D-I-Y not?

You know how some people are quick decision-makers? Like, have their mind’s made up on something from the instant they set their eyes on it?

Then there are the the people who need to sleep on it, do their due diligence in research and peer reviews, shop around and get price quotes before they’re prepared to pull the trigger?

Well, I am both of those people. Sure, we all are to an extent, depending on what the purchase is (and what kind of price tag comes along with it). However, I’m convinced I’m hardwired backwards.

Take getting married: I swear, finding the person to spend the rest of my life with was the easy part, but centerpieces and flower arrangements?! Real or artificial flowers…mason jars or vases…charger plates or place mats…I mean, how’s a girl to decide?! (Big time brownie points to anyone who can even remember what our tables looked like. That includes you, Jared.)

The same was true of car shopping. I knew what I wanted in features, what I didn’t want in terms of make and model, and ultimately, searched for something within my budget. Easy enough, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I spent my fair share of hours scouring the Internet, sprinkling in a handful of test drives here and there but before long, I was the proud owner of a new-to-me Ford Fusion. Meanwhile, I spent twice as long debating my next hairstyle. After all, you have to live with highlights for three whole months, people!

And then, of course, there’s the house-buying experience (2014: Year of the Stress). Knowing our non-negotiables from our wish list, what we could live without and the almighty budget parameters, the process of elimination tends to get whittled down pretty quick.

When it comes to the interior of the house, however, that’s a whole ‘nother ball game. Given that the costs of decorations are largely inexpensive (except for you, Pottery Barn. Damn you and your beautiful $300 mercury glass table lamps), I either pick up some seasonal items here and there at TJ Maxx or try to cobble together something with the 92 picture frames and 17 letter “F’s” that I already have.

But still, I never seem to be completely sold and think part of it is knowing that because I didn’t spend much, I don’t have to feel bad about changing things out. And you know what that leads to? It leads to weekly check ins on a pair of throw pillows in my Target online shopping cart, waiting on some sort of miraculous 75% off sale before I work up the guts to hit ‘check out.’

It also leads to ‘more holes in the wall,’ as Jared affectionately refers to my home projects. So when I wanted to swap out my failed attempt at an eclectic, Pinterest-worthy gallery wall, he made me vow we were going to stick with it. I thought about the pictures I kept coming back to time and time again and was finally ‘ready’ to make the change.

(In true amateur blogger fashion, I failed to take a ‘before’ photo, but can tell you my own arrangement of a clock, canvas prints and photos looked like a hodge podge of Hobby Lobby sayings and the stuff you pick up at the $1 area at Target.)

This display from Hometalk was the new inspiration and while we followed the guide, I’ll admit that it wasn’t as intuitive as us DIY newbs would like. And, as with any home project, the cost estimate was just a tad off. Ya know, unless these folks welded their own materials (in addition to making their own frames, overachievers).


Nonetheless, our version wasn’t too far off!

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Here’s a quick look at what we did and where we scooped up the materials for our industrial-rustic-farmhouse style.

Materials and costs:

  • Iron pipe, flanges (or, in laymen’s terms, ‘anchor plate thingys’), elbows, hose clamps, decorative chain and Command strips: Menards
  • Rustic frames (two 8×10, one 16×20) and matting: Hobby Lobby
  • Approximate total costs: $100

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A few tips not included in the Hometalk post:

  • There are several length and diameter options at Menards and other home improvement stores. For our space, we went with a 5′ pipe at 1.5″ diameter.
  • We scoured for an elbow to fit both the frame and the anchor plate thingy (with a screw-in opening of 1″), only to discover that there are elbows fitted for our exact need: 1.5″ on one end and 1″ on the other. BOOM.
  • We used Command Strips to affix the frames to the wall to keep the frames level as opposed to floating.

And, for the finishing touches, complete the space with a couple of cute, lazy boys!


On the adjacent wall, we previously had just a few frames of our engagement pictures and college trips with friends. It was time for an update there, too, and we wanted something to tie into our photo display.

We landed on a coordinating floating shelf from a Shanty 2 Chic tutorial and followed the guides to a T, with the exception of substituting the rope for matching decorative chain. This was another easy, afternoon project that we wrapped up in a matter of a couple hours and only ranked a lowly 4 on the bickering scale.

We had the stain on hand from wedding projects and staining the kitchen island, then just robbed the decor from our upstairs living room area (so you know it’s only a matter of time before I swap that out). But in the meantime, we’re loving the simple updates and opportunity to show off some of our favorite photos!


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Next up, I plan to make some succulent terrariums for around the house and get plotting out my garden to satisfy my Spring fever! What’s on your home improvement list?



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