Grouping Photo Frames: A Weekend Project

Grouping Photo Frames: A Weekend Project

How to group framed photos without spending a lot of money

How to group photo frames
I need to fix the blue one.

If you’re like me you probably have lots of old frames kicking around the house.

You don’t? Well that’s OK too. You can pick up inexpensive frames at the dollar store or even by poking around in thrift shops.

There’s a few little tricks you can use to make your frames all work together. If you want to go for a more formal look, you can go for all black frames with either no matting, all the same matting or a mix of both. To group them in a formal setting you can evenly space them in straight lines.

For a more casual look (like I did) take your old frames of any size, shape, or color. You can use leftover wall paint from previous renos and paint your frames. When painting the frames it’s easiest if you take the glass out, but if it doesn’t come out you can use painters tape to keep paint off the glass. If you don’t actually have any leftover paint you can buy really inexpensive mis-tints at the hardware store, sometimes even in nice little containers for $1! Or you can just use any paint you have, like toll paints. I didn’t paint all my frames in this project; just the ones that really didn’t match. I left the black ones as they were.

What you’ll need for a casual grouping of photo frames:

  • Photos
  • Frames
  • Paint (and brushes)
  • Picture hangers (or nails and a hammer)
  • A level
  • Various photo mats (optional)

In a casual grouping, it doesn’t matter if the mats are matching or even similar. I’m a big fan of shabby-chic so I liked that my frames and mats were all different.  To group photos in a casual formation… well, there are no rules. Pretty much anything goes. You don’t want them to be too perfect. I like to lay them out on the floor first to see what looks good. Chose the photo you want for the center and work your way out from there. You don’t need to space them equally; just move them around until you find a configuration that you like, then set to hanging. The most important thing when hanging is to make sure they are level.

Use a level

When attaching the pictures to the wall, I find it easiest to use Command Picture Hanging Strips. No hammers or nails needed and they won’t damage your walls if used properly. Great for rentals!

Keep the strips attached to each other, remove the backing from one side and stick them to your frame. Then remove the backing off the other side of the strips, hold the frame up to the wall where you want it to go with the level set on top, then stick! Another great thing about these strips is that you can easily adjust them if they aren’t quite level.

And it’s as easy as that. Keep sticking your frames to the walls in your pre-determined pattern, making sure each individual frame is level. When they’re all up, stand back and look at them all as a whole. You’ll most likely be able to see if there are any that aren’t quite right, and then you can readjust until you are content.

The nice thing about this method is that you can start off with a few frames and keep adding to the configuration over time. You can eventually cover the whole wall if you like! (I’m working towards that because I’m very camera happy.)

Good luck!


As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts or questions about this project. We also would love to see photos of your completed version!  


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