After Bobby and I created our pallet couch/daybed, we were pretty satisfied with how our living room area looked. There was still a big blank wall right above the couch, though. Even Graham was bored silly by it.

I had a number of ideas to fill that space but then other projects popped up and more and more time passed. Once I finally decided to finish making our house a home, however, I had a burst of energy. It was time to tackle that wall.

Oftentimes, when I come across an image on Instagram that inspires me, I take a screenshot of it and catalog it in Evernote for later. It’s like my personal version of Pinterest. Well, a few months ago, I saw this colorful, makeshift gallery wall that Emma of A Beautiful Mess blog had on her Instagram. I was immediately drawn to it.

Looking back through my phone pictures, I KNEW that was the solution to our Big Blank Wall. I love gallery walls with frames – and I’m not opposed to putting nails in the wall even when we’re renting since we are always careful to fill them back in before we move. In the case of this blank wall, though, I didn’t want to deal with the expense of frames and I certainly didn’t want to have to PACK all of those frames when we start the move-out process in May. Going with the washi tape inspiration wall seemed like the perfect solution. Quick, cheap, nail-and-hammer-free, and whimsical.

I sifted through my craft area and found papers and bits of inspiration that I’ve stashed away over the last couple years: illustrations from a vintage children’s book that my mom was getting rid of, pages from a travel magazine I had been saving for mail art, a hilarious print advertisement from a 1950’s magazine (another treasure I discovered while helping my mom clean last summer), some scrap paper I’d been using for watercolors, a card from my Project Life kit, a beautiful Bible verse set in calligraphy that had been gifted to me by The Hipster Housewife, a scrap of Japanese paper that has the cutest little drawings on it (I have NO idea what it says but it was obviously worth saving). They were all so random and different but I loved the different dimensions and knew all the colors tied together.

I chose a neutral colored washi tape and then just winged it, building my gallery wall one piece at a time.

Please look at this next image closely, curated from an Anthropologie catalog. It’s a photo of a woman…hanging up a collage-type…gallery wall. And I was doing the exact same thing and now it’s hanging on MY collage-type gallery wall. ISN’T THAT SO META?!?!?!?!?!?!

After all the papers were hung, I knew it was missing just one thing: a narwhal to watch over everything.

The amazing narwhal that my sister Leah sewed for my birthday had been living on a high shelf, far away from Graham’s reach. Such a masterpiece shouldn’t be relegated to a shelf, though. It seems evident that Mr. Narwhal is in his element now, swimming over the gallery wall. (I hung him from nails that were left in the wall from a previous tenant – so it was like it was meant to be.)

Graham, on the other hand, seems to know that he has zero chances of ever playing with Mr. Nawhal from his glorious height.

The finished wall really does complete the space, don’t you think? It took under an hour and it makes me SO happy. Why didn’t I do this ages ago? I peek at it all the time and admire it – whether I’m crafting at my desk or walking up the stairs.

Start saving up fun bits of paper and images and you can make your own, too!