{DIY with style} How to Cover a Wall in Vinyl Records - Damage Free!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Feature walls can make a huge statement in any space, but they can also be a big commitment. However, with a little forethought and planning, it's possible to create a feature wall that can be easily removed - damage free - when you're ready for a design update! Yes, even 135 records can be mounted on the ceiling or wall without a single nail, screw, or dab of glue! 

How to hang a record feature wall

I was provided product and/or compensation in exchange for this content, but as always, all opinions are my own!

While a lot of kids these days may not even know what a record is our kids are probably think they are the latest and greatest technology because most of the music we listen to in our house is in vinyl form. Between the 1955 Wurlitzer jukebox in our living room {which is the site of our daily family dance parties} and the 1980's Fisher Price record player in Beckett's "big boy" room {which was mine as a kid}, in our house - records rule. 

As soon as we began brainstorming plans for the playroom under our basement stairs, I knew that the ceiling {which slopes all the way down to the floor} had major potential and I wanted it to be the main focal point of the room. Once we decided on a music theme for the space, I knew what we had to do... cover the ceiling in records, of course!

But how? I found a few examples on Pinterest, but the tutorials recommended affixing the records with screws or liquid nails, and that just wasn't going to work for us! As much as I love the look of the records on the ceiling, I didn't want to make them a permanent fixture in the room! While we hope the under stair playroom with grow with our boys for many years, I also know that a day will come when we'll want to update the space, and when we do eventually remove the records, I don't want the ceiling to look like Swiss cheese, nor do I want to be pulling down big chunks of wallboard with the records!

Then it dawned on me that the answer was as simple as the product that I already use to hang most of the picture frames and canvas art in our home - Command™ Picture Hanging Strips. I've been using these Picture Hanging Strips for years, so I already knew that they would hold strong, but would but would allow me to quickly and easily remove the records in the future, without causing any damage to the ceiling or the vinyl records. I also knew that the Picture Hanging Strips would make the installation a breeze, by allowing me the flexibility to re-position as we lined the records up in nice straight rows on the ceiling.

Command™ sells a wide variety of damage free products, but the Picture Hanging Strips have quickly become my favorite! Unlike traditional Command™ Strips that are adhesive on both sides {which are perfect for mounting Command™ Hooks like the ones I use to hang the kids' lunch bags in the pantry}, the Picture Hanging Strips work in sets. One strips mounts to the wall, the other to your picture {or in this case - a record}, and then the two strips snap together to create a super strong hold. 

I'll show you exactly how we used these Picture Hanging Strips to hang the records on the ceiling {and how we got the records lined up so perfectly} - but let's start at the beginning...


Getting our hands enough records to cover the entire ceiling of the playroom proved to be more challenging than we first anticipated, so let me save you some time. Skip the thrift stores, and start with a call to your local used music dealer! 

Scott and I spent an entire afternoon driving from thrift store to thrift store with little luck - a few here and few there. At $.50 to $.70 each, the price was right - but most had black labels {I was picturing a vibrant rainbow on the ceiling}, and even those with colored labels were so badly damaged that most weren't going to look great on the ceiling anyway. Giving up on the thrift store route, we headed to a used music store where we found a large collection of 45 in the basement.

Record Store Shopping

I had a great time searching through this vinyl, and I found some great new additions to our jukebox collection, but at an average price of $2 each, we just could afford to stock up on the 100+ records we need for the ceiling.
We talked to an employee at the music store about our dilemma, and he offered up the perfect solution. He told us to head to their downtown location where they have large stacks of little-known records that have come in with no sleeves. These sleeveless records are hard for them to sell because most are pretty scratched up - but since we are using them for decoration only, it makes no difference to us as long as the labels look good. 

Record Store Shopping

The store owner agreed that, since we were going to buy such a large quantity, we could have them for a mere $.25 each! BINGO! So we dug through the piles and filled up a box of sleeveless vinyl with bright, colorful.
Record Store Scores


Even before shopping for the records, we had measured the ceiling and determine that we could fit 27 rows of 45 RPM records on the ceiling, with five records in each row {and they would fit with only a fraction of an inch to space - it's like the ceiling was made to be covered in records}. But after purchasing 135 records with brightly colored labels, I realized that we couldn't just start putting them on the ceiling without more of a plan!

Even though we really made an effort to choose records with a wide variety of colors and styles of labels, we still ended up with a lot more of some colors than others, so if we wanted to get a good distribution of colors on the ceiling, we would have to decide on the layout in advance. 

