Home Decor on a Dime: Photo Wall

Inspired by last week's post on our DIY collage, I had the idea to start a little series where I'll share with you all the great resources/ideas I've come across and recently tried out for how to decorate your home & walls for cheap!

And when I say cheap I don't mean cheap like in comparison to what it would cost to decorate your home completely in Crate and Barrel, West Elm, and Pottery Barn stuff (as much as I would LOVE to be able to do that!!!), I MEAN REALLY REALLY CHEAP.  Think as close to free as possible!

For those of you new to the blog/our life, here's a little background.  We moved from the U.S. to Brunei (in southeast Asia) 5 months ago, bringing only 7 suitcases of stuff with us.  Among the possessions that made the long journey with us I included a stack of photos and art prints I had accumulated during our 2 years of marriage, thinking that it would be nice to have some things to immediately put on the wall and make our house feel more like home.  In the last months, I supplemented what I brought with me with a TON of free printables and have been able to sufficiently decorate our walls for almost nothing.

(Note: When I say sufficiently, I mean things look good but not incredible.  Some things on the wall are definitely more of a temporary solution, but for now in our stage of life as young parents living in a rented apartment for a temporary time, a temporary state of things is good with me.)

So onto our first installment...

The Photo Wall (a.k.a. my favorite decoration in the house)

There's a reason I started with this one.  It is by far my favorite, looks the most professional, grabs the most attention, and was one of the cheapest to make.  James LOVES this wall, and I often catch him stealing glances at it over his shoulder during meals.  Guests LOVE this wall because it's an easy conversation starter and you can learn a lot about our life by looking at all the photos.  I LOVE this wall because it's full of people I love dearly, and I really enjoy admiring the fun and memories contained in each photo on a daily basis.

Here was my inspiration that I discovered via Pinterest:

Image via Design for Mankind
Image via Ideas to Steal

And all the details for my own photo wall:

COST: A whopping $3.50 for a large roll of foamy double stick tape, which I didn't even use a quarter of in the end.  Definitely could have gone with the small roll.   (The pictures were all taken by a friend of ours and he gifted all the prints to us as well!  Obviously the cost would be greater if I had to pay for the prints myself, but there are ways to get cheap photo prints!  When I was back in the U.S. I often used Hy-Vee because my local store would run a special every 2 weeks or so where you could get prints for around 10 cents a piece, and I also used Snapfish frequently.  You can get penny print coupon codes all the time from them!  Just have to factor in shipping and the wait time.)

TIME: Rather time consuming from start to finish compared to some of my other projects.  But really not too bad: total time spent was probably 4-5 hours.  However, I had to do the assembly on two different days because I got so bored with it.  The most monotonous part was cutting the double stick tape into 4 little pieces, removing the paper from the adhesive, and sticking them to each corner of each photo.

SIZE: 81 total 4x6" prints arranged in a 9x9 grid.

ASSEMBLY: I first laid out all the prints on our bed in the arrangement I wanted them.  It's mostly random, but I wanted the black and white photos to be interspersed with the color ones fairly evenly.  I measured the wall and marked approximately where the middle of the top row should be.  I decided to just make the top row even with the top of the kitchen door.  Then I applied the double stick tape one row at a time, and eyeballed it as I stuck each photo up.  I've had people ask me if it took me forever to get the rows and columns so perfectly positioned, but I didn't plan it out in great detail.  If you look closely it's not perfect, but I found if you just make the space in between each photo pretty small it was relatively easy to eyeball it and not end up with a totally crooked and wonky arrangement.

THE DOWNSIDE:  When we move it's going to be a huge pain to take down.  The tape will likely wreck the paint on the wall and maybe wreck the photos themselves but I decided it's a price I'm willing to pay since I love the look so much.

I'll leave you with a close up of a few of my very favorite photos on the wall:

Anna and I laughing (love!) and the photo next to it, because it contains joy, my sister, and an Iowa summer

Out of focus (oops) but one of my favorite pictures taken of me while pregnant with James
How have you incorporated your favorite photos into your home decor?

No comments:

Post a Comment