While at Michaels a few weeks ago, I discovered they have a “Hang Your Own Gallery” picture frame system. You buy a template (about $4) and pick frames to work with the template (a couple hundred dollars or more, based on the frames you choose) to create the gallery. Each of the frames has a letter on it and you coordinate different letters to the template to design your gallery. After 15 minutes in the store staring at the templates and frames, trying to plan out my wall, and hunting for frames in good shape, I was frustrated and left.
I headed home with the idea that I was going to map out exactly what I wanted and then go back another day to Michaels. When I sat down behind my computer, though, I looked for an even easier gallery system instead of trying to navigate the one I had seen in the store.
Sure enough, I found one. The PerfectPicturewall came with numerous templates, levels for the templates, removable mounting squares to stick the template to the wall, thumbtacks for marking where to place the picture hangers, picture hangers, solid wood frames with matting (with 1″ or 2″ borders), and an option of wood frames in different finishes. I contacted the company and a few days later a sample arrived in the snowfence finish (also available in white, black, natural, and silver).
The system is shipped in a box that looks like it might contain a large MacBook Pro. This, obviously, set well with me. Everything was well packed, none of the product was damaged, and there wasn’t any space wasted in the product packaging.
My husband and I picked a template (all templates are included), hung it up, and made sure it was level in less than 10 minutes. I should also add that during these steps we didn’t raise our voices a single time with each other, which is very strong sign that the process wasn’t frustrating. We ended up using some painters tape in addition to the mounting squares because two of us were working and I had the tape and my husband had the squares.
While my husband marked where to hang the picture hangers, removed the template from the wall, and hammered in the hangers, I removed the protective film from the plexiglass on all the frames and inserted all the pictures. This step took us about 10 minutes, and hanging the pictures on the wall took less than 5 minutes.
We are very happy with the appearance of the finished product, and the process was unbelievably simple for us to navigate. The straight lines and perfect alignment also make me very happy. The PerfectPicturewall is $300 to $350 based on which frame finish you choose, which is a little more than some of the Michaels options, but the frames are solid wood (many of the Michaels frames are plastic), align more exactly, and certainly have a less frustrating planning process. Additionally, we will be able to use/reuse the templates, levels, and everything except for the picture hangers if we move again.
- It was $28 for us to have all of the pictures printed at our local photography shop. If you already have images that work with all the frames, you won’t need this step.
- The product packaging says all you’ll need is a hammer to assemble the gallery, but you’ll also need something to keep the photos from moving inside the frames. I used scrapbooking tape to attach the images to the mats. You could also attach your images to the sample image paper inside each frame using double-sided photo tape.
- Since the frames are hung in a high-traffic area of our home, we put adhesive rubber pads on the back of the bottom corners on each frame to make them stay in place even better than with just the self-leveling picture hangers.