Lately I’ve been working on updating the different ways in which photos are displayed throughout our home.  We don’t have much for decor in our house, I don’t have a decorating bone in my body, so I’ve always used our photographs as a way of expressing myself.  Every year we create and deliver thousands of photographs to our clients.  While my hope is that some of them will see the light of day, be held and viewed in other ways than thru a computer screen, I know many will remain forever on a hard drive.  So I thought I would share some different ideas for wall displays in hopes of inspiring you to bring your photos to life!

1.  Photo Wallpaper.  I absolutely love Instagram.  Have you ever heard the saying “The best camera is the one that’s on you”?  It’s so true because my iPhone has allowed me to capture so many moments and scenes that I never otherwise would have had a camera for.  Instagram allows me to enhance those photos in a matter of seconds and be done with it.  No downloading, editing, processing and organizing on my computer.  As much as I love Instagram though, I still love tangible photographs more so I brought my Instagram feed to life with this photo wallpaper display.

Using 3M removable mounting squares in all four corners of each photo, I mounted 104 of my favorite Instagram photos to a small wall along a staircase in my house.  The prints are 5×5 with 1/4″ white border which creates nice separation between the photos and keeps the wall from looking too busy.  I plan to eventually fill the entire wall but wanted to leave some room to add new photos in the future.  I absolutely love that every time I walk by, a different memory catches my eye.

Tip: The downside to Instagram is that the filters degrade the quality of the photos quite a bit.  After ordering a few sample prints, I decided that my Instagram prints look best printed 5×5 or smaller.

2. Framed Photo Collages.  I’m not a huge fan of frames as I could easily go broke trying to frame all the photos I want to display in my house.  However, one large frame can be a great way to display many small photographs.  I took this 30×40 frame, stapled chicken wire to the back and hung 40 5×5 prints using silver office binder clips.

Back of the frame with chicken wire stapled to the edges.

For a slight variation, I took this 16×20 frame and secured twine to the back using small screw eyes then hung 9 4×6 prints with small clothes pins.

I love how easy it is to change up these collages if I want to add some new photos.

Tip: Before hanging your photos, lay them out on a table in the order you would like to hang them.  Arrange your photos in a way that’s pleasing to the eye by spreading really dark photos and really light photos throughout the collage so they are not all next to each other.  Take really busy photos with lots of subject matter and place them next to simple shots.

3.  Magnets: The easiest way to hang a photo.  If drywall was magnetic, my walls would be covered.  Since that is not the case, I settled with my refrigerator.  I own hundreds of rare earth magnets (super strong) and have tried several different methods of hanging photos with magnets.  I’ve bought and hung sheet metal as well as strips of steel on my walls.  I used to think magnetic paint would be my dream come true but it’s expensive and I was turned off by many less than stellar reviews.  So for now, lining my refrigerator from top to bottom is the only way that’s really stuck, pun intended, but I love it.

Tip: To balance out the busy nature of this collage, I leave the walls around it sparse.

4. 16×20 Trio.  I rarely hang large prints, solely because I can never decide what photo I want to print big, but when I do I absolutely love the result.  I wanted to add some color to this room and thought these aspens shots I took last fall would be perfect.

I had these old frames laying around from back in the day when we owned a portrait studio.  I didn’t love that they were black so to change it up and give them more of a rustic look I bought two different colors of spray paint, tan and brown.  I applied one coat of each color, then with sandpaper roughed ’em up a bit.  Sanding away a bit of the top coat would bring thru the color in the second coat.  The best part about this project was that I felt like I really couldn’t screw it up.

Tip: 8×10, 11×14 and 16×20 are still popular frame sizes but are not the same ratio as the photos that many modern cameras produce meaning you’ll most likely have to crop your photos to fit these frames.  Either be sure to choose photos that look okay cropped or look for full size frames like 8×12, 10×15 and 16×24.

I hope this will inspire you to get some of your favorite photos off your hard drive and onto your walls!  I recommend mpix.com for prints small and large.  All the frames above are from pictureframes.com.