Category Archives: Tips

{Kitchen Update} DIY Iron Pipe Gallery Wall

Happy Monday friends. I hope you had a good weekend! I got our taxes done, binged watched House of Cards (omg!)and enjoyed the sunny weather…I’ll call the weekend a success!

As promised last week, I wanted to share the update I made to the kitchen. We haven’t moved forward with any lighting projects, but the tips I got from Carmel and her readers are definitely setting things in motion. And, this project will actually influence lighting decisions…now a chandelier is in the mix.

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I’d been trying to sort out what to do on the long wall behind our kitchen table. I kicked around a gallery wall and then read that picture ledges are the new gallery wall, which I loved, for 5 minutes. Then, I imagined all the head and should bonks on the ledges as people walked to their seats or stood up. Ledges were out.

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Then, I was out to dinner in Syracuse at this restaurant that looked like Joanna Gaines had decorated it. With the exception of a random fake tree in the middle of the room, they had some awesome decor. I noticed a gallery wall of pictures hanging from an iron pipe. Y’all know how much I love iron pipe decor. Sold! 

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I went on a wild goose chase looking for the same black pipe Larry and Tim used to build my bookshelves. All the hardware stores only had super black iron pipe (too black) or galvanized steel pipe (too silver). It wasn’t until after I went to two different stores that I called TimTheFarmer and learned that when they washed the grease off the super black iron pipes, they also lightened the color. Ugh. #lessonlearned 

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I was so excited to do this project that while dinner was in the oven, I scrubbed down the pipes in kitchen sink #keepingitclassy. I just used dish soap and one of those green scrub pad things. How wild is the color difference?

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I assembled the pipe pieces and TimTheFarmer helped me figure out where to put the anchors in the wall for a level hang. #yayforhusbands Then began the never-ending process of installing the anchors.

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It was at this time that TimTheFarmer informed me that he’s figured out our relationship. According to him, I’m the chef, and he’s my sous chef  – – prepping everything for me to finish the project. Does that mean he’s calling me bossy? Probably. I sort of am though. #IllBeYourSousChefTooHoney

Once the anchors were in (and I ran back to the hardware store because we discovered the anchor screws were too small and slipped through the pipe mounts – which I fixed my getting little washers), we hung the pipe. Using, of course, my new hot pink drill from my dad. I then went around the house collecting items to hang from the pipe. I’d picked up an assortment of things I hoped would help with hanging (clear picture hanging wire (basically thick fishing line), ribbon, a wreathe hanger, etc.) and crossed my fingers. 

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This project did involve dismantling the picture frame wall I showed you last week. I have a piece coming for that wall, which is why I was OK taking the wall apart. Stay tuned! I used the same technique and laid out my plan on the kitchen floor.

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As I set out to figure out how the heck to hang all this stuff, I thanked my dad (in my head) for making me tie on my own fishing hooks for all those years – that knot came in handy with the clear picture hanging line. To minimize my knots, I looped the line around the bar and then tied it to the object being hung. The objects were floating a bit, so I used some good ol’ ticky tack to stick them to the wall. On the flamingo I used the 3M velcro mounting strips because the ticky tack couldn’t hack it.

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Side note on the flamingo. I had an Audubon calendar a few years ago and saved it (#hoarder) for future decor projects. See honey, there is a reason I keep all this crap. I cut the calendar up and put this picture in a frame. The flamingo was the only picture I wanted to look at while eating. Unlike this one, which one freaks me out.

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Insider Tip: I liked how the hangers looked more intentional in the inspiration wall in Syracuse, but I have no idea what those hangers are. So, I hung everything with the clear line. Then, I used more ticky tack to stick a glittery burlap ribbon to the line to make it look like it was hung with ribbon. 

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And….here’s the finished product!

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I’d like to figure out an easier hanging method so I can switch things out seasonally. I love the idea of switching out the flowers depending on the season, too.

And, what are your thoughts on a wedding picture in your kitchen/dining area? I love this picture – it’s really a work of art from Casie Zalud. But, is it too personal for a dining/community space?

