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Decorate My Home, Part 8 – Picture Collage

Do you ever watch the HGTV channel?
We don’t have it anymore (darn…) but I used to watch as decorators would create wall collages using cut outs of papers the help them.

I tried it.

And will never go back.

And our walls thank me for not putting so many holes in the wall.

I got it right the first time.

And that never happens.

(And thanks again Susan, we still love our pictures. You’re great!)

You’ve probably seen online or on TV, how designers will trace their frame sizes onto paper, cut them out, and place them on the wall…..just how they like it. It helps a ton to visualize where everything will go. And you can move everything around 100 times, just to be sure you have it where you want it.

I actually played around with my frames on the ground first, to see how I’d like the whole collection to go….

And then used little straight pins to attach my papers to the wall. My walls are white, so you can’t even see the little pin pricks….but you could use that wall tacky stuff, or a teeny bit of tape (careful that it’s not too sticky or it will pull your paint off) to place your papers on the wall.

**And I also marked with little dots where the hooks on the frame were, so that I could just put the nail right into the paper, tear the paper away, and then hang my frame.

This is a sure way to successfully hang a whole collage of pictures.
And it was worth cutting out the papers.
I know I would have been pulling and re-pounding nails for a long time.
All the while, angry that I didn’t use the paper trick.

Thank you HGTV.

A happy success.


Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with my craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Our Journey says:

    wow your walls look great

  2. Anonymous says:

    I'm confused about how you mark the hanger position. Do you trace it on the paper with the frame's back facing up? I realllly want to use this trick!

  3. Laurann and Matt says:

    What an awesome idea, especially also to put the dots on the paper, hammer it right then and there, and tear the paper off.

  4. Lisa C. says:

    Command strips are great to use. No holes. But I love the paper idea to get the layout right.

  5. Jessie says:

    Your wall looks great! I needed some inspiration to do a 7 frame collage and I believe you gave it to me! Take care!

  6. Frugal Home Designs says:

    This looks great. I love how all the pictures have the yellow in the background. It looks wonderful. Great job.

  7. Adrienne says:

    just so you know you can sometimes watch clips from hgtv on hulu. we don't have cable either

  8. The McGraths says:

    My gosh I'm so GLAd I saw this today as I'm gonna atempt a wall collages this afternoon with 12 frames!!! My husband will thank you as well!


    You inspire me! I have been sewing like CRAZY! This A.M. I made coasters and yesterday some pillows…Thanks for all of you cute ideas! Have a good day! Tana

  10. Maggie says:

    OMG – I just did this for the first time yesterday and had so much fun trying all kinds of different arrangements.

    I'll be posting about it on my blog tonight.

  11. Darin and Carolyn says:

    LOVE IT!!!!

  12. Kristina says:

    That's one terrific-looking photo collage! I've never tried this, but if I ever do, I'm going with the paper, all the way.

    Sweetfern Handmade

  13. De Javu Crafts says:

    gOOD idea! IT looks great and the room is so cute! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Michelle says:

    Great job and thanks for showing how you did it.

  15. Fawn Hamilton says:

    Great job! Looks wonderful!

  16. Caley says:

    As an interior designer, I too learned the importance of this trick…another tip to help with frame arrangement is…only have a space of 2-4 inches between frames. Anything larger than that will seem unbalanced. Hope that helps!

  17. bri and shawn says:

    ha! perfect timing, as I JUST put up a photo collage on my (freshly painted) wall and totally DID NOT do the whole paper thing…oops. I won't tell you how many extra holes I put in the wall…sigh…maybe next time I'll feel like cutting up paper…

  18. Jenny says:

    This is genius, absolutely genius. My husband typically hangs pictures in our house and ALWAYS puts several extra holes in the walls and we rent, so that is never a good thing.

  19. Tanya and Colin says:

    I love HGTV!!! YOu can watch some of their shows on their website. Your pictures look fab!

    1. Heather Dance says:

      That’s what I was going to say! My husband and I watch all the shows on their website. Love your blog.

  20. jess says:

    i just used that trick the other day in my daughter's new room…after ALMOST not using it…thankfully i did and it went so quick, with only one rogue hole as opposed to like, 10. :D

  21. The Grantham Family says:

    You are a life saver!! I stumbled on your blog threw a friend and this is exactly what i am working on. I have been trying to figure out a way to not put all those mistake holes in my freshly painted wall. THANKS AGAIN!!

  22. Mellisa says:

    brilliant!! Now I need to hang something just so I can try this. Fab idea. Thanks to you (HGTV) for sharing.

