Thursday, October 27, 2011

Picture wall / photo display tutorial

Ok everyone, you know how I've been planning to do a photo collage on the wall in my entryway? Well today I did it!

It's not *quite* finished yet, because I still have tons and tons of pictures I'd like to display  I plan to add a couple more small 4x6 frames possibly to the sides. I'll  have to see how I feel  about it in a week  or two. Maybe I"ll just have to make another photo collage wall somewhere else too :-)

Since these photo walls are apparently all the rage in home decor right now (like how many have you seen on Pinterest people?!) I thought I'd  share a little tutorial how-to of how I completed *this* masterpiece. (And by the way, Lee helped too---he went around and straightened everything up for me so they hung straight :-)

Ok, so first, when planning your photo wall you pretty much have a couple choices. One, you can do the streamlined look---matching frames that are all identical in various sizes (or even buy a "kit" that comes with all the matching frames ready to hang)....Two, you can have a few different frames but carefully plan out the arrangement so that they are all hung *exactly* even--one inch from eachother on all sides for example. Now both options one and two are perfectly fine....but for me own personal taste having the identical frames is a little "eh"--boring :-) And two, hanging them all in a very measured and exact arrangement looks great but sounds like waaaaaay too much work to me for a stinkin' wall of pictures LOL. So, option three people is the way I went--it's more specifically called "gather all  the random frames you already have in your house, lay them out to get the "gist" of how you want them to hang, start nailing them up in a random design so that it doesn't matter if they are spaced evenly or not, and then stand back to admire your work!

Option three is awesome in my opinion hehe. I love the way it turned out and I especially like the  mismatched frames because it helps tie together all  the different wood and metal tones we have throughout our house. I did decide to keep this display for "professional" photos only just so that visually  the photo editing, etc. all kind of went together. So we have the girls' pictures, some from our wedding and engagement sessions, etc. I need to put up some professional pics of our nieces and nephews too yet. This arrangement will constantly have the pictures  swapped out I'm sure as new ones come in!

Ok, so step one is to lay out all of your frames on the floor. I played around with a few arrangements....just trying to make sure I  had horizontal vs. vertical evenly spread throughout the arrangement and I didn't want matching frames right  next to eachother, etc. 

^^The end result differed from this because we determined that a couple of the frames didn't hang nicely on the wall, and the top middle picture frame broke when Lee  dropped it :-P

Then I took chalk and sketched out the design on the wall. I did this *very* loosely, meaning I just got the overall gist of it on the wall. I measured the overall height and width of the entire display and marked that on the wall so that it would end up centered on the wall etc....but the individual pictures within the display I just hung  up by "eyeballing" it. I figured as long as each individual picture hung straight it didn't really matter if two of them were 1 inch apart and another two were 3 inches apart, etc. It's just a random design!

Once I chalked out the general idea I started hanging pictures up. I started with the larger frames and then it was easier to fill in the empty spots with the smaller frames and still keep the overall display looking somewhat planned out. I let Lee hang the wooden "Family' sign because it was heavy!! (By the way, I scored this awesome sign today for 50% off at Hobby Lobby...only paid $14 :-) I also bought the little plaque for $5 today---all the other frames we already had. I just wanted a couple non-frame items to spice up the collage a little bit.

^^At this point I didn't worry about the pictures hanging straight---I was just getting them on the wall. Focus on one thing at a time or else it gets overwhelming when working with so many frames!

And the end result---LOVE :-)

It's eclectic and fun and doesn't look like you bought a boxed set at the store--using what you have already is always a plus, right?! The top picture of Raya at age 9 months will be replaced by one of Brielle's  new photos when I get it--right now the display is "favoring" Raya, but that's just what I had on hand that worked in the frames. ....we all know Brielle is really my favorite ;-)  Just kidding!

Here is the little plaque I got--it's the quote that we had on our wedding invitations so I thought that was a fun personal touch.

And some of the pictures--I love seeing my cute girlies! This photo wall can be seen from the kitchen, dining room, and living room, so it's the perfect place to display photos that I want to show off hehe

One of our engagement pictures

My long time readers will recognize this newborn photo of Rayana--one of my all time favorites still!

Excuse the fingerprints on the frame--need to clean them still :-P
And Brielle just had her 9 month session this morning (which went great by the way! I have no idea how the pictures will turn out but in real life she looked adorable! We went downtown on main street for a few and we had people stopping on the street to ooh and ahh over her. And she was happy and smiley quite a bit too. I will let you all know when I get the pic back---probably about 2 weeks.)  ...anyways, Brielle had her 9 month session today and this is one of Raya, also at 9 months old. I really do see a ton of resemblance! How'd I get the 2 cutest little  girls on earth? :-)

So anyways, there are some tips if you're planning your own photo wall--hope it was helpful! Now to start dreaming up my next project --Pinterest here I come!


  1. The wall looks so nice! I love the "Family" sign!

  2. So cute! I love that all the frames are different. I cant wait to have a home to do something like this in :D

  3. I love, love, love this!!!!
    it looks great, if I would have tried that I would have ended up with a mess, don't know where you got your creativity!!!! Love,
    Grama F

  4. It turned out great! Can't wait to do one in our new house


  5. I love it! I've been wanting to do something like this in our living room, but haven't had the guts to do it because I thought it wouldn't look good. I might just need to do some rearranging :)

    You do have two adorable little girls. After seeing some of Raya's baby pictures, I can definitely see a resemblance! I'm not doing 9 month pictures with Kyla. I'm bad. I'm just going to go all out for the 1 year, haha.

  6. You did a great job! I love that first pic of Raya all wrapped up... she looks so beautiful! Good job, mama!


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