How To Create a 3-D Mirror Gallery Wall

by Diane Henkler on 02/22/2011

You have seen it done – the Gallery Wall – a collection of framed art or photos grouped on a wall to create impact.  It is an inexpensive and easy way to display objects on a big wall.  Today I have a twist on the classic gallery wall – adding a 3-D effect that creates even more of a dramatic effect.

3D-Mirror-Gallery-on wall

Do you remember when I took the mirror off of the dresser in my guest room?

Mirror-before

I painted it black and moved it to my dining room where I thought it would have more impact.   Love it – but it left my guest room wall looking a little  un-loved.

Mirror-7

I didn’t want to just add anything as a temporary fix, so I just let it be.  Last week when I was working with a decorating client of mine I got inspiration. I am helping her do her master bedroom and bath.  She handed me the photo below and wanted me to figure out how to create it – as she has lots of photos she wants to display.

I looked closely at the photo and figured – no problem I can do that, but before I start putting holes in her wall, I will go put them in mine first to figure the best way to create the  3-D or layered effect.  Here is her inspiration photo.

copy How-to-create-a-3D-Gallery-

Source: PhillyMag.com

Here is what I came up with. I didn’t use art or photos, but mirrors.  I had a few sitting down in my basement and I got the smaller ones at The Dollar Tree.  Now my guest room looks loved again and my guests will be able to see themselves.

3D-Mirror-Gallery-

After creating the 3D Mirror Gallery Wall. I gave the brown dresser under it a new look.  You can find out how I did this in, here:  How to Update a Handme-Down Dresser.

3D-Gallery-wall-using-framed-mirrors

How to Create a 3D Framed Mirror Gallery Wall

It was not too hard at all – I didn’t even make any extra holes in my wall because I made a plan first.  I gathered all my mirrors and laid them on the bed to figure out the best placement.

3D-Gallery-Wall-lay-out-pla

I then traced each mirror on brown paper to make a template for each one. You could use newspaper to do this, too. My brown paper was from the end of the roll and was curling, but it didn’t matter – it still gave me an idea of where each frame was going to go on the wall.

3D-Gallery-Wall-brown-paper

To create the 3-D or layered effect  you need to create two layers.  Some frames are mounted the usual way right on the wall. The next layer of frames will be mounted on blocks.  I found some scrap wood and cut it into blocks.  The blocks need to be as thick as your frames so when you place a frame on a block it lays above or level with the wall mounted frames.

I then painted the sides of each block the same color of the wall.  Since the wall I created  is next to the door I wanted the blocks to blend in as you might see them from a side view. You can’t but it keeps things nice and neat.

3D-Gallery-wall-painted-blo

I also drilled a hole in the center of each block so I could screw them onto the wall.

3D-Galelry-Wall-Screw-block

The block becomes the wall for the frames that are going to be raised away from the wall to create the 3D effect.  I added a nail and hung a framed mirror on it.

How-to-hang-a-frame-on-a-3D

I started by placing the largest mirror first and then worked to each side.   I placed the wall mounted mirrors first and then the ones on the blocks next.

3D-Gallery-Wall-hang-frame-

It ended up looking like this

Ta-da-3D-galllery-wall

The key with placing the blocks:  The frame has to be centered on a block as this is where the hangers are on the back of each frame.   Line the top of the block up with the top center of the frame where the hanger is.   Note that some hangers on the back of frames are right on top, others are lower. Keep this in mind when placing the blocks on the wall.   You should not see the block when the frame is hanging.

3D-block-placement

I only created two layers, but you could add a 3rd level by using thicker blocks that will hold frames on top of ones already on thinner blocks.


Closer view of the layer effect.

Close-up-of-3D-galllery-wal

I am always in creative mode around my house and my hubby just goes along with the flow and doesn’t usually voice his opinions – he lets me do my thing.  He did about this – he likes it – LOTS!   So I must be on a roll to get a response from him about one of my projects.  Thanks honey xo

How-to-Make-and-a-3D-Gallery-Wall-Using-Mirrors

 

 

 

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{ 105 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Whit @ Amuse Bouche February 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Lovsies! Such a textural way to display wall art, I will definitely be trying this out in my new place! Thanks for this!

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2 Connie February 22, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Very, Very interesting. Your tutorial was very detailed,I like that. Hmmmm I am now thinking I would like to do this. Great idea.Thanks for sharing!

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3 Diane February 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Hi Connie-

My wall was the experiment, now I know exactly what I have to do on my clients wall. The hardest part was cutting the blocks on my table saw. You could probably get the guys at the home improvement store to cut a 2 x 4 into blocks – that would be easy!!!

