DIY Photo Collage

Nine or so months ago, I purchased six wooden picture frames from Goodwill for $6. At the time, I was planning to make a wall collage for my dorm room, so I sanded and spray painted the six frames. Since then, I have moved home (for good) and after doing so, I realized that the colors of the frames did not match my room at home. My room at school was turquoise, grey, and yellow whereas my room at home is grey, navy, orange, and red. So I decided to revamp my picture frames but to also double the amount of frames that I had. To do this, I went to Goodwill and picked up 6 more frames which cost me $12. I already had my Africa pictures in 4×6, 5×7, and 8×10 prints, so those didn’t cost me anything at the time of the project. My next task was to pick out paint. For Christmas, Nathan ordered me a beautiful tapestry from India. My dad and I aren’t allowed to paint our apartment walls and I can’t stand bright white walls, so I had been eyeing a colorful tapestry for months. This is the one Nathan got me: IMG_4157The main background of the tapestry is navy blue, with orange, burnt red, and an deep turquoise green. I didn’t really have anything to go with the tapestry at the time, but I also received a down comforter with a grey cover for Christmas (which I paired with a coral like orange pair of sheets) and it surprisingly matches well. I had these colors in mind when I went to pick out spray paint, but because I was feeling particularly lazy that day, instead of driving to Eugene for spray paint, I drove to Junction City where my color selection was limited. I found a burnt orange that I really liked and also picked up a navy blue just incase (I had grey at home already). The spray paint totaled $8 and I eventually ended up returning the navy, so only $4! After getting home, I realized that some of the frames were already a bright yellow, but I really wanted a dark mustard yellow, so I mixed some yellow acrylic with the burnt orange spray paint and hand painted three of my frames. The rest, I sanded down and then used either grey, burnt orange, or paprika (which I found in Nathan’s shop. By the way, Robin, if you’re reading this, I totally owe you a half a can of Paprika! HA!). The whole process actually went super fast, probably because while I painted, Nathan sanded, so the entire thing took less than an hour. I laid out some butcher paper and boxes, sprayed the frames with two or so coats of paint, waited for them to dry, and then inserted my pictures!

Now, there is an issue with buying frames at Goodwill and the issue is that most of them do not have hanging hooks on the back. I learned this the first time that I picked up frames and attempted a craft. Luckily, there are really awesome command hooks that are made just for picture hanging. The command hooks have interlocking velcro, where one sticks to the wall, one stick the the picture, and then the two connect with velcro. I decided since only 2 of my 12 frames had hanging claws, to pick up two packs of the command hooks. Command hooks are rather spendy, but I think that they are totally worth it, so for two packs, I spent $12. Each pack of the command hooks comes with 12, but I used 2 each, cutting them in half to attach to each side of the frame, so I had 12 in total to use instead of 24.

The total price for my frames, paint, and hooks was $28 (not including the frames and spray paint that I already had along with the prints).

As Type A as I am and as much as I like clean, precise lines, I wanted my collage to be fun, so I just went for it when I hung the pictures. I started with the picture that I liked the most as my focal point, and then played around rearranging and holding up the different frames until I found what I liked the best and which colors/frames worked the best by one another!

So really it just comes down to these simple steps:

1. Buy your frames

2. Sand & paint

3. Attach hooks or command strips

4. Add pictures

5. Arrange & hang

I had so much fun doing this and it really adds color to my white walls! So, you’re probably wondering what the heck these picture frames that I have been raving about look like. Well, here is my wall collage:


I have so many pictures from Africa, that I had a really hard time choosing which to frame, but these are a few of my favorites. I also framed my sponsor child info because I am constantly losing it and at the top left, I framed a piece of chalkboard paper that I used a white crayon on 🙂

IMG_4153   IMG_4156

The black and white photo of the children is in the burnt orange, the giraffe photo is in the paprika, the yellow is my homemade yellow, and then of course grey 🙂

This DIY is so simple, quick, and relatively cheap!


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