Reclaiming Your Walls–Fun Decorating Ideas!

This post is for my sister-in-law.

Earlier this week we were brainstorming creative ways to use wall space….and she asked me to take photos of a few specific “using-wall-space-well” ideas in our home.

So–I figured why not just go all out and share those and then some of my other favorites.

The disclaimer must be, that I am not opposed to using wall space.

So…I also have a tendency to not see it when our wall margins have moved beyond all reasonable boundaries.

But–we have lots of kiddos and not a massive house–so for me, the trade off is worth it.

Hope you will enjoy and  if any of these photos prompt some fun, creative ideas that you’re willing to share…I’d love to hear about them!

These wall clip strips are easy to make and are a great way for hanging art work, pocket displays and posters…

To make:  buy a narrow board the length that you are looking for (I was thinking how fun it would be to use this as a border all around a school room or a child’s room) and then attach a bulldog clip or something similar that can be found at an office supply store to the wood board with a screw.  Our boards are purposefully “scuffed” to a used appearance because at our  house–it’s better if things start off looking a bit “used”.

Here’s a similar option…we use this to hold chore charts and our “List of ways to help around the house”.  I found this one at a garage sale.

These magnetic boards are great for displaying photos and you can find a similar option here.

Magnetic spice containers are perfect for securing to a magnetic board or the side of a refrigerator…which is where we keep them.  But–they would also be great in a home office or school room for storing paper clips, rubber bands or other small odds and ends.  They can be found at here or here or here.

You can also find an inexpensive set of spice labels here.

I shared about our missionary board a few days ago…but this is just a pin board, covered in wrapping paper, with a nice map and some map string showing where the missionaries we support and pray for are located.

This heavy duty mailbox is installed under the ledge of our kitchen counter (so technically it’s not a wall) and it’s a great way to keep up family communication.  What kiddo doesn’t love getting mail?  Retired mailbox units can often be found on Craigslist or Ebay.

Another garage sale find, this book display shelf  is such a fun way to share seasonal books (and it helps us keep track of library books).  I’ve seen these at Pottery Barn Kids (not cheap) but have also found several on Craiglist.

This art clip system is a really fun way to display artwork.  The wire keeps things from sagging and is very secure.  These can be purchased from Ikea.

The clips move along the wire so if you have a longer item to display you can secure it with several clips.

I can’t remember where we found this height measuring board, but the kiddos love to keep track of how much they have grown.  And you wouldn’t need anything this official.  Even a nice board with places for keeping track of growth would be fun and this can be displayed pretty much anywhere (even on the back of a door).  Ours is in the laundry room.

This is a MASSIVE…did I say it was large?…bulletin board.  But I love the way the framing makes it look a bit more official.  Baseboard or molding trim can easily be used to frame a large bulletin board.  I see them offered for close to free on Craigslist all the time.  We acquired a 8 ft. by 4 ft. dry erase board (for $10 delivered) off Craigslist a few years ago.

More magnetic boards like these are offered at Crate and Barrel and Ikea…they work really well for displaying artwork.

The key is to get really strong magnets like these, but we found ours at Staples Office Supply Store.

A coat rack was already installed in our school room before it became our “school room” but it now works as a flashcard ring holder.  By attaching book rings to our 100’s pocket chart, we were able to hang it from the coat rack hooks.

This tri-fold window frame has wire threaded through each frame with clips along the wire.  We use the clips to hang small fun photos.  My friend Becky noticed a similar one at Pier 1 for $28 if you’re willing to pay that.  I’m in the process of trying to make an extra one as a gift, using a large empty wood frame and wire and so far it has been fairly straightforward, but I’m still deciding what to use for the clamps to hold the photos.  I’ll add pictures when I get it finished.

A simple pin board collection of me with my guy…is a special spot to remember the last 14 and 1/2 years of our marriage.  Can you tell I love photos?

Remove the backing from a photo frame, but leave the glass and it’s a great way to display you child’s artwork or other photos…looks especially nice if your walls have some color to them.

These art display clips from the Land of Nod are not very expensive, but they are very cute.  They are currently selling individual clips for $.95.

