Saturday, January 15

DIY "Girl Power" Gallery Wall

My latest project: a new gallery wall for Miss G.
In my last post, I said I wasn't decorating this week.

Does crafting count?!?

I've actually been working away on a little crafting / decorating project in my 6-year old daughter's room.  See her new gallery wall at the left.

The Princess's bright pink and green room.

It's been slow-moving - a half an hour here, 15 minutes there - basically, any time I could steal while the babies napped and my daughter was at school.

Anyway, the wall in there above her bookcase had  been bugging me.  It just never turned out the way I had imagined it would. See the 'Before' photo below with the 'WISH' letters.

It was perfectly fine, but still, something just didn't 'feel' right about it.  If you're anything like me, you get that 'feeling' a lot.  Those feelings ALWAYS turn into projects, haha.

Before: OK, but generic and uninspiring.

I really wanted something above her bookshelf that was more unique, and which spoke to the kind of books she loves.  She is a real girly-girl - so probably no surprise that Pinkalicious, Alice the Fairy, and Priscilla Superstar are on her list of faves.

But we also love other books that have strong messages for girls - for example, I'm Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis, or Makeup Mess by Robert Munsch, or A Girl and Her Gator.  These books tell girls that being yourself is perfectly OK: without makeup, wearing flowers and plaid, or even with a gator in your hair!

From A Girl and Her Gator

It doesn't show well in the pic above-right, but her room actually has a quote above her bed that reads "Always Be You." I chose this deliberately as a daily reminder that she is beautiful just as she is.  We all know that life as a girl can be rough! I really wanted to expand on that sentiment on wall above her bookshelf too, but was stuck for ideas.

When I saw a recent post at The Lettered Cottage which featured an awesome gallery wall with the word READ, a light bulb went off! I was inspired.  What if I filled the wall above the bookshelf with pages and  confidence-inspiring quotes?

So I purchased some different sized canvases for my project, as well as wooden letters for the word READ. All together I spent about $20. For everything else, I 'shopped' the supplies that I already had in my craft room.  I pulled scrapbooking paper (specifically, an American Girl stack that I purchased at Michael's last year while in Florida - sorry Canadian friends, it's not carried here), some Mod Podge glue (the sparkly one), acrylic paints, and random ribbons and adornments.

For the artwork itself, I flipped through my daughter's favorite books and found inspiring quotes, then re-created them on my desktop software using fun and whimsical fonts that I downloaded for free. In addition to the quotes, I also needed fun, bold illustrations.

What better than book covers?  I LOVED the covers of Pinkalicious and Priscilla Superstar  - and they matched her room!  So I pulled off their outer-paper flaps (they were hard cover books) to use as art.  I know that some people might not like to 'destroy' hard covered books like that, but in my house, these flaps are nothing but a nuisance anyway.  They always end up being torn, wrinkled, or generally left around the house (sans book) for me to pick up and return to the matching book.  So for me, this was the perfect use for these covers.  (Oh, and did I mention free? Gotta love it.)

Planning out the project.  And, yes, I am a messy crafter.

Sparkly Modge Podge + Book Cover = Beautiful Art!

Painted and distressed letters.
PS. In case you are wondering, no, that's not blood you see next to the scissors, lol!  I admit, it looks a little Friday the 13th, but it's just dried up red paint from a previous project!

Once I had my first few pieces completed, as well as my READ letters, I mounted them to the wall.  This helped me to better determine the sizes and orientation (landscape or portrait) that I would need for the others.

My starting point.

I kept going, and created another few key pieces to add to the wall. Each piece was hand-crafted by me, using pretty simple materials - canvas, scrapbooking paper, Mod Podge, and quotes I re-created from book and then printed on photo paper.

For a bit of texture and glam, this piece uses mirrored self-adhesive scrapbooking letters.

I personally LOVE this paper from the American Girl line.  So inspiring!
No reading wall for a princess would be complete without a "Once Upon a Time"!
I intentionally did each letter a little differently for character.
A quote from I Like Me, by Karen Beaumont. Re-created by me.

A quote from Jamie Lee Curtis's book, I'm Gonna Like Me.  Re-created by me.

You can really see the sparkly effect of the Sparkle Mod Podge here.

Book cover art.

And, tada, here is the finished wall!

This project was so much fun that I could have kept on going until the entire wall was filled.  It was an exercise in restraint!

I really love it.  And best of all, my daughter loves it too!  Her only complaint was that I didn't get her to help me.  Perhaps that should be my next project: to learn how to stop being such a perfectionist!