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Project Sources:

Pipes: Lowes/Home Depot/Ace Hardware 
B: Michaels
Picture frame: thrifted find
Dalias: Michaels
Antique blue mason jars: thrifted find
Bird: I have no idea – I’ve had that for years. 
Flamingo print: page from Audubon calendar in a frame we had
Picture line, ribbon, ticky tack: Michaels



{Living Room} How to Hang A Picture Frame Gallery Wall

Update: Kim sent me a picture of the picture frame gallery wall at Panzur and I inserted it below.

Oh my goodness! It has been so fun to see everyone come through from Our Fifth House – thank you for your sweet emails! I have gotten so many great ideas from all the comments on Carmel’s post about our kitchen lighting dilemma. For today’s post, I’d planned to show you the project I did this weekend in the kitchen, but a reader noticed our the picture frame gallery wall in this post and asked about it – it’s a post I’ve meant to do for a while, so since that project preceded the kitchen project, let’s start there! 

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To start at the very beginning, a few years ago our favorite restaurant put in a new installation where they hung empty picture frames layered on top of each other along a whole wall. I LOVED it – Kim is super creative and artisitc – and hoped to do one of my own someday.  

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To start, I knew I’d need some cool, vintage (read: old) picture frames. In anticipation of moving into a bigger home, we spent a fair amount of time last summer poking through flea markets and little local antique stores. Well…I would actually call them picker or junk stores because they’re not fancy curated antique shops, which is perfect because things are a little more dusty, beat up, and inexpensive – exactly what I wanted! It was funny because most of the sellers couldn’t believe I wanted old beat up frames and would give them to me for free or just a few dollars. My favorite find was this turquoise frame from Mexico, part of a great day’s haul from a big flea market (see what I did with the antique scale here). 

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After painting the whole loft, stairwell, and entry/living room, I was determined to get a few decorations up before our Second Thanksgiving feast. That morning I got out all my old frames and knew I’d need a few smaller ones to offset the three large ones I’d picked up. I’d bought a bunch of distressed white and light blue frames from Michaels (or HomeGoods…I think it was HomeGoods) a few months before and thought they’d fit in the with old frames. I removed their glass and backing which I stored safely in a box in the basement for if/when I wanted to use the frames for actual pictures. Tip: pick frames with similar colors to pull the wall together – in my case I went with antiqued blacks/grays and turquoise.

One lesson I learned when Jesse helped me with my first gallery wall was to lay out your whole plan on the floor, before you commit to holes in the wall. That’s the kind of planning that would never cross my mind and I use it all the time now! So, I laid them out in a few different patterns on the floor until I got the arrangement I liked. Then, I took a picture so I could reference it once I started hanging the frames.

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To hang them, I started with the two largest frames that were to be flush to the wall and used little picture hanging nails (one or two nails depending on the mounting hardware the frames came with). Because they’re empty, the frames are super light, so I didn’t worry about finding studs (insert TimTheFarmer saying, “Plus you already found one.”). To hang the pictures the frames that were floating, I used longer picture nails which I only hammered in a little (enough to hold the weight, but far enough out to keep the frames off the wall). To keep them from getting wonky, I put a nail in behind the floating corners of the frames to keep them off the wall and fairly level/flush. The frame just rests on the nail in the bottom corner. Finally, to keep everything fairly level since there’s a fair amount of balancing going on, I stuck 3M mounting strips between the frames to hold them all together. I checked the straight lines both visually and with a level, and then accepted that they might be a teense off in places (let your OCD go, folks). I made a handy dandy nail (in pink) and 3M strip (in green) map below. The curvy arrow is the floating support nail. Let me know if it’s helpful or super confusing!

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I’m not a big fan of whoever placed that darn thermostat in the middle of the wall (which we’ve since replaced with an even bulkier one I have to work around…but it saves us heating oil!), but I did take that into account when working on the layout. 

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Also, I picked up the vintage ironing board and metal pot at one of those junk stores and the white table at a garage sale. I love all the old stuff you can find living on the East Coast! The metal buckets are from our wedding (from JoAnn Fabric) and the flowers are from Michaels.

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To summarize the tips:

1. Gather your supplies: empty frames, 1 and 2 inch picture hanging nails, 3M mounting strips, hammer, and level.

2. Lay out your gallery wall on the floor, rearrange until you get a layout you like, and take a picture.

3. Start with hanging your largest pieces first that will be flush to the wall. Hang with smaller picture nails. 

4. Float your next round of frames by using longer picture nails that will keep the frames off the wall. Hammer your nails in enough to hold the frame, but leave enough extra to be above your first level of frames. Add a second nail in the wall at the bottom corner of your frame for your frame to rest on to keep it floating.

