DIY Home Sign + Gallery Wall

We recently freshened up the paint in our main living area (our life was in desperate need of some wipeable semi-gloss paint, considering how many dirty handprints touch them every day), and shortly before then I decided that I would use this opportunity to change up my gallery wall.

 I'm super happy with the way that it turned out, and how clean and fun and fresh everything looks.

This is what it looked like before. I feel like these look like Before and After weight loss pictures, you know where the Before Person is always really greasy and sad and the picture has intentionally horrible lighting? 
Well, the bad lighting on this wasn't on purpose, but it definitely contrasts what a nice change the new facelift is. 
The old wall served us well for the time being, but our pictures were all pretty outdated (the one of Luke and I in front of the red door is an engagement photo and we basically look like teenagers), plus the TV cords hanging down always made me really nutty. 

So we solved the ugly cord dilemma, got rid of all the glass frames, replaced our clock (which had broken multiple times and I fixed with a hot glue gun. #classy), and updated the signs and decor.
I think the only two things that made the cut were the framed J and the key.

I made the growth chart ruler myself, mainly because most of the ones available in stores or online only went up to around 5 feet. Like, I'm sorry but...who are these made for? The Lollipop Guild
Obviously I had to make my own for our very tall family and this one goes up to 6'6", WHICH WILL HOPEFULLY SUFFICE.
(Pretty sure if any of my kids go over 6'6", I'll be too busy going to basketball games to have time to lovingly measure them on my homemade growth chart.)

If you want to make one too, it's super easy and inexpensive- HERE's the tutorial I used.

The two clip picture frames are from At Home, but literally EVERYTHING ELSE is from Hobby Lobby. Another fun fact: every time I bought something (which was over a period of a few months), every single thing was 50% off.
So essentially that whole wall cost less than it would to take your family to Chipotle for lunch.

*Thrifty Shopper fist bump*

And then of course I made the HOME wreath sign myself, which was so simple that this hardly feels like it counts as a tutorial.
But either way, heres how I made it!

What You Need:
- 8" wooden letters - H, M, and E. (I got mine at the Walmarts for two bucks a piece.)
- A 1"x10"x6' wooden board, cut to be 32.5 inches long. (They can cut it for you at Home Depot.)
-a 10" mini wreath (You can find these at Michaels, Target, etc. I found mine at At Home for $4.99!)
-wood stain
- glossy black spray paint
-flat or satin white paint
-medium grit sandpaper
-wood glue
-heavy duty staple gun
-black drywall screws (1 5/8 in) OR D-Rings

What To Do:

1.) Spray paint your wood letters.

Funny story, my original plan was to make a sign that just said "Meh", but ended up changing my mind so I could add the wreath.

(Just kidding.)

2.) (Not Pictured) Lightly sand down the wooden board so that it's smooth, and then stain it. 
It doesn't really matter what color stain you go with, because it's just for the purpose of peaking through a bit after distressing the wood. But as usual, I used Minwax Dark Walnut.

3.) Paint the board white. I used spray paint, which worked just fine, as long as you give it good coverage.

4.) Once dry, use medium grit sandpaper to distress the wood.

(Fun Fact: Those gloves I'm wearing were a Mother's Day gift from my husband. He bought me legit mechanic's gloves for all of the projects I'm constantly working on. I love him. And the gloves make me feel very cool.)

5.) Find the right placing for your letters, leaving the right amount of room for the wreath, and mark it and/or use a level if you need to. 
Use wood glue to attach them.

6.) Lay the wreath where you want it and find a couple of good spots to staple it to the board.
If you move some of the greenery over, the staples should be hidden pretty well.

7.) Once the glue is dry, it's time to hang, which you can do multiple ways.
You can either use D-Rings if you have commitment issues or don't want to damage your wall, or you can be like me and cause MAXIMUM DAMAGE by screwing it straight into the sheet rock and studs.
For this type of home abuse, you'll need black drywall screws (1 5/8 inch).

Use a level and a pencil to mark where you want the sign to hang, because you are really committing here!
Drill in 3 screws, one into each black letter.

And voila! You're done. 
I love this sign because it's pretty, it's inexpensive (between $15-$20 to make), and for a DIY project it doesn't look homemade-y.

Another option would be if you wanted to invert the colors, by making the board black and the letters white! Or even if you wanted to just stain the wood and make the letters white. Lots of fun options.

Anyway, as usual, feel free to steal and copy as much or as little as you want. I swear, if none of us were allowed to mooch off of each other's decor inspiration, my house would probably look like a Dentist Office. Whomp whomp.

I'm so pleased with how my whole wall turned out. I love the creative energy it takes to plan these decorating projects, and the satisfaction of getting it completed.

But for the important purpose of always keeping it real, please do not ever mistake us for being The Joneses.
None of us DO live in or NEED to live in perfect homes.
Our house is small. It's got ugly wood baseboards and an unfinished basement. The tile in the bathroom is cracked and my couch has Sharpie stains on it. 
It never looks perfectly clean or organized and things are constantly breaking.
It's not the kind of house you use to show off how rich you are (which we're not) and it doesn't belong anywhere near HGTV.

And honestly... I love it that way.

I love decorating my small, imperfect house and making it feel like a home that reflects who we are as a family, which is one of the many ways that we express the artistic creativity of the God whose image we bear. 
But I want the beauty of our home to always be the warm and welcoming kind, not the cold, intimidating kind.  I love that people can be safe and real and messy in our house because IT is safe and real and messy, and so are we.

There is nothing wrong with having beautiful or newer homes, because God has us all exactly where He wants us for His purpose and His glory. But in this Pinterest/Fixer Upper world we are so immersed in, I think we all need the occasional reminder of the beauty and blessing of REAL life, including it's broken tile and imperfections.
It's all about perspective and thankfulness for the grass in our own proverbial yards. (Whether that is our homes, our bodies, our husbands, our kids, or our professions.)
When we stay focused on that, it will fight our discontentment and tendency to constantly compare and compete with each other.

What an awe-inspiring Creator we have, who reflects His glory in bright yellow trees in the fall and bright yellow clocks in living rooms.

And all God's Hobby Lobby Shoppers said Amen!


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