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4 Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions February 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm

That looks great, Diane! I really like it and was wondering how you would get the layer on top. Now you know it will work for your client and her pictures.

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5 neve h February 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Very nice Diane!!! ;)

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6 Yanet of 3 Sun Kissed Boys February 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

What a great look and a great tutorial to match. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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7 lisa February 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Such a great tutorial!!!! Love this wall!

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8 Diane @ home sweet homemade February 22, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Diane – really nice job at recreating that interesting depth. Really catches my attention! Hmm, so you don’t put anchors in the wall, even for some of those heavier mirrors? I hope you create another post to show the results of your client’s installation. This is an extremely wonderful idea!

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9 Diane February 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Hi Diane-

None of my mirrors were heavy enough to require an anchor, if they did – I would put the heaviest ones on the first level, right on the wall with an anchor and then build from that. I used white paneling nails to hang the mirrors. You can see one in the photo of the block close-up. They have notches and act like screws. I use them to hang just about everything. Just hammer them in on an angle – not straight into the wall. I will gladly post my client’s photo gallery wall when it is complete.

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10 Milk & Cookie Party February 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I’ve seen this but never imagined that I would be able to do it. YOu are so amazing. You see something incredible and your mind amazingly figures out exactly how to make it happen.

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11 Diane February 22, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Hi Ann-
Thanks. I have to thank my parents for giving me a can-do mindset. That along with many years of working in retail display taught me the know how to make just about anything using odds and ends.

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12 Amanda @ House Revivals February 22, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Great tutorial — thanks for the tips!
~Amanda

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13 susan February 22, 2011 at 3:16 pm

looks great! you did a wonderful job!

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14 Lisa @ Shine Your Light February 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Wow – I love that concept – it looks great! Thanks for the tutorial! Where can I work this into my house? Hmmmm.

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15 Jordan G February 22, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Enjoyed this and can’t wait to try it! Found you at the How-To linky!

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16 Allison February 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm

Looks great! The wooden blocks were a good idea. Pottery Barn sells the metal arms that do the same, but cost 100x’s as much!
Dropping by from How To’s Day. Hope you’ll come see DD2′s picture wall we did for her.

Allison
Atticmag

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17 Jennie February 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

That turned out amazing! Thanks for sharing your secret.

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18 nancy babb February 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

LOVE! LOVE!! And I like your mirrors better!

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19 Diana K February 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

I love it- And…I actually like your mirrors better than the photos in the inspiration picture. Way to go…I know that was a lot of work but it was worth it! Hugs- Diana

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20 Lavender Dreams February 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

This is so intriguing! I love it…but I wonder if I could actually do it! I’m going back to look again! ♥ WOW! ♥

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21 Dar@ live by the sun luv by the moon February 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Coming to you via Coastal Charm. I’m loving gallery type walls right now and yours is terrific!

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22 Kim February 22, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Diane, that is a different idea. It looks great and that was a bit of work to do that. Thanks for joining the party this week.

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23 Erika...with a K February 22, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Wow this looks amazing! Awesome idea!

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24 Ann February 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm

I love this. I think your mirrors look twice as good as the inspiration prints.

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25 Amy of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie February 22, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Gorgeous! Thanks for showing how you used the blocks. So clever!

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26 lynn richards February 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm

this is aMAZing!!! And the instructions are great. thanks so much!
xo
lynn

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27 Diane Costanza February 22, 2011 at 10:28 pm

That is amazing! I love the overlapping frames. I would love to do that with the framed photos going up my stairs. Thanks for the idea!

Diane

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28 Yvonne February 22, 2011 at 11:28 pm

This is a great tutorial! So creative and what an upscale look. I would love to try this on stairs and use family pictures. Thanks for the instructions and the inspriration.
Yvonne

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29 Maryann February 22, 2011 at 11:34 pm

Oh, this is fantastic! It looks so good!!

I love all of your ideas, and I appreciate how you explain what you did and show photos. That helps so much! Thank you!!

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30 Roses and Rust February 23, 2011 at 12:58 am

It looks absolutely amazing. You have turned a whole lot of fairly ordinary mirrors into something spectacular. Very well done.

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31 thewanderingcottage February 23, 2011 at 6:33 am

Great job!

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32 Jodie February 23, 2011 at 9:50 am

Love this! Thank you so much for the tutorial!

Jodie

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33 Linda February 23, 2011 at 11:00 am

I LOVE this project…and so nice of you to share the tutorial! Looks fabulous!

