Making a Gallery Wall from Goodwill Frames

In our first house the first thing we ran out of was wall space.

I had memories, images, ideas... and no where to stick anything else without looking like my walls were hoarders. 

Now I live in a house full of brand new beautiful EMPTY walls!!

And after five months of staring at those brand new beautiful EMPTY walls... the time came to put up some photos.

Yet, I didn't want to go out to Michael's, Pier 1 or Target and buy $200 worth of photo frames. 
Frames can be expensive!

Well, I love thrift shopping and knew I'd want to do numerous gallery walls in my home so for the last few months as I would pick up my normal 8x10 photos for gifts I would buy the biggest whopper frames I could as long as they were under $5. 

Yep. Five bucks.

You would be surprised that giant frames that normally cost upwards of $35 will suddenly be when you find them in Goodwill/Salvation Army/Thrift stores.

Yet, there are a few rules of thumb when buying frames at these amazing prices:

1. Have a purpose in mind. 
Do you want to turn this into a chalkboard? A photo? A magnet board? A fabric Board? See... millions of possibilities. For this post we will just talk about regular photo frames you would need to make a Gallery wall. 

2. Does it have the right glass in it?
If you are using the frame for photos you want glass in it. But when you are buying old frames you need to make sure it isn't frosted glass or some other wack glass someone thought was a great idea 15 years ago. The way to tell is to look at the image underneath and if it looks fuzzy... put it back. 

3. Look beyond it's Look.
I think I'd like a new title as "Queen of Spray paint" Sadly, my sister still holds that cause she is awesome yet whenever I look at something my first thought it, "I bet I could spraypaint it" and that should be your thought too! When looking at frames don't be bothered by the color of the frame. Look at the groves, the textures and judge it by that. An ugly brown frame can become stunning with just one coat of Rustoleum. 

4. Check out it's behind.
Some professionally done frames are sealed. Why someone in their right mind does this... ugh... But even that you can get around. So don't be intimidated if you turn a frame over and see it perfectly smooth with no clue how that photo got in there. If it got in there... it can come out. Unless you are buying a mirror... than that sucker might not be coming out. All you do is take a knife and cut along the edges, peel back the kraft paper and voila! 

5. Set a price point.
Sometimes someone at the thrift shop sees an 8x10 frame and thinks, "Oh this is totally $20." 
No. It's in a thrift shop. It's totally NOT $20. If you can pay the same amount within about five to ten dollars for a brand new frame than it's a bit overpriced. Generally I buy frames if they are under $3 for anything 8x10 and under and than upwards to $10 for giant frames if I really love it. 
Check out your budget and figure out how much you want to spend and how much you love what you find. If you feel like you got a great deal... than you did! 

Once you've assembled your army of frames decide what type of gallery wall you want.
Pinterest is amazing for this. I wanted a gallery wall that would incorporate my flatscreen television.

I used these photos for inspiration: 

Once I had those in mind, my mom and I went to work! Thankfully my Mom was in town for a quick stop and there is no one I trust more with decorating. Plus she is always up for an adventure (Must be where I get that from) so when I mentioned what I wanted to do she was ready to go! 

She's a flat out genius and I still hope every day I have some of her decorating genetic makeup since I definitely have her Do-It-Yourself-Craft-Funness. (Yes, that is a real term. Don't look it up in Wikipedia until later though...)

First you should start by building your wall on the ground. Pick a large empty space about the same size as the wall you are trying to design for. 

We used this toy box as our TV. You though should use items that are actually the same size as what you are trying to build around ... it will help you later. Trust me. 

Than we went to work. It was easy to move frames around, add boxes until finally we came up with what we wanted! 

We took them downstairs and started hanging them up. We didn't bother with the color of the frames or the photos until we had it up on the wall. Hanging them on the wall is the hard part. Filling them with photos is the easy step. 

After hanging them I took my frames that weren't already the color I wanted and spray painted them out back in my color scheme: Black, White and Aqua. 

My big frames were my Goodwill finds! That baby girl is not mine obviously... but the frame was $2. With some black spray paint and a picture of my son inside it became an instant treasure. 

I ordered all my photos from Walgreens cause they have great prices and get them done in an hour that helps my instant gratification needs. 

Mom and I had a trip hanging these things using our photo for reference. We had to adjust because the TV was much larger than our toy box... but the adjustment turned out fantastic. 

I swear by Hercules Hooks. Sometimes they are called Monkey Hooks... whatever.

It's this:

You can get 30 of them from Amazon and they will hold up to 10lbs of frame! You can also get them at Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann's, Michael's, Wal-Mart, Home Depot ect... yet they will be $2.99 for 3. Buy them online and get them $.33 each!!! Steal. 

No hammer or nail is needed. You just push it in, twist and hang the photo. Than pull it out later on if you need to move it and the hole is super tiny. The only time they don't work is when you run into a stud... than you should break out the hammer and nails. 

Well, here is our finished product!

What do you think? I fall in love with it every time I pass and I have photos on my wall! 

And I had all that stuff lying around because I had been collecting it so long.  

Hope this inspires you to put your precious memories on your walls! 

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God Bless and Much Love,


Nothing says I love you more... like a Nerf War

The day is here and I could think of nothing more romantic... more special... more loving...

Than an all out Nerf war with my best friend. 

You read that right.

