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DIY - Wall Collages

You could call me a photo junkie. I prefer Social Historian. I love family pictures. My grandfather was a photographer and so there are lots of them around the house. When my grandmother passed, I wanted to make sure that his photos/negatives weren't thrown out or disregarded, so I have the bulk of them. I was also the lucky recipient of many of the family framed photos. 

I also have this, um, habit of buying wall art where ever I go. I have many many many more things to hang compared to space to hang them. Just about every inch of available space is taken up with photos or artwork (the wall piece was done by my artist-brother). See....


This is part of the dining room. Covered in photos and art. 


Work in progress. Things left to hang. See the chest in the background? Photos on top, photos waiting to be hung. It's scary. 

In our old house, I had a lot of the family photos hanging up the stairway walls. I could do the same in this house, but I wanted to mix it up a bit. Change things around. It is a new house after all, right? Then I thought about all the cool picture collages I see out there on the interwebs. You know the ones. Here, let me show you. Like these from The Martha.

Cool, right? So I was thinking about what the hell I was going to do with all these pictures when I remembered a DIY tutorial on HGTV from like, a million years ago. I thought a family wall collage might be a cool alternative to the stairway concept from the The Last House. So, here you go! 

Tools you'll need: 

1. Pencil

2. Hammer

3. Nails and/or picture hanging stuff

4. Tape

5. Measuring Tape

6. Framed art/photos/mirrors

7. Large piece of paper (or several smaller sheets taped together)

First, lay out your large sheet of paper. I used some leftover paper from the move and just smoothed it out a little. It doesn't have to be a perfect piece. Scraps are good. Then, lay out the pictures as you would like to hang them on the wall. This was probably the "hardest" part. 

Once you have all the pictures where you want them, trace around the pictures so you'll know what goes where. 

Since all my frames are different and all have different kinds of hanging apparatuses (apparati?), I measured (on the back) from the top of the frame to the top of where the piece would hang. Then, on my large sheet of paper, I measured the same distance from the top down in the center. This shows where you'll be putting your nail. This step will help you in hanging the pieces ONCE versus having lots of nail holes in your wall. This step is totally worth the time it takes to do (about 15 minutes, tops). 

Next, hang your template on the wall with a few pieces of tape. Step back and check to see if it's level. You might actually want to use a level, but even I think that's a little anal retentive. Then again, I can eyeball that kinda stuff pretty well. 

Now this is where my tutorial will stray from the one I saw on TV. They said to nail  right over the paper, then to peel the paper off off the wall. Eh, I wasn't digging that idea. For some reason, I was envisioning some sort of catastrophe in that step. So instead, I tapped the nail into the marked spot to make a small hole then just pulled the nail out. Once I had all the nail holes made, I un-taped my template and placed it on the floor to use as a guide for where the pictures went. Then, I just nailed in all my nails and hooks and such and hung the pictures!

And voila! Now I'm cool like The Marth. DIY up in the hizz-ouse! Somebody call Design*Sponge. I'm ready. 

What I'm loving is that there is still space to add more pictures. The Candyman has some cool old pictures of his mom that we're going to print out and add to the group. The gift of DIY that keeps on giving! 

Reader Comments (11)

Wow! I would have never thought of the paper idea - that is so handy! I'm totally doing that next time I have a bare wall to decorate.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterveronica

I have some MORE pictures you can go through when you are here for Thanksgiving! :)

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMom

Um, okay, for reals? I NEVER thought of doing that. Sure I've seen it tons on blogs, tv and the interwebs, but for some reason my head had never said "hey that'd look really neat at home". NOW IT HAS! I'm totally going to do this. YES!

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJazz

I've always wanted a stairway so that we could do this with picture frames. Also - in the last picture -- I see a great resemblance.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDancy

What a great idea.
I remember most of those pictures
during visits to Castlebar Road.
Thank you for the trip down a happy
memory lane.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSue Babcock

looks great, love it! i've never seen it done this way. we'll definitely use this tutorial when we hang our wedding photos.

November 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngie

I like the template idea a lot. Beats the heck out of my eyeball-it-and-slap-some-nails-on-the-wall method.

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

I am so obsessed with these. I have been stalking the Pottery Barn one for months. Now I just need to do it!

November 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Family history is important to me too. I like the paper idea too.

November 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Great job! I love it!

November 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSharon

Um, HELLS YES! That looks awesome!

November 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNatosha

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