Hallway Collage Complete

A couple weeks ago, we showed you the frame collage we were working on at the end of our long main hallway.  We had to step away from the project for a couple of reasons – first because we needed to replace one of the frames (the glass had broken) and second because we were waiting for the actual items to put IN the frames to arrive in the mail.

Hanging Frames

The first step (replacing the frame with the broken glass) was surprisingly simple.  I had purchased the frames from Hobby Lobby a few months ago and thought that I could at least ask if they’d give me a discount or an even trade on a new frame.  I was prepared to wait for a 50% off sale and spend $5 more on a new frame, but the cashier must have been feeling nice that day because she let me trade out my broken frame for a new one free of charge!

The second step (waiting for our prints) took a little more patience.  I mentioned in the last hallway post that I ordered several 8×10 photos online at Walgreens since they were having a 50% off sale for Fathers Day.  I have a feeling lots of moms and kids out there were doing the same thing because it took 3 days longer to get my prints than they estimated.  When they finally did arrive, we were very pleased with their quality, but I’m just glad these weren’t more time sensitive or we would have been in a pickle!

After replacing the frame, waiting on the prints, and finding time to crop and frame them, here’s how our hallway looks now.

Long View Hall Photos

Stephen and I had a hard time selecting just four of our favorite photos from our trip to Paris, but we love the ones we chose.  Three of our favorite sights and a shot of us on our first day in the city.

Left View Photos

In order to cut costs, I had 8x10s printed and then cropped them myself with a straight-edge and a pair of scissors.  Some of the prints required cropping on both sides, so I had to make sure my corners were nice and square.

This photo was taken from the Arc de Triomphe, looking towards the Eiffel Tower with our hotel in the foreground.

Cropping Eiffel

I haven’t gotten to show you the awesome beauty we saw on our visit to Sacre Coeur yet, but we were blown away by how gorgeous this chapel was!

Cropping Sacre Coeur

I love this photo of Stephen and me, taken in front of the flower gardens on a main intersection of the city.  After the fact, we realized that our outfits match the colors behind us perfectly.

Cropping M&S

The last photo I framed was a shot of Notre Dame from a little side street (you’ll see it in a minute).  You can barely see one of the towers above the shops and trees from the street below.

After I’d cropped the photos, I threw them in the frames to see which color looked best for the matting.  I originally considered a colorful mat, but Stephen thought white or black would be classier.  Once we saw them on the wall, white was the hands-down winner.

White or Black Matting

I got a quote while I was at Hobby Lobby for 4 white 12×12 mats, but when the total came to $40, we decided to go another route.  Instead of using traditional mats, I mounted the photos directly on the cardboard backing of the frame.  We can always add mats later down the line, but this solution gave the look we wanted for now.

I sprayed the cardboard white and let it dry for a couple hours.  I had to dust off bits of grass and bugs from the yard once I brought the pieces in, but luckily the finish ended up nice and smooth.

Painted Cardboard

Then, using a ruler and double-stick tape, I positioned the prints in the center of the cardboard.  You can see the fourth print (peeking up at Notre Dame) in the top left corner.

Mounting Photos to Cardboard

Once the prints had been mounted, it was time to frame and hang!  Here’s how they turned out, up close and personal.

Bottom Photos Top Photos

One thing I would have done differently was to use a completely matte spray paint for the background matting.  The paint I used was a semi-gloss and turned out a bit shiny for my taste.  You only notice it when the light hits the prints a certain way, but I may still go back and spray on a coat of clear matte paint to see if that helps.

Sharp Right View

Regardless, we love how this wall is now a great reminder of a wonderful trip instead of a boring blank slate.  As you can see in the photo below, our next step will be to finish painting the (primed) trim on all those hallway doors!

Long View Hall Photos

So what do you think of our finished collage?  Have you found a special place in your home to display favorite photographs or memories?

Anybody else dreading some upcoming trim-painting like I am? 🙂

Left View Photos

Thanks for reading and check back soon for the final installments of our Paris trip recap!

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