Since I wanted to make sure we got a good distribution of colors on the ceiling, we started by sorting the records into piles by color. My husband made fun of me for how much I enjoyed this part of the process… But ever since I was a little kid I've loved putting things in rainbow order.

Sorting records

By sorting the records this way, we realized that red, orange and yellow piles had more than 20 records each. That immediately told us that we would need a red, and orange and a yellow in nearly every single one of our 27 rows. 

Next, we began laying out rows on the floor. We started with the center row, and then Scott and I worked outward in opposite directions. We were careful to make sure that no two abutting rows had the same color layout - swapping records and rearranging as necessary until we had a good color distribution across every row.

Laying out records for feature wall


With the layout decided on, we were eager to start putting the records on the ceiling, but we wanted to make sure we had a good plan in place to ensure we could get all 27 rows up nice and straight. So rather than using the Command™ Picture Hanging Strips right away, we started by taping the first few records to the ceiling using rolled up pieces of painter's tape.

Testing Record Placement with tape

We started on the top of the ceiling/wall, and measured and marked the center with a light pencil line. We then lined the center of the very first record up with that pencil mark. Once the first record was stuck to the ceiling with tape, we used the measuring tape to double check that it was, in fact, centered {measure twice is my motto}. Then we taped two more records to the ceiling - to the right and left of center the center record - with each record just touching the one next to it. 

Once we had one entire row up on the ceiling, we proceeded to row 2 by simply lining up the center record of row 2 with the center record of row 1. Then we again worked our way out - adding records to the right and left.

Attaching records to ceiling

Once we had three rows on the ceiling, we were able to see that our method was working and that by measuring the first row, we could eyeball each subsequent row by simply lining the records up with the row above it. 

Attaching records to ceiling

The painters tape worked well as a quick way to check the placement of the records, but we could tell that it wouldn't hold the records on the ceiling for long, so we removed all 15 records from the ceiling before they started falling down on their own. Then we moved on the the final step.


After testing our methodology for placing the records, we were ready to start affixing them to the ceiling using the Command™ Picture Hanging Strips. We used two sets of Picture Hanging Strips per record - not because two sets were needed to hold the records {each set of Medium Picture Hanging Strips can hold three pounds}, but simply because the hole in the center of the records dictated that we couldn't just place one strip set in the very middle.

We snapped two sets of picture hanging strips together, then removed the adhesive backing from one side of each set and pressed them to the vinyl records - placing one set to the left of the label and one to the right. 

Attaching records to ceiling with Command Picture Hanging Strips

We then removed the adhesive backing from the other side of each set and placed the first record on the top center of the ceiling-wall, using the same pencil mark that we used in the step above. We pressed the record to the ceiling, putting pressure at the location of the two Picture Hanging Strips for about 10 seconds. We continued the same way, adding one record at a time, always starting in the center of each row, and working our way out.

Attaching records to ceiling

Because the records weigh so little, we were able to simply stick them to the ceiling with the Picture Hanging Strips, putting pressure for 10 seconds, and then move on. However, when using Picture Hanging Strips to hang photo frames or anything with more weight, be sure to closely follow Command's installation instructions, which call for pressing each set of strips firmly for 30 seconds, then removing the frame from the wall, pressing down on the strips again for another 30 seconds, and then waiting one hour before rehanging the frame by clicking the strips back together. Also be sure to follow Command's guidelines regarding the placement of the strips and the weight each strip can support.

Creating record feature wall

Since we had so many records to affix to the ceiling, Scott and I worked together in an assembly line fashion to speed up the process. We would lay out all five records for a row on a table, affix the Picture Hanging Strips to the back of all five, remove the adhesive backing from all the strips, and then I would get up on the ladder and Scott would bring the records to me one by one {starting with the center} so that I didn't have to climb up and down or keep track of the order.

Attaching records to wall with Command Picture Hanging Strips

When we got to the lower rows, I no longer needed the ladder - instead I wound up lying on the floor. 

Attaching records to ceiling wall

In this position, it was actually much harder to eyeball the placement of the records. Fortunately, the Picture Hanging Strips are forgiving in that way! On several of the lower rows, I realized that I didn't have the middle record well centered, so as I worked my way out the records got too close to one wall, and left a gap by the other wall. Fixing this problem was as easy as grabbing the bottom edge of a record with both bands and gently peeling it off of the wall, separating the two halves of the Picture Hanging Strips. {Always avoid pulling straight down - or you may end up pulling both sides of the strip of the wall}. Then I could adjust the records slightly to the right or left, and could click it back in to the strips on the wall.

