DIY: Photo Wall

My sister Sarah moved into her new apartment in March and when she was finally ready to decorate her wall, she asked me for help.  My assignment was to create a photo wall using photos that I’ve taken of New York.  To increase the selection of photos, I took more photos and reshot others.  It took 5 months of waking up at 5 am to get the perfect shot sans the crowds, planning, traveling, and waiting for the perfect lighting.  It was such a fun project because I got to see New York with a different lens (like that pun?).  Once all the photos were printed, there was the photo wall to tackle.  I’ve hung photos on my walls before so I thought it would be a piece of cake but I soon realized that it required me to use a lot of math and measuring.  The OCD in me paid off because everything was level and even.  If you want some inspiration for photo walls check out Picklee which has great ideas.  This was the process for the photo wall…

1. Photo selection was actually harder than we thought. I had about 25 photos and we needed to edit down to 8. I took both black & white and color photos so mixing and matching was a challenge. There were so many great shots that we didn’t end up using just based on how it fit into the mix. We also decided to mix the frames and sizes of the images so it wouldn’t look too uniform.

2. Here’s me matting some of the photos.

3. This is what the wall looked like before we put the pictures up.

4. The first thing I did was measure the wall vertically from the center of the couch. I did this so I knew where the midpoint was on the wall where I wanted to put the photos. I marked a 1 inch line as the “center” and all the photos would go right and left of the line. We laid out the frames on the couch to approximate where all the frames would go.

5. There were 3 measurements I took in order to know where the nails would go on the wall: 1) the width of the frame 2) the distance between the edges of the frame and the brackets and 3) the top of the frame to the bracket. I used picture hanging nails for the frames that didn’t come with hanging nails.

6. Using the measurements that I just took from step #5, I measured from the “center” line and made x marks on the wall where the nails should go. The first frame is always the easiest since there’s no pressure!

7. To do the smaller frames, I measured the large frame vertically and made an x mark on the wall at the halfway point, which would be the 1 inch gap between the frames. I continued this with the other frames making sure they were all even with my measurements as well as using a level.