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34 Kate February 23, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Love this! Beautifully done and photographed.

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35 Patty February 23, 2011 at 4:18 pm

i LOVE it!! CLEVER idea for the layering, I did something similar, but used 2 blocks under my frame and some 3M velcro stuff. I think I need to add more to my wall, you’ve inspired me to keep adding :)

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36 Traci February 23, 2011 at 7:09 pm

I am so loving this……great tutorial!! I also love where you put your mirror in your dining room. I am a new follower!

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37 Lacey February 23, 2011 at 8:37 pm

AMAZING!..

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38 Kimmy February 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Beautiful! I love, love, love this!

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39 Coastal Femme February 23, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Diane,

I love this. I saw this done with a few photos in a Pottery Barn catalog awhile back. The picture hooks had projections on them that created the 3D effect, but were $16.oo each!!! Great tutorial!

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40 Courtney February 23, 2011 at 9:20 pm

You did a great job and I love the effect!!! Please consider linking up to my link party here: http://adiamondinthestuff.blogspot.com/2011/02/time-to-shine-link-party-7.html

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41 Heather@The Black's Best February 23, 2011 at 11:58 pm

This looks great! Thanks for telling u how it is done…I’ve always loved the look and didn’t know how it was done until now!

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42 Michelle February 24, 2011 at 8:18 am

That looks so fabulous! If found myself glancing around my house as I read to see where I could put something like it!

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43 Emily@Decorchick February 24, 2011 at 11:11 am

This is SO fabulous! I’ll be featuring it tomorrow. :) xxoo

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44 Carmie of the Single Nester February 24, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Looks terrific. The frames and the design were both well-chosen.

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45 Randi February 25, 2011 at 2:13 am

I love this! I have a wall of photo’s just inside my front door and I’m not that happy with it, I’m going to try this on my wall I think I’ll be happier with it.
Thank you for the inspiration!

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46 Melissa February 25, 2011 at 10:49 am

Oh my gosh!!! I am CRAZY about this!!! I am trying to figure out just where I’m going to do this in my own house. And if I can’t find a spot, I’m totally going to convince someone else to let me do it in theirs! Thanks for sharing the details!!!

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47 Shannon February 25, 2011 at 11:31 am

I love it! I was going to do a more boring gallery wall in our living room, but I think I’m going to opt for a hybrid mirror/picture 3d gallery instead, possibly with a plate or two hung as well. Thanks for inspiring me!

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48 Ann February 25, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I love the way you did this, it looks great! The layering technique is clever and smart, and I’m gonna have to copy you. I love the great textural interest of the different frames and mirrors. Excellent project!

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49 Katie February 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Very cool!! Saw this done in the PB catalog, but such a great idea using the wood instead of buying the special hangers. Might have to steal your idea! :)

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50 Nancy Wyant-Barr February 25, 2011 at 5:08 pm

LOVE your idea!!!!!

Nancy

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51 Brook February 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

LOVE this!! I’m so going to try this idea. The wall looks fantastic!

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52 shannon February 26, 2011 at 4:21 am

Looks beautiful!

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53 tracie February 26, 2011 at 9:10 am

hi Diane! popping in to welcome you to the circle of bliss! apologies it took me so long to get over here.. circle is growing so quickly now!
really great tutorial!
blessings, -tracie

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54 Kate @ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating February 26, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Love this! I’m featuring you on my Flaunt it Friday Features later today. Please stop by and grab a “i was featured” button if you’d like. Thanks for linking up!

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55 Tausha February 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This looks fabulous! What a fun idea to use the mirrors. You are a genius because you used the blocks to add the dimension! Fabulous! I love your blog and all of your ideas! Thanks for posting and keeping up the great work. I love stopping by and just drooling!! have a fantastic weekend!!

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56 Marty@A Stroll thru Life February 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Love it. What a super idea. Your frames are all gorgeous. Great tutorial also. Hugs, Marty

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57 janelle February 26, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Coming over from fingerprints on the fridge linking party….great eclectic look, I love it! I also love the layered mirror look that you did with the dresser mirror.

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58 kathy valadez February 27, 2011 at 1:53 am

This may cause me to end my dislike of mirrors, this is truly gorgeous!!

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59 Funky Junk Interiors February 27, 2011 at 3:16 am

Diane, this is gorgeous! I adore the 3D effect, that is so cool. And your tutorial was brilliant. How can your client be anything but thrilled when you put this on her wall! LOVE it.

