This DIY craft is inspired by a place that always calls us back to it’s peaceful, restful shores. I love the ocean and I love to incorporate the colours and themes of water in our home. I find these colours and motifs to be refreshing, peaceful and calming. The colours we are drawn to speak to our inner needs and our personalities.
I made my weekly trek to the thrift store to look for a shadow box frame. It took me a few visits but there it was, the Ikea Ribba shadow box frame in white, half the price of what it sells for new without the long drive! I had a picture (on my phone) of the ocean in mind, a box of shells and a map of the place that we visited in mind. But just one picture hanging on an empty wall seemed at bit bare.
I also had a few other pictures in mind; a purchased a framed print from our first trip to Victoria as well as two small watercolour paintings transferred onto wood. This was to become a gallery wall. It is important to use an odd number of pictures when planning a gallery wall. So with my shadow box, and three pictures, that was only four. I love reclaimed wood so I made an additional piece to add to the interest wall collection. And to make it all tie together, I hand lettered a word on it. To get the full DIY Gallery tutorial go to How to Create a Gallery Wall 101
A. Step by Step DIY craft tutorial
1. Trace Shape
Place the map under the front of the matte from shadow box and trace around the outside and inside of map
2. Cut Map to Fit Matte
First, I got my matte from the frame out and cut the map to fit the top three quarters of it. I figured I would have the shells on the bottom so I didn’t have to worry about putting the map over the whole matte.
3. Adhere Map to Matte
Then I used double sided tape to adhere the map to the matte. (the matte goes behind the inner frame that allows the matte to sit at the back of the frame)
4. Place Shells in Frame
I placed the shells in the bottom half of the frame then carefully placed the matte with the picture adhered to the back on top and then the backing of the frame was last.
B. Gallery Wall Arranging
- Trace Shape of Frame on Craft Paper
The other very important thing to consider is the proper placement of the photos on the wall. Take some wrapping paper (that you really don’t like) or craft paper large enough to cut out the shape of the frames. Then you can mark with a pencil on the back where the hook or the nail will need to go.
2. Decide on the Placement
Before placing the paper on the walls, take some pictures of the collection on the floor and compare different arrangements to find one that you like.
3. Wall Placement
Then play around with the pieces of paper on the wall (each one representing the pictures that you will hang). The theory about picture height placement is that the bottom of the picture or grouping should be approximately six inches above the top of your couch (as this is a living room DIY).
C. Create a Beach Inspired Wood Sign
For my fifth piece, I took a piece of board (a scrap from the garage) to re-use and had hubby cut some of the end off to get it just right. I painted the board with a mix of two craft paints to get a light washed out turquoise blue. Then once it had dried, I sanded it to make the wood grain show through. I had practised hand lettering different words that represented this beautiful place we love to go to. “Ocean” was the word I chose. I proceeded to hand letter the word first in pencil then in marker.
If you like FREE hand lettered quotes and printables to use in your home decor or gallery wall displays, check out the FREE PRINTABLES gallery page and grab your FREE quotes, cards, watercolour art, two versions of a 2018 Calendar, gift tags and hand lettered words and much more!
I really like the finished product. If you like this and don’t hand letter, all you need is a printer and find the font that you like. Check out DIY Lettering on Wood for an easy trace method and DIY Lettering on Canvas for easy transfer method on canvas.
The two smaller pictures are by Linda Heslop and we purchased them in Victoria and the larger framed picture (artist unknown) we picked up on Salt Spring Island (almost 20 years ago!!) Looking at this collection evokes serenity, peace and sanctuary. I am immediately transported to a place of rest and relaxation when I sink into my couch and admire the view. And isn’t that what we all need; rest and peace? I love this verse from the Psalms that marries with this vignette beautifully. “He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2
May you be inspired to create your own display that invites memorable conversations, delights your senses and creates your own personal retreat.
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