How to create and customize a budget friendly DIY photo display
One of my big goals for 2019 is to finally get a handle on our photo organization. All I ever really do with our images is post the best ones on Facebook for all of our friends and family to admire, and then they never see the light of day again. Gah!!! SO since I can’t have a thousand picture frames all over the house I came up with this DIY photo display bulletin board concept that I’ll use to display our images and iPhone snaps.
***This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase items from these links I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting the blog! You can click here to read my full disclosure statement. ***
I’m including a basic materials list for reference, but the fun part about this project is that it is completely customizable to your home, your style and your needs. Many of the materials listed here will depend on how you choose to design your frame. Try to use materials you have on hand to lower cost. Have fun and get creative!
- Two 1 x 4 x 6′ pieces of common board cut to preferred size
- You could also even use an old open picture frame. Any craft store that does framing usually has a clearance section of these. Thrift store are also a great option.
- Saw (Miter, Circular, Table, or even a basic hand saw)
- Kreg Jig for pocket holes & screws
- Paint / Stain of choice and a paintbrush / staining rag
- Peel and Stick Wallpaper
- I had some of this leftover on hand, but there are SO many options for customization here. Kraft paper, wrapping paper, chalkboard or dry erase paint, cork squares, etc….
- 4 Mending Plates (optional)
- Spray Paint (optional)
Cut & Assemble frame
I wanted to cover as much surface area as possible on this wall so my frame measures just slightly under 4 feet wide x 3 feet tall. I made 45 degree miter cuts on each end using my miter saw, and I joined them together using my Kreg Jig (GREAT tool if you’re getting started in DIY) and screws. This type of joint is strong, and not totally necessary for a project like this. There’s no need to buy additional tools if you aren’t already equipped with this. You can use wood glue with hammer and nails, nail/staple gun, mending plates, etc….
Assemble the frame and sand with a medium to fine grit sandpaper. This helps to smooth out any of the obvious imperfections in common board pine. Then, finish with your preferred paint or stain. I purchased these painter’s pyramids just for this project, and I have to say, total game changer. These tiny little things will come in handy for smaller household and DIY paint projects.
Place your wall backer and hang the frame
I don’t use a ton of holiday decor in my home, so this will be a fun piece to play with as the seasons change. Just like your teacher did in grade school!
I had some of this Peel and Stick Shiplap Wallpaper leftover from a previous project so I stuck a couple of pieces up on the wall and called it good. Don’t worry about perfection here. If your frame is wide enough it will cover up any unevenness. You can also trim off any excess after the fact. Other fun options that you could easily swap out would be Kraft paper, wrapping paper or a roll of cork board.
I hammered a couple of sawtooth hooks into the back of the frame, checked for level and hung on the wall. I want to be able to easily lift off the frame for if / when I choose to swap out backgrounds. The L-brackets in the corners were spray painted black, and added simply for aesthetics. They help to give it a little character and help break up the white. (I bought mine in a 4-pack from Walmart for under $2)
These fun metal letters from Hobby Lobby were used for the OH SNAP phrase above. Hanging these was honestly the most tedious part of this project. I initially used some 3M strips cut into small pieces to stick to the wall, but the next morning I woke up to SN_P on the wall and OH A on the floor. Yikes! I reinforced with more 3M and tapped a small tack nail into the wall for good measure.
I had so much fun going back through old images to print off for this month’s board and decorating it for Valentine’s Day. The DIY garland was made with my Silhouette Cameo , and I taped the pictures on using some fun colored Washi tape. The cut out hearts are stuck on with good ole’ sticky tack. Other good options would be double sided tape or glue dots. This wallpaper has a viny-esque texture to it so I’m not worried about the adhesives damaging the backing. If using paper of any sort you may need to swap out as your change pictures.
My kiddos were so excited to see all of the older images and pictures of themselves up on the wall. And of course, they had fun reminding my husband and I how much we’ve aged by asking “Who’s that!?” haha!
You guys loved the initial sneak peek of this DIY photo display project over on Instagram , and I cannot wait to see what you come up with for your own home. Be sure to tag me @themartinnest so I can check them out and reshare!
I’ll also have a detailed walk through saved in my highlight reel SOON, but you can always comment here or e-mail me with any questions! – Jessica