I’ve featured you on SNS #70′s sidebar this weekend. Thanks for linking up!

Donna
http://funkyjunkinteriors.blogspot.com/

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60 Kerrie February 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Love it. Great idea and great instructions. Thanks.

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61 Michelle @ Faith, Trust, and a Little Pixie Dust February 27, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Very cool & so smart! Thanks for sharing this great idea.

Warmly, Michelle

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62 Rachelle @ Fingerprints on the Fridge February 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Girlfriend, that’s freakin’ fantastic. Brilllllliant.

Loves.

xo

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63 Elle {SWITCHEROOm} February 27, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Really genius! I’ve been in love with frame gallery walls and this just takes it to a new level. I must try this somewhere in our house!

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64 Misty February 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm

I love it! They sell some brackets in Pottery Barn for $19 each that are for the same thing. Since that is out of my price range I have been bugging my husband to weld some for me but this will be MUCH easier! He may be as excited as I am. Thanks for posting!
Misty

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65 Courtney February 28, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Thanks so much for linking up to Time to Shine….featured you today: http://adiamondinthestuff.blogspot.com/2011/02/time-to-shine-features-7.html

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66 Anna February 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

This is such a great idea! I LOVE mirrors and this is such a cool way to display them. I’m adding this to my “tutorials to do” list!

Anna
http://www.askannamoseley.com

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67 Beverly February 28, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Thank you for those instructions.. It looks fantastic. I am a new follower.. your blog is great… Love to have you stop by mine.. could sure use your advice this week.. great to find people who can teach and have such a great eye.

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68 Rachel March 2, 2011 at 5:29 pm

AHHH! I LOVE THIS!! Ok, i just found your blog today but its officially going under my “view everyday” tab… love this!

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69 Wonderfully Domestic March 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

What a fantastic idea! I’ve got a big gallery wall planned and might just have to do something similar.

I just found your blog and you’ve got yourself a new follower :)

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70 Sarah @ Thrifty Decor Chick March 5, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Diane, this is SO awesome! The blocks of wood are brilliant!! I just linked to this from my Facebook page.

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71 Nat March 5, 2011 at 11:03 pm

This is brilliant! I love the impact of it and it’s so much more powerful with the mirrors!

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72 Jen@GarageSaleDiaries March 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

I LOVE this! I was just getting ready to plan a wall of photos and was wondering just what I was going to do. I have to try this!!!
Thank you! (I just found you from Thrifty Decor Chick’s FB link)
Great ideas! Now I am a new follower!!

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73 Jenna, SAS Interiors March 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I’m certainly loving this project…how creative! I am SOOOO glad you linked this up to Saturday Spotlight! My new favorite are photo montages, and this is perfect!
Check back on Saturday to see the featured projects and I can’t wait to see more of your link ups!

~Jenna, SAS Interiors
http://www.sasinteriors.net

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74 Jenn (GreenDoorGirl) March 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I love this – I had wanted to do a layered effect on a wall and I never could figure it out, so using the blocks is AWESOME!
Thanks so much for linking up with Saturday Spotlight!

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75 Aimee Steckowski March 11, 2011 at 8:45 pm

lovely…. lovely… oh my… i have ALWAYS wanted to do this and now i know how – adding to my favorite link of “things to try” in our new home! thank you!

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76 Jenn (GreenDoorGirl) March 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

FYI – we featured this on Saturday Spotlight – be sure to grab your button! :)

greendoordesigns.blogspot.com

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77 Jenna, SAS Interiors March 13, 2011 at 10:09 am

Hi Diana-
Thanks again so much for linking your awesome project up to Saturday Spotlight last week ~ you were our TOP feature pick! I got your message that you already grabbed the “I’ve been featured” button. Congrats on a great project!!

~Jenna, SAS Interiors
http://www.sasinteriors.net

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78 Tati March 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

Very creative! Love how each mirror reflects one small part of the room.

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79 Erin March 26, 2011 at 10:30 am

This is truly fabulous. One of the best projects I have seen. Truly love it!!!

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80 Diane March 28, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Hi Erin-

Thanks so much. I have my client, Neve to thank for it as she showed me a photo from Philadelphia Magazine and asked me to figure out how to do it so she could do it in her bedroom. Thanks for connecting with me.

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81 Andrea S. April 5, 2011 at 10:37 pm

So cool! I love this take on the gallery wall.

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82 shari April 6, 2011 at 1:00 am

CLEVER, CLEVER girl!! SOOOOOO fun! Love your mirrored look and the inspirational photo too! Just may have to imitate! Thanks!