Affixing records to ceiling wall
Since the lowest rows of records are within the kids' reach, we know we run the risk that a couple might get broken over time. Thanks to the Picture Hanging Strips, if this happens we can quickly and easily remove the broken record, affix strips to a new record, and snap it back in place using the strips already on the ceiling.

Record feature wall in playroom

And someday, when the time comes to update this space for the boys or to find a whole new use for the space, we can simply peel the records off the ceiling, and then use the tabs on the Picture Hanging Strips to cleanly remove the strips from both the records and the ceiling. When removing the strips, be sure to press on the top of the strip and pull the tab straight down {never toward yourself}. Continue stretching the tab down until the strip releases from the wall {or record} DAMAGE FREE!

Record feature wall

If you'd like to learn more about this fun and colorful playroom, you'll find all the details and lots of photos in the Under Stair Playroom reveal post. And for all a list of the specific products used to create the playroom, check out the complete playroom source list.

Record feature wall in under stair playroom

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{five minute friday} A Glam Gold File Box & Desktop Organization

Friday, May 22, 2015

Happy Friday, friends! I'm popping in with today's quick five minute project, brought to you today by the fabulous Ursula at Home Made by Carmona!

If I had to use one word to describe Ursuala it would be stylish - so it's no surprise that she's even found a way to make her desktop files look good without spending a lot of time or a lot of money!

Gold Desktop File Box

{link party} The Creative Circle - Week 16

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Welcome to The Creative Circle link party - a place to share and find inspiration for your home! Kathy and I are so glad that you join us to party each week! We love looking at all of your projects each week, and it's such a pleasure to feature a few of our favorites! You'll find the details of my feature picks below, and be sure to also hop over to Kathy's blog to see which projects she featured this week!

The Creative Circle Link Party Features

{organizing with style} 5 Steps to an Organized & Pretty Reach-In Pantry

Do you drool over those gorgeous walk-in pantry photos in magazines and on Pinterest? Me too! The only problem is that I don't have a walk-in pantry to make gorgeous! But after living in a condo for years with no pantry at all, even a smallish reach-in pantry seemed like such a luxury when we moved in to our current home.

At first we had so much extra space that I didn’t really need a great organization plan to keep things relatively tidy. But over the years, a lot changed. We now have two kids and we eat at home way more than we used to. Over time, the pantry filled up and, without an organization system, it quickly went from spacious to overflowing {and embarrassing}. When hosting dinner parties and book club, I always made a huge effort to make sure no one saw the hot mess behind the door!

Pantry Organization

{shop the room} Under Stair Playroom Source List

Monday, May 18, 2015

To say there is a lot going on in our rock & roll under stair playroom would be an under statement, and this post is all about sharing the sources of the products that we used to give this long, thin play space so many widely varied functions. If you are just looking for all the pretty pictures of this space, I suggest you start with the room reveal post.

Under Stair Playroom Source List

I received free product from Command Brand and from Ikea Centennial to help bring this room to life. In the interest of full disclosure, all products received free will be indicated below with an asterisk (*). As always, however, all opinions are completely my own, and I would never endorse a product that I didn't believe in! 


Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

RECORDS - The ceiling is covered in 135 vintage vinyl 45 RPM records. A few of these records came from various thrift stores around town, but the vast majority were purchased for a mere $.25/each at Angelo's CDs near downtown Denver. During Week 2 of the One Room Challenge, I talked all about our experience shopping for enough records to cover the entire ceiling.

COMMAND PICTURE HANGING STRIPS* Although we love the look of the records on the ceiling, we wanted to find a damage free way to affix them so that they would be easy to remove in the future. We also wanted it to be easy to remove and replace individual records if the kids should break one. After considering all our options, we decided the best solution was to attach the records to the ceiling using Command™ Medium Picture Hanging Strips*. We've used these Picture Hanging Strips for many projects in the past, so we knew they would hold strong, but would also remove cleanly and easily in the future. I'll be sharing a full tutorial on the installation of these records in a the next couple of weeks.


Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

Because the room is so narrow, we wanted to give this wall a lot of function without taking up much depth. The solution we came up with was to create and art and music gallery wall that also incorporates small instrument/toy storage, as well as book storage. All of the frames and storage solutions on this wall came from Ikea*.

