Monday, May 25, 2015

Cheap & Easy Hallway Art

I absolutely love the layout of my apartment, except for the never-ending tunnel hallway from the door to the living area. I wasn't sure how to handle decorating it, so I turned to Google. Very quickly, I found this post at Young House Love, where they hung pages from the "Travel the World" calendar from Rifle Paper Co in IKEA Ribba frames. I loved the look and set out to steal it entirely.

First step: buy the calendar. I was a little bummed that Rifle redesigned the 2015 version. Instead of abstract maps (I love maps!), the illustration was of a girl in a scene from the cities. [I'm okay with it now, though, because I just pretend it's an illustration of me driving a convertible around Monaco or snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef.] I got the calendar with tax and shipping for $30.

Step two: go to BFE (where IKEA is located) to buy frames. I specifically wanted IKEA Ribba ones because they were $9 each and came with mats that were already the right size. I've always cut my own mats, but I was aiming for a cheap & easy project and cutting nine mats wouldn't be easy, and getting nine cut wouldn't be cheap. I actually tried ordering the frames online, figuring the $15 in shipping was worth the time and gas I'd spend getting out there. But the package got lost en route, so I ended up driving out there anyway.

Step three: assembly. With those two hurdles out of the way, it was just a matter of ripping apart the calendar and assembling the frames. The whole assembly process took less than an hour.

Step four: hanging. A bit of tedious measuring and leveling, but it worked out.

Before (sad hallway):

After (hallway of travel fantasy):

 Up close:

I'm pretty happy with how these turned out, but I wish I had used different frames. The old calendar (from YHL) seemed to fit in the mats better. Maybe someday I'll take these apart and cut the mats a little larger (yeah right, that's way too much work). Also, these frames stick out an inch from the wall. In retrospect, lower profile frames would be much better in hallways. Every drunk person who has even been in my hallway (myself included) has bumped into them. One was even knocked off (again, alcohol). The frame came apart but somehow the glass stayed in tact. A little Gorilla Glue fixed that problem (I was dreading another trip to IKEA to replace it if that didn't work). 

After I made this, another version took over Pinterest using mats with larger openings. The author said she spent $100 and got the frames and mats from Hobby Lobby. I'm proud to say I have never spent a dime there and never will, but I'd assume similar deals can be found at Michael's or other big box craft stores.

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