Last month I completed a major goal that I’d been procrastinating on for far too long: I organized all of my family’s digital photos! I did this by creating simple computer folders by year, and then sub-folders to name the event or time of year. Finally, I purchased an online back-up plan for peace of mind should anything happen to my computer.
One of the main reasons that I wanted to do this is so I could update some of the photos we have on display in our home. My kids are 6 and 8 right now and sadly, most of what we have hanging in the hallways are baby photos!
I decided to update one of the walls in our master bedroom with some of the newer portraits. This is the “before” view above our tall dresser. I love the dresser and the wall color, but the hodge podge of knick knacks were just not cutting it. Furthermore, that wall was screaming for some decor!
For today’s post, I’m going to take you from start to finish through this project and show you how easy it was to accomplish thanks to Fred Meyer! Through trial and error (mostly error) I’ve also developed an easy method for hanging a collage of photos that will have you actually enjoying the process instead of dreading it. This is saying a lot because I generally avoid even modest home projects like the plague.
My first stop: Fred Meyer’s frame section. Have you ever been? You’ll find a variety of styles, colors, and sizes – and they are almost always on some sort of sale. The week of my visit, there was a “buy one, get one 1/2 price” store coupon. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and they’ll also put out a 10% off home decor extra bonus coupon you can stack with any store sales or coupons!
Side note here: I bought two more expensive frames ($24.99 & $19.99) and two inexpensive frames ($5.99 each). The “buy one, get one 1/2 price” coupon took 1/2 off one of the larger frames and one of the lesser frames (as opposed to just giving me half off the two lesser frames). I love how it automatically happened like that and gave me the best deal, so I didn’t have to ask.
If you’re stumped on what kinds of frames to buy for your wall, you could definitely go the route of buying a photo frame collage – like the one pictured above.
Here’s my first tip for putting together a family portrait wall: don’t be afraid to mix and match! Few things are more daunting (in my humble opinion) than trying to hang 20 matching frames in a symmetrical pattern.
I also knew that I wanted to mix and match photos from different events, so having frames that weren’t matching made sense.
I even took the mix and match a further step by incorporating this accent mirror into my portrait wall! It was on sale for $9.99, but the day I shopped there was a 30% off coupon – so I paid just $6.99! Consider checking out Fred Meyer’s wall decor, mirrors, and clocks for additional ideas.
Here’s another tip about shopping for frames at Fred Meyer: make sure to check out the home clearance sections! I found several collage-style photo frames as well as albums discounted for 60% off clearance at my store!
Here’s something I discovered recently about Fred Meyer: they offer photo printing services! I was shocked that I’d never made this discovery before! To get started, you can create a free account at FredMeyer.com and submit your photo orders online. I found that the prints were very reasonably priced (I paid $0.13 per 4X6 and $1.99 per 8X10) and I was very pleased with the quality! You can pick your orders up in the Electronics Department and they are generally ready in an hour or so from the time you order.
I ended up choosing the “luster” finish (vs. “glossy”) and I ordered more photos than I had frames for so I would have some options to play with.
All told, I ended up spending about $55 on the frames, mirror, and photos for my project by shopping at Fred Meyer. I was able to keep the price down thanks in part to sales and coupons that the store had available. I also earned Fuel Points and Rewards Points on my purchase!
Once you have your frames and photos, it’s time to hang them! If you’re like me, hanging pictures is something I used to hate just about more than anything. It would seem that the pictures were never quite level and I’d inevitably end up with a wall riddled with nail holes. It used to take me forever to hang photos too. Well, not anymore!
Here’s what you’ll need to hang your photo collage:
- Nails or screws (since my frames are light weight, I’m just using regular nails)
- Tape measure
- Small level
- Posterboard or butcher paper
- Painter’s tape
- Pen or pencil
If you are lacking any of these items – ALL of them are available at Fred Meyer. (See? It’s truly a one-stop shop – you can get your photos, frames, and hanging supplies all at one place!)
What you’re going to do is trace each of your frames onto the posterboard or butcher paper and cut to size. An important added step is to indicate where the nail/screw holes will need to go for each frame. I punched a hole in the spot using my pen. Finally, I labeled each frame with the image so I could remember what’s what.
This was my little picture helper, Smike. Smike got snipped last week, so he’s been donning the “cone of shame” ever since which is a real nuisance for both of us (he keeps knocking into me).
(I recognize this has little to nothing to do with my picture hanging post – mostly nothing – but I thought he looked sort of sad and sweet and wanted to share his photo with you. Moving along….)
Once I had my paper frames cut out, I laid them on the floor and fiddled with the arrangement. It’s much easier to make adjustments on the floor than with nails! Once I had the arrangement and placement I liked, I made notes on the paper about the spacing between and around the frames.
Now I was ready to hang my paper frames to the wall using the painter’s tape. I started with my center frame, making sure to hang it in the middle of the wall. Then, I made sure it was level.
Next, I added the rest of the frames making sure to follow the measurements I indicated. I made adjustments as needed, and made sure every frame was level. When you have everything exactly how you want it with the paper frames, you’re ready to add the nails!
Once again, I stared with my center frame. Check out how perfect I got this just by following the nail holes in my paper frame! Perfectly level on the first go – ta da!
I completed this process for each frame: adding the nails, then gently removing each paper frame and putting on the actual one. Then, I made sure each was level.
Here’s my completed wall! The whole process of adding the photos to the frame, cutting out the paper frames and hanging took me under an hour – perhaps even closer to 30 minutes (I didn’t time it, sorry). More importantly, it was simple and easy to do and I got it right on the first try. No frustrating moments.
I absolutely love how this turned out and look forward to waking up each morning to see the smiling faces of my family on the wall.
Here are some quick tips, to recap today’s post:
- Don’t be afraid to mix and match frames, colors, and photos
- Trace frames onto paper, making sure to indicate where all nail or screws need to go
- Arrange the paper frames on the floor until you have a configuration you’re happy with
- Use painter’s tape to hang the paper frames on the wall
- Use a level and measuring tape to ensure everything’s even
- Add the nails as indicated on the first paper frame – then remove and replace with the real frame and level
- Continue the process until all frames are hung
- Clean up any smudges with a microfiber cloth
I hope today’s post has shown that you can make a big impact in your home with just a little bit of money and time. It truly doesn’t take much to transform a wall! For more ideas, please check out my Fred Meyer Shopping Guide post – it’s full of tips and tricks for maximizing your savings at Fred Meyer.
How about you? Do you loathe hanging pictures, or do you have other tips to share? Did you know Fred Meyer offers photo printing services? Please share!
Disclosure: Today’s post has been sponsored by Fred Meyer. They have provided me with a gift card for today’s DIY post as well as the gift card for the winner. All opinions expressed at 100% my own. For more information, please visit my Disclosure Policy.