December 19, 2013

Oh, Just Hanging Around

You know how you have little projects all over the house and until you get to them you just move them from room to room because they always seem to be in the way? Well, over the weekend we pulled out the step stool, ladder, tool box, command strips and spools of wire to embark upon a marathon picture hanging session around our downstairs. We knocked out 4 pieces we've been sitting on, waiting to hang over the past few months (or longer) and it feels so great to have it all done!

So! Here's what we hung and how it all went down:

First up, we'd gotten the Sumatra tiger poster we picked up from the Marimekko store in NYC this past September professionally framed shortly after we got back from the trip, but it's been hanging out around the house, waiting for us to find the right spot for it.

We ended up hanging it in our small mudroom between the kitchen and dining room to add some pops of color to the space and black chalkboard walls. This area of wall is pretty fragile and has crumbled a little in the past when we've tried to drill holes in it for hanging things (you might remember how we had to patch large holes in this wall when we first moved in).

Since we couldn't drill into the wall to anchor the framed art, we ended up buying two of these command strip hangers, especially designed for hanging wire-backed art without the need to make holes in the wall:

After measuring and sticking them to the wall evenly, we gently hung the frame and crossed our fingers that it wouldn't be crooked or immediately fall off the wall:

We think it turned out pretty well!

Next on our list was hanging a map we'd recently framed. It's a 1965 map of the James river, East of the Benjamin Harrison bridge, we found at Mary's mom's house that shows the different areas her family has lived. The map had some pretty deeply ridged folds and wear to it, but we're suckers for a good map, especially the kind with some personal history.

Here's a new trick we learned while trying to frame this piece. The size of the map was a good fit for almost filling up a standard size frame you can buy at the craft store (we went to Michael's). Mary bought the standard frame on sale and the staff at the custom framing department at the same store told us they could cut a custom sized matte to fill out the space between the edges of the frame and the map for right around $30.

The key to getting the custom matte was having the piece of art (map in our case) with us when they measure everything out. They helped match a matte color to the map water, sized everything out perfectly and Mary was able to pick it up in a week. They even took the map in the back and ran it through their flatting iron to help diminish some of the ridges and wrinkles in the map while we waited! All we had to do was put the map and matte inside the standard frame, and we feel like it came out looking pretty close to a custom framed piece, all for under $50!

As for hanging the map, we landed on the central wall in our family room. This wall has housed our big letter V and our diy pallet shelves in the past — I guess we like to keep things moving around in this space! We again didn't want to drill through the wall in this space, so we used wire and hooks to hang from our picture molding like they would have in the old days:

You can learn more about picture molding, its history and how we hang it in our house from this post we did back in April.

Next up, the living room! I have had this (awesome to me) taxidermy deer hoof gun rack for as long as I can remember, but have never hung it up. My maternal grandfather made it from a deer he killed and used cedar wood for the base of the hooves. I really wish I knew how long ago he made this. Note to self: Ask mom over Christmas.

I did end up drilling this piece into the wall above our living room mantle and finished it off with a couple of my grandfather's old hunting guns:

Above the deer rack, we hung the piece of hand-painted wooden folk art we'd picked up ages ago at a roadside sale:

After hanging the wooden frame, using the picture molding again, I officially proclaimed our marathon art hanging session had come to a close, whew!

So that's the current state of art on our walls. There's always more to hang, tweak or do on our list of home updates, but we feel just a little more "together" now that these guys have new homes up on the wall, you know?


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