Since Brandon and I are at points in our careers where there’s always the possibility that we’ll be packing up and moving across the country in a matter of weeks, I’m trying not to use paint on any of the walls. Our previous apartment had horrible white walls which made the place feel like a hospital, so I attacked with an emerald green paint. It was earthy and warmed the space up, but also made moving out that much more daunting since we were required to paint them back to their original color.
In our current apartment I wasn’t sure what to do with the spare bedroom/office’s big empty wall, so I began brainstorming unique ways to create a photo gallery. What I came up with involves pvc pipes, primer, some Martha Living Metallic Glaze, pink ribbon, and several picture frames.
After gathering my supplies (including 1/2 inch pvc pipe and two 90 degree elbows of matching size) and getting the pvc pipe cut at Home Depot, I washed the pipe down with warm water and a rag – if you’ve ever worked with pvc before, you know how filthy it is from the store! Letting it dry at least a full day between each coating, I applied two coats of primer, followed by three coats of Martha Living Metallic Glaze Specialty Finish (Medallion, #358 899).
This glaze is so beautiful I want to paint everything with it just so I can keep looking at it!
The third coat took a little longer to dry but was completely worth it in the long haul. My goal was to create an industrial, exposed-pipe look to add character and give our apartment a look of antiqueness, similar to an old house.
To mount my faux exposed-pipes to the wall, I used stainless steel pvc brackets (covered in two coats of primer). While putting this project together, I debated whether to leave the brackets stainless steel, paint them gold, or paint them pink to match the ribbon. I kept trying to think of a way to camouflage them. I went with the primer though so they’d match our doors and baseboards. I’m happy with the added detail they give.
Lastly, I used 1-1/2 inch light pink ribbon to hang the pictures. Well, actually I used nails to hang the pictures, but I pulled the ribbon snug and put the nails through the ribbon ends to give an illusion that these hanging picture frames are being held up by the ribbon itself.
I used mismatched picture frames but tied them together by making sure they were all mostly black. I also hung the pictures at varying heights to tie in the mismatched nature of my frames.
My final product provides a fun way to display various photos and adds character to an entire wall without making the room feel cluttered.
Curious about the pictures currently on display? Well speaking of antiqueness, the green flowerpot birthday card is from an old reserve of cards my Grandma D came across. They are so beautiful. // The pictures of actual flowers were taken by Brandon in our old college town – Decorah, IA. // Then at the bottom of this collage is a picture from when I studied abroad in New Zealand. The picture is of the South Island as I was on a ferry headed to the North Island. // I also have a picture of my little sister from way back when while she was playing dress up and making monkey faces. I have taken this picture everywhere with me. I love it. The quote I have scrap-booked onto the picture says “Live every day like it’s your first” // Lastly, a framed bag that my New Zealand greenstone necklace came in – the print is of the Māori symbol for good fortune and positive energy.
Since these pictures are hanging on nails, it’ll be easy to rotate what photos I have on display, which means this will be a great way to decorate with the seasons!