Two guns. 50 shots and three small children cheering from the sidelines.

Bring it.

As my husband wraps up his day at work I am wrapping up my master plan.

Waiting for him on the front door will be his weapon and this simple note:

Waiting for him inside... Fun beyond belief.

I learned about these amazing guns from none other than the most fun person on the planet: My mom.

She saw these once somewhere and bought three of them for my brother, me and herself.


She would hide behind corners and zing us and than we would gang up on my brother or they would gang up on me... it was all awesome and we'd spend hours finding those little discs everywhere.

But with discs flying I'd need some cover in my home...

I had to iron my new dinning room curtains and while I knew I wasn't going to hang them for awhile, rather than hang them across my banister... I decided to make a fort for the three boys to play with (and a place for me to hide from flying discs)

John, one of Elliot's little pals was dropped off to play while his parents did normal Valentine things.
I made sure to not put out my husband's sign and weapon out until after they left...

Although when they asked... I was pretty forthcoming with my plan. John's dad being a Navy dude... he totally approved. He also approved of my Fort.

Pretty nifty fort huh?

We built it for Elliot's second Birthday party and got all the instructions from Prairie Momma.
I had to have an engineer (Bryan) and my dad build it for that... once they got it though putting it together the second time by myself... wasn't a piece of cake but it was entertaining for my two boys who tried helplessly to hand me PVC pipe pieces.

Yet... a war was afoot and I couldn't let a fort take me down!! 

And although the 'enemy' tried to buy me this morning with chocolate covered pretzels, scones and flowers... and lunch... and being the sexiest man alive... my resolve did not waver!! 

He married me to keep him young and I shall complete my mission!

While I eagerly await his arrival I hope your Valentine's Day is fun and filled with laughter! 

And if it isn't... just remember that Valentine Candy goes on sale at Midnight at Wal-Mart and these nerf guns are only $11 for a set of two on Amazon.

God Bless,


14 Days of Valentine's: Part 2

Forgive me for not getting this out sooner!

My poor Mac has been at the Mac Doctor the last few days and we were finally reunited today. 

So, where did we leave off? 

Day 8:

Not gonna brag... OK I am. My hubs has the best lips. Now I am bias but he also takes good care of his puckers by ALWAYS having chap stick in his pocket. So, I turned an everyday item into a Valentine
My super practical engineer husband loved it. 

Day 9:

Another Pinterest find. Seriously that site rules the Craft world. :)

I happened to already have this cute yellow shovel as one of my son's little toys. I thoroughly cleaned it (just because ya never know...) used a cellophane bag and shoved some of Bryan's favorite chocolate in it. (Dark chocolate of course). Tied it with some twine and it got the message across perfectly.

Day 10:

As I explained in Part 1: One card is just never enough.
Here is another free Printable that seriously got my point across... cause let's face it: Our men are one of the TOP reasons why we shave. 

Day 11 & 12:

Sadly, I can't seem to find my Day 11 and 12.

So, here are some great ideas that others have lovingly done for their spouses to give you some inspiration.

These precious sisters did a ton of great  FOOD Valentine ideas.

Mommy by Day and Crafter by Night did a stunning Love note version.

All super better than mine so go check them out!!

Day 13:

The last of my adorable free printable from Cottage Industrialist:

Day 14:

It's Valentine's Day! Bryan goes to work rather early so he and I never really get breakfast together. Yet... on such a special occasion how could ya not cook up some lovin? 

I surprised my main squeeze with a full out spread before he traveled off to provide for our family. 

I hope you enjoyed this little post and it encourages you to go out and love on your man!

Have a great Valentine's Day!!

God Bless,


Love is in the Air... and on the walls, the counter, little heart things everywhere

It is February! 

The shortest month in the year and always a great month to make achievable goals (like spending less, not going to Old Navy, maybe eating something healthy...) and falling in love with the colors red, pink and white all over again.

When I was growing up... Valentine's was lame.

It was a pagen holiday that just made you feel ugly and unwanted.
(I had a few awkward years... you know... till I was like 22. Nothing to be ashamed of.)

I liked Valentine's day for the sole purpose that at Midnight on the 14th at Wal-Mart all that yummy candy went 50% off. Boo-Ya!

Now that I'm married... Valentine's day is an occasion for all restaurants to mark up their prices and a day guaranteed I'll get flowers from my hubby. While it's cute... everyday should be Valentine's when you are married so it isn't something we get super excited about. Especially since we never celebrate on Valentines for the above restaurant reason.

So, now you are wondering why I'm even posting about it or talking about it since I'm so blase about it.

Well... I learned I could DECORATE for it!!!  And it looks pretty darn cute.

Red is already a predominate color in my home so with some add-ons of some awesome printables, red hearts and a new mantle scheme, Valentine's is now pretty!!

Whether you are single or married, if you have some extra time to be silly and play with glitter and heart punches now is the time to go for it.

Check out some of the decor going around the McCarty Household and maybe it will inspire you to add a little glitter and red during this short month.

This is just a canvas I got on sale at Michael's, used my Cricut to cut out my Anniversary and brushed on this chevron design! 

The XO came from this adorable site and it's always fun to play with glitter. 

You can never have enough subway art. This I got for free off Pinterest and they have a ton more to choose from!! 

Happy Early Valentine's Day!!

God Bless,