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DIY entryway makeover

After a year and a half of living in our apartment, I finally gave our little entryway a much needed makeover. There were three things I wanted to tackle for this project: figuring out a way to create a faux shiplap look, setting up a gallery wall and adding more storage that was functional but pretty.

I'm so happy I was able to accomplish all those goals and I wanted to give you some tips on how you can too!

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DIY faux shiplap wall

If you follow me on Instagram or watch my Youtube videos, you've probably heard me complain a billion times about how dark our north facing apartment is. This little entryway area is the darkest part of the apartment so I knew I wanted to brighten it up with some white paint but I didn't just want a boring white wall. I decided to try my hand at DIY faux shiplap.

Most of the options I saw online involved using plywood or other cheaper shiplap alternatives but I live in a rental so nailing a ton of wood pieces to our wall was not going to fly. Eventually, I saw someone use sharpie markers to draw on the lines to give the appearance of having wood slats. I gave the sharpies a try but while the sharpie shiplap looked great in pictures, it looked sooooo fake in person. My husband described it best: "It looks like you drew black lines with sharpie on the wall." Well yeah, that's exactly what I did but that's not how I wanted it to look... so it was back to the drawing board and I had the idea to draw the same lines but with a black colored pencil! And to my surprise, it looked AMAZING! The black color pencil is not as harsh as the sharpie is so it looks much more realistic. And when you're ready to move out, if your wall is the original rental color, you can just wipe the lines off with a magic eraser.
It's a very cost effective project since you only need a black color pencil, sharpener, a meter stick and a level. I realized after I finished that I had a laser level I could've used and I've tried this same project with it since and if you have the budget for it, I would highly recommend it! It made the process so much faster and the lines were much straighter.

To create your shiplap, all you'll need to do is mark every 5.5 inches (or any thickness you may want) and using a level to keep the meter stick straight, draw your line. If you're not using a laser level, I would recommend starting in the middle of the wall since roofs and baseboards are not usually straight.

I will warn you there is one little downside: the black color pencil can smudge. While I wouldn't recommend it in a high traffic area or if you have kids, for us it's worked perfectly and hasn't smudged even a month in. To be safe, I did seal some areas we may lean on with some hairspray and if you wanted to be extra careful, you could probably use a polyurethane seal.

tips for a low budget gallery wall

The best way to create a gallery wall on a budget is by thrifting! Most of these frames I already had picked up on various thrifting trips and they probably cost me around $20. I did want to add some different textures and patterns though so I also bought this checked frame from Amazon and the woven frame from Hobby Lobby, which I spray painted black.

Once you have your frames, you'll need some prints! You can find plenty of prints for free online or you can sign up for my newsletter and I'll send you some prints straight to your email. You can then send them to print at Walgreens or CVS in the size you need for your frame. They often have discounts available so make sure you wait for one of these offers so you can get them for even less!

Another even cheaper option for prints is thrifting art books. You can rip out the prints you like and cut them to fit your frame. The only downside to this is that the prints in the book are usually only one size so you would need to make sure you find a frame that fits them and you would be limited in variety of sizes.

This is completely optional but once you have all your prints, I like to use matte mod podge to give the prints a faux oil painting look. I feel like this takes the glossy prints and makes them look more expensive. You can learn more about this technique in my blog post.

Lastly, don't limit yourself to frames! You can also use things like baskets, cast iron pieces and more to decorate your little gallery wall!

add aesthetic storage

I knew I wanted to add storage in this area but I also wanted it to look pretty! I found this beautiful waterfall cabinet that was the perfect size for us to store our shoes and our dog's things. I was looking for a very specific style so I bought mine new but if you wanted to save some money, you can find a ton of options at thrift stores or Facebook Marketplace! I'll also link some pretty cabinet options below!

Hooks are another great way to add a little character while still being functional. I found mine at Hobby Lobby for $2 each.

And lastly, one of the few things I "invested" in for this project. I've been wanting a paper mache bowl for a long time so I decided to finally splurge and get myself one. This was the cheapest one I was able to find and its really large for only $30! Not only is it gorgeous and adds so much texture to the look of this area, but we use it as a catch all for our keys, wallets, and sunglasses so it keeps this little area nice and organized.


I hope this has given you some ideas to makeover areas in your home and be sure to watch the full makeover below!


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