There is already an amazing tutorial and DIY project on the Ruffled Blog which has been inspiring many people to build their own photo walls for parties, weddings and other functions... but at the risk of looking like I'm reinventing the wheel - I thought I'd post an alternative option for how to put one together!
We wanted a photo wall for our special event, but due to the constraints of not having a car, not having a very big flat, and needing something lightweight, portable and collapsable (we walked this to our venue)... we had to come up with an alternative solution.
Our main criteria for the redesign were
a. all pieces we needed to build the frame had fit in a taxi/car from the DIY shop
b. the finished product needed to be lightweight portable enough that we could walk it to the venue, get it up the stairs, and assemble it easily there.
Rather than use plywood, we decided to build a frame out of 1x2 lumber (for those not in the know what is called 1" by 2" lumber, actually measures 3/4" by 1 1/2") and then use hardboard as as lighter, easier to work with and more flexible option, as the main surface of the wall.
For the walls
- 10 x "1 by 2" pieces measuring 72 inches (182cm) in length
- 4 x 3mm hardboard pieces measuring 60cm x 180 cm
For the stand
- 1 x 240cm long plank for bookshelves (white covered MDF)
- 1 x 240cm long piece of moulding/trim (any will do)
- 1 x "2 by 4" piece of lumber (length 240 cm)
- Wall Paper, Frames, Clocks, Photos
- Wall Paper Paste
- Screws, Finishing Nails
- Hand Saw
- Craft Knife
Step 1. We drew out how we wanted our photo wall to look and actually used a large blank wall to layout the design and make all our measurements. Using our measurements we sketched out a basic frame so that the vertical 1 by 2's measured to the inner edges of the frames, and cut horizontal 1 by 2's to connect the pieces. Each of the two frames was built to fit the hardboard pieces we bought - 120 cm (two widths of the 60 cm hardboard panels)by 180 cm (the length of the hardboard panels)
Step 2.. Double checking all our measurements before cutting, we quickly assembled the frame - starting with the outer frame first, and then fitting all the inner pieces within the frame.
Step 3. For each of the two frames, we laid down two hardboard panels side by side, and then laid the frames on top - marking where the frame holes would be cut.
After building the frames, it was just a matter of using some strong moulding and a 2 by 4 to make a stand. We attached the moulding to the front of a board measuring the length of the wall, and after measuring and marking the thickness of the wall screwed in a 2 by 4 to hold it behind.
This made a portable frame that we could slot the two wall panels in.
From there we just wallpapered and decorated away!
I don't think this method is any easier than the other methods I've seen out there. But it certainly made transportation and setting up and take down easier for us, because everything could lie flat and be carried through the doorways of our venue.
The photowall was a great success and we had a great time with it at the party... now its just a question of what we do with it now...