Unlike last month's practical yet dismal and dinky little shelf, here's a home dec project that I actually think looks nice. And it's unlike the shelf in another way too. Whereas the shelf took about an hour or so from had-the-idea to it's-hanging-on-the-wall, this project took a little longer. About 2 years or so. I forget the particulars but it went something like this:
Step 1: Take a trip to IKEA and buy a bunch of frames (that are actually just pieces of hardboard with same-sized pieces of glass that clip onto the front of them. Very "modern." Very cheap.). Put them in a cabinet and let them sit for a few months.
Step 2: From the fabric stash, pull out some nice grey fabric (up close, it's actually textured black and white speckles and I think it goes really nicely with our grey leather sofa set). Cut out a square and glue it over the hardboard of one of the frames, because the hardboard is a rough, ugly brown and this grey fabric is pretty. Then pile the one covered frame and the rest of the fabric on top of the other frames still in the cabinet and let it all sit for a few more months.
Step 3: Eventually cover the rest of the frames, but not all in one sitting. No, let the project sit for months in between as needed. Also, cut out white papers to act as a crisp border, sandwiched between the background fabric and the photos. Add photos to the frames, willy-nilly, as you find them.
Step 4: Cut yellow sheets of paper to be the same size as the assorted frames (12 9x9s, 8 5x7s). Use Post-it notes to affix them to the wall. Rearrange them. Rearrange them again. Decide that you can't decide how to arrange them. Take them all down and stack them on top of the frames in the cabinet for a few months.
Step 5: Be a dork and draw a bunch of little rectangles and squares in Microsoft Word, then arrange and rearrange them there on the computer ad nauseam. Get the yellow sheets back out of the cabinet and Post-it them back on the wall using the dorky Word chart as a guide. Let them hang there "overnight" while you mull over their placement and look for nails, where "overnight" means "for a few months." Routinely ignore people who ask questions like "What's the deal with the yellow papers?"
Step 6: Finally, bang some nails in and hang the frames! Realize it looks rather silly with half the frames still empty (but of course, first let them hang empty like that for a few months). So cut some 3.5x5 and 5x7 rectangles from the "modern art" paintings your girls did the other day and tuck them in the frames "just for now" until you get more correctly-sized photos. (Unfortunately, 4x6s--which I have gobs of--don't work.) Fall in love with the paintings and photos mixed together, with the colors the girls used and the designs they created. And rejoice that you aren't always "on the ball" with projects and therefore weren't intentional about ordering enough pictures to fill the frames and therefore looked for another source and therefore stumbled on something beautiful.