Brighton Family Photographer | Sussex Commercial Photographer | Newborn Photographer
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Blog for Dautlich Photography | Documentary Style Family Portraits | Sussex & Brighton

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DIY Photo Displays

Since moving into our house I’ve been (veeerrrrryyyy slowly) working on getting all.the.photos up on our walls. If you’re anything like me it’s a pretty big process and there are lots of negotiations about who gets what wall space for which photos. It’s our household battle: people photos vs landscape photos. In case you didn’t know, my husband and I are both landscape photographers, which is actually how we met. So we have a pretty extensive catalog of images we would like on display in both genres. Fortunately for me, I’ve created some easy, clever and inexpensive displays, resulting in me winning a majority of the wall real estate. 

If you ever find yourself in the same boat, you may want to read on, my friend! I’ve got 3 great DIY ideas that cost very little to implement and install.

No. ONE - The goooooogeous upcycled wall gallery. I’ll be honest, this one giant wall was one of my top reasons for buying this house. We’ve looked at a LOT of properties in the past few years, I can safely say hundreds (I’m dead serious). And a big gallery wall like this is a special thing. Especially in England where many homes are older and have very compartmentalised spaces. As soon as we viewed the house and got past the yellow paint on the walls, the weird watercolour patterned curtains and spaceship shaped light fixtures I was able to visualise a large gallery up on that wall. I started scouring charity shops, junk shops and vintage stalls looking for old frames that looked interesting. I found a bunch, brought them home, evicted the spiders and gave them a good scrub then painted them with white furniture paint. I personally love the white frames and the wood textures mixed with the simple lines as a great backdrop for more detailed storytelling photographs. I think the frames add interest without taking away from the story the images tell. The sky is literally the limit with this project. I’ve seen more intricate frames painted gold and it also looks amazing. The hardest part is finding frames you love at bargain prices. It all came together when I ordered the fine art prints and the mounts and installed them on the wall. Stay tuned for HOW to make a wall gallery so it looks balanced. I’ll post about that soon.

No. TWO - The free pallet shelving. This idea was inspired by a concept called the “reveal wall” where a photographer will print their clients final images and make an impactful presentation gallery for them to view for the first time. This is a very scaled down version of that and created with pallet boards that we got for free. Nick used some of the planks to make a coat rack (Yes, it’s awesome). I took 2 planks per self and made an L shape out of them. I personally liked the chunkier look on the wall and felt like it went with my desk, which is under the shelves, better than the floating style. Also, I couldn’t quite work out how to make it look floaty when our walls are made of paper and certainly wouldn’t hold anything wooden just screwed in. There are endless options with this pallet shelf as far as shelf shape, painting, staining, width. Go crazy with this one!

No. THREE - Bring nature indoors with this impactful wall gallery made of a stick and 6x4 prints. I literally just picked up some sticks while we were on a family bike ride and selected the ones that fit the spaces best (and without obvious dog urine or woodworm) to make this hanging wall display. It’s a stick sitting on nails in the wall (I do intend to get some more interesting hooks when I find some that I love) with bakers twine hanging from it. It’s about as simple as it can get, but makes a BIG impact when installed. I printed a bunch of 6x4 images and attached them to the twine with mini clothes pins. It’s a great way to show off a visual story that is so easy to change up. I print photos ALL THE TIME so there’s always new ones that are fun to look at with our daughter. And when we want to send a card out to family, it’s fun to pick a photo from the wall to include in the card. It’s a lovely dynamic display and the cheapest/easiest of them all. I put one of these picture hangers in our dining room and one in my daughter’s room for her to see her family all the time. This wall display even has it’s very own blog post which you can find here.

All 3 ideas are so simple, easy and customisable. It’s the greatest thing about DIY. Everything is completely bespoke and even if you make a mistake, you can pretend it was a purposeful design decision! Just own it! 

Have you come up with any great DIY displays to show off your favourite family photos? If so, comment below and tell me about it.

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April Dautlich2 Comments