Map & Art Gallery Wall

Since we have school in our dining room, last year I had this two-sided, markable world map hanging on the wall in there.  It worked okay, but definitely was not ideal.  Because of the tight space between the wall and table, it was difficult to label and quite often someone would walk too close and "Oops!", accidentally rub some of the writing off.  Kind of frustrating!

With my 3rd grader beginning American History this year and my 1st grader starting World History, I knew I was going to need to use both sides.  The thought of having to flip it over everyday was not appealing!  I happened to have two maps (Sonlight sent me another one for free since one was missing a tiny island.  Yes, they are awesome like that!) and I decided that I needed to just hang both of them.  But where??

Then there was the problem of all the cute little art projects. (You moms know how they multiply!!)  The kiddos love for them to be displayed but my refrigerator can only handle so many if you know what I mean! 

So while mulling all of this over, I stumbled upon this!  Hooray for inspiration!  I decided to just combine the fun art and functional maps into one gallery wall in our hallway. 

Since you can see most of our hallway from the living room, I decided that the maps needed to be hung as far down as possible.  I tried hanging them side by side but it put one in clear view from the couch, something I definitely didn't want. Stacking them was really the only solution.

After shopping the house and gathering different sized frames that I already had, I removed the glass and backing.  At first I hung the frames in a more "hodge podgey" way, sort of like my living room gallery wall that you can see in this post.   I liked it, but it was just too chaotic.  Because the hallway is narrow, and the artwork and maps are "loud", it really needed some symmetry to calm it down and make it work.  Keeping the frames in a simple, grid-type style really changed the feel of the whole thing. 

(It is really hard to get a good picture of this wall!  I was almost standing behind the office door to snap this one and the lighting was aweful.) 

In each frame I hung a binder clip.  This makes changing out their little masterpieces so much easier!  (Although in one frame I put up a card from my hubby with sticky tack.  That counts as art, right?) =)  We are having our first "Art" class of the school year tomorrow so I'll have some new artwork to display. Yay!

I didn't have another large frame, so for now I included this little chalkboard I made years ago.  Although I'm beginning to think I may have a chalkboard obsession.  We have one in the dining room, in the living room and another in the hallway.  It's a sickness.  But I'm okay with that...chalkboards are awesome! =)

Over time I hope to keep expanding the gallery down the wall with more chunky frames, maybe another painted canvas and perhaps a print (or two!) from Katie Daisy.  (LOVE her work!)  I don't really know...guess we'll just see how it tranforms over time!

So what do ya'll think?  Awesome?  A little wonky?  Take it down and start over?  I would love some feedback!

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