REVIEW: Command Strips by 3M

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I decided to use Command Picture Hanging Strips by 3M to install most of my Gallery Wall Project, the few exceptions are the stone pieces and the shelving.  I wanted something easy to change out so that I can swap out the photos whenever the whim strikes me.  Also, confession time, I wanted something easy to hang, because all of my frames had different hanging mechanisms and getting them level was becoming a nightmare (I figured this out 6 holes in my wall later).

Overall Rating: Winner!

I am truly happy with the results if this product, they do exactly what they claim to do and were super easy to install.

Instructions: I followed the instructions to the letter, and I recommend you do too.  They were very clear and easy to follow.

Installation: A breeze!  Holding the level on the photos and pressing on the tabs is defiantly a two man job, but installation was as simple as sticking a piece of tape to the wall.

Tips: Don’t skip sets, especially cleaning the wall and frames with alcohol (Your wall paint may change colors for a minute when you wipe it down with the alcohol, but mine bounced back once it dried).  Speaking of drying, make sure to let the wall and the frames dry completely before putting on the strips.

When placing the strips on the frame, cheat the strips closer to the inside of the frame versus the outer edge, this will help make sure you can’t see the strip once it is on the wall.

The instructions also require that you remove the photos from the wall once installed for about an hour, but I recommend waiting over night just to make sure everything has cured properly.

Last tip, Use four strips per frame as I read reviews online that stated if you use only two the frame’s weight can eventually cause it to slide down the strip and fall off the wall.

Pricing: $$  One package does about 3 frames when you go with the four strip method and it runs about $6.00 per package.  Doing the whole wall got up there in price when a pack of nails that costs less than one package of hanging strips could do the same job, but for my purposes and the convenience, I rate it as totally worth it.

Continued Use:  It has been a few weeks since the first photos went up on the wall, so I will keep you posted on how these hold up, but so far they are all still firmly on the wall.

Have you ever used Command Strips from 3M?  If so, what did you think?  What did you hang up?  Share your project below or with #vintageDIY.  

FTC: This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. 

Gallery Wall

I have lived in my home for almost 3 years now, and there is almost NOTHING on the walls.  Why you ask?  Because I am indecisive!

Well this past Friday I was home sick from work and VERY BORED, so I made a decision!  To create a gallery wall in my home.

First, I walked around my house and collected frames, photos and knick knacks I liked, most of which were just never unpacked when we moved (don’t judge).  Believe it or not, I didn’t have to buy anything to create this gallery wall.  (You absolutely can, but it is doable with things you find around your house.)

Next, decide on the basic shape you want to create.  I decided on a square.  Then, lay all the items on the ground and arrange and rearrange till you think you have got it just about right.

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Now, this step is totally optional, but since I am SUPER indecisive I decided not to skip it.  Trace all your items on paper, cut them out, and tape them up on the wall (with blue painters tape) so that you can see what it will look like on the wall in the space you have chosen.  (As you can see below, I swapped two items once I saw them on the wall, and I also ended up raising the whole gallery wall 3 inches.)

You can use this step to make sure your spacing is correct and everything is level.  You can also mark the paper with where the nail holes will need to be for easy hanging.  (I am using 3M Command Strips instead of nails, review coming soon.)

IMG_3613Next, paint any frames that need to be painted (I painted all of mind white for a more uniformed look), clean your frames, or put in any last minute photos.  Last but not least, hang your photos and knick knacks, step back and admire all your hard work.

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I love my completed gallery wall!  It houses some of my favorite photos, and vintage knick knacks (is that a piece of milk glass up there? More to come on that!).   And of course it would be complete without the signature M.  As you can see I still have some photos to fill in, but I have big plans for those, so stay tuned for future posts.

Do you have a gallery wall in your house?  What shape did you pick?  Do you have any tips for making the process easier? Share your tips, tricks and finished projects below or with #vintageDIY.

Vintage Window Up-Cycle

I teased on my Instagram a while back that I was working on an up-cycle project.  Well its finally complete!

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Story behind the window:
Being from South Louisiana I have a natural love for vintage things, but this one holds a particular place in my heart.  It is an old window from my Grandfather’s childhood home on the river.  The house was built in the very early 1900s and was recently sold (to another family member), but before they tore the old house down (it was falling apart) we were able to take some pieces.  I was fortunate to grab this old window, a pair of vintage french doors (more to come on those) and some antique christmas ornaments (stay tuned to see how I use these).

The Project:
Being that this window is a “member of my family” I wanted to find a way to give it new life.  Here is what I did:IMG_3387

1. I sanded down the window and clean her up using some Windex (always wear a mask when working with painted antiques).  I also had to scarp away several layers of old paint around the window panes.  Don’t sand it to perfection in order to keep some of the antique qualities coming through with the new coat of paint.

2. Then I applied several layers of white paint.  I was going for a clean look, but feel free to wipe away or sand away some of your paint to  get a more aged, weather worn affect.

3. I then printed off an “M” from google imaged and cut it out.  I then taped around the letter with painters tape and removed the stencil.

4. I painted the letter in with a taping motion to avoid paint seeping under the tape.

5. LET THE PAINT DRY! (I made this mistake and had to scrap it off and start over). If you don’t let it dry the paint won’t stick to the glass.

6. Use a razor blade and carefully trace the letter where the paint meets the tape.  Gently peel away the tape.

7. Use a small flat head screwdriver to scrape away any small mistake or bleeding.

This was a fun project, but it takes a good deal of patience, especially if you aren’t overly talented with paint (like me).

Vintage windows are pretty easy to come across at salvage yards and antique stores, so you can certainly do this project at your home.  Look for windows with a story, if you can’t find one, look for a window with unique architectural details to spice up your project.

Next Steps:
I am thinking of adding a photo behind it before I hang it on the wall in my hallway.

What do you think?  Yes or No?

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Photo C/O Pinterest

Have you ever up-cycled something vintage?  If so, what did you do?  Share your pictures below or using #vintageupcycle I would love to see your finished projects.