DIY Picture Frame Arrangement

I am a sucker for picture frame collections, gallery walls, arrangements, whatever you may call it – basically a ton of photos arranged on a wall. It is a great way to fill a space while highlighting more than one of your favorite pieces. There are endless options on how to do this. You can have all matching frames, mismatched frames, same sizes, different sizes, all big, all small, all square, all black and white, one color or theme carried throughout, etc, etc, etc. Each different element can completely change the look of it. I think the secret to picture frame arrangements is… it’s not that hard! Just do a little prep and give it a try. I’ve done a few arrangements in homes I’ve lived in the past where I have kept the theme to all black frames and kept it down to about 10 frames. By the time we moved this summer, I had acquired quite a few frames and pieces of art over the years.

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We also had this long wall that went from our dining room through to our living room. It was going to take something big to fill this space appropriately. So I decided to do one big frame arrangement with everything and anything. Bring me your black frames, your blue frames, your no frames, your mirrors and canvas. This is all-inclusive.

In the past, my arrangements have been small enough that I have been able to use the floor to play around with the look of the arrangement before committing to nail and wall. I would usually come up with what I wanted, take a picture of it, then start with the center frame and hang around it until I recreated it. Since this was going to be a bigger collection, I was going to need to rethink my strategy. I had read somewhere about using brown kraft paper to help lay it out – like the kind you use for crab feasts (yum). I didn’t have any of that, but I did have some cheapo Target red wrapping paper. I traced each picture frame onto the wrapping paper, cut out the shape and used tape to start arranging on the wall. I wanted something slightly asymmetrical but with balance. This took quite some time to get the look I liked due to the varying sizes, but later in the evening, I had it down. It was enough for the night, so off to bed, hang time in the morning.

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In the morning, I came down and looked to the other side of the room, finding 2 other pictures I had previously hung that I now wanted to include in the arrangement. (really, Becky?) So back to step 1, took less time this go around. I think we have it.

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Then I started hanging up the photos one by one. Leaving room for last minute changes as I saw fit.

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And done!

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Reflecting on my usage of wrapping paper, I would suggest a few things as you trace them.

1. Write down on that paper a quick and dirty description of that art piece. This way, as you are arranging, you know what really goes where. I would’ve loved to have the mirror a little lower so that it would be people height, not giraffe height.

2. Draw an arrow representing “this end up” – again, helps as you are arranging, that way you know if that mystery 8×10 is supposed to be horizontal or vertical.

Here is the before and after look. Hope this provides some inspiration to make your own arrangement!

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