Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Wall of Ribbas

Have I been away from the blog for a few days?  Yes.  Have I been wrestling with @#*%$!! Ikea Ribba frames? Yes.  Have I been ready to set fire to that Big Blue Box? Yes.  But after much hair pulling, cursing, painting and broken glass I'm ready to proclaim success! 

I previously had six of those aluminum Ribbas and I decided to make that twelve.  Against my better judgement, really, because hanging these frames in a perfect grid is &$@* hard, I tell you.

Because it's so hard and results in so many holes in the wall, I decided to go the Command Strip route.  $60 in Command strips, a gallon of paint and two broken frames later, I decided that conventional picture hangers would save me money in glass as well as in potential lawsuits/broken relationships of those unfortunate enough to be sitting under one of the frames when it came crashing down on their heads.
Don't be afraid of Command Strips, as there was possibly some user error involved.  Sometimes I'm a little impatient when following directions and I didn't wait an hour to let the adhesive set.  I did buy two different kinds (my hardware store had a limited selection) and the medium strips worked out fine while the longer, narrow strips didn't seem to stick as well to the wall.  But in the interest of avoiding fractured skulls/relationships, I did decide to reinforce the all of the top frames as well as the three middle frames closest to the table with real picture hangers.
If you haven't had the pleasure of hanging Ribbas, you won't know that it's so difficult because they hang by the included wire.  If you try to hang it instead by the lip of the frame, the aluminum will warp over time.  Not only would involve a feat of mathematic and engineering skills to get each wire strung the exact same way, but the brackets that the wires hook to actually slip along the backing instead of being stationary.  This is why I decided to use Command Strips instead.  So when I decided to use the wire hangers after all, I had to use some ingenuity. 
I had already done the measuring work when planning my grid and hanging the frames with the Velcro strips, so when I went back again, it wasn't a huge amount of work.  When I attached the wire to the frame, I adjusted the wire so that it sits right up against one of the little black tabs that keeps the backing in place.  This way, the wire wouldn't slip up and down.

To hang the frame correctly, I first made a small pencil mark on the wall where I wanted the frame to rest.  Then, I measured the distance between the top of the wire (pull it taut) and the top of the frame.

I then put the picture hanger on the wall accordingly.  While this method wasn't perfect and I did had to adjust a few of the picture hangers a smidge up or down, it didn't take all long as I had feared.  And there aren't as many holes in the wall as I feared!  Since the Command Strips were still in place, I used those again as well and they were helpful in keeping the picture in place so that the wire couldn't shift around on the hanger.
Oh, and I did mention paint...Well, when I went from six frames to twelve, I had to shift the entire arrangement and there were old nail holes to patch.  I didn't have a drop of paint left over from this room and didn't have a clue what the name was.  Really stupid of me, right?  The guy at SW was super nice and looked through my account searching for the name of the paint I had purchased two years ago, but alas, the paint we came up with was very close but not a perfect match.  I ended up having to repaint the entire room!  The moral of this story is, well, you can figure that out on your own.
While searching for magic Ribba hanging tips, I found these two links that might help if you're ever in a similar situation. 
Even after all of that, I'm still happy with the way things turned out. 
It really adds some drama to the room. What do you think?


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  2. Looks great! I think all the wrestling with the frames was worth it! I'll know who to call the next time I need some Ribbas hung! ;)

    ~Abby =)