We love these hair accessory helpers!  The ribbon board is easy to make.  Just find a cute cork display board  or pin board and tack ribbon across it so that you have places to attach the bows.  The ribbon system below is from Melissa at The Ribbon Ring.  She gave me a great deal when she was just starting out and I love having our hair ribbons organized like this.  Her ribbon rings would also work for crafting ribbon or some sewing supplies.  I decided to hang her ribbon rings and the bows from key hooks, similar to these at Home Depot.  The bows are hanging from long strips of ribbon attached to book rings (gotta love those useful little book rings).

Here are a few more “clip strips” from our boys’ room…great for hanging art work, assignments, or posters.
Again…paint the board, attach the metal bulldog clips with a screw.

You can also find magnetic bulldog clips if you want to use them with a magnetic board or magnetic strip like this one that is supposed to be for knives, but it would be great mounted along the top of a chalk board or dry erase board for hanging posters or art work.

This wall mounted wire paper sorter is from Costco, but Storables has a similar one.  Great for storing construction paper, magazines, or homeschool materials.

I’m having a difficult time finding more of these, but if you figure out where to buy them, please let me know.  These tiny circles have a sticky self-attaching substance on the back and can be used with push pins, so we put them on the back of our boys’ door.  The boys can hang any posters they want and change them as often as they want, without wrecking the door.  Initially I found them at Staples.

Just in case you’re looking for an easy way to display collectibles….a Hot Wheels Display Case is usually wall mountable and is a great way to display rocks or whatever else your little guys like to stash away.

Right now our Watch-It-Grow Window Greenhouses are empty, but usually we have them full of sprouting seeds.  At just $2.95 each, these little window greenhouses are a great way for your kids to witness the life cycle of a seed or bean.

Not sure where you can find this exact corner shelf but I love the idea of using the lost space.

A ledge like this is a great way to display special books you are currently reading….
This magazine rack is in our kitchen and we use it to store the most recent editions of magazine subscriptions, current missionary letters, and a folder with “Papers to Show Dad”.

And finally…I love this option for displaying either more spices or office supplies….just requires a small ledge and a set of small jars that will fit on the ledge.  It’s a great way to get  spices off the counter and out of the pantry so that you have easy access when cooking.  Pottery Barn carries a a similar collection but you can find other options at Storables and on Amazon and Crate and Barrel.   I’ve also seen them at Ikea.

Would love to hear from you…
Any fun “use-the-wall-space-ideas” that you’d like to share?
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  1. Love this, Kara! Thank you for so many great ideas! I’m linking it to my delicious favorites. We have such limited wall space, but I’m looking forward to seeing just where we can work some of these projects in.

  2. That is absolutely FANTASTIC!!!!! I think you need to consider a calling as an organizational decorator. I’m bookmarking this post!!!!!!!!!!

    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. When you put kids’ artwork in an empty photo frame (no backing), how do you mount the artwork?

  4. Did you purchase that 3-window frame piece with the wire and clips inside? Or make it?

  5. Trisha–thanks!
    Love2teach–I just use a tiny piece of clear tape to stick the art to the glass and then when it’s up against the wall, it usually stays prett well. I’ve also seen people take out the glass…and just use the frames by sticking art to the actual wall and then putting the frame around it.

  6. CarlnRose–I found that somewhere YEARS ago…but it would be SUPER easy to make. I’m in the process of trying to make one with a big, photo frame right now (not tri-fold). I’m using a staple gun, wire that is left-over from a project and then small clothespins…but I thought about using the metallic office clips as well. I’ll add a photo of it when I finally get it finished.

  7. CarlnRose–if you want to make this…secure the horizontal wire pieces first and then for the vertical wire cross piece…when you get to a horizontal wire, just wrap the vertical piece around in a loop before moving on to the next horizontal (if that makes any sense?)

  8. Anonymous says:

    I cannot remember where I saw it, but there was another blog that mounted the gutter rails (like you mount on your roof to catch rain) on their walls and capped each end.

