Use painted picture frames in the same paint color as your walls to create a minimalist photo collage of your friends, family, travel, etc…
One of my goals (for the last, oh, ten to twenty years), has been to display more photos of friends and family in our small home. Since we’ve always been short on wall space, it seemed to me that collage frames are one of the best ways to accomplish sharing lots of photos without taking up the whole wall (in every room).
I’d already started using collage frames when we did our sunporch makeover, so I know I liked they packed a great punch.
And, I’ve had another couple of collage frames in my stash (for about, oh, five to ten years), however recently, I purchase one more thrifted collage frame to equal a total of three frames for this project, with the intent to stay within the rule of three decor theory.
Now taking my idea of the “minimalist” approach another step further, I figured painting the collage frames the same color as the walls might add to it looking less crowded.
Then, lastly, printing all the photos in black and white, or sepia-toned to bring it all together to appear as one piece of art.
Well, it’s finally completed, and what do ya know? I was able to get 32 photos of friends and family into one cohesive layout. And guess what else? After finally committing to doing this project (after all these years), it only took a couple of hours start-to-finish to actually getter done.
Painted Picture Frames for a DIY Minimalist Photo Collage Look
First, I wiped down all of the picture frames, then removed the backing and glass pieces.
I followed that up by cleaning the photo frames with a tsp substitute. Then I sanded them lightly using a super fine 400 grit sandpaper.
2) Sand and Paint
After I wiped them all down, I used a standard paintbrush to apply leftover latex paint from the walls in the same room I’m having the frames. The paint color is SW Cyberspace.
I ended up giving all frames 2 coats of paint with light sanding in between coats.
3) Use B&W or Sepia-Toned Photos
Meanwhile, I chose all my photos from my computer, applied the sepia filter (which is offered by most online photo printing stores), then had them printed up at our local Walgreens store. I printed way more photos than I had room in my frames. But once I received my photos I was able to play around with the layout until I had at least one photo of every single one of my favorite peeps.
Tip: When doing a collage photo layout, try mixing up the types of photos you place in the collage. Consider mixing photos of individuals, group photos, and action photos to make the overall appearance more compelling. Try to tell a “these are the best moments” story with the photos.
Ken hung all the frames once they were ready. Which took about, oh 4 to 6 hours, because Ken measures and centers all picture frames down to the 1/32nd of an inch.
But, dang. I’m really happy with how it turned out. And even happier that I accomplished something I’d been meaning to do for going on decades.
How about you? How do you display your photos? I’d love to hear your ideas.
Wow. The Before photo made me think there’s no way that can be upstyled and kept in a living room. But oh boy, the frames matching the wall color changed the game, and coupled with the same finish on all the photos, it’s a quiet knockout! Good work, and I’m remembering this one—both our grown children have these frames, languishing now in the attic and behind chairs in their old rooms, and this is a way for them to bring their memories into the present and enjoy them in an adult and tasteful way. Thank you.
I have to say I’m so happy with how this turned out because I’ve really wanted to put lots of photos of friends and family up and now I’ve begun. I love your idea of updating your kids old collages. I have a few of my son’s, I think I’m going to do that to his (once I track them down in the attic, lol.)