How to Create a Unique Gallery Wall for an Adventure-Themed Nursery

Adventure, explorer and outdoor themes seem to be all the rage for baby boy nurseries right now.  I think this is great because these themes are way more versatile than overly juvenile nursery themes.  I think they’re so great, in fact, that my son’s nursery is a well-traveled/coastal/adventure themed hybrid.  (I blogged about my inspiration for Jack’s nursery here if you missed it.)  These themes have become so popular though that you run the risk of having a nursery that looks like every other adventure-themed nursery if you limit your decor sources to only baby stores.  The Land of Nod, Target, and Hobby Lobby all have really great offerings (like this painted fox head from the Land of Nod, these forest sheets from Target, and this teepee framed art from Hobby Lobby) but the key to a truly unique space is to mix in some vintage and one of a kind pieces too.

For Jack’s gallery wall I opted to use some old maps of Hawaii and Key West, art I found at a flea market (the ship and the hunting pieces), a turtle shell and some antlers that I painted and blogged about here and here, art I collected from local artists in Hawaii, a vintage brass lobster, an arrow from Hobby Lobby, a “J” from a flea market, and 2 pieces of art from Small Adventure on Etsy.  It would have been easier to buy everything from one place, but I love how eclectic and unique this gallery wall turned out.  To create a gallery wall for your own adventure themed nursery, start sourcing pieces as soon as you decide on your theme.  It takes a while to find unique pieces, so make sure you don’t rush yourself!  Try to add a few three dimensional pieces to make your gallery wall look even more distinct.  Comb flea markets, thrift stores, local art fairs, and Etsy until you find one of a kind pieces that you can group together that you know no one else will be able to completely replicate.

The fly fishing print is from Small Adventure.

The “Animals of North America” is from Small Adventure.

You can find my tutorial for this driftwood and felt ball mobile here.

Once you have all of the pieces you want to use lay everything on the ground so that you can work on the placement of the pieces.  It took me a while to get everything just right.  Then I started hanging pieces in the top left corner and worked my way downwards and over. 

Once you’re finished have someone take a photo of you in the nursery while you’re still pregnant.  I felt super huge and bloated when this photo was taken, but now I look back on it and remember how miraculous it was to grow this little life inside me.  We are moving in a few weeks and I’m so glad I had this photo taken before we welcomed our sweet baby boy into the world.

Additional Sources: Crib, Star Sheets, Striped Blanket.

Note:  All of these photos were taken by Sarah Bradshaw for the article I wrote for USAA about designing a baby room on a budget.

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Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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