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Hi, friends! Welcome to our two-part short series dedicated to that big scary white space above your couch. Most everyone's been faced with it, stared at it while it stared right back, and needed a little inspiration for what in the heck to do with it. Am I right? We're here to offer that bit of inspiration with three different "photo wall" ideas that'll have you wanting to give that vast desert of blank wall space a high five instead of a kick in the knee. First up is a more "rustic" take on the typical gallery wall including a completely DIY driftwood wreath (step by step below!), ceramic feather wall hanging, and small display hutch. We stuck to all wood frames in different shades and textures, and a pastel palette for our art. V found the hutch at a thrift shop, gave it a quick sand and stain (then another sand to give it that worn-in feel), and filled it with beach treasures in a more neutral color palette. The natural tones brightened the hutch and went with our rustic theme while still creating a light and airy feel. We strung these ceramic feather ornaments over a piece of found driftwood to make the super simple and really beautiful wall hanging, simply set on two thin nails in the wall. Learn how to build the wreath and shop the wall below!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Materials: Approx. 45-50 2"-6" pieces of driftwood | 12" wood circle | wall hanger | screws for the wall hanger | hot glue gun & glue sticks | pin nailer or thin nails & hammer. My aunt (V's sister) quickly made this wood circle for us out of simple 1/2" thick plywood and V stained it. If you don't have access to someone who can do this for you, craft stores and Home Depot are great sources (you may be able to get a nice guy here to cut something for you). Most of the driftwood we had sourced last summer and just a few weeks ago from the shores of Lake Michigan in Door County, WI. There's so much of it there! It's also readily available for purchase here

Do a careful "dry run" of your wreath by pre-arranging your driftwood pieces on your wood circle. V's tips: Choose your longer/thicker pieces as your "anchor pieces" and place them at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. Create texture and depth by mixing dark and light wood tones as well as pieces with "personality". Usually these quirky pieces fit best on top of flat or more simple shapes.

Once you've arranged your driftwood pieces how you like them, take a quick picture of it on your phone if you can – you'll refer back to this picture when you go to actually nail and glue down your pieces. Then remove your wood, keeping the pieces in order and placing them just to the side of your wreath. It may be helpful to put a sticky note on your "anchor pieces" – the pieces that will sit at 12 o'clock, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock.

Flip your wood circle over and screw in your wall hanger at 12 o'clock, about 1/2" up from the inner edge of the circle. V's tip: If the screws used to secure your hanging piece are too long they'll pass through the width of the wood circle and peek out the other end. Hey, it happens, it happened to us! If you run into the same problem don't freak out. Just make sure you fasten your 12 o'clock piece of wood right over the tip of the emerging screw. You can even give that piece of wood a tap with your hammer so it sinks down over the screw.

Flip your wood circle back over and start assembling your wreath by securing your "anchor pieces" with a pin nailer (or hammer and nail) first. V's tips: keep in mind that you'll want to conceal the nail in the wood with another piece of wood, so try to nail the piece where you've already planned to put another smaller piece over it. 

Once your quarter pieces are secured, start assembling the rest of your wreath by hot glueing down the larger pieces and pieces that fit below other smaller pieces between 12 and 3 o'clock first. Your driftwood pieces should be in order alongside your wood circle. Also refer to your phone picture to remember which pieces went where. If a piece seems especially thick, dense or heavy, feel free to hot glue and then pin nail these pieces for extra security.

Once you think your wreath is how you'd like it and all pieces are secured, hang your wreath on the wall if you can, stand back and take a look. Make sure all sides feel balanced. If you feel like one side seems thicker than the other, try layering a few smaller pieces along the opposite side. If one side seems shorter than the other, fake a longer wood piece by using two smaller pieces and hiding the connecting line by glueing a smaller piece over that part.

The bottom line is to have fun! It's OK to stray from your initial plan or photograph, just make sure to step away from it once in awhile and make sure things are balanced visually. If you start to stray from your plan, add pieces slowly so you don't run out of pieces on one side because they're all glued to the other!

Stay tuned for Part II of Once Upon a Couch!



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