We’ve Been Framed!


I’ve been wanting to add something to the blank wall in our bedroom to add some interest to that side.  I was stuck on what to do though.  We already had an iron piece above the bed (more on that here) and a mirror on the wall opposite to the bed (seen here) so I needed something different.  I settled on creating a gallery wall after finding these inspiration pictures on Pinterest.

Source: 4 Men 1 Lady

Source: Better Home and Gardens

Source: Pinterest, Two Twenty-One

It would add personality to our room through personal photos and art while also taking up a decent amount of room (did I mention it’s a BIG blank wall?).

First up was finding the floating shelves.  The shelves in my inspiration pictures were simple white shelves but I wanted something chunkier and a little more decorative.  I struck out at the first few stores (Target- not long enough and a little on the expensive side at $25 each compared to others I’ve seen, Michael’s- no decorative options) but finally lucked out at Christmas Tree Shops where I found not only the perfect shelves but the perfect price- $9.99 each.  DONE.

Knowing I needed quite a few frames, I next ventured to IKEA to pick up some RIBBA frames.  These frames are great- they’re simple black frames that come with white mats already in them.  Now the question was how to lay all this out.  I carved out a section in the IKEA frame area and got to work building a few different options to decide what size frames to take home.


After the fourth dirty look from a fellow shopper trying to reach a frame in my construction zone, I reached my final decision.  I would put four frames on each shelf.  Here’s the breakdown of what I bought:

1 RIBBA 8″ x 10″ black photo frame: $9.99

1 RIBBA 20″ x 9″ (fits three 5″ x 7″) black photo frame: $9.99

1 RIBBA 4″ x 4″ black photo frame: $9.99

1 RIBBA 4″ x6″ black photo frame: $2.99 (I can’t find it on the site but I promise it exists)

2 RIBBA 5″ x 7″ black photo frames: $2.99

1 10″ x 14″ black photo frame from Michael’s: $5.99 (IKEA didn’t have this size in the RIBBA so I found a similar one at Michael’s that would fit an odd-sized piece of art I had)

Now it came down to what I should use to fill the frames.  I had 10 spaces to fill which, at first, seemed exciting but turned out to be an arduous task of finding that many items that a) correlated with each other and b) fit the correct frame size.

Well, after several weeks of frames scattered all over our floor and searching through old photos and Etsy for art at every possible chance, the long journey has ended.  Here’s how I managed to fill all the frames:

Top row, from the left:

1) 4×6: One of my bridal shots

2) 10×14: A painting of a girl with a red umbrella strolling through an alley that I picked up in Prague, Czech Republic

3) 8×10: A typography piece I created using an ee cummings quote.

4) 5×7: A shot from Chris and I’s wedding

Bottom row, from the left:

5) 4×4: A photo of Chris and I from our first high school dance together (seems so long ago!)

6) 8×10: A black and white print of a floral arrangement that I picked up from IKEA for a whopping 99 cents.

7) 20×9: 2 photos- one of our Christmas card photo from this year and one from last and 1 typography print that I created which says “I’ve loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,” a quote from Galileo Galilei (I needed something nerdy to represent Chris).

8) 5×7: Of course our room needed a little more Texas in it so I found this cute print from 1canoe2 Letterpress on Etsy for $18.

For those of you interested in the typography pieces I created, you’re in luck.  I’m giving them both away in free printables!  Happy birthday to you.

Galileo quote: download here

ee cummings quote: download here

Happy framing!


For those of you at home wondering how much of what we say is true, I’ll answer your question: yes, Julie really does lay out frames in the middle of the store, regardless of how many “slip and fall” hazards she’s created.

I’ve built a lot of shelves, but they’ve almost always had some sort of support extending to the ground. This time was a little different, though. Julie wanted floating shelves, which meant I’d have to mount them to the frame of the house. It wouldn’t have been a big deal except that it took me two days to explain to Julie that they could only be moved up and down, not left or right.

Here’s a DIY tip for you: when trying to determine the location of the studs in your house, start with an electrical outlet. The outlet box is always going to be mounted to a stud, and almost always on the left side. So, chances are that to the right of your outlet is going to be a wood stud. Studs are most commonly placed 16″ apart (sometimes 12″ or 24″, though), so just get a tape measure and you should find a new stud every 16″!

Anyway, after finally convincing Julie of the necessary placement, I ran a 2.25″ drywall screw into the stud and measured out the distance I’d need to mount the second screw, using a level to ensure they were at the same height. Since the mounting points for the shelves were 20″ apart, it would technically be unsupported on one side, so I used a drywall anchor to retain a little stability. After making a few height decisions, I mounted the second shelf as offset as possible while still mounting to the stud on one side.

After the shelves were mounted, we laid out the frames. The shelves are somewhat narrow, so getting the thick frames to lean at the proper angle was a bit time consuming. We finally got everything set up just the way we liked it and went to bed. Unfortunately, around 2 AM, we awoke to the sound of the biggest frame taking a nose dive off the shelf and splitting itself in two. Somehow the glass stayed intact, but I had to glue the frame back together. Clearly, a solution needed to be found.

Julie hates it when I rummage through my “car stuff” cabinet in search of anything that will end up inside the house, but I knew I had the solution: double-sided foam tape.

It’s made for vehicle trim pieces but I’m convinced it would hold your car to the ceiling if you wanted it to… so I knew it would work on some picture frames. I cut some small pieces and placed them strategically around the frames to hold them to the shelves, the wall, and each other.

It may be overkill, but we’ll probably have to cut a section of the wall out if we ever want to take them down.

As for the pictures in the frames, we’re admittedly vain and thoroughly enjoy looking at ourselves, and we just couldn’t resist adding some Texas into another room.

The results.



Filed under Master Bedroom

13 responses to “We’ve Been Framed!

  1. Erica

    very cute! smart idea with the double sided sticky tape.
    but it is definitely missing a girls pic!

    • DO or DIY

      Psh, you know I have the girls pic on my TV console and at my desk cube so I can see your beautiful face every waking moment.

  2. My husband is going to be sooo sorry I found this blog! And thanks so much for the graphic of the e e cummings quote, it will be hanging somewhere in my house by the end of the day.

    • DO or DIY

      Tell your husband, we’re sorry! At least we encourage projects on a budget- I feel like most husbands appreciate penny pinching, right? 🙂 So glad you’re able to use the ee cummings artwork. I just love his poetry!


  3. Amanda Hickey

    Hi, Julie,

    How did you create the typography of the ee cummings quote? Did you have a special computer program, or just more artistic talent than I can ever hope to possess? 🙂


  4. Amber

    Perfect! Love the budget friendly yet modern decor look! Also, where did you purchase that bedding?! Love it!!!

    • DO or DIY

      Thanks! The bedding is called Poetical by Barbara Barry. We bought it from Macy’s- I don’t believe they carry it anymore but it looks like Bed Bath and Beyond does (here’s a link)


  5. Dayna

    Do you know what paint color is on the walls?

  6. Liz

    I love the wooden slay bed!!! Where did yall get yours????

    • DO or DIY

      Aw thank you!! Ours is from my childhood bedroom so I’m not sure where it was originally from. I see them pop up on Craigslist all the time if you can’t find them in any of your local furniture stores.


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