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Sumo's Sweet Stuff

Yesterday, I showed you my “new” living room, which is very much like my “old” living room. But in a new spot. It was the third time we have hung our Thailand photo wall in the same exact arrangement.

First in our apartment:

…then in our living room:

…and now in our “new” living room:

The first two times, we laid it out on the floor and then hung it one picture at a time working out from the middle: measuring from the edge of one frame to another, then measuring up or down from the corner for the proper height, then measuring where the nail(s) needed to be on the back of the frame, and then making sure the marks were level…all before we were able to hammer the nail in and hanging a single picture….and, inevitably we still had to take it back off and adjust it a bit when it wasn’t quite right.

The third time around, we wised up and developed this little method:

1. Roll out a piece of wrapping paper or masking paper (we used old Christmas wrap that had a bit of water damage around the edges). A very light weight paper will work best. Depending on the size of the wall arrangement, you may need to double it up. We did.2. Start arranging your frames. If you are shooting for a random look, like ours, I think it is best to start in the middle with your largest frames.3. Keeping playing with it until you like the arrangement. It is easy to keep moving things around until you find your favorite arrangement. Take pictures along the way so that you can compare different arrangements side-by-side on your computer screen if you are having a hard time deciding what you like best.3. Trace around all of the pictures with a marker.

4. Mark where you need your nails. Do this by starting at the top of your arrangement.  Flip the frame up, measure the distance the nail needs to be from the top edge of the frame, and mark that spot on your traced frame. In some cases you can eyeball it because it is so close to the edge. In other cases, you may need to do a bit of measuring.

5. Once all your frames are traced and your nail holes are marked…hang your paper guide on the wall. The advantage of this method of hanging a photo wall over others I’ve seen (in which you trace and cut out paper the same size as each individual frame), is that you can center the entire arrangement where you want it on the wall…and you only have to lift 2-4 pieces of tape to adjust it.6. Once your arrangement is where you want it, hammer some nails into all the places you have marked.7. Pull off the paper. A light paper like this wrapping paper will tear off around the nails with one quick pull. You may have to be more careful with a heavier paper that you don’t pull your nails out with the paper by pulling too fast.8. Start hanging pictures.9. Sit back and enjoy your new creation!


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  1. Rachel R says:

    Ingenious idea! I’ll have to remember this one with my upcoming move. That will be so much easier than what I have done in the past! Thanks for the tip.

  2. Kate says:

    Love this idea! I currently have an arrangement spread out on my floor, and I’vee been dreading cutting out all the paper to tape to the wall.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

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