11.8.14 photo wall“If these walls could talk…” what stories are your walls telling?

For the longest time I have wanted to fill my walls with images of the people and places I love. Imagine walking through the rooms of your house, and the walls filled with life’s special moments.

If you are like me, you have a lot of pictures, where do you begin? And how much will you have to spend on frames? Unclear on how to get started, my pictures stayed tucked away and the walls bare.

But then inspiration hit… my niece Kayla headed to college, vacating my guest room. Knowing she would be back for Christmas, I would fill this room with pictures special to her. I had a starting place.

Here is how it unfolded:

  • Treasure hunted for frames at local thrift stores. I looked the frames over good, ensuring no scratches to the glass, a removable back, real glass. Here I am at the Goodwill; lots to dig through.

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  • Looked around my house for frames to repurpose. Found old gold record plaques from my years in the music business, collecting dust in the attic. Great black thin frames for larger prints.
  • Once I had a good collection of frames, I grouped them by style. I found a lot of gold and silver frames; perfect for old family photos (that project will take a bit longer).

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  • Certain photos are outstanding, and if you have a good quality digital image you can enlarge to really show it off. Here are a few of my favorites. (Large frames were former gold record plaques.)

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  • I was always looking for photos that were unique and artistic, this one of my dad fit the bill!

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  • As you look through your photos, look for themes, such as parent and child at similar ages. My niece looked so much like her mom at around the age of 5. Here is how I framed those photos.

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I am still “in process” with my guest room/Kayla’s room. I’ve started laying them out on the floor in front of the wall until I have all the photos gathered. I am using smaller frames and a collage layout, so I can continue to add pics down the road.

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Sometimes when inspiration hits, it can be consuming. What started out as furnishing one room with pictures has spilled over to many other rooms in my house. But the good news is, I am finally seeing this dream becoming a reality, for very little cost, and a whole lot of fun. I hope I have encouraged you to dig out some of those precious photos, and display them.

Tips:

  • I found it easier to locate frames, then match photos and order corresponding print sizes.
  • I shopped at 6 thrift shops and spent an average of $1.50 per frame.
  • I found that black and white photos could be enlarged even though I got the “resolution warning.”
  • Consider painting the frame, customizing to your need.
  • To convert easel back frames to wall mounted ones, you will need to remove the easel stand. Some I could pry off, others I had to use a small drill bit to bore out.
  • To hang, you can either use command strips or go to Hobby Lobby framing and they will install hanging hardware for a small fee. I am sold on command strips. I used a small lightweight level to place on top of the picture as I mount to wall.

Tools:

  • Butter knife to bend staples holding picture/glass in place
  • Spray bottle with alcohol and lint free rag to clean glass
  • Bottled air to dry and blow away dust
  • Command strips, I used the Velcro kind. They can be expensive ($5.99 so I used 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby)

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Bonus Tip: This frame was $1.99 at the Goodwill. Instead of a photo, I inserted corrugated paper and will use it in my kitchen for grocery list and notes to housemates, using dry erase pens.

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Julie Jones

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