Sunday, August 8, 2010

Summer Goal #1 Completed: Photo Wall

Back in June, I posted on here about my summer goals. I wanted to put my time off from school to good use.

Early in the summer I began working on my goal to teach myself more about my camera. I read this book and it has changed my life as a photographer (thanks again Becca for the recommendation!).

Another of my goals was to create a picture wall in our home. I love pictures and displaying them in our home, but I am the worst at remembering to have them printed out. Not anymore! I got my act together and made it happen!

Here is the empty wall I was working with. Pretty bare and boring, huh?


I started by buying frames. I spent about a week or two perusing through the picture frame aisles at Goodwill and other local thrift shops. I wanted to do this project for cheap and I told J I could do it for under $75. I ended up coming way under budget, but I'll get to that in a minute. At Goodwill I spent around $24 on 10 frames, and then I spent about $3 on 3 frames at another shop in town. What a steal!

One thing that was a bit of a pain about purchasing frames this way was taking old pictures out of the frames. Some of the frames I bought were very nice, customized, matted frames that had been sealed in the back. This meant I had to cut into the seal and remove the original picture which was kind of a pain and more work than I expected it to be. BUT, if you want to save money, it's worth it.

Once I had all my frames, I spread them out on the floor in our living room to come up with my "design." I wanted to see how they all fit together and figure out what size pictures I needed and how many vertical and horizontal photos I needed.


Once I had this laid out in a way I liked, I made a map and labeled each frame with a number, then put a post it on the frame with its number. This made it easy to put them all away in a closet while I ordered the photos instead of leaving them spread out in position on my floor.


There were a few frames whose original color wasn't one that appealed to me. This called for some spray paint! I bought three cans (dark brown, black, and a metallic gold) for under $10 at Wal Mart. I ended up using just the brown, but I plan to hold onto the others in case we add to the wall (which we plan to do).


Off to the yard I went to paint. We had this drop cloth leftover from when we painted rooms in our house back in November.


I ordered my photos from Shutterfly, and when they arrived, I carefully put them in frames. I did break the glass in one frame during this process. Kind of a bummer, but it happens. Especially when you're tearing apart the backing on a customized frame.

This brings us to this morning where we finally hung them! This is the one part J helped me with. He's the picture hanger in this house! Here are our tools.


You'll notice we had to use some picture hangers. This was another thing that comes with buying thrift store frames. Many of our frames didn't have a hanger on the back. This can easily be solved by buying some hangers. There were a few kinds in our kit, but we just used these small eyelet screws in the back of the frames that were missing hangers.


Here is my professional picture hanger, hard at work.


And then...the finished product!


I love the look I got by using different frames. I debated about paying for frames that all matched, but I quickly realized I could do it for cheaper by finding a mix of frames and it kind of gives it some more character doing it this way.

The "W" on the wall came from Etsy. I asked for it for Christmas a few years ago and my MIL got it for me. Here's the shop it came from.

28 comments:

  1. Wow. love the finished product! not gonna lie - it looks like more work than I am up for (seriously washing my hair is an accomplishment around here :))

    You really liked the book? Did it teach you more about shooting in manual? Improving your portraits?

    I could really use some help in that area!

    Anyways, love, love love it! AND I love that accomplished a goal of yours!

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  2. It looks AWESOME! You did such a great job! We used different frames for our gallery wall, too, and I really love the effect!

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  3. Your photo wall looks fantastic!!! I've been wanting to work on one at our place too, but since we've decided to move I'm putting the plans on hold! Your finished wall is just the inspiration I need to get it started once we get settled!

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  4. That looks so cute! You did a great job!

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  5. I love it!! We have a partial wall that has pictures on it now but I'd like to add more and utilize the space more efficiently. I think I may follow your lead & start scouring area thrift stores {because used frames & a can of spray paint is sooooo much cheaper than buying new frames}.

    Great job!

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  6. Love the photo wall that looks fantastic! :)

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  7. Wow, good work! It looks nice!

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  8. Looks so so good! I really want a photo wall in our house, but I need to figure out what wall to put it on first. I

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  9. Love it!! I wish we had a wall long enough to do this with (that wouldn't look cramped). Love the monogram in the middle. I'm crazy about monograms! I also love all of the different frames. Great idea!!

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  10. I love your photo wall! I definitely like this kind of look. I have a photo shelf on the top of our book shelf in our dining room. Random frames with some of my favorite pictures. I like the random look of all the frames, then the photos in them - gives it style. :)

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  11. OH I love it!! It looks great! This is on my want to do list too! I've already started getting frames and pics together too :) Great job friend!! And I love the W too, so pretty!

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  12. Christine T. W.8/8/10, 4:41 PM

    Great job on the wall! I am motivated to do one now. The only problem is that we have so many pictures up already... I love the "W" too. Nice touch. I'll probably be stealing that idea as well. Your blog is an everyday read for me now. :)

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  13. It looks GREAT! I love the assortment of frames!

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  14. Oh my gosh that looks AWESOME!!!

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  15. I love love the way that turned out...I was kind of wondering how it would look with the different picture frames but it ended up looking awesome!

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  16. Very nice.

    If you really wanna get awesome, you should put up a picture of J putting up the pictures.

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  17. Looks great! I love the mixed and matched look! I love having pictures dispayed in my house. Makes me happy.

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  18. I love it! It looks great. I did a picture wall in our hallway and did different frames. I love the look of the different kinds of frames. Plus it just fits my style more.

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  19. It turned out great! I love the arrangement.

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  20. WOW, you have been busy girl, but ALL fun stuff!!!!! You are looking fabulous!!!!!!

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  21. Very, very nice work! I helped my parents hang a photo display in their room a few years ago, and it turned out great. Now I need to get my act together and create one for my own home!

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  22. The photo wall looks fantastic! I especially love the initial mixed in and am tempted to buy one to add to our mini photo wall :)

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  23. The photo wall looks fantastic! I especially love the initial mixed in and am tempted to buy one to add to our mini photo wall :)

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  24. It looks so good! I have always wanted to do a photo wall but I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to do it!

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  25. Oh I LOVE it! It turned out so so so great! :-) you rock girl - and that letter is too cute!

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  26. I. LOVE. THIS. And am going to show it to my husband, cause he didn't want to do a photo wall when I told him about wanting to do one.

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  27. Christine T.W.8/11/10, 11:13 PM

    PS. I just ordered the same "W" from Etsy. I adored it too much. Luckily I know the "W" looks good since it's the first letter of my last name, too. :)

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