Thursday, May 29, 2014

Decorating ideas using simple baseboards

I have been having so much fun with baseboard molding.  
You can do all kinds of things with it!

Like keeping track of the kiddos' heights.
Or framing in their cute faces every time 
you pass up and down the stairs.

You see, I have been marking their heights (inside my pantry) since they were tiny.  But we moved a bit ago and I couldn't take the pantry with me.  Plus, I wanted somewhere more visible to record them, because it's super fun to compare their growth. 

Also...I love looking at photo albums, but despite my good intentions, I haven't scrapbooked for ten years.  Which is why this black and white mosaic of photos is so fun.  I've never spent so much time hanging out in my stairwell gushing as I walk down memory lane.
For the wall ruler, I bought a 6' x 7.25" MDF piece of molding at Home Depot.  It was less than $5.  I nailed it to the wall and caulked the edges.  Then painted it white to match the rest of the trim.  (You can skip the permanent installation and just hang it on the wall if you prefer).  And the numbers and inch markers are all vinyl lettering.  Simple as pie.
(How did I get a 6 foot board to reach 6.5 inches?  I stacked it on my 6" baseboard already installed.  You may have to make adjustments to fit your wall and people's heights.  
Clearly we don't think anyone will get too tall around this place.)

For the wall collage, I framed two matching 48" x 48" (inside corners) boxes on the same wall and one 48" x 10" box on the opposite wall.  The walls were going from beige to gray anyway, so I figured why not do it right.  So I caulked on these 3.5" baseboards as well, and painted them to match the trim.
I attached the photos to the wall by using spray adhesive on the back side of the photos ($6.50 at the craft store).  And then rubbing them with a soft rag to get out any air bubbles and get them fully attached.  I started in the corners and matched my edges (trimming if necessary) until both sides met in the middle.  (The middle is easier to hide trims and errors than the edge).
Every photo in my collage is either a vertical or horizontal black and white 4" x 6".  I designed my pattern ahead of time on graph paper so I'd know how many photos to order. (It was aprrox. 200).  Notice how I ran 3 verticals underneath 2 horizontals and I kept flipflopping that pattern on this wall.  
This small collage was only the photos of me and hubby.  The big boxes were for us, the kiddos and the grandparents.
All the vertical photos are portraits grouped together with the same ages.  ie.--every kid at birth, 6 mos, 2 yrs, 3 yrs, 7 yrs, etc, including me and hubby when a picture was available in a row or in a box.  
That's why it's so fun!  Because I can compare them all and see who has my nose, or his chin, or my horrid crooked teeth.  
Every other photo is a horizontal, and frames in the vertical portraits.
I let the glue dry for several hours and then I used satin-finish mod-podge that I rolled on with a mini paint roller.  I have done it before with a crumpled up rag like you would for faux painting and it's just fine (just a lot slower).  The more mod-podge you put on, the cloudier your photos will look.  So one good coat is all you need.  It dries clear and gives the photos an arty, textured look that seals it all into one large collage.

My sons were pretty mad when they heard I was hanging 200 pictures in the stairwell.  Because (when I'm in an especially good mood--no doubt involving chocolate and clean dishes) I've been known to let them ride a mattress down the stairs, or throw a nerf ball up and down to each other.  And that's the best part.  These pictures don't have frames that can get knocked off and broken.  They're totally flat.
They can get bumped, rubbed, or wiped and still look great.

If you're looking for some way to change things up in your house without going all out, try these.


  1. I love both of them. How long did it take to do the stairwell?

    1. It took an hour to glue them on and 1/2 hour to mod podge them. Hanging the molding was the long part. Good luck.

  2. do you have any ideas that teens could use? besides the pic collage? i would love some easy cheap teen decor

    1. You should check out our earring holder under our DIY's. And I'll keep thinking.

  3. Would the collage look OK if you didn't do the pics in black and white and just left them in color?? What are your thoughts on that?

    1. I don't know. It might look really cool like a magazine collage or something. I'd love to see a picture if you try it. Thanks for the feedback.

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