How to Make a Photo Gallery Collage

Today marks the two year anniversary of my first date with D. Hard to believe it's only been two years! In  my mind, I put him into stories that happened before we met- it just feels like he was always there! If you're wondering where we met, it was on Match.com, believe it or not. Maybe someday we'll get on a commercial- in the mean time you can read our engagement story here.

Look at that good looking couple...

Oh, you thought this post was about how to make a photo gallery collage? Well, you are indeed in the right place.

We've got a lot more house than we have furniture or decor so we are constantly tossing around ideas of where our hypothetical furniture should go. As you can see, our basement living area is pretty large and is only half-filled by our stuff. And yes, the carpet is pink.
D says hello!
This is technically the "Man Cave" area of the house and D had talked about wanting to put up a collage of the two of us using memorabilia and photos. What a perfect idea for his anniversary gift! I know it will make him so happy to come home and see it complete.

To start, I gathered anything I could find that would hang on the wall. Framed pictures and license plates, college flags and those lovely fraternity paddles. I made sure that each item was not only meaningful but also that each of us was represented.

I started with hanging D's big Mizzou flag to define the remaning space I had to work with. I think he'd be thrilled if that was the only thing I put up. He loves his Mizzou. You should have seen him when the basketball team lost their first round in the NCAA tournament. Not a pretty sight.
Next, I laid out all of the items on the floor and arranged them until they looked just right. I prefer to have everything lined up on the edge so that it all fits inside a big rectangle but you can always have it look more free-flowing if you prefer.
The next step was to tape off the gallery area I was going to use with painter's tape. This helps get everything leveled on the edges and also keeps everything at the appropriate height.
I started with the top line and made sure that it was level before I proceeded.
Then I added the sides and lastly the bottom, using the level on each.
Now to step back and make sure it looks just how I want it! I ended up lowering the top line once I took a look at things. As long as you stay within this box, nothing is going to be placed too low or too high.

To begin, I started with the upper corner using my fool-proof method for hanging pictures. There will be no stray pencil marks or holes if you try my trick! All you need is painter's tape. Take a piece long enough to reach from the picture hanger to about an inch over the top of the picture. Position the tape where the center of the straight end hangs where the nail will be.
Next, hold the tape in place carefully and place the picture level with the top tape line, pressing the tape onto the wall. Smooth the lower half of the tape down and hammer in your nail in the center of the end of the tape and finally, remove the tape. (Note: if you're using picture hangers instead of a plain nail, you will have to account for the length of the nail to the hook)
I have never been able to hang pictures level before this trick!
Look at that handsome college grad!
I continued placing pictures down the side to establish the height of the gallery...
Then I continued to fill in the space, tweaking things as the gallery evolved, using my level guides. This took no time at all! If you aren't wanting to take the time and resources to trace and cut out each item out of paper- this is the way to go to get great results! You can even use these tricks to hang a row of pictures on the wall to make sure they're level with each other.
And best of all, D loved it!

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Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com said...

Hi! Visiting from CRAFT. I love this! Such great tips on how to make it perfect. Going to use this soon :)

Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes said...

This really is a wonderful tip for hanging things. My Dad is the official picture hanger in our house since he's picky about getting everything straight. Yet he's one of those people that has 20 lines on the wall by the time he's done. Your method seems a lot easier. Thanks for sharing it on Your Cozy Home Party!

Lauren said...

@Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes Yes, the pencil lines never work for me. They always seem to be 2 inches above the picture after it's hung! Glad you like my method, thanks for stopping by!

D @ The Shady Porch said...

Great tips and it's perfect for the Man Cave! What a nice anniversary surprise! Thanks for sharing at the Rock N Share!

Lauren said...

@D @ The Shady Porch And thank you for hosting! Can't wait to do it again next week! Glad you enjoyed my post :)

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