now hanging on either side of the door.  I stole an idea from a friend for the wall opposite the windows & just had not gotten around to hanging it again after the paint job (since the process was so much fun the first time around) so due to The List I finally got this room looking more …well…playful.

First let’s look at the idea to display kid’s art that I stole from a friend.  Liam brings home art regularly from school and in order to keep the fridge from being overloaded with baby footprints or collages; I decided to display them in the playroom.  A college friend has the same thing in her kitchen so I can’t take credit for this idea but I really love how it turned out.

Here is my little “helper” showing me that a measuring tape is a great toy.

For this project you just need the DIGNITET curtain wire  & a pack of RIKTIG curtain hooks with clips from Ikea.  The curtain wire is not the easiest thing to put up (that’s why it took me 5 months to get it back on the wall).   I learned a couple lessons the first time and this time I knew to use a GOOD pair of wire clippers for cutting the wire to the right length & solid drywall anchors.  I still had one of the ends pull the anchors out of the wall slightly when I was tightened the wire.

The display ended up being around 7′ long & it looks great with a selection of Liam’s art from the past few months.  It’s really easy to change out what’s on display and only cost around $16.

The next wall to tackle was the one over the futon which can be seen from the entry & dining room.  I didn’t want anything that screamed baby and I thought about some of the larger wall decals but never found anything that was right.  As I was searching on Etsy.com, I found a set of 4×6 Printable ABC Flashcards.  The graphics were cute and colors worked well with the playroom so I decided to use them to create a picture grid wall.   I printed them on card stock on a nice laser printer (I’m sure you can guess where….shhh!)  I tried to save paper/ink the first time by printing 4 per page, but ended up getting the scale wrong so I highly recommend a test print & measure of 1 sheet before printing them all.

I found frames at IKEA that were 2 for $2.99 and very lightweight.  I cut out each flashcard using a straight-edge paper trimmer like this one and then framed the set.  I used 1 small size Command Strips at the top of each frame for hanging – velcro the front and back of the strip together before applying to the frame & leave the backing on the wall side until ready to hang.

Now for the fun part – hanging 26 frames in a even, level grid on the wall.   I decided to use 1″ painters tape to layout my grid with a top row of 6 frames, two middle rows of 7 and the bottom row of 6.

First I measured to find the center of the wall horizontally & then the vertical center of the collection.  I hang art so that the center of the piece is at 64″-65″ off the floor – this is a higher than some recommendations but since Kevin and I are on the taller side of average this works out to be about eye level for us.   I put up the  horizontal tape lines first & aligned the top of the middle piece of tape at 64″ high (measure up from the floor at each end & then use a level & adjust the tape until it is level).  Next use a frame on top of the tape line and bottom & mark the wall with a pencil to indicate where to put the next 2 horizontal tape lines (remember to level!).

Next up – vertical tape lines – for the middle 2 rows there are an odd number of frames so one will be centered on the wall.  Measure to the center of the wall & mark it on the horizontal tape line.   Measure to find the center of a frame then align the center of the frame (or measuring tape) with the center of the wall & mark the tape on each side with a pencil.  Apply the vertical tape lines to make 2 rows and continue using frames to measure & apply tape.  For the top & bottom rows – center the first piece of tape in the center of the wall and then use a frame to measure out from there.  Here is what my final grid of tape looked like.

Now it’s time to start hanging some frames I started with Z and worked backwards.  Take the wall side paper backing off the command strips and align the frame with the bottom right tape strips.  Even though the tape was supposed to be level, I still used a level to double check each frame prior to pressing the Command strip to the wall.

The great thing about the command strips is that you can fix goofs like this when you see that the pictures are not in the correct order.  I also used the level on top of each pair of pictures to make sure the frames stayed level all the way across.

The rest of the project was pretty quick since hard part was measuring it all out.

After all the frames are hung, just remove the painters tape from between the frames.  The other advantage to command strips for a picture frame grid is that you don’t have to worry about the frames shifting off level & looking wonky.

Overall this ended up being 33″ tall & 44.5″ wide.  The project cost $ $60 ($18 for the ABC flash cards & $42 for the frames). The grid fills up that big wall nicely and Liam was very excited about it and started pointing as soon as he saw it.

Here’s my favorite little munchkin enjoying reading a book under his new ABC art.

5 Responses to “Playroom Wall Art Projects”

  1. Michelle Landrum says:

    Love this Camille (as well as all of your posts). I’ve been meaning to do the wire with art on it for months now (ever since I pinned it on Pinterest) but just haven’t gotten to it. The playroom looks great- and I love the picture of Liam sitting on the couch under the new letters. 🙂

  2. Gwen Ready says:

    Camille you are amazingly creative. Kevin’s Dad must have had a hand in sending you to Kevin. Exactly the way he would have hung that. Love the room.

  3. Ashanti says:

    What is the name of the wall colour ?

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