Thursday, January 10, 2013

Very first DIY Post: Empty wall begone!

If you are anything like me - you would always view ANY EMPTY space as an opportunity to fill it up.  I am no hoarder but I like to 'efficiently utilize' any space - be it an empty wall, a underutilized shelf, a lonely drawer.  My hands itch and my mind is consumed with how I can fill that emptiness as I go online to get inspired.

So I had a narrow wall in my living room that was pathetically bare.  I wanted a photo frame collage but didn't want or like anything I saw around - in the real world nor the virtual one.

So I went online and searched for images on frame collages and the options were endless!

This is a classic frame collage, where the frames are spaced and set in a way that are visually aligned - be it horizontally or vertically.

This is a twist to the classic layout where some are placed on top of others with some random spacing and different colored frames.  Refreshing but wouldn't do - my space was too narrow.

This layout is different where each frame is placed exactly next to the other and a design, either random or deliberate, is created.  The picture on the right is really convenient because you don't have to go shopping around for different matching frames.  But believe it or not, finding landscape photos is harder than you think!

If you are not the picture-taking type (gasp!), then the below could do. (Sad) empty frames could fill up your well nicely.

Fast forward a few weeks later. I am walking around Ikea and I spot these.  I apologize for the bad quality but I could not find a better image online (this is not my picture).  Basically, it's a set of 11 Nordby Frames (for about BD15!) that you are meant to be for a collage.  Perfect!  The manual enclosed showed a typical arrangement but I figured I could come up with my own design fitting my wall.

So I started experimenting with different layouts on the floor and made sure I was within the area width.  Took a snapshot of the layout so I remember it at installation and then started going through thousands (yes thousands) of pictures to find the right one for each frame.  Several hours later, with tired eyes, I saved the pictures (naming them by size 4x6, 5x7...etc) and dropped them to get developed.  Once ready I stopped by Manazel and brought a few cans of spray paint.  The frames I bought were natural wood and I wanted them in black.  I also bought some 3M double-sided mounting tape.  I LOVE DOUBLE SIDED TAPE.  The clear ones for gift-wrapping, thick permanent ones for mounting and thick removable ones for temporary wall fixings. 

I then proceeded to spray paint my frames and here are a few tips to ensure smooth finishing:
1. Spray outdoors and make sure you line the floor with tarp.
2. Spray flat to avoid streaks
3. Dry outdoors for at least 1 day.  Try to spray with the weather is dry and not windy - you don't want any stray insects stuck to your frames.
4. Depending on the finish, you may want to apply a layer of gloss.
5. Make sure you take precise measurements and have a level on hand to ensure it's perfectly horizontal.

Note: using double-sided tape means it's permanent.  To remove, it will take a lot of effort and leave your walls damaged, so keep that in mind. You could use nails but getting perfect alignment with a nail and hammer is a nightmare.  You have been warned.

Tada! The finished product:

And that folks is how you de-blah-ify your wall.


  1. I absolutely loved it when I saw it in your house! Mashalla, I did not know that so much work went into it. Bravo sista! I'm guessing that the pictures are permanent and can't be replaced from time to time?

  2. I always loved this wall in your house house..