FRAMES* - All of the frames on the gallery wall are part of the Ikea Ribba series. Pictures frames can get expensive, but Ikea has a large collection of inexpensive picture frames (with mats) to suite any style! My Ribba series is my favorite because of the simple modern lines and color options.
  • Large poster frames - Ribba, Aluminum Color, 20½" x  28¼" outer size, $19.99
    • Our posters were non-standard sizes, so I removed the mats, wrapped the frame backer board in black wrapping paper, and placed the posters on top of the wrapping paper.
    • I particularly like that these large frames have a thin, clear plastic instead of glass, making them ideal for use in a kids space - no fear of glass breaking!
  • Frame around guitar - Ribba, Black, 19 ¾" x 27 ½" outer size, $9.99
    • This frame comes with a mat for three photos. I removed the glass, mat and the backer board, and used red Scotch duct tape to cover the unfinished inner edge of the frame
  • Frames used for kids art display - Ribba, Black, 12 ½" x 16½" outer, $6.99 
    • These frames came with mats for 8x10 photos, I removed the mats and glass and collaged the backer board with brightly sheet music to create fun displays for our kids art work. I'll be sharing the tutorial for these art displays soon.
  • Square Frames (with black and white photos) - Ribba, 9"x9", $9.99
  • We hung all the frames using Command™ Medium Picture Hanging Strips*. By using this product, we were able to secure both the top and bottoms of the frames to the wall, which was important since many of the frames are within reach of the kids, and could easily be bumped as kids run in and out of the narrow space. The Picture Hanging Strips prevent the frames from swinging or moving when touched! 
Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list



Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list


Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

We covered this entire wall in sheet metal, which we had fabricated to fit at a local Denver company - Calebs Sheet Metal Inc. They created four interlocking sheet metal panels to fit the exact measurements of our wall, and then we installed it ourselves. A complete installation tutorial will be coming soon.

The main function of this wall is for the ping pong ball wall coaster that we created using ABS pipes, plumbing elbows and connectors, and magnets (all from Home Depot). We decorate the pipes with Scotch duct tape, and purchased the ping pong balls from the Dollar Tree. A full tutorial for the ping pong ball wall coaster will be coming soon!

In addition to being used for the wall coaster, the sheet metal wall also allows the boys to play with their magnetic letters and numbers, and can also be used as a dry erase board.

Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

This under stair space originally had just a bare light bulb fixture on the wall. We installed a new light fixture on the wall, then added additional lighting in the form of rope light around the room, and lighted rugs on the floor.
  • LED White Rope Light - We used boxes of 27' length Commercial Electric LED White Rope Lighting from Home Depot ($49.97/box). 
    • We chose LED rope light for several reasons, the primary of which is because it does not get hot, making it safe for use in a space where the kids can reach it, and reducing fire hazard.
    • We installed the rope lighting using Command Outdoor Rope Lighting Clips.
  • Vantad Rugs with LED Lights - We used two of these rugs, butted end to end; $49,99/each from Ikea
    • We leave the rugs plugged in all the time, and the kids use the control buttons (which are affixed to the base board using Command™ Medium Picture Hanging Strips*) to turn the lights on and off, and to set the lights to solid or flashing.
  • Mottled Silver Arm Hardwired Wall Sconce - We were told by our local Lowe's that this light fixture has been discontinued, so we had to purchase the floor model. However, this fixture still appears on the Lowe's website, and it looks like it is still available for online purchase, and the price can't be beat: $29.99.
Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list

The sheet music collage on the upper portion of the walls was an easy DIY project, and I'll share the tutorial for this collage technique soon. I purchased the printable sheet music online, and created the lyrics posters myself in Photoshop.

The marquee letters are from the Heidi Swapp Marquee Love Letter Kits from Michaels. I purchased each letter individually, and then decorated them to coordinate with the space. I'll be sharing the quick and easy tutorial for these DIY marquee letters soon.  The marquee letters sit on a 3 inch deep shelf that we installed above the door.

Finally, the Dutch door was a DIY project undertaken by my husband and father-in-law. Scott will be writing up the tutorial on converting a door to a dutch door, and I'll be sharing that with you in the coming weeks.

Rock & Roll themed under stair playroom - complete source list


I think I managed to touch on just about everything in our under stair playroom, but if I missed anything, or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me.

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{five minute friday} Nautical Striped Jars

Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy Friday, friends! It's been rainy and dreary here for weeks now, but nonetheless I have summer on the brain. Today I wanted to share a simple, trash to treasure project, created by Aimee at The Crazy Craft Lady, that is perfect for summer decorating. 

Nautical Striped Jars

{link party} The Creative Circle - Week 15

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Welcome to The Creative Circle link party - a place to share and find inspiration for your home! Kathy and I are so glad that you join us each week, and it's such a pleasure to feature a few of our favorite projects each week. You'll find the details of feature picks below, and be sure to also hop over to Kathy's blog to see which projects she featured this week!

