Photo Wall Art – Portrait Display

As you know, our formal pictures are in our formal living room.  For the Family Room, I wanted something more casual.  I’ve seen several ideas about cutting boards and Mod Podging on photos so they look like they’re on gallery boards or canvas, etc.  I was going to do that, but then it evolved to all the pictures being on one board – I LOVE it! And so I put together a quick tutorial for a Photo Wall Art – Portrait Display:

First, I took down my curtains from my family room (seen at the bottom of this Post About Curtains) and rigged them up outside so I could take pictures with them as the background – I knew the pictures would match the room that way!  For the casual feel I went with some crazy faces and some not – just take A LOT of pictures so you have options.  The hardest was to get my just-turned-2-year-old to make crazy faces on demand – I ended up making faces at him and he would mimic them back.  I made 8×10 prints (through MPix – so impressed with them), but you can even make 8x10s at a 1 hour photo if you want.

how to make photo wall art diy

To start, I painted a thin board (it can’t be too heavy because it’d be trickier to hang on the wall) black – obviously, color choice is up to you.  I had the board cut to 36 inches by 40 inches – I have 12 pictures with 1.5 inch gaps between everything.

Then I put mod podge on the back of the pictures and stuck them down where I wanted them.

Then I put a generous coat of Mod Podge over the top of everything – this helped seal down the edges of the pictures and give some texture (like canvas) to the finish.

We went with exposed hardware and put a screw and washer in each corner.  Trevor found some rubber spacer things and used those behind the board  (kind of hard to see – it’s black) to make the board sit out from the wall – I love that.

It fills up the wall behind the couch.  This view is standing in the family room looking back into the kitchen:

The kids love having their “crazy faces” hanging on the wall.  I love the impact and personality it adds to our family room.  You can do this – it’s just spreading glue on a board – go try it!


Thanks for Reading


    • dee williams says

      You can always do a smaller one. Use 4×6 or 5×7 pictures. You could do it with fewer photos and a smaller board. Any size really.

  1. says

    WOW I Love it. We are painting our house and I need something behind the couch so I think I will also try and do this with my sons and daughters pictures. Thanks for sharing. I found you on Boost My Blog and I am now a new follower.

  2. says

    This is so cool. I might borrow the idea as Christmas gifts for our family here this Christmas since we might be moving back to Norway in 2012. That way they will have a wonderful way of remembering the kids and all their antix.
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. says

    This is so cool. I might borrow the idea as Christmas gifts for our family here this Christmas since we might be moving back to Norway in 2012. That way they will have a wonderful way of remembering the kids and all their antix.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. says

    I love how all the kids are making goofy faces. How fun, and what a great huge, picture prefect focal point that is now.

    Come link up!!!


    Bella :)

  5. says

    Saw this on TT&J’s facebook page and thought you had 12 children from the thumbnail picture lol.

    Love this idea! Little work for a big impact.

  6. says

    I LOVELOVELOVE this idea!!! And the scrapbooker in me thinks it would look awesome with some letters adhered to the center with a word like: family, love, silly…..whatever comes to your mind…or even yhour last name….or initials. OMGosh how you have inspired me!!!!

  7. says

    Ahhh brilliant idea!!
    I needed something for my newly painted hallway so I shall be doing a long version in antique white I think. Funnily enough I have that type of board in the cupboard already!!

    Thank you for the idea ;) x

  8. says

    you may have just saved my living room from decorator’s demise… I just ripped everything off the wall to paint and have been staring at the blankness all week… tomorrow? picture time!!!

  9. says

    So cute…I love this idea. It’s a GREAT way to use those silly poses that sometimes REALLY show their personality…but aren’t what you would normally “frame”.

  10. says

    Aw, SO CUTE! Look at those faces! I love how you went with silly faces…no wonder the kids love looking at it! My little boy (almost 3) loves to look in the mirror and make weird faces. It takes up a good 1/2 hour of his time. So fun!

  11. says

    AWESOME!! Seriously amazing!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie last week! I can’t wait to see what you have for this week!

  12. says

    This is a great idea. I have yet to try this. I was thinking that putting Modge Podge to a photo would just make it smear from getting wet. Hmmm….gonna have to try this for sure. :)

  13. says

    Hi Mandy, I love the mod podging to look like canvas but question:

    Where do you print the photos? I know Walmart has cheap prices to print pictures but I wasn’t sure if they would work as well on a project like this.

    PS. Trevor’s blog is super funny!

  14. says

    I found this on Pinterest. This is really wonderful! Love the mix of the silly and the ‘proper’ pictures!
    I’ll be adding this one to my “Creative Ideas” pinterest board. :)

  15. says

    I am in the process of making a photo like this w/ my 2 boys and using 6 photos. My question is, how did you hang this photo? Did you just use the screws and screw into the wall??
    It is a neat idea and cheap too!! I wanted something to hang in our family room that didn’t have glass in it bc it’s by a door. This was the perfect idea!!

    • says

      Yep, I just screwed it to the wall. You can see in the corners of it the silver – I drilled a hole in the board and put a washer and a screw through it, so the screw would look like it was added interest and not just a distraction. And then just screwed it directly to the wall. No glass or anything. Good luck with yours!

  16. Holley says

    I love this idea!! I take tons of photos of my 3 children. Does it matter if you print the pictures in matte or glossy? I have never worked with modge podge and from the looks of it, it is safe to use on photos. The modge podge doesn’t alter the print any does it?

  17. Anna Kathryn Thames says

    How do I go about printing photos for this? Would I need to have them printed on photo paper or regular, copy paper?


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