My Favorite Ways to Display Photos

posted by Andrea | 10/28/2016

display photos

Up until a few years ago, I almost never printed any paper photos.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I keep all our photos organized on my computer, on Flickr, and on our portable hard drive. I then use those digital pictures to create digital photo albums and print the entire album at the end of the year.

This systems works very well for me… but after having children, I realized our parents and grandparents liked to get updated family and kid pictures every few months.

So for the past few years, I’ve gotten into a habit of printing a few pictures every time I get a freebie offer from Shutterfly or from our local grocery store. I never print the full 101 photos from Shutterfly — usually just 20-30, but I always seem to have a few leftover photos after our relatives pick out the ones they want.

I used some of the leftover photos to update our big shelf of black frames, and I let the kids play with the rest. I don’t care if they get ripped or wrinkled, or even if the kids color on them — so the extra photos have never gone to waste. (Sidenote, I DO throw the pictures away after the kids play with them, if they get ruined, or if I replace them with newer photos)

However, when we rearranged our master bedroom back in July, we suddenly had a HUGE space above our bed that definitely needed something decorative.

I wanted to do something with photos — but NOT professional photos. I wanted everyday photos of the kids and our family… but the thought of hanging a bunch of frames in a cute collage seemed unnecessarily overwhelming for me.

Then I remembered we had this huge frame with chicken wire in our storage closet. We had previously used it to display our Christmas cards… and I decided it would be the perfect place to hang family photos in our bedroom.

The frame is definitely on the big side for our space — potentially a bit too big — but it’s what we had in the house, it was free, and it took me approximately 25 seconds to pound 2 nails in the wall and hang it up.

I love that we now have a super fun way to display a bunch of my favorite pictures of my favorite people.

I also love that it is extremely easy to swap out pictures whenever I print more. No need to take down the frames, change the pictures, rehang the frames, etc. Plus, I don’t need to dust the frames! 🙂

You know how much I LOVE chippy-paint and chicken wire — so I feel like this frame fits the style of our house perfectly.

I’m not convinced I’ll leave it here for years and years to come, but it was a simple, frugal solution that is “good enough” for right now!

NOTE: Here’s the very simple DIY tutorial for this chicken wire frame (from 4 years ago).


If you’re looking for other super simple ways to display photos, here are 4 more ideas I use in our home:

1. String wire inside of an old frame.

This is very similar to the chicken wire idea, but a it looks more organized. I simply pounded 4 tiny nails along each side of the frame and then tied thin wire between them. You could also use a sturdy string or thin rope depending on the look you are going for.

I used paper clips to secure them to the wire, but tiny clothespins would look REALLY cute too!

2. Glue clothes pins to a yard stick.

I created this fun photo holder when Nora was still a baby and we’ve been using it ever since.

It took me about 10 minutes to make (here’s the tutorial).

3. Group several same-colored frames.

We have a set of 3 big barn-beam shelves in our office and the bottom shelf holds 30+ black photo frames with various pictures of our family, our kids, grandparents, old family photos from Dave and my childhood, photos of pets, wedding photos, etc. It’s honestly one of my favorite places in our entire house, and it’s conveniently in my office — which is right off our living room!

Since I already had all the frames, this whole project took me about a hour and only cost $4! (Here’s the tutorial.)

4.  Frames on top of frames

I guess I’m not sure what to call this concept — but I basically made a wooden slab from extra wood flooring, and then hung it on the wall.

We get SO many compliments on this wooden wall hanging — literally any time someone new comes to our house they say something like “oh, that’s so cool” or “wow, I love that idea”. (Here’s the tutorial).

I have spent VERY LITTLE time, money, or energy on any of these photo projects… and I get so much happiness from seeing a variety of my favorite photos on display all the time.

It’s interesting how much my kids like having the photos out too — definitely worth the small time and money investment for me!

I’d love to know…

What are your favorite ways to display photos?

Filed under: HomeDecorating

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  1. Bonnie'sMama


    Gretchen Rubin (of The Happiness Project) says that having photos of loved ones around you can make you happier. I didn’t think it would make much of a difference for me; photos were never a big deal in my family when I was growing up.

    But after our baby was born this summer, I scheduled family pictures, and right away got a 12×18 inch photo printed, framed, and hung over our couch, as well as 8X10s of each of the kids. Even though my clothes and weight aren’t perfect in that photo, I am amazed how happy it makes me to see My Very Own Family, with three beautiful children that belong to us! I’d like to make a wall hanging like you have over your couch, with the saying, “This is our Someday.”


    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing this Bonnie! I have to agree — I LOVE seeing the photos up on our walls and my big shelf full of frames. Everyone always asks how I can stand all that ‘clutter’ but it really doesn’t bother me at all — I really enjoy the pictures so much!


  2. Christine from The (mostly) Simple Life


    I don’t display many photos, but I like having the same color frames in a room. My problem is I feel things look a little too cluttered with tons of frames, so I go for a few larger ones instead of lots of little ones.


  3. Ashley


    We have a collage wall in our living room with a variety of photos over our married life. The frames are from our wedding, so that makes them extra special. I also love to have a special picture printed on canvas every now & then (2-3 years). Groupon or other deal sites almost always have a way to get a nice suffered canvas for very cheap!


    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I’ve done the Groupon canvases too — for the kids when they were babies 🙂