DIY Frame Collage Fail

Good morning everybody!  Did you have a good weekend?  We spent our days off floating down the Buffalo River with my husband’s side of the family and had a blast.  We’re also both sporting some crazy sunburns today (even though we wore lots of sunscreen) – oops!

I’ve been trying to decide what to hang on the empty wall at the end of our hallway for awhile now, and when we got home yesterday I decided it was time to figure it out.  For the longest time, I’ve been inspired by this image.


(I believe it’s from an Apartment Therapy or Design*Sponge house tour, but I’ve been unable to track down the original source. UPDATE: It’s from Our Little Beehive!  Thanks for the source, Morgan!)

The repetition and scale of those large square prints really grabbed my attention.  Then, after posting this photo on Friday, I thought maybe I could DIY a combination of the two.  My thought was to create several large square canvases with photos from the same color family to hang in a column at the end of hall.

Cute Canvases, Target

That was the grand plan, but you’ll see I strayed a bit from the original vision.  I started by brainstorming ways to keep the costs down and decided I could substitute pieces of leftover MDF from the garage for the square canvases.  With that in mind, I needed to decide how big those squares would have to be to fill up the wall.

Canvas Sizes in Hall

I knew it could get very expensive to print photos larger than about 12″ wide, so I determined we’d need at least 2 columns of prints.  The paper templates you see in this photo are 8×8, 10×10 and 12×12 inches, respectively.

Canvas Sizes

Hmmm, not as dramatic as I’d hoped they’d be.  The 12″x12″ template had the best scale and presence by far, but I would still need at least 8 prints to fill up the wall.  I did a little research and determined that 12×12 prints typically cost at least $5 each.  In the spirit of saving money, I decided to look for another option.

Enter Plan B.  I have had 4 of these 12×12 square black frames squirreled away for a few months now, and decided to try one out and see if it would feel big enough in the space. I hung it up, and Stephen and I decided if we did a long column of square frames, and made sure our spacing was just perfect – it could work!  Another upside to the frame option is that I could print 8″x8″ photos, mat them, and save significantly on photo printing costs.

Deciding on Frame

After scrounging around for some nails and frame hangers, I had my supplies: 4 frames, 4 picture hangers, a hammer and nails, and a ruler.

12x12 Frame

I measured and marked the center of the frame on the top back edge.

Measuring Center

Then I hammered in my picture hanger.  Note the towel I used to protect my work surface and cushion the frame a bit.

Attaching Hanger

Then it was as easy as measuring the wall to find the center and placing the nails the same distance apart down the wall.  One…

1 Frame


2 Frames


3 Frames


4 Frames

I stepped back and admired the frames and started sorting through photos to pick my favorite four to print and frame.  I think Stephen and I settled on some great ones and I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Hanging Frames

It wasn’t until walking by the frames later on that I realized something was off.  I stepped in closer to Frame #3 and saw this huge crack all the way through the glass!

Cracked Glass

FAIL!  I don’t know if the glass was like that when I bought the frame or if I cracked the glass when I was hammering in the picture hanger, but all of the sudden my inexpensive project went from low cost to low cost + new glass!  Boy did I feel like a dummy!

Looks like I’ll be comparing the cost to replace the glass versus just buying a new frame sometime soon.  Whichever way we go, I hope it can get done quickly because I’m ready to see this wall finally finished!

P.S. I ended up ordering 8×10 prints (which I will crop to 8×8 myself) from Walgreens instead of printing my photos at home.  Why? Because they are having a Father’s Day Sale on prints through June 8.  40% off means my photos were less than $2 each!

So tell me – what were you up to this weekend?  Any framing project successes?  Anybody make a dummy move like I did yesterday? 🙂


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