Home Project: Creating a Photo Wall


Putting holes in the wall is one of my least favorite things to do. It's so...permanent. Which is why it took us months to finish this simple project.

It started last November when we went on an adventure to IKEA in Minneapolis to pick up some furniture for Rooney's nursery. While we were there, we purchased seven frames in hopes of creating a photo wall in our living room. The goal was to display some of the photography I have captured as well as our favorite family photos.

photo wall close up


5 Things to Think About

  • How much wall space do you have? We measured the wall space we wanted to cover and then laid out the frames in that size space on our living room floor. We also wanted to leave room in case we wish to put up more frames in the future.
  • What should be the focal point? The 'W' in the middle (from Anthropologie) was originally on display in our bedroom, but we thought it would work better as the focal point for our photo wall.
  • Are your photos mostly horizontal or vertical? It's kind of the chicken or the egg issue here. Certain frame layouts we considered were great, but they didn't work well with the fact that nearly all the photos we take are horizontal. Ultimately we decided it was best to pick our favorite photos and then base the layout on those orientations. We will swap out the photos over the years, and will have to keep the orientation in mind when doing so.
  • Do you want a random, quirky layout, or a symmetrical one? After scouring Pinterest for ideas and inspiration, we decided on a layout of our own that worked for our space. We went back and forth between wanting a symmetrical design (mostly because arranging them this way seemed to be easier with the frame sizes we chose) or to be completely random with the spacing. We decided on the latter. In the end it was actually a lot easier to hang the frames this way, knowing that it didn't have to be perfect.
  • How will you hang the frames? We bought the 3M Command picture-hanging strips that have been on TV and appear to be perfect for hanging frames effortlessly. Well, they didn't work for us at all. The backs of the frames were not wide enough to utilize the entire strip and they simply didn't stick. So we went with drywall anchors and screws.

The Finished Space

Photo Wall

photo wall

The Story Behind the Photos

 photo wall

  1. Taken in Washington, D.C., from the roof of the Newseum.
  2. A recent family photo, taken at our favorite photo spot (outside our church). This is also where we took our 2010 Christmas card photo and where Kelsey's Mother's Day video was filmed. (More family photos from this shoot and outfit details can be found here.)
  3. MyPix2Canvas: I took this photo on top of The Cafeteria in Minneapolis last Labor Day weekend, and added Genesis 1:3 on it in photoshop (closer look here).
  4. 'W' from Anthropologie.
  5. Photo of Rooney from her newborn photo shoot.
  6. Washington, D.C., metro station.
  7. Our nieces Maysen, Mylie and Myah. Taken at the park when Mylie turned one.
  8. Illustration for the arrival of Rooney. Get your illustration by Linda here.
  9. Pregnant Kels at 38 weeks.