Playroom Art Gallery Wall

January 24, 2011

Hi all, hope you had a great weekend!  A few weeks ago, I mentioned that one of my home goals for this year was to take a bare patch of wall in my kids play space and turn it into an art and homework station.  Many many moons ago, before the little ones were born, I actually had a ‘formal’ dining room.  Ha!  Those were the days when we had an entire room dedicated to formal dining.  No point in that these days, so after those babies were born we decided to better use that square footage to store their toys, games, etc in a kid friendly space.  

There was a bare unused patch of wall in there, so over the weekend I created a little art desk and wall gallery for my daughter.  Art is her most favorite activity ~ drawing or painting is the first thing she wants to do when she wakes up, and the big excuse she uses to wiggle out of her looming homework.   I decided to encourage her talents and dedicate a little station to my budding artist. 


Her older sister gave her the desk from her bedroom, so that meant I didn’t have to buy one!  Yeehaw, gotta love shopping your house for the perfect solution!  I gave it some grosgrain ribbon trim around the edges for a fun pop of color.


desk edge


I had a glass top made for the small desk at a local shop, then to add a fun pattern, I layered a simple cotton print fabric underneath the glass ~ it’s stapled underneath so it will stay in place.

staple blue fabric


The small lamp is from Target, I added some fun ribbon to the shade with hot glue.

embellished lampshade


I thought about taking a trip to IKEA for some floating wall shelves, but then luckily I found some laminate ones on clearance at my nearby Target.  I primed them with oil based primer, then gave them a quick coat of white paint!   

prime and paint shelves


No one has to know they were two different colors before ! 

cg gallery shelves


Most of the picture frames are Goodwill finds, or found on discount at either Michaels or Target.  RustOleum has a fun line of ‘Painter’s Touch’ colors like ‘Aqua’ and ‘Green Apple’ ~ they make it easy to change a frame’s color with just a can of paint. 

rustoleum spray paints


Together, my girl and I went through her stack of her drawings and paintings, and she picked a few recent favorites to frame.

frames mats art


The nice thing about a gallery like this is she can change out her drawings so easily.

cg wall art on shelves


Here’s a peek at the other walls in their play area.  Here is the TV/storage wall and the laminate media center I painted last year. 

kids playroom media center


On the other side of the media center is the sofa with a giant map behind it.  This wall map is from National Geographic and comes in three vertical sections.  It’s easy to get up on the wall ~ I used a staple gun to attach it to the wall and double sided tape to keep the seams together.  To create the frame, I trimmed it with MDF chair rail after I spray painted it espresso brown.  The map can be purchased here

wall map


girls playroom


Opposite the new art desk and gallery is this window wall, above it is the wood cornice I built last summer.  The rug is from Rugs USA, available here

cornice playroom


This bonus room downstairs is a great play space for art, games, movies and entertaining their friends, and we think a much wiser use of square footage than a formal dining room.  And my daughter just loves her new art gallery wall!

wall gallery after


I’ve got another fun project to feature later in the week, but today I’m packing my luggage.  Yep, it’s another airplane trip, this time I’m headed to the Blissdom conference in Nashville.  I’m very excited to meet up with so many of my home blogger friends who inspire me greatly. 

What DIY projects do you have in the works right now? 



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120 Responses to “Playroom Art Gallery Wall”

  1. Rachael says:

    Love Love Love it! I purchased this map! Can’t wait for it to come in the mail!!!

  2. karisa says:

    I just purchased the map as well after debating for awhile. i found it on amazon for only $63.00!

  3. Trish says:

    I just made my version of Pottery Barns burlap mat frames and I just love them. It was super easy to. Frames are an easy way to dress up a wall. Here is my version:

  4. Jennifer says:

    Hi there!!!

    What color is on the walls?


  5. Wow, lovely!! Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas!

  6. I love this room! The orange and turquoise striped pillows are amazing, where can I find some of my own or fabric to make them?

  7. Sibylle says:

    love your picture wall!

  8. How did I miss this lovely gallery wall earlier this year? Sigh. Everything you do is so beautiful Kate. Thank you for sharing with the Gallery Wall party!!

  9. Jessica says:

    Such a pretty, happy room. I have a little “creating corner” for my toddlers with a laminate desk top. It’s pretty grubby with paint and crayon! I’m taking inspiration from the glass covered fabric desk, much prettier and it must be easy to keep clean too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Visiting from the Gallery Wall Party, I’m # 117.

  10. Karen says:

    How wonderful! I bet your daughter feels so special!

  11. Colleen says:

    I love this! I have never used spray paint for anything (I know!) so I love what you did with the mats in the frames. Adorable space!

  12. I love how fresh looking the wall with the kids’ artwork is, very inspirational

  13. Mary says:

    I love everything about your blog! Keep it coming! I have all the supplies to put up my National Geographic map on our office wall. Do you recommend cutting the chair rail and then painting? Also, I assume you nail the chair rail to the wall. How do you paint over filled nail holes with spray paint? It seems a bit scary to me. Thank you!

  14. kim says:

    where did you get those big clothespin clips on the wall?

  15. Mysty says:

    So glad to hear I am not the only person to fore-go the formal dining room and make a TV/play area for my kids. I have had one for years – not as cute as your is though. Now my kids are older and have their own homework desks in their rooms and we’re currently making it into a room that they can hang out in, play Wii, play games, etc. I love having that room available to us. Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas.

  16. Katie says:

    I love this! This is such a great idea! :) Right now we’re expecting our first baby, so our whole house is sort of one DIY project right now. Art work is still way off for us, but definitely storing this in my memory bank for when the time comes. Too cute!

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  18. AllyK says:

    I Have only Just found your blog on Pintrest!! I LOVE IT!! Thank you for sharing!! Great Ideas!!

  19. Heidi says:

    Absolutely fantastic! I will definitely be making my own version!

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