Saturday, March 28, 2015

Family Tree Photo Gallery

I’ve had this idea for a while: to create a family photo gallery on top of a silhouette of a tree.  First I collected all the photos that I wanted to use.  I found black frames for them with white mats.  The frames vary in size and design.  Some hold two or three photos.  Some were plain and smooth while others have a slight tapering angle to them or grooves that add some dimension and interest. 

I started by cutting out pieces of white butcher paper to match the sized frames I had.  I stuck them on the wall with blue painter’s tape that could be easily removed and repositioned on the wall without removing any paint.  I started with one large photo that would serve as a focal point, an anchor with all the other photos and elements radiating from that one.  I established a few lines within the layout to keep the photos looking organized.  I wanted an asymmetrical layout without it looking haphazard.  I thought about taking similarly sized photos and placing them on opposite sides of my imaginary horizontal and vertical lines that I’d created. 

Once my design was finalized and I had all the templates taped on the wall I used a pencil to outline the silhouette of the tree.  Then I removed the templates and painted the silhouette using paint that was one shade darker than my wall color and one finish shinier.  I was able to make my silhouette using a sample size from the paint counter.  It was a little tricky to paint because one shade darker matches the wall color when wet.  I felt like I was using invisible paint!  I painted along the pencil line, covering the pencil as I went.  As it dried it darkened a bit revealing the subtle look I was going for.
The next day, when the tree was dry I marked where the hanger needed to be for each frame and taped the paper templates back on the wall.  I hammered the picture hangers right through the paper template and then ripped the paper from the nail/hanger. 

I’m very pleased with the results and hope you can use these tips to make a personalized family photo gallery in your home!