My name is Kelsey and I have a problem: I’m a photo frame collecting fiend. I can’t help it! There’s something about finding the perfect frame — no matter how simple in design — that gives me such a feeling of satisfaction. I scour thrift stores, antique shops, and garage sales in the name of my addiction, hoping to add to both the quantity and quality of my collection.
When people roll their eyes at me as I snatch up my latest find, I always give the excuse that one day I’ll move into my very own apartment with more white walls than I (and my frames) will know what to do with. I needed to stock up!
Well cheerful friends, that’s exactly what happened.
Even though we’ve been here 4 months, empty walls make it look like move-in day was yesterday. Luckily, I had three boxes of picture frames in the closet waiting for me to turn them into the giant photo frame collage that I always dreamed of making.
And here’s how I did it.
Pick a cohesive element
My frame collection is colorfully eclectic, and that’s just the way I like it. However, in order to make it look like the Crayola factory didn’t barf all over my walls, I had to instate some sort of cohesion. For this reason some people who make photo collages choose uniform frames. Obviously since I wanted to show off my amazing frame collection this wasn’t my cup of tea, but that’s one way to do it.
So, I decided that all of my photos would be black and white. I hoped that this would add some sophistication to the project, but I’ll leave concluding thoughts up to you!
For another element of cohesion I used several smaller simple black matching frames that I saved from my high school photography shows back in the day. Back in the day when I actually brought my camera places so I could take artsy photos. Back in the day when it wasn’t too much of a stretch to call myself a hobby photographer because I actually regularly updated my Flickr page. ANYWAY, peppering these throughout my colorful frames would further tie the look together.
Plan a layout on the floor
If you think you can wing it, good for you. But I strongly recommend experimenting with your layout on the floor first, and then taking a picture. This way when things go awry, you have a point of reference to guide you.
Some prefer a grid-like boxy layout, but I enjoy seemingly-random strategically-placed clusters. I found that by starting with a frame I wanted to be toward the center and then building outwards from there, the layout came pretty naturally. I chose to make sure similarly colored or clashing frames weren’t near each other (green/green or green/red for example) to give a balanced look.
Also, it doesn’t matter what spacing you put between each frame — as long as it’s pretty similar all around it’ll look pretty good when you’re done.
I used the velcro-like Command strips when hanging my picture frames. This way there are no holes in the rented wall, and I was able to do damage control when I inevitably put them up crooked.
Unfortunately, velcro Command strips are crazy expensive now! To get more for my money like the frugal soul I am, I cut each strip in half horizontally. Half of a velcro Command strip still holds up more weight than needed for a picture frame, and cutting horizontally ensures the tab for easy/clean removal is still intact.
If any of them fall off my wall because of this money-saving method, I will certainly keep you updated!
Enjoy your craftiness 🙂
I’m super proud of the way my photo frame collage turned out! I didn’t get all my frames up there, but the beauty of these things is that you can continue expanding outwards as you live your life and take more pictures you enjoy.
I especially love the varying depths and surfaces of all the frames. It’s a great way to highlight some of my favorite photos:
Do you like how it turned out? How do you decorate blank walls? I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading and good luck!