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83 Glenda Childers April 6, 2011 at 6:22 am

Just popping over from The Inspired Room. It is great to see your gallery wall. Mine is #10.

Fondly,
Glenda

Gg – Notes on the Journey

ps. Your mirror wall is stunning. Love the 3D and thanks for the great tutorial.

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84 Faith April 6, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Ingenious! I’ve never seen this before. What a great (and easy) technique. Love it!

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85 KarenB April 8, 2011 at 12:59 am

NICE JOB! And you didn’t have to spend a ton for the spacers at Pottery Barn to do it. I love that you did it all with mirrors, too. It makes the reflections really interesting. I may have to copy.

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86 Diane April 8, 2011 at 8:26 am

Hi Karen

Thanks. I didn’t even know those spacers existed, but I have since found out — pretty pricey too. Please copy – that is why we share all of our ideas on blogs – to help and inspire each other to make the most of our homes.

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87 angela April 14, 2011 at 11:55 am

i found something like this at anthropologie for around too much money and wanted to make it myself. here you are making it beautiful for probably a lot less than too much money and now i’m super inspired.

i DO need a new headboard. . . .

love your site!

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88 Jess, Chic Technique May 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

wow this is fantastic! Good job!

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89 Rachel July 3, 2011 at 11:37 am

This is fantastic!

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90 Diane July 5, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Thanks Rachel – I did it on my wall and am currently doing it for a client using all silver frames.

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91 ideas and inspiration community September 14, 2011 at 10:28 am

Was this inspired by the movie Inception? Its very chic! Soo nice!

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92 Shelly January 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

Your mirror display is just gorgeous! Thank you so much for the detailed, well thought out, tutorial. Now I’ve just gotta find some free wall space… oh, and some mirrors :) [Found this post via Positively Splendid.]

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93 Rachael January 26, 2012 at 10:14 am

Wow i love it so simple but so effective!! I have been thinking of ways to display my photos for a long time! Thankyou this is fantastic!! You are a genius xxx

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94 Deb January 31, 2012 at 4:47 am

What a great idea. I tried to hang some pictures, in a similar fashion, at my son’s house. The result was not as neat or polished as yours. Now I know how to fix my mistakes. Thank you so much!

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95 Born2Shop January 31, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I love love love this. Its really come out excellent. Once again i admire the color combinations. They are so classy and rich.

I need to paint my white walls. Hey would u pls share the wall color u have?

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96 Diane January 31, 2012 at 7:23 pm

The color on the wall where the 3D gallery wall is hanging is a mix of paint. I only had a half a can of each color and wanted to use them up. I poured half a can of white paint into half a can of Ben Moore Shelburne Buff HC-28 and mixed well. If you ask for Shelburne Buff at 50% you will be close to the color. On the same color strip with Shelburne Buff is Dunmore Cream HC-29. It is almost exact to what the color ended up like.

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97 Lane May 31, 2012 at 11:38 am

You are far too clever! That looks so lovely!

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98 tkoblondee June 28, 2012 at 2:31 am

I know this is an older post but I still have to comment!! You are amazing!! I have so many bookmarked blogs that I need to “un-bookmark” and just come straight to yours! Where have you been all of my life? Darn I’m going to be up all night…I have things to do tomorrow!

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99 Patricia August 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Wowee. Glad I stumbled on this post. Awesome idea and brilliantly executed. I’ve got a hallway that needs some life- even one big mirror would be too plain. I’m on it! Thanks so much.

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100 Libby D. December 14, 2012 at 7:26 am

You are amazing! Your tutorial and pictures are down to the detail and make it actually do-able for us novice DIYers! Thanks!!

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101 betsy justis January 18, 2013 at 7:41 am

I love your real ideas!! Your tutorials our great – thanks for sharing and your inspirations.

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102 Diane Henkler January 18, 2013 at 9:40 am

Thank you so much Betsy XO I love creating and sharing ideas with everyone. It is what I think I was put on this earth to do. :)

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103 Cathy W February 4, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Wow….love this. You have inspired me and are a very good teacher.
Thank You!!

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104 Tina Gleisner December 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Love how you walked us through the steps with great photos & simple descriptions that anyone can follow. Also appreciate that I can share one photo with attribution (post almost done)

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105 Pam Fulford March 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

I love it..so so creative..Thats what I love about your post..you never know what your going to pull out of your hat. It usually doesn’t cost much if anything..Your the BOMB!!!Your always exploding with ideas..Thanks Diane for sharing that unique knowledge you have..

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