A Hallway Full Of Art For Under $50

Ok, not the whole world, but a good smattering of it. For those of you who watched our house tour video yesterday, you’ve seen a shot of these babies in action (and by these babies, I mean eight freshly framed prints that we hung in our hallway above the board & batten that we added). But here are some close ups with all the how-we-did-it deets.

It was a really easy project actually. First, we bought an awesome calendar at Anthropologie on sale after the new year for $13 (gotta love how calendars go half price the second that January begins) but we had zero intention of using it in the traditional sense since we make a quirky little homemade calendar each year.

We just loved the awesome illustrations of each city. And we knew they’d look nice in a collection of frames on the wall. Psst- It’s still for sale here, if you’re in the market for one.

At first we debated hanging all 12 of them in a grid in the guest room, but we’ve been craving something large (as opposed to a collection of smaller frames) for the big bare wall above the chairs in there.

And then when we finished the board & batten hallway project (here’s a pic from before we painted the walls)…

… it dawned on us that they might look cute spaced out as you walk down the hall.

Turns out they do.

As for how we hung them all at the same height, we just shot our laser level down the hall, and marked two dots for each frame that were 5″ apart (there are 10″ of space between each frame).

Then we just hammered nails into those two dots for each frame.

Why two nails for each frame? Well, since the back of these Ikea ribba frames rest on a nail to stay up, two nails about 5″ apart are nice and sturdy – and you’ll never need to straighten the frame like you do when it hangs on one nail). Plus you can slide the frame a bit from the left or the right, so it helps make the spacing extra easy to control, even if you pre-measure it all with the laser level like we did.

Then when you pop a frame onto them, it looks like this:

Or this:

Since the eight Ribba frames are from Ikea, they’re just $9 a pop (and we already had four, so we just had to buy four more to complete the collection). So that’s how we got an entire hallway full of art for $49 – which breaks down to $36 for frames and $13 for the calendar.

Not bad to go from here…

… to here in about a month.

Especially since we walk up and down that hallway at least a dozen times a day. And although we’ve only been to one of the eight places: NY (do we get extra point for living there for a while?) John has already started calling this our travel bucket list. So here’s hoping we get to visit Rome, Paris, Istanbul, Sydney, London, Amsterdam, and Rio De Janeiro someday.

Odd confession of the day: I have three favorite spots in this house, and two of them aren’t rooms. They’re:

  • the frame hallway that leads to the living room, kitchen, and our master bedroom
  • this hallway that leads to the other three bedrooms
  • Clara’s big girl room, just because I’m beyond thankful that it no longer looks like this…

What are your favorite areas of your house? Are they unusual, like a closet or a bathroom or a specific nook (the wall o’ penny tile in the kitchen is up there for me too)? Or are your picks more traditional like the living room, the sunroom, or the bedroom?

Psst- Wanna see how we spent our Easter (and how Clara liked the little egg bowling set that I made for her)? Here’s the rundown over on Young House Life.


  1. Clare R says

    We have that 2013 calendar too (and are actually using it as a calendar) – I love the art as well! This looks great – very inspiring. And I love the grid idea – maybe we’ll use these prints (or others) in a grid over our bed. Thanks for sharing!

  2. MollyS says

    I’ve been looking for something fun to do down a hallway, and my first efforts at a gallery wall failed. This is great! What size Ribba frames did you get? Also, are those standard mats (and, if so, what size), or did you custom cut them to fit? (First time poster, and it feels so exciting!)

    • Katie says

      Love it – the calendar is on it’s way to me! I’ve been passively searching for art for the big wall in our powder room for two years, and this is perfect. I originally wanted a big world map, but then we got a giant world map (from ikea) for Christmas a couple years ago that makes a huge statement in our living room. Now I just need more ribba frames. My ikea list is getting much longer (and expensive) and the 3.5 drive (one way) is looking more necessary. :)

  3. Scully says

    I love the RIBBA frames. They’re modern and cheap and I love that they come with a mat. However, for a project like this, when maybe you’re framing something that isn’t exactly 4×6 or 5×7, etc, how do you deal with the mat? Do you own a matting cutter? I once had to get custom mats from Hobby Lobby and they ended up being more costly than the frame itself. Yikes!

    • says

      Thankfully the mat just worked with the calendar prints! I think if it hadn’t I would have cut the prints to the desired size and just used a piece of cardstock or matboard behind them with them centered on that to create a border without actually having to cut a hole and put the board in front :)


    • says

      So I wanted to drop in and say that cutting good looking mats isn’t NEARLY as difficult as everyone thinks it is. Obviously it’s complicated if you want beveled fancy edges, but in college our photography professor taught us all how to cut them from matting board using just one of those metal T ruler things and a exacto blade.

      The key is just to measure carefully and mark with pencil lightly; then hold the Tsquare in place and run the exacto lightly a few times until it cuts through the mat. It looks so professional and clean, and it takes less than 10 mins (and is WAY cheaper than paying someone to do it professionally)!

    • hjc says

      I cut the tip of my pinky finger off with an exacto knife in the middle of the night while working on a final semester art school project. I just stuck and bandaid on it and kept working – luckily I didn’t bleed on my project – that would have been a real tragedy!

  4. says

    I LOVE this! Our Pinterest challenge map finally got on the walls this week and I’ve been bursting at the seams to share it on the blog – hopefully Monday! We went a sneaky route and used velcro to hang them on the walls :)

  5. Annelies says

    I love this so much ! Especially since I’m an avid traveler and only still need to visit 4 of the place to complete the list. I would love this in my hallway.
    On the Easter rundown there is also an addition above the tv… look forward to hear more about that too :-)
    Have a great weekend !

  6. says

    Do you guys have plaster walls? My bf is such a stickler about hanging things on our walls because they’re plaster. Does it really crumble if you remove a nail?

    • says

      We have plaster in some parts of the house and drywall in others. If you remove an anchor in plaster it crumbles, but we’ve had an ok time removing small nails with only a small hole to caulk, which happens with drywall too :)


    • Amanda C says


      I would use any of the Command 3M products if you dont want to put holes in your walls. They are so easy to use, hold heavy frames and come off clean. I use them all the time, especially back when we were renting. I like the “velcro” poster styles the best, that way everythig lays flush on the wall.

  7. Shelly says

    That looks great! About how wide is that hallway? We have a narrow hallway leading back to our bedrooms in our 1970’s ranch and I’d love to add board & batten to but worry that it might be a bit overkill in a narrow space.


    • says

      Now I don’t feel so bad about my Rubbermaid bin of to-be-hung art! They are pieces I love that don’t quite have a place (yet), but I had no other way to store them.

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