  23. Sarah says:

    Great idea. I just thought – once you get all the papers in the right place nail them up, rip the papers off, hang the frames… or did you already know that?

  24. my tiny treasures says:

    I'm in the process of doing this right now. Thank you for sharing!

  25. Lookhart Photography says:

    ummm hello! so awesome! that looks amazing. I will be doing that next time. My walls will thank me too. and the pictures look so great printed out! i wish you weren't so far away so i could do them again! your kids are just so darn cute! hope you are well!

  26. Lizzy says:

    Thanks! I've wanted to do a photo collage, and this will really help me get it just right. :)

  27. Paula from Amen Corners says:

    Beautiful arrangement and a beautiful family. Your photos are wonderful. I'm sure when you walk into that room your eye is immediately drawn to your collage. Kudos for you!

  28. Mrs. McB says:

    Great job! It looks amazing!

  29. Chels says:

    I used to have (and obsessively watch) HGTV too! I saw this neat trick for pictures on it but have never put it to use. I have an empty wall that is just longing for love and attention. Thanks for sharing your wall and picture design!

  30. Morgan says:

    I don't have hgtv, so thanks for the tip! I will definitely b using it!

  31. Miss Anne says:

    LOVE what you've done.

    Thank you for the great ideas!

  32. Adventures in Dressmaking says:

    Very nice, I have a picture collage in my dining room and it is a great way to fill a big, empty wall without spending a lot on a big piece.

  33. Sarah says:

    Thanks, I really need to use the trick instead of turning my poor walls into pin cushions!
    God's blessings,
    Sarah :D

  34. Kerin says:

    Good reminder for us all !
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have the best day

  35. Mom's Place says:

    I do that too! Love HGTV!

  36. The Blossoming Skillet says:

    This is so genius! Trying to decide what and where to hang things right now in the bedroom. I am so glad I found this first!

  37. Janae -- Thoughts in Vinyl says:

    I love that trick too! HGTV is full of great ideas.
    I love the colors in your pictures, they look great.

    I have been following your blog for a couple weeks now, and I love all your fun sewing ideas…my girls love picking out material and standing by the sewing machine waiting until they can put on what I made them. I love all your ideas to reuse what we already have!

  38. Jen says:

    Never thought of this trick! It will definitely come in handy since we just moved to a bigger house and have more walls to hang photos on! Thanks!

  39. M@hPéRÎ says:

    I like this :) thanks for sharing!!

  40. Amanda says:

    I used painters tape and it worked well, but the paper will go faster; especially when you have to adjust something:)

  41. Brittny says:

    Thank you for the idea. I just moved into a new home and my husband always makes a mess of the walls when he hangs pictures! You have saved my walls!

  42. Denise says:

    I love this tutorial. I have been collecting Goodwill and nice Dollar Store frames. Now I know how I will use them. Now to learn to take better photos…
    Is there a tutorial on that?

  43. Melissa: Mother to 3 Little Sprouts says:

    Thank you! I have a lot of picture I was getting ready to put up the same way, but had not idea how to organize! Thanks!

  44. Denice says:

    Love it! I've been putting off a whole bunch of pictures that I've been meaning to hang up in a big collage. I never thought of the paper trick!! Now it seems approachable!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Same for me. Mine have been framed and lined up against the wall on the floor for almost a year with me dreading tackling this huge project! Now, I’m inspired to get it done!

  45. 1 Funky Woman says:

    Your pics look great. As many times as I have learned that trick, I still manage to put a million holes in the wall, it wouldn't be me with out them!

  46. Vanessa says:

    Thank you for the tip! I'm looking at my wall right now and thinking what can I do to them now!!

  47. Emma says:

    What a great looks fantastic!

  48. Jen says:

    Genius! I need to redo a wall collage and I will definitely go this route….after I patch up the holes from my first attempt.

  49. mommy2luke2008 says:

    Love the arrangement. I really need to start doing it this way. I usually have a bazillion holes in the walls before I'm done. I do arrange them on the floor though to see how I want them.

  50. Scrappy Gifts says:

    what a great idea! I need to do that! I love HGTV…I started watching it again this week and am sucked in wishing I own a home.

  51. Kendra @ Domestic Princess in Training says:

    I’ve been collecting GW frames for a few moths just waiting to do something like this. I need a few more and I think I’ll be ready to start. Your arrangement looks lovely! Oh and I love the little chair in the corner; the orange fabric is too cute!


  52. Char @ Crap I've Made says:

    I do this same thing and I will never go back!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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