Here's a little side-by-side:

Click here!
Updated April 2011: I'm linking this project to The Inspired Room's Gallery Wall Party!

Other linky parties I've shared with (in January 2011)...

Tatertots and Jello, Weekend Wrap up Party


WhisperWood Cottage

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Smart and Trendy Moms



Gettin' Krafty With It

Happy decorating,

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Blogger Katie said...

Wow, this is an awesome gallery wall! :) I absolutely LOVE it and makes me want to have a kid just so I can make a cool wall like this! I'm your newest follower--love your blog!

January 15, 2011 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Love the R-E-A-D! I have little things like that all over my classroom. You did a great job and you've given me some inspiration for some changes I want to make in my 9 year old daughter's room. Thanks!

January 17, 2011 at 2:39 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

This is just amazing, been thinking of something like this for my boys room! Thanks for sharing

January 17, 2011 at 7:26 AM  
Blogger Trisha @ The Sweet Survival said...

The gallery wall is great! I am looking to do one over my bed in the master and this is great inspiration.

January 17, 2011 at 8:34 AM  
Blogger Jen-CraftOManiac said...

SO DARLING! love it, well done! JEN

January 17, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Mrs.B said...

I LOVE,LOVE,LOVE this! :) All the quotes and Girl Power stuff...so awesome for your girl!

January 17, 2011 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger The Reluctant Blogger said...

This is fantastic! I am starting my daughters room soon. Thanks for the wonderful inspiration!

January 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM  
Blogger Jennifer @lifecraftsandwhatever said...

This is awesome! My 5 year old's room is also pink and green, I'll have to keep this in mind, I know she'd love it!


January 17, 2011 at 4:50 PM  
Blogger Linda@Coastal Charm said...

What a sweet looking gallery wall...thanks for showing it off at my NTT party!!!


January 17, 2011 at 9:12 PM  
Blogger It's Just Me said...

OMGoodness, this is JUST what I've been looking for for my 8yr old's room. Thank you so much for the inspiration : )

January 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger It's Just Me said...

BTW, I'm a new follower. Love your style. If ya get a chance please stop by my site and say hello : )

January 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

This is such a fun wall!! I love it! :)

January 18, 2011 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger cindy @ cottage instincts said...

So great! I love original collages. You outdid Pottery Barn!

January 18, 2011 at 6:12 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

That is awesome! I really love all the personality.

January 18, 2011 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I love it! I think the bold colors are great :)

January 19, 2011 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger Krafty Kat said...

Absolutely FANTASTIC! I am with you on those book flaps just being annoying! I love how you used them as art and used the quotes to really make this an inspiring wall for your little girl! Love the sparkly Mod Podge too! I am inspired now to do something similiar for my little girl! Thanks for sharing this at Gettin' Krafty With It!

January 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really love it ! It's so clever, beautiful and I love it has to do with reading ! Thanks for sharing !

January 19, 2011 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger Donnie said...

What a lovely idea. It really came out so sweet.

January 20, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger Jami said...

This is wonderful! I really want to work on a theme like this with my Girl Scout troop. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

January 22, 2011 at 11:38 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I love how you used the books to create such an awesome and original space. Beautifully done!

January 24, 2011 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger Krafty Kat said...

Featured this tonight- you can grab a featured button if you like!

January 24, 2011 at 9:13 PM  
Blogger DANA said...

Hello! I just wanted to stop by and congratulate you for being a January finalist at Saturday Mornings! Voting for the winner begins this Saturday, so get your crew behind you!


January 25, 2011 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Lori@Paisley Passions said...

SO darling!!! I am going to feature this on Thrilling Thursday tomorrow. Feel free to drop by and grab an "I Thrilled" featured button off my side-bar :) Thanks for linking up to my party, hope to see you again soon!

Lori @ Paisley Passions

January 26, 2011 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger thediekens said...

Super cute! Love the pink and green, what a great little girls room!

January 27, 2011 at 10:37 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hi! This is amazing! I just voted for it ovver at Saturday MOrnings! Would you consider voting for my 1Corinthains word art that I've entered in a Valentines Challenge? You can see it here:
Best to you!

February 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

I'm impressed! I know your daughter LOVES it!

April 5, 2011 at 11:06 PM  
Blogger Jewely Bug said...

I have to tell you this was very inspiring. I love it and see a project like this for my daughter in the near future! :)

May 23, 2011 at 7:55 PM  

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