The New Year is upon us and for many of us the cold of Winter has hit. Now is the perfect time to start projects or finish projects you’ve been putting off. For me that list is long, but I’m glad to tackle some of them in January. At the top of my list is adding to the family photo gallery wall I started in 2019.
I love the eclectic and collected look of a good art gallery wall. For a long time I had wanted one but suffered from overwhelm when it came to actually choosing the pieces. Being a mom of five beautiful kids I also wanted to display more photos of our family. These two ideas came together and formed our family photo art gallery wall.
I decided to make art out of family photos in a unique and creative way. Here’s how I did it!
Upcycled Fabric or Clothing, Black & White Photography & Modern Frames
Fabric (Upcycled if possible)
Get creative and cut the fabric upcycled clothing into shapes to us as a backdrop to your photos. If you have clothing with sentimental meaning but no reason to keep it, use it in your art for something special. I’m an abstract artist and so my shapes were abstract and I played with layering them in ways that pleased my eye. Decide on your color palette. Mine was a nature inspired look of warm neutrals with greens.
Because your photos will be in black and white this is a good time to get creative with color. When designing my fabric art I kept in mind areas where I would want to add my photos later. I glued the fabric onto the carboard insert of each frame with this glue here.
Black and White Photos
For my photos I simply printed them in black and white at our local Walgreens store. It’s very inexpensive and I love going through old digital photos I haven’t seen in years, but that hold so many wonderful times and memories. Instead of putting the photos in the frames as is, I removed the figures from the photo with a scissors. This scissors here is my favorite one, so pretty. When placing your photos in the frame just add a drop of glue so they don’t move around while your replacing the glass.
For this gallery wall I settled on neutral hues and a few different metals for color and depth. When choosing frames keep in mind you want a cohesive look, but diversity as well. Have at least three different size frames and in varying designs. Mix wood and metal together for depth and texture. I used frames that came with mats for most, but not all of my frames. Several of the picture frames where found at thrift stores as well. These three frames here, here, and here gave that clean, modern look I wanted.
To hide our doorbell wall chime I had to get very creative. I took the top of a wooden children’s puzzle box and turned it into an art canvas. This family gallery wall has meaning and is to remind us of the past while looking forward to the future. In honor of this I cut and glued twelve squares of fabric onto the makeshift canvas. The middle two are cut from the same clothes but different from the rest. They represent me and Jeremy. The squares surrounding them represent our five children and the loves of their lives they have yet to meet. The kids rolled their eyes at this idea, but I’m a romantic so I love this piece of art with all my heart.
Installing the Gallery Wall
Once you have everything in place you’re ready to place your art photos on the wall! The last step of this process helped me decide exactly where to put each frame. I traced the shape of the frames onto brown paper, cut the shapes out and then taped the shapes onto the wall. Taking the time to do this allowed me to play around with different design variations before committing to placement. For me this was important because part of my procrastination of this gallery wall was the fear of messing it up. Having the ability to change my mind as to where each piece should go helped easy my anxiety and get started. I also used these Command Strips here to attach the frames to the wall. Knowing I could somewhat easily take these strips down and try again also encouraged me to begin this gallery wall project.
There all done! Not such a huge job when you break it up into little bits. I love our custom family Photo Art Gallery Wall. As the years pass I’ll add to it. For now it makes me smile each time I walk by and see those shining faces of the ones I love so much.
Have you tried an gallery wall? Is combining a family photo and art gallery wall something you would try? Let me know in the comments.