    The books fit inside perfectly and they faced outward like a magazine display rack. It was awesome. I just need to get the nerve to try it.

  9. Gutter rails!!! I love it…those are the kind of ideas that really appeal to me…a little industrial, repurposing of items. That’s a great idea and it seems like it would work well to display books. Thank you!!! GREAT idea!

  10. This was very timely. I was about to do a post with a picture of my hallway walls asking for ideas. I had pictures hung all over it of the kids, but due to very active boys running from room to room, I have lost numerous frames. I finally took them down and now need ideas on hanging pictures without breakable frames. I see some ideas here to consider. Do you any others for this issue-other than bannning boys from the hallway?:)

  11. Maybe you could paint frames onto the actual wall? Trace the ones you want in the sizes you want and use small self-sticking velcro tabs to ahere pictures inside? Or maybe you could take the glass out of your other frames and use those same velcro tabs on the corners in between the frame and the wall so that they won’t fall? The cable system really is great and up high enough they wouldn’t run into it, but it doesn’t look at all like frames? I’ll brainstorm :)

  12. Or what about vinyl photo frames…?

    Google search: vinyl photo frames or photo frame wall sticker

  13. Wow, you are so creative!! I love your ideas. The mailboxes are my favorite. :)

  14. I am loving the painting idea. How creative! I love color so this would be fun for my hallway. I think I just might have to try this. I’ll take a picture so you can see how it looks-but just so you know, I’m quite slow with my projects:) Thanks for the idea.

  15. Thanks Darlene…mostly I’m just a good “borrower of ideas” :) The mailboxes are really fun though!

    Ima–I would LOVE to see a photo if you get around to painting. I’m excited about those vinyl cling frames too. I’m VERY slow on projects…lots of ideas, but mostly just thankful if I can get even our bathrooms cleaned (today’s “project”) :)

  16. I’ve always loved the creative things you’ve done with your walls… fun that you are now sharing it with the world :)

    I noticed they have the window frame thingy with the wire inside that you have in your bathroom at Pier One. Only they are $30… Can’t quite justify that one yet.

  17. Thanks Becks…
    I checked out the one at Pier 1…it’s similar, but not the same. It doesn’t have a tri-fold, but is still really fun. I’ll add the link. We got ours 7+ years ago when we moved in here, but I am attempting to make one right now using an old frame as a gift for someone. I think it’s going to work…will post photos when I get it done. I can’t decide what to use for the clips/clamps though.

  18. Added the Pier 1 link in case anyone is interested?

  19. I am in awe! So many great ideas! I love the hair accessory organizers and the mailboxes. Love your blog.

  20. I am here fr WILW… love that ribbon storage! hugs xo

  21. Thank you Jami and Bonita…
    Jami–I wandered your blog a bit last night and really enjoyed it!

  22. Love the barette idea thans for sharing it.

    Come visit me

  23. Love the barette idea thans for sharing it.

    Come visit me

  24. So many great ideas!! Following you now from the hop! Would love a visit @

  25. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  26. What great ideas! Thanks for sharing! Following you from Find New Friends blog hop.
    Please stop by my site. Thanks!

  27. WOW!!!! THis is awesome. I need to start using some of these ideas. Over from the New Friends Blog hop.

  28. visiting from NOBH
    Love these ideas – can see the ribbon wall going down really well with my girls :)

  29. Oh my goodness… so many *great* ideas here. I love the clip strips! Thank you so much for sharing all of this inspiration with us for ‘studio sneak peek’ on (in)courage this week! :)

  30. Thanks Jennifer…love the crosses you were working on this week.

  31. This is a FABULOUS post! Thank you so much for all the ideas! I too try to redeem every inch of my walls. Gravity just buries things for us around here, so wall space is perfect. THANK YOU!!

  32. What GREAT ideas! Some of these I have done similar things, but you have definitely gotten my creative juices going. Living in a tiny apartment I have to use space wherever I can find! Thanks so much for putting this together. ( I know these kinds of posts take a lot of time. :-) )

  33. I am going to have to bookmark this post Kara! So many awesome ideas!

Would love to hear your thoughts...