Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Picture wall tutorial

We take a lot of photos in this family, but most of them stay on the hard drives. So a few weeks back I got the idea to make a picture wall in the kitchen. When reading up on how-to's I quickly realised that this would be a huge challenge for someone who is horrible, and I really mean horrible, when it comes to measuring straight lines on walls (that would be me). I guess I could blame some of this on not having a spirit level (which sounds kinda funny in my ears by the way, in Swedish we call it water level) for many years. But even now, when I have access to one,  I still keep measuring things all wrong.

But then I came up with an almost fool proof plan which I think is pretty brilliant - using craft paper as a template.

You'll need:
Craft paper
Frames (I bought 11 Ribba frames from Ikea)
Hooks (I used brass x-hooks)

Bring out the the craft paper and draw the size of the finished picture wall on craft paper. Then place the frames within the square. Using just Ribba frames made this process rather easy since they have standard sizes.

 Next step is to calculate the spaces between the frames and then trace around. Then remove the frames.

 I added a dot for the hook on each frame. Then just punch a hole through the dot using an awl or some other sharp object.

Place the craft paper on the wall. I used the spirit level to make sure it was straight and then just taped the craft paper in place.

Then I put the pencil in each hole to mark where the hook should hang. That is all you need! Just remove the paper and hammer or drill the hooks in place and start hanging the frames. I used brass x-hooks, which I had some issues with because the hanger on the Ribba frames kinda suck to be honest, but I got them to work okay in the end.

The finished result and its surroundings. Ideally I would like the wall to be dynamic over time, changing photos as we go. Mixing different medias could be another idea. Hopefully it will keep changing over the years. But then again, in 10 years time everyone might have digital photo walls instead? We'll see.


  1. Nice way to work out your arrangement. BTW "spirit level" sounds funny to me too. We just call it a level. ;-)

  2. Aha, thank you for the clarification! I looked it up and the dictionary said spirit level, but level sounds much more reasonable :)

  3. Perhaps is a UK / US distinction. In the UK, we use sprit level - no idea why though.

  4. Very nice! I have a similar photo wall, but mine isn't as nicely spaced and even as yours. Maybe I'll try out you hanging technique. My wall is also filled with 2-year-old pictures from when I first did it. My poor second child doesn't even make an appearance. :-)

  5. Jenny, something tells me that this is exactly what will happen with our photo wall too... Once up things seldom change

  6. Looks great and great idea to get everything straight. In the antipodes it is spirit level also! I think they must have used some sort of spirit instead of water as water would eventually evaporate.(especially if a builder was using it and left it out in the sun a lot)

  7. Your picture wall tuto is indeed brilliant !! I'm as frightened as you are when it comes to holes in walls.
    I might just use the method you've shown here. Thanks a lot !