Learn how to create a family picture wall.
We all love family pictures. But we do have to admit that no matter how much we enjoy these photos, getting out the albums, putting pictures in the albums and remembering exactly who is who and when the pictured event occurred has gotten out of control.
One way to regain mastery over the multitude of photographs is to create a family picture wall. Only a few decisions are needed to get you started. And more important as you survey the clutter of your present collection, a photo wall finally finds a place for your family photos!
The First Step
The first decision is to decide which family members’ photos will go on the wall. You may want to add some creative elements and other images, like a black and white photo of your front door, or your family name in photographic alphabet art. Especially if some of your family lives at a distance, you may want to include the members of your extended family on your wall. If distance or the passage of time means that your children may not or cannot become acquainted with relatives, you may choose to put several generations of your family on your wall.
This provides your family members with the opportunity to make their own decisions about whether Uncle Will looked just like a great grandfather or not. Another approach to building your wall is to feature the most recent events in your and your children’s lives. You may be surprised how often your children will refer to the wall and say, Remember when we went skiing?
Where to Put Your Family Picture Wall
The second decision is where to create your family picture wall. Some people have strong reactions, either positive or negative, to a large display of family pictures in their living room. Consider other locations throughout your house. A wall in the family room or den or along a staircase lets family members see the pictures regularly.
Look for a location that allows pictures to be hung low enough for children to see them clearly. One mother in a very busy family had her husband build and install a large glass-covered multi-picture frame with slots permitting rapid change or addition of photos. This was on a wall in her kitchen. She reported that her children regularly joined her to reminisce about family events and celebrations while she prepared dinner. She is now waiting for the frame to begin filling with pictures of her children’s children.
Building a custom frame is only one possible way to make your wall unique. Some families choose a single style of frame in numerous sizes to give their wall a unified look. Others take pleasure in suiting the frames specifically to their pictures, haunting rummage sales, thrift stores and yard-sales for old-fashioned and modern frames that best show off several generations of relatives in the styles of their times.
In earlier days finding suitable frames for old pictures required an extensive and often expensive, time-consuming search. This was an endless frustration stemming from the right frame being the wrong size. One can take a bit of comfort in knowing that relatives struggled with this problem even more than we do now.
There is even more comfort to be taken from the recent advances in photo developing that make changing the sizes and preserving the quality of old photographs easy and affordable. Damaged old photographs still benefit most from the expert touch of a professional photograph-restorer. Even in small communities camera stores, libraries or a locl historian can often guide you to professional restorers.
Copying or enlarging old photographs or recent snapshots in good condition can often be done at the camera store or even the photo department of your drugstore. Digital cameras and color copiers add greatly to your choices when preparing photographs for display.
There are more reasons than ever to stop talking about creating a family picture wall someday and making it happen now. Remember the yard stick and masking tape to mark good straight lines. Treat yourself to the good picture-hooks that will leave your wall with minimal damage. Then sit back and enjoy the faces, smiles, activities and events that make your family so special and your family picture wall a permanent pleasure.