photo gallery wall

I believe I've mentioned that I take a long time to decide/finish/do stuff in my house, yes?  Well I have another confession to make and it involves the bare walls of my home:  I take forever to getting around to hanging stuff up.

Take the huge, blank wall in my entryway.  I knew I wanted to use my own photographs on the wall, but I couldn't quite decide how I wanted to display them.  Then one day my husband went to a friend's garage sale and came home with this:

My friend's home is beautiful and lovely and while my husband certainly got an "A" for effort, this was not what I planned for the wall.  I thought maybe I could use the frame but I wasn't sure.  My husband, knowing that my decision-making process would take time, decided to just hang it on the wall.  Well, see, part of the reason I take forever to decide is that a hole in the wall just seems me.  So once the picture went on the wall, there it stayed for...ahem...a very long time.  One of my kids stuck another picture on top of it, as you can see here.  Something needed to be done.

Then one day inspiration struck.  I could combine the frame and my photo gallery wall together if I cut up the frame and used it as...well...a frame for my frames!

But the first thing to do was decide how to display my photos.  Originally I planned to print my photos on square canvases, but I decided I liked the option of being able to change out the photos on the wall whenever the mood struck me or when the season changed.  I found some frames on clearance at Michaels and printed up the photos at Costco.  Each photo was $2.99, and the frames were marked down from $12.99 each to $4.00 each.  So in addition to the flexibility the frames give me, they saved me some sweet moola over the price of canvas prints as well.
My husband cut the large frame into four equal corners for me.  I debated about painting the frame to a solid black, but decided to keep the gold gilding instead.  I used some gold acrylic craft paint to cover the raw edges left behind after we cut the frame. 

If you'd like to duplicate this idea, the next part is tricky if you're not a math whiz.  I myself am more of an "eyeball-er" so lining pictures up in a perfect grid and placing the frame corners on the wall so that they line up is a bit beyond my skill set.  If that's you, then find a friend/husband/neighbor/mailman to help you measure everything out.  If you're the math genius, it's still helpful to have an extra set of hands to help you hold up the level/measure/etc.

We used these hangers to hang the corners:
They worked well to hold up the weight of the bottom corners.  You screw one side of the hanger to the wall and one side to the frame.  You can then set the edge of the hanger on the frame onto the hanger on the wall.  Caroline tells me she thinks monkey hooks would work as well.  Anyway, here's what the hanger looks like attached to the wall to give you an idea:
The hangers took care of the weight of the frames, but I did use some 3M Command Velcro strips to hold the sides of the corner frames to the wall and to help with getting them to hang straight and lined up with the other corners.

Did I mention that the last two photos were taken at midnight?  Yes.  It took me forever to decide what I wanted to do but when I did?  It had to be done and it had to be done now so my very loving husband did this with me at midnight.  He was only slightly grumpy. 

Here's the finished gallery wall with the end tables I posted about previously:
It only took me 13 years of living in this house to finally get that up on the wall, but we love it!


  1. What a cute idea Shannon! So creative, I never would have thought of that. And I love how the colors in the heart frames go with the end tables to tie everything together. Great job! I am a slow picture hanger too...I wish I could show you a picture of my hallway gallery's a little sad! The frames are mostly all empty, but I do have a couple of too-small picture tucked into a couple of the frames, cause that's classy ;) I guess maybe my real problem is printing pictures out! Anyway,I love yours! Maybe it'll be the push I need to actually get some pictures printed and in my frames soon!

    1. Thanks Elizabeth! I have an idea for a small photo gallery in my family room but it's using small frames so I'm thinking I'll use the 3M tape for all the frames, which is definitely a less permanent maybe I won't spend the next 13 years thinking about it, haha.

  2. I love this! Shannon, you are so creative. I need to fill my stack of empty picture frames I've hidden behind the living room curtain (from the baby) and put them up! Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You haven't seen this in person yet, have you? Well just because you're not my visiting teacher anymore you can still come by any time! :)

  3. I like your idea. It really looks very beautiful. I suggest that you can also make a pyramid and clock of small pictures and you can arrange those in photo frames. I have done this, it looks awesome and my home also looks very beautiful.


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