how to: curate a wall collage

New room who dis? I’ve been waiting for the day I’d have a finished rockin’ collage wall in my room and I’ve finally got it!! My obsession with the idea of having a fashion collage or ‘mood board’ in my room started years ago when I first saw one on Pinterest. I decided I had to have one because I think they make for the coolest art and they’re so inspiring for a creator! Over the last year my ominous idea of a collage wall has led me to collect my own treasures with the goal to create this completed beaut; something I knew would take me a looong time to accomplish. That is, until I discovered the gorgeous prints made by Tezza!

I found Tezza, @tezzamb, on Instagram around the time I began my fashion blog. I don’t remember if I was following her before or after I started but it was remotely close! She is an amazing photographer director/content creator/fashion blogger/influencer that’s been inspiring me from the get-go. Her photography style is setting out to do something different, something out of the ordinary, with the ordinary — avant-garde. She creates a feeling or a mood in her photos and she makes things cool because she says they are. She has admitted that she doesn’t look for inspo before going to a new location, instead lets the inspiration find her. She is so originally creative, I aspire to be on her level fr fr. So, for probably the 5th or 1,000th time, I don’t know I lost count, go follow her if you aren’t already!!

Back to the making of my rockin’ collage —

Tezza released what she coined, the ‘Tezza Collage Kit,’ last year. I remember wanting to order it for Christmas as soon as I saw it — it was everything I had in mind, and it was hers! 150 prints and they were all from the girl boss that inspires me on the daily. Obviously I wasn’t the only person who saw the value in her prints, I was too late to order before she sold out of her first round of kits… so, I kept collecting my own sentiments when I remembered and clipped magazines that I received — I would just have to make my own. Though her collage kit was what I wanted, $89 for 150 prints comes out to 59 cents per print, and I have to budget my money wisely as a college student. Long story short, Tezza released her kit probably two or three more times before I recently ordered it — bless my momma, she ended up buying me this kit AND something even more special for this new school year in my room, which I’ll get to later!

Only after I ordered the kit did I realize I have no idea how I was gonna hang all 150 prints on my apartment *temporary* walls. I had been collecting for so long I didn’t even think of the actual day I would have to hang it all!! I started brainstorming with my mom. I could use tape for the prints if I could paint over the marks it would leave, or if they were gonna be in the same spot for a couple years, but I can’t and they won’t be — I’m just a renter. Once I graduate, they gotta come with me to my next little space! I didn’t wanna individually pin each print to the wall either, that would not only make several holes in the wall but also in the prints themselves. That led me to start thinking about buying plain, un-framed cork boards to nail to the walls and then pin the prints to, but cork boards are surprisingly expensive! So I thought about cardboard in place of the cork, but I was always left with the issue of partially destroying the print with holes just to hang it. Even after I received the collage kit in the mail I had no idea how I was gonna hang the prints on the wall..

I was so excited when I got the kit in the mail it didn’t matter that I had no game plan. The prints were so fun to look through, they all tell a story in some way, and I even recognized some of the prints from her Instagram feed! I carefully went through each print and set apart my favorites. I took a photo of the kit on my Instagram story and uploaded it, saying how excited I was about it, and Tezza actually replied to me! Y’all!!! This was huge!! She has so many followers, she gets endless comments and dm’s and likes on the regular, I’m still shocked my message caught her attention to engage with! Here’s a screenshot of our short convo — I was totally fan-girling so hard but I didn’t wanna keep replying and become annoying lol.

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How I hung my Tezza Collage Kit —

About week after having the kit, my boyfriend, Konner, came over and suggested I just buy mounting putty to avoid any damage to the wall or the prints at a low cost. So I tore off a small piece of the mounting putty and placed it on all four corners of a print, then I stuck the print to the wall with a little pressure. I don’t know why the idea of mounting putty escaped me, but it worked so well! I’ve linked the exact mounting putty sticks I used for less than $1.50 per pack below!

Part of the beauty of Tezza’s prints is that you can cut up or draw on them if you wish. I decided to leave them as they are, magazine page size, to match my other prints I had collected over time. Out of her 150 prints, I chose to hang up my favorites along with my favorite from my own collection. I would use what was left over of both to fill space if needed, but I wanted to use the best in the middle first. Knowing what you want to put on the wall makes it easier to do when you get started, all you have left to do is find the spot to place them. However, I welcome the eager spirit who creates an amazing collage out of random selection!

To create my collage, I started with the center and worked my way out. I wanted to place my collage where you would automatically look if you entered my room — above my bed. I found that working from the middle out was the easiest way to create a cohesive collage in such a big amount of space. After comparing my prints, I felt the lips from a magazine I collected was the strongest print for the center of my collage and many of my other prints also had the same red and pink hues. I then positioned the prints with red and pink lip-colors next to prints with darker colors, such as blacks, grays, and blues, for some contrast. The end result still makes me so happy every time I walk into my room — I can’t help but stare at the piece of art I was able to make with some pretty special prints.

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The second part of my mom’s gift was unexpected, but makes me super happy — she got me a queen bed!! I was slightly more excited for this gift considering I live in an off-campus apartment that comes furnished (thinking about it now, I’m not sure why we rent here considering we’ve replaced almost all the furniture with our own), so the mattress I had before was a used/uncomfortable full with a couple of mattress toppers of mine piled on top. It wasn’t as bad as my current dramatic self explains, but needless to say, my new bed is much better! So much better in fact, the very first night I slept in my new bed I slept straight through my 9 a.m. class the next morning… sorry mom, I was just too comfy to get up… and no I didn’t miss anything — I am responsible.

I couldn’t be happier with my *new* room, it really feels like me now. My beloved collage  is complete and my new bed is tall, spacious, and comfy! Shouts to better sleep in an inspiring little space.

As always,

Ara

Tezza Collage Kit: Shop Tezza |Mounting putty: Target | Black rotary phone: Alley Cat Vintage Mercantile (sold out, similar from Pottery Barn) | Red hoodie: H&M | Black side-striped jeans: Hudson (sold out, similar from Revolve) | Ring: David Yurman | Earrings: Kendra Scott (sold out, similar from Kendra Scott)

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