Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Cheap & Easy Collage

Want an easy way to display pictures that is quick and cheap and won't leave holes in the walls?  Well, I'll tell you to do what I did: copy my friend Kate.  She's a picture taking freak (she took Fern's newborn pictures) and displays pictures all over her house.  Don't you love going into people's homes and seeing pictures of real life and fun adventures sprinkled and displayed in every room?  Oolala, I just love me some pictures.  It's like little (or big) signs of life all over the place.  What kind of houses don't have pictures?  Show houses.  Model homes.  Homes where no one actually occupies.  Not only do I love seeing pictures, I love having pictures!  I'm trying to get creative on how I display them.  I love me a big chunky original frame as much as the next gal, but I just don't want to fork over the money for it.  Here's what I did.  

I used tape.  That's right.  I bought some double sided tape, taped the pictures to an open matte and taped the mattes to the wall.

(Disclaimer: a few of them have fallen, but I don't think I put enough tape on the first time.  I added more tape and slapped back up there and they stay.  For reals.)

Here's the sizing: Kate used 8x10 double mattes with 5x7 pictures.  I'm pushing myself to use bigger pictures, so I used 11x14 single mattes and 8x10 pictures.

The cheapest place with the most variety of mattes is Michael's.  I shopped around and they have a ton ready to go.  They also accept competitor's coupons, so I took in a bundle of Joann's, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's coupons.  I got them around $2 each.

I had the pictures printed at Sam's for $1.99 each.  

Originally, I was going to try to do all different shapes and sizes and do some random collage all to hide that hideous thermostat.  I started this project around midnight, when things click the best in my head, and my inner self yelled out loud and said, "why are you trying to be creative with the sizes?  You are an accounting major who loves clean lines and order.  Let's do this the old fashion way."  So, I did the three across, three up and that worked just fine.  

The running joke with people: they point to the thermostat and say, "this is by far my favorite picture."  To which I reply, "me too.  Something about it makes it really pop, wouldn't you agree?"

This project is part of my Home Goals 2012.  I wanted to display bigger pictures, and especially change out this display in my hallway.  When I was working on this, I was so proud for setting a goal and achieving it.  I mentally patted myself on the back and thought how aggressive I am to jump right on this project and take care of it before 2012 really got started.  Then I realized it's November and there are only two months left.  Better late than never.

Here is the BEFORE (pretty much copied straight from a Pottery Barn magazine circa 2001):

Here is the AFTER (chalkboard art brought to you buy Burl and his cousin):

With larger, matted pictures, the photographs are able to be seen and appreciated much more than when they were small and jumbled all over the wall.  Who knows, I might just have to add another row or two.  With the price tag and ease of this project, it's too perfect not to try it.  Thanks, Kate, for this idea and answering my texts even with your newborn twins.  It turned out great!


  1. Love your wall. I've also found 2 packs of mats at Dollar Tree.

  2. i really LOVE the pictures. they look awesome! off to check your friend's blog. i think i'd like her taste!

  3. I just moved into my first apartment and did this! I wanted something with no nails in my apartment! Mine have fallen a couple of times, did you just use regular double sided tape?

    Thanks for the idea!

    1. Hey Katie!

      Mad props to you for a)getting your own place and b) making your space your own. They say pictures are the best ways to do that.

      Some of mine fell as well and I just put more tape on them and put them back up there. Put them on the picture too.

      Best of luck, Meg