DIY Gallery Wall Art {Tutorial}

Hello friends! I have a tutorial for you today!
repurposed clips out of mousetraps!
I wanted to build a pretty substantial board/gallery/wall art thing behind the couch to hold my vintage botanical prints. I thought it would add a lot of charm to the space. 
repurposed, reclaimed
So, I thought, and thought, and thought… and this is what I came up with. I knew that I wanted it to have a vintage feel, have numbered clips for the prints, and fill up the big space. I hit up the local ReStore {again} and found a long piece of beadboard for $3 and the trim for $1.50 {I took this picture after I had spray painted the trim black}. I crossed my fingers all the way home, hoping that it would be the right size… and it was PERFECT! 
I wanted the clips to have the look of vintage reciept holders, but I didn’t want to pay that much. So, I hit the dollar store and grabbed these mouse traps. At 4/$1, you can’t beat the price! 
So, I will show you how I transformed them.
First, I just clipped off the unnecessary death trap parts with wire cutters.  
Until it looks like this…
Then I spray painted them with a base of black spray paint. I lightly painted over the top of that with a raw umber craft paint until they look like this… 
I used my Silhouette to cut out a stencil for the numbers {you could also use your printer and the technique I show here} and penciled them onto the top, flat area.
I filled the letters in with a creamy white paint and lightly distressed them.
I painted the piece of beadboard using layers of my favorite creamy white paint, and a light brown with the technique I show here. Then all I had to do was attach the trim with wood glue, and attach all of the mousetraps and I had a place to display my botanicals! 
I loved the look of the loose papers. I played with them in mats and thin frames, but when it came down to it, I just really loved the whimsical, artistic feel of the free papers. I have had these botanicals in my stash forever. I purchased them off of Ebay a long time ago, used them for different things and have always loved them. You can tell they are a bit crumpled, but I really love that about them. 
The total cost for this project was $6.50 since I already had the prints on hand! Love that!
Our bonus room/family room is really coming together. I keep working on it, little by little and I am so happy with how it is coming together. 
Here is what we have so far… From a couch I never would have picked on my own, to a room I am completely in love with. It isn’t finished, but it is getting there! I have to warn you, I am going full steam ahead on my bonus room redo project, so I will keep sharing as I go.
To see the other before/afters in the room, click on the links below:
Thank you for reading! I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Linking up at East Coast Creative!


  1. says

    Well, aren’t you clever?!! I love your mousetrap clips, and your botannical wall arrangement is really pretty. Your family room is so beautiful and cozy!

  2. says

    Mousetraps?!?! Are you kidding me? Great eye for the shape and look you wanted for less! The wall looks great. (We have the SAME couch in our basement!). I’m loving how the space is coming together.

  3. says

    I would never have known those clips were mouse traps – so creative! I love the colors you’ve used in the room – very cozy and country but still modern.

  4. says

    Mouse traps? I’m still in shock of that bit of ingenuity! I love how the whole room looks, and your couch looks like something I would pick on purpose. lol!

  5. says

    What a great way to display children’s art in a home. I had frames that were easily changed out for my children’s art and I loved seeing it in my hallway. I think mousetraps will be used for my grandchildren’s artwork.

  6. says

    They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so I just wanted to let you know that you inspired me to try this idea at my home! You can check out my blog post if you want here: Such a great idea for taking something so inexpensive and everyday and turning it into a creative work of art. Keep up with all your crafty ideas, I love looking at your blog! Thanks again for the inspiration!

  7. says

    Hello, i have found you a few minutes ago, and it took me just 5 minutes and 2 post to fell in love with your blog. Lovely ideas, simple and vintage… may i stay arround ? best regards from the south. CAli

  8. says

    Kristen, this is absolutely wonderful! I will be doing this for the space over my desk. I like to keep the work folders for my current projects visible and handy and I’m thinking those mouse traps are strong enough to handle the job. Your living room shouts, “Come in. Get comfortable. Let’s enjoy visiting.” Thank you so much for sharing your project. Happy creating.

  9. Angela says

    Kristen, I have always loved your family room and have decided to sell the bed I have in the second bedroom and convert it using your room as my inspiration. Mine has slanted ceilings just like yours. I am worried about what size sofa I should get for the room. Can you tell me the size of your room? Thanks. I should say I also copied your fall sign of pumpkins, apples and hayrides and will soon send you a photo. Happy New Year!

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