Nov 11, 2010

Completed Picture Collage

After tons of moving around, lots of reader feedback and way too much time spent staring at the wall...I'm so thrilled that our picture collage is hung, finished and lookin' good!  Our wall of pictures is a compilation of images I captured and that tell one unique story after another - and I couldn't be happier with the end result!

An added bonus to this picture collage is that I can bust out the mixologist skills I picked up from my good ole' bartending days and serve our guest up a nice cocktail while they enjoy the serene images.  Cheers!

My goal for tonight, in addition to showing off my collage, is to tell you a bit about what I did to create this collage look.

First, I went on a hunt for picture frames.  I frequent thrift stores several times a week so it didn't take long before I had a nice pile of frames to work with.  And even though this collage is finished, that won't stop me from continuing to look for old pictures and frames- there's always going to be something fabulous out there.  I knew that I wanted to spray paint most of the frames white. But I also wanted a couple metalic and dark wooden frames because I thought these would tie in nicely with the elements in our living and dining rooms.  Most of the the picture frames I purchased cost about $3.00.  I think the most expensive was about $7.00. 

Something you should know that I think will save you alot of time and money in the long run when creating your own collage is that although it's important you love the frame itself, this should not be the end all be all when buying them second hand.  Take these tips into consideration:
  • Matte- Look for pictures with a neutral or light colored matte that can work in any room.  Otherwise, be sure to keep in mind what color matte will work for your space.  Buying old pictures with a matte already included will save you lots of buckaroos.
  • Hanging- Check that the picture has a hole, hook, wire or anything else that will allow you to hang the picture from a nail.  I actually had to use my hot glue gun to add a hook on the back of two frames.  Ugh.  Also, when deciding which of your fabulous images to include in each frame, keep in mind where the hook is.
  • Condition-  Buy frames that are in good shape.  Frames that are dinged up, broken or chipped will not look nice once painted or hung on the wall.
  • Staples- Some of the nicest picture frames I picked up were held together with metal staples in the back...they. are. a. pain.  I recommend you remove them with pliers and then hammer a couple teeny nails in the back on each side for support of your new image. 
  • Glass- Make sure the picture frames you buy have a glass front already in them.  I mistakenly bought one that did not have a glass front.  
Next, wipe your frames with a damp cloth to clean them.  Now spray paint away.  Two coats should be sufficient.  I used Valspar white interior spray paint.  Make sure the spray paint you use is appropriate for your frame's surface. 

Then, select your favorite images and print them out.  I really wanted the pictures to look nice and I had store credit at Ritz Camera so I printed them there.  Also, with all the money I saved buying second hand frames there was a couple extra bucks in my budget to spend on quality printing. 

Finally, decide where you want to hang your picture frames.  There's a ton of tips and how-tos for doing this, and a simple Google search will showcase lots of different ideas.  For me, I found the best way to do this was to arrange them on the carpet in different ways- you can see a couple options I played around with here.  Take a picture of each option so you can go back to them and make your decision.  Also, when you make your decsion, the picture will also lend as your guide for where to hang the frames on the wall.  Unfortunately, my first attempt at hanging the frames was kinda dissapointing because I hung them too close and had to start over.

I hope you like the end result as much as I do.  Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions.

So now, if you've always wanted to create your own picture collage, I hope after reading this you'll get movin' on it.  It's so easy, inexpensive and DO-ABLE!!!  You have no excuses not to.  Be sure to send me your pics!   

Weekend Bloggy Reading
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Check it out, HERE.

Check it out, HERE.


Lori said...

Love it!!!! Great idea. Can't wait to see your next project.

Beautiful Haven said...

This turned out really nice. Great job!

Robin said...

I have been wanting to do something similar for a long time. I really like the way yours turned out.

FrouFrouBritches said...

I love your collage wall. Very pretty! Here from Amanda's.

Paula said...

You did a great job on your collage. I'm going to help my mom do something similar over Thanksgiving. I'm visiting from Amanda's party.

Emily said...

Lookin' fabulous! I have been wanting to do this for some time now. I love the addition of your little bird... the randomness is a great touch! :)

Visiting from Amanda's.. :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

It looks wonderful!!! You did such a nice job. Great tutorial too. :) Thanks so much for linking to my party. I hope you'll come back again soon. :)

PaperDollMN said...

That looks gorgeous!