How to Create a Photo Wall

wall photoswall photosBy Woman's Day Staff

Whether you're mixing family photos, using wall shelves or want a clean, symmetrical look, read on for three ways to display photographs on your home's walls. Photos by Lucas Allen; prop styling by Matthew Gleason
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STYLE 1: Eclectic Mix

Group related images "randomly" in frames with one unifying factor. These frames, in varying shapes and sizes, were all painted white. Arrange them from the center outward.


Start with more photos than you need, then pare them down to a visually pleasing group. "Theme and color are the easiest ways to create a cohesive grouping," says Lynn Fey-Duncan of Atlanta custom framer Larson-Juhl. Think all vacation photos, family portraits or black-and-white snaps. (Did you know that photo software can turn color digital photos into black-and-white ones?) Make sure the photos have a similar balance of color and intensity-one dark indoor shot will get lost in a sea of sunlit ones.

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STYLE 2: On a Ledge

Attach a 2"- to 3"-deep picture ledge to the wall, then place your framed photos on it so that they lean against the wall with their edges overlapping slightly. This method makes it easy to trade out or update photos.


Grouped pictures look best if the frames have the same style, shape or color, or even just the same shade mat. A nice way of taking that idea one step further: "If you're grouping four generations of family photos," Fey-Duncan suggests, "you might use all gold frames and match the frame style with the era of the photo." With larger frames, use a wide mat so your photos have plenty of room to breathe, which will keep your arrangement from feeling cluttered. "This lets the eye focus on each individual piece instead of seeing a chaotic bunch of images," says Fey-Duncan.

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STYLE 3: Grid System

Evenly space frames in two or more horizontal rows, using a level to keep them precisely aligned. This works best with frames and mats that all match.


Don't just start hammering! Perfect your grouping first. Use painter's tape to mark off the area of the wall you want to cover-centering your group at eye level, about 57" from the floor. Tape off the same area on a floor and arrange your framed photos there. When you're happy with the layout, take a photograph of it. Trace each frame's outline onto a piece of paper and cut it out to use as a template. Using the layout photo as a guide, tape the templates to the wall, tweaking the spacing and alignment until you're satisfied. Drive the nails or hooks through the paper, then tear it off before you hang the pictures. (For our favorite hanging technique and hardware, go to

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