Sunday, February 19, 2012

DIY Wall of Frames & Roman Bamboo Shades

Some of you may be thinking "Wall of Frames???? What ever does she mean?" As none of you know, I have a massive amount of wall space that you can see up my stairs leading to my second floor. The railing on the stairs are industrial with steel railing that you can see through (you'll understand what I mean when you see the finished product picture in this post)... That being said, I needed an idea that would cover A LOT of wall space.

I started searching around on Pinterest and quickly fell in love with the Empty Wall of Frames idea. Yeah, yeah, it may sound a little weird having a wall full of empty frames, but it is PRECIOUS and modern, yet chic. Here are some links of some examples that sparked my creativity:
My Pinterest -
HGTV Example
There are even Etsy Shops that will sell sets to you!

I knew I needed to get my hands on as many frames as possible. I went through my old college stuff, asked my mom for some frames and of course went to the THRIFT STORE. The thrift store is your friend when it comes to projects such as this... I made TWO seperate trips to the Thrift Store to get what totaled to be 25 frames. I tried to get as many versatile pieces as possible. Square, round,rectangular, octagan,small, big, thick, thin... whatever!... the more versatile, the better!

After my first trip to the Thrift Store, I went out and bought two cans of high-gloss spray paint and a tarp to put down outside. I thought I would quickly conquer this project by using spray paint. EPIC FAIL. I will repeat... FAIL!!!!!!! Spray paint is not very forgiving and as hard as I tried it did not spray on evenly and when I needed to get in the edges and nooks of the frames it would get extremely messy.

You can get a pretty good look at how uneven the spray paint took to the frames. After buying the tarp and spray paint cans and learning that hard lesson, it led me to my TIPS AND TRICKS #7: USE REAL PAINT when re-painting frames. :) I went to my local Home Depot and bought Behr Interior/Exterior Hi-Gloss Enamel straight off the shelf. I wanted a white, glossy look to look Shabby Chic and to have a "pop" off of my grey walls without looking too dramatic.
TIPS AND TRICKS #8: This project, depending upon how many frames you use, takes multiple hours. Paint a few frames at a time, let dry overnight and paint on a second coat. Trust me, the extra coat is worth it and if you try to knock out the frames all at once, you will want to pull your hair out!

I put a drop cloth on my dining room table and it took me an entire week to get all 25 frames painted with two coats. Yes, it took forever and yes, I wanted to give up, but in the end it was ALL WORTH IT!!!!!!!

After they were all painted, I measured how long my railing was and then used my floor space to use as a "mock wall space" to get the frames organized how I wanted them on the wall. This is a MUST. Spacing is important with frames... not getting them symmetrical.  This was a hard concept for me to grasp while hanging these, as I like all of my ducks in a row and in a perfect row! :) A-Symmetrical is very modern, which I try to embrace and I think I did a good job of this with the frames.
I started from the bottom of the stairs and worked my way up. I used basic nails. I would take a few frames from the floor and position them on the wall as to how I thought I would like them. This took a lot of courage to just "wing-it" but it was definitely helpful to have another set of eyes AND hands with me. I could not have accomplished this task without my mom, so be sure to have someone help you with this! TIPS AND TRICKS #9: Use a leveler when hanging frames, especially on a slanted incline. What you think it straight is NOT. Trust me.

After moving frames here and there and some re-organizing, I was happy with my new look!

Message me if you have any questions about this! I could go on and on about how I did this. All in all, it looks FABULOUS and I spent less than $60 on the project.

Now, on to the less exciting things... BUT money saving things! As many of you know, buying shades/curtains/blinds (and I won't even mention plantation shutters) can be VERY expensive. One day I hope I can afford plantation shutters as I think they are beautiful, but with this being my first home purchase, I wasn't ready for that kind of expense on top of everything else. While visiting the model home at my community, I noticed they used Bamboo, Roman shades. I FELL IN LOVE! They are so cute. Here are a few links to what they look like, just in case you don't know what I'm referring to!
Home Depot
Linens N' Things
Decor Pad

I have a 2 Bedroom townhome and am in the middle of my building, so I got lucky with only having 9 windows. STILL this is expensive when considering blinds. I searched all stores around town and finally came across Mirada, Home View brand at Home Depot.

Note: These say they are for "outside use." I was skeptical at first thinking they could be thinner than the indoor kind. But they were CHEAPER and THICKER than the inside. Maybe it was a fluke, but whatever the case, this particular brand was what I went with. After getting them home, I figured I should line these with some type of fabric to help block sunlight and add even more privacy. I went to my local Hobby Lobby and got a thin fabric to line these with. I unrolled each shade, measured, cut and hot glued them to the back of the shades. It DID NOT effect the shade's ability to roll up. Be sure to glue on the outside of the line on the inside of the shade where the pull is. AKA - Don't glue where you see string.

Very easy and a great money saver for those of us that can't quite afford those plantation shutters yet. :)

It makes me happy to share all of my DIY projects and ideas with my readers. I've been getting back such great responses. I have many more projects to share and I can't wait to start ROOM REVEALS! Until my next post...



  1. Hi Casey!

    I nominated you for two blogger awards for all of your fabulous ideas!! Thank you for all of the inspiration! Check them out on my blog...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I know this is an old post, but just wondering how to privacy liner on the bamboo shades held up? Thanks!