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If you’re just tuning into “Project Happy Camper Nursery”, you can catch up here, here and here. To make a long story short: my older sister is expecting a baby in less than a month (I still can’t believe it!) and she asked Casey & I to help her with the nursery decor.
We’re SUCH rookies when it comes to all things nursery, but of course, we were up for the challenge and excited for the opportunity to learn. And that’s exactly what we’ve been doing over the past few months — learning A LOT about baby decor. We’ve done lots of researching online and unfortunately have learned the hard way a few time…. like in today’s post. If you have a baby-proof gallery wall on your to-do list anytime soon… today’s project is for you. Here’s how to hang a baby safe gallery wall in your own home.
Wallpaper is Hung
Last time we chatted about the nursery, I showed you the paint color we chose for this space and talked about our experience with this adorable temporary wallpaper. In that post, we promised that we would compile a more detailed tutorial on how we hung the wallpaper, don’t worry we didn’t forget and have it on the calendar for later this month. Since we hung that wallpaper, we’ve been scouring Minted to find the perfect combination of prints to add color and character to this wall.
Nursery Art from Minted
Literally, we spent HOURS on the site because there are SO many amazing options to choose from (who knew Minted had a whole Nursery collection!?!). It helped to narrow down our choices by keeping in mind Katie’s requests for this space — happy, colorful, not super babyish, and aligned with the “loose” theme of Happy Camper.
Much like Pinterest, Minted allows you to save your favorites and refer back to them at any time. We pretty much relied on that strategy to “save” our favorite prints and eventually used that favorite page to look at all of our options side by side until we ultimately chose the winners. To save money, we ended up just ordering the prints from Minted & framed them ourselves using frames we bought on sale from wherever we could find them (Michaels, Target, HomeGoods, etc.). However, we had a hard time finding frames that matched some of the square prints, so I would suggest buying the print pre-framed from Minted if it’s a unique size.
Once the prints were delivered and we framed them ourselves, we taped out a rough measurement of the wall on the floor and arranged/rearranged the frames over and over and over again until we finally arrived at the layout we liked the most. At that point, we felt more confident to start hanging the gallery wall.
Tips to Hang a Gallery Wall
It was Katie’s homework to cut out a template for each of the frames (she used brown wrapping/packaging paper). Having the templates of each frame cut out allowed us to visualize the layout of the frames on the wall ONE more time before we started hanging. <— I would highly suggest this simple method if you are a visual learner (like us!). Once we hung up the last template (using blue painter’s tape), we agreed that this layout was the winner and it was officially time to start hanging this baby safe gallery wall.
How to Hang a Baby Safe Gallery Wall
Now, before we get to the hanging of the gallery wall… let’s chat about baby safety. Since this is our first experience with nursery design, we did A LOT of reading and researching about safety in order to make sure our design decisions were adorable, but more importantly, practical and safe for the baby.
As we did our research, we came across a lot of discussion, advice, information, and general concerns regarding hanging art (or anything really) in a nursery because it could be dangerous if it fell. Because this is a legitimate and serious concern, we did even more research about how we could make sure that anything we hung in the nursery was safe and “mom-approved”. The dresser in this picture (which is already bolted to the wall) will also be Katie’s changing table (more on that soon), so having the baby laying on the table below this gallery wall was a concern we took very seriously. Through our research, the method we felt most comfortable with when hanging this gallery wall was using HOOKS to hang each frame and then reinforcing the hooks with velcro on the back of EVERY frame. <— we reached out to one of our favorite bloggers (and mom of 4!!), Katie Bower of Bower Power, and asked her about her expertise on this topic because we have seen her hang a gallery wall and mirror above her changing table in the past. She reassured us that she used hooks and velcro, and this method was so secure that her husband actually had a hard time removing these items when the time came. #musictoourears
Our research, plus her expertise, had us sold and gave us a lot of confidence that this gallery wall will not only be an adorable addition to this space, it will be BABY SAFE.
Additional Pre-caution: In our research, we also found that some moms chose to take out the glass/plexiglass from each frame to lighten each frame and decrease the risk of danger even more. We gave that option to Katie, but she felt confident in the pre-cautions we took with the hooks & velcro. We would encourage you to do what’s best for you and your family.
For EVERY SINGLE frame, we used a hook and nail to hang the art, and then we reinforced each frame by sticking velcro on all four corners of the frame before hanging it on the wall.
Rookie Tip: Hang the entire gallery wall FIRST and then go back and add your velcro to the back of each frame. I was adding the velcro as we went and wanted to go back and move a frame later in the process and literally could NOT move it. The great news is the frames are definitely VERY secure, the bad news is that we were stuck with this layout because we velcro-ed as we went instead of waiting until the end. <— DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE WE MADE! Velcro L-A-S-T.After the gallery wall was up and velcro-ed, we really had no choice but to LOVE it (since it wasn’t going anywhere) and these gorgeous prints made that pretty darn easy to do! The fun colors, the adorable bears, the clean white frames against the rustic wallpaper… what’s not to love, right?!
During the next phase of this makeover, this Land of Nod OUTLET dresser will be transformed into a changing table. We opted out of buying a traditional changing table because we wanted Katie to invest in a dresser that can grow with the child and would not be limited to just a nursery. Once the mattress is added to the top of this dresser (with a few more functional accessories), I think the whole wall will really “pop”.
Until then, I just can’t get over the cuteness of these prints!! Nursery Prints
Bear on a bike print and Bear with a fish print
Colorful Mountain print
Airplane & Boat Travel print
Tree stump etched with Katie & Joe’s initials and names
Blue, Yellow and Green Geometric Art print
Colorful Line print
Happy Camper print
Coming soon: nighttime art print
The best part is that all of these prints are so versatile and don’t necessarily HAVE to stay in the nursery forever. In a few years, I feel like these prints can easily transition to other parts of Katie’s home and still fit in perfectly.And this Happy Camper print next to those mini boots & lantern (which will eventually double as a nightlight!!)…. cuteness overload right there! Can you tell I’m excited?! Katie absolutely LOVES everything about the gallery wall, which makes me even more motivated to get the last few items on our to-do list DONE before the baby’s debut (she’s due at the beginning of July). Here’s what’s left on our to-do list before the big reveal:
Clean out room & closet Paint Wallpaper Put together crib & glider Purchase a dresser Find a rug(found a great score at Land of Nod OUTLET — details coming soon) Purchase bedding, pillows, and additional “baby stuff” Build shelves Choose/hang art
- Accessorize <– you can bet I have my eyes peeled in Alaska for some “happy camper” nursery finds… I even left room in my suitcase just in case I found some treasures. 😉
- Photograph the Space
- Celebrate and impatiently wait for this baby’s arrival!
We have 27 days left to get this done…. but hey, who’s counting!?Bridget
Check out the completed room in this post!