How to Create a Photo Wall

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My family has always been big on taking photos, we're the family with a hundred photos of the same stretch of road taken from the car window. There is something truly calming about rooting around in a box of unorganized photos, flipping through an album or clicking through your tagged Facebook photos. I've always lived in a home where framed photos are proudly displayed throughout the house, lined the stairwells and have been artfully organized over chesterfields, so framed photos were a must when I moved into my own place.

I'm a self-confessed photo snoop and take great pleasure in scanning the walls of friends spaces to see how they've chosen to display the photographic memory. Everyone merchandizes their walls differently, choosing different configurations to suit their personal decorating style but still we, as people, feel a need to hang those photos.

I don't want to step on anyones decorating toes but there are a few rules of thumb when choosing, hanging and configuring the frames to be aware; hanged frames done wrong are just horrible and really can cheapen a room.

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Choosing Which Photos to Display

You've decided to hang some photos in your space, great! The most important step in this process is deciding what photos to display and this is often the step many people overlook. Just because that photo, of your five best friends mooning you from the passing motorboat, brings a tear to your eye does not mean you need to hang that above your living room couch. Nor do we need to frame the priceless snapshot of Sylvia paying homage to the porcelain-god after Becky's bachelorette. The best advice I can give you is choose the photos in accordance to the atmosphere of the space you're decorating.

It wouldn't make sense for you to move your refrigerator into the living room, so don't hang a photo of your boyfriend and you getting hot and heavy in your kitchen. Your parents probably rarely spend time sitting in your bedroom, display these personal photos in there. Try for an even split of snapshots of your family and those of nights out with your friends.

And stay away from the obligatory ridged family photo, those are good for Christmas cards to Grandma but if you were uncomfortable taking it then it's probably not the best to display it; this is a good rule of thumb for all of them - go for the natural opposed to the posed.

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Does the Size of the Frame Matter

Nothing is more interesting than a variety of sizes. You can order almost any size online when uploading the photos you want developed, so take full advantage. Although there are many decorating styles which call for a uniform size, no one said you couldn't step outside the box and do your own thing. Varying sizes are often more appealing to the eye and draw attention away from imperfections on the wall.

When deciding which wall to hang photos on, it's always best to use measure out construction paper to decide how the different sizes will look together; this also helps to lessen space issues later on.

Choosing different sizes depends on the amount of space you have to fill; if you want the photo arrangement to be the focal point of the room; and the size the furniture in the room, in no way, should the arrangement dwarf the furniture. It would throw off the room, believe me, I've seen this done - it felt like I was sitting in the seven dwarfs cottage.

Arranging the Photos on the Wall

I've already mentioned it before, but let us review; measured out paper is your best friend. By this time you've already chosen the sizes of the photos, picked out your frames and now are trying to figure out how you can create a cool arrangement. It's hard, I know.

Hanging measured construction paper on the wall (with tape) is so much easier, and cost-effective, than having to patch the many tiny holes from those pesky finishing nails. It's always best to bounce ideas off a friend when deciding the configuration of the wall - although the space is your own and you have the final say, it doesn't hurt to hear another opinion.

When you've finally come up with the perfect configuration - remember the level; lopsided frames look sloppy and careless - hang those framed photos with confidence. There are an innumerable amount of configurations to choose from and your space is a blank canvas to test each one out.

I promise you, when done right, a wall of framed photos can be classy and chic - and it's inexpensive to boot.

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Comments 8 comments

Miss Married profile image

Miss Married 5 years ago

Were we seperated at birth? Great hub. mY family has even hung photos in the bathroom.


ournote2self profile image

ournote2self 5 years ago

GREAT tips. I was planning to do this very thing in my livingroom so I read this at the perfect time! :)


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

So nice to know I’m not the only one who decoupage the walls of my house with framed photos of beloveds. Yours look beautiful. Thanks for the tips.


janikon profile image

janikon 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario Author

@ martiecoetser I, absolutely, love hanging photos in my spaces - I think they finish a room beautifully

@ miss married my family does the same thing, there are many interesting ways of hanging photos in small spaces.

@ournote2self you should post a pic of the finished product, if it's anything like your daughters room, i'm sure it will be beautiful


Miss Married profile image

Miss Married 5 years ago

my thought on that is: a house without photos or paintings is a life with no stories to tell.


Katrina 3 years ago

Is it just me, or is it REALLY hard to come up with an arrangement of random picture frames that looks good?? I tried grouping by colour, grouping by size, grouping by theme....nothing looked good. Just a hodge podge!


janikon profile image

janikon 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario Author

@Katrina You're right, it is really hard to configure the frames in an aesthetically pleasing way but the trick is to pair two or three large frames with a collection of smaller frames of similar sizes. The most common mistake many people make is to have several different sized frames without pairing them. It's the difference between tacky and classy. Thanks for the read.


Amber 14 months ago

I Loovvee this idea! I've just moved n I know how n Wht I want to do in my head but just cldnt make it come to life. Lol. This was very helpful n will be doing asap! Thanx for this!!! Love it....

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