Featured at The Creative Circle Link Party

{decorating with style} Come On Feel the Noise!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I am overwhelmed by all of your kind comments about the rock & roll playroom we created for our boys under the basement stairs! It means so much to me when you take the time to comment, and you really made my week! Thank you! Thank you!

I also received quite a few questions about how the boys reacted when we showed them the space for the first time, so I wanted to answer in the form of some adorable photos and videos! If my cute kids aren't your jam, just skip this post - no hard feelings! 

If you just want to see the playroom details without the kiddos, check out the full room reveal {with lots of photos} and the complete source list of the products used in the room. In the coming weeks I'll be sharing a number of tutorials for the different projects in the space.

Boys Making Noise in the Rock & Roll Under Stair Playroom

{decorating with style} Client Master Bedroom: The Reveal

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A few weeks ago I told you about a call I received from a college friend asking for help giving her master bedroom a new, more sophisticated look, and today I'm ecstatic to show you how the room came together! 

In my two prior posts about this space, I shared a lot of information about the space and the design plans, so I won't rehash all of that here {since I know you really just want to see the pretty pictures}, but you can find those details at these links:

So without further ado, I give you the before and after...

Client Master Bedroom Makeover

I'll just remind you of a few quick details to give you context. The major goal for the room was to give it a more pulled together sophisticated look, while reusing as much of the client's existing furniture and art as possible. The layout of the room already made sense, so there was no need for that to change. The client wanted the room to be bright and neutral, and asked that I introduce gray into the color scheme while still balancing the yellowish tone of the wood mantle and baseboards.

Client Master Bedroom Reveal

I think it's a pretty drastic transformation considering that the layout of the room is identical, and the art above both the bed and dresser is the same. Isn't it amazing what a new rug, drapes, bedding and pillows can do?! 

Want to take a closer look around? You're in luck! I have a lot more photos for you!

Let's start at the entrance to the room and work our way around. The master bedroom has double doors at the entry, with an arched art nook. We painted the inset of the arch a darker shade of gray and hung a white framed mirror.

Turning to the right, you enter the bedroom...

I want to point out the rug, since that was one of the starting point for the design. The rug pulls together all of the colors of the room - starting with the gray the client requested, and tying in the black furniture, the golden tone of the wood, and the red accents.

The pattern of the rug pushed the client's comfort zone a bit, but once they saw how it tied the room together, they grew to really love it!

The client previously had a deep, brown leather base at the end of the bed, which was solid all the way to the floor. The new bench is a better match to the furniture, and the open base gives it a much less bulky feel. It's a better fit for both the style and the space.

The client loves white bedding, so we selected a pure white duvet with a charcoal grey detail for a classic, sophisticated look. 

For the new headboard, we simply shopped the client's house and relocated this button-tufted upholstered headboard from the guest room.

We chose a collection of grey and white pillows with touches of red and gold to pull in just a bit of color and texture.

The client's original nightstands were much too tall and narrow, and the lamps much too large. We selected new nightstands with a better scale and replaced the lamps with classic sconces.

Styling nightstands with sconces can be a challenge, because there is a large space to fill between the nightstand and the light. We addressed this issue by hanging a black and white framed photo below each sconce, then styled the nightstands with the client's photos and books.

The client was original interested in painting the fireplace mantle because they don't love the yellow time of the wood, but since it matches all of the other wood in the house, we quickly decided it would be a better choice to keep the wood and find a way to incorporate its yellow tone into the room. 

I kept the fireplace styling simple with an abstract painting, a tall carved giraffe, and some red flowers for a pop of color.

This painting above the fireplace is the only new piece of art in the room, and it helps to add the touch of modern the client was looking for, while also tying together the blacks and grays of the room with the yellow of the wood.

The large painting of aspens above the dresser was in the original room, but it feels like much more of a focal point in the redesigned space! And the yellow and orange leaves now coordinate with the other golden tones in the space.

On the other side of the room, a chest of drawers remains in its original location, with the client's wedding photos above. 

The wedding photos were previously framed in floating frames with no mats and were hung haphazardly. We transferred the photos to classic black frames with pure white mats, and rehung them in a simple grid to give them a more intentional and sophisticated look. The three wood candle holders on the chest coordinate with the wood mantle on the other side of the room. 

Of course, the final element of the room that I would be remiss not to mention is the drapes. The charcoal colored drapes have a white dotted pattern that is both classic and a bit modern. The drapes are hung much higher than before, which makes the windows feel even larger and  highlights the natural light in the space.

 I am so happy with how this space came together, and more importantly, so were the clients! 

Here's one more look at the evolution of the room...

Client Master Bedroom Transformation

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