5. Take a step back and then use a level make sure the frames are generally level. Keep the frames from sliding on each other by sticking them together with 3M mounting strips. 

6. Cross your fingers that you’ve secured everything well enough that the teenager and dogs running through your house don’t make the frames wonky (luckily I did!).

Have you tried a picture frame gallery wall? Any tips to add?

 



How to Hang Antique Wooden Skis … with Zombie Prep in Mind

Whew! Last week was a whirlwind with two Thanksgiving celebrations. We joined TimTheFarmer’s family on Thanksgiving for our annual celebration and the turkey was as juicy as ever. Then we were prepping for 2nd Thanksgiving, our annual Saturday party that allows us to celebrate with the kiddo who is often with his mom on Turkey Day and allows me to make my own turkey and all the side dishes. This year, I’m thrilled to report our (27lb!) turkey was the juiciest it’s ever been. I chalk that up to the maple whiskey brine I used from Pioneer Woman (who else’s would I use??) and the fact that I kept adding chicken stock to the pan each time I basted the bird. It was so so fun to host our friends and family in our new home! 

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One of the best parts of hosting parties is that it requires me to finish projects and put boxes away. Newsflash: after months of complaining about it, there are currently no unpacked boxes visible in our house and our first round of painting is done!! There may or may not be a few in the basement, but we don’t need to dwell on that. One of the projects that turned out to big a bigger task than I expected was hanging my grandmother’s antique wooden skis my parents delivered from Colorado last month.

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I have this eternal naiveté optimism where I always assume things will be easier than they are. My mom has all the wooden skis hung up around her home with a few nails creating a cradle for them. I figured that’s all I’d need to hang them here. Then, being the practical person he is, TimTheFarmer pointed out that my mom lives in a log cabin with exposed log walls … in other words, her walls are one giant, supporting stud. Our walls, on the other hand, are your typical drywall walls and the heavy wooden skis would rip the nails right out of the wall. So, I did what I do in all tough situations, I turned to Google. 

This site had cool idea of using antique leather to strap them to the wall. I loved it, but we didn’t have any old leather on hand nor the time to run across the river to find some. Then we found this site with a whole forum of ideas. Turns out lots of people drill right through the skis to mount them … no way!! What if I need to escape in the zombi apocalypse and my antique wooden skis are my only option?? Someone suggested making hanging loops with picture wire – bingo!

I scavenged our picture hanging kits and pulled together every last bit of wire I could find.  First, I doubled the length of the wire needed to go around the ski and folded it in half. I then made a small loop that would fit around the screw on the wall to hang the ski from. I held the loop in place on the back of the ski and wrapped both ends all the way around, twisting them together with pliers on the back side of the ski. I did this in two places: on the binding and near the tips where the skis would cross.

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We marked where we wanted them on the wall and where they should cross and then put screws in the wall in the two places the first ski hit the wall. If there wasn’t a stud, we used a drywall anchor.

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Taz kept an eye on me high up on the ladder.

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Once the first ski was hung, I made the same wire loops around the binding of the second ski, making the loop just a tad longer since it was further to the wall because it was sitting on top of the first ski. We added a third screw to the wall to mount the binding loop. 

HangingWoodenSkis3Where the skis cross, I made a second loop, but this time we looped the wire through the hanging ski’s wire. Does that make sense? 

HangingWoodenSkis6 HangingWoodenSkis4This is where it got tricky and here’s the big lesson learned. Line up the skis by the binding height, not the tip height. It was weird because the tips were at the same height, but the 2nd ski was apparently at a different angle and the bindings weren’t lining up, which is REALLY noticeable from the ground. It took a few adjustments to get the bindings lined up properly and it’s still not perfect, but hopefully no one will look too close.

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We then hung my vintage ski posters up and cut our (giant) Christmas tree and the room is so cozy! We love it! 

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Also, I’m confident that when the zombies come, I’ll have no problem quickly getting these skis off the wall and onto my feet. #not

And, I know you wish you had a pair of those sweet overalls.