Travel photo gallery wall and a faux burlap mat

13 Sep

Travel is truly one of our favorite things to do in our household. The problem is that we don’t get to do it as much as we’d like. So, like most people, we take lots of photos when we travel. You probably remember our trip to Oslo and the photos I shared with you here. Well, we have a couple more international trips planned this year (more on that soon), as well as some domestic ones, and we wanted to have a place to showcase our photos.

I shared my “where ya’ been” map, as I like to call it, of the places we’ve been in the U.S., so we decided that a nice way to showcase our international travel is via a travel photo gallery wall. I did a little Pinning and liked this one. {Click the images for their source}

14594_gallery_imageAnd this one.

SawdustPaperScraps_Stairway13_thumb[1]And this one.

DP_Anna-Williams-White-Master-Bedroom-Chair_s3x4_lgWe debated about where we wanted to put the photos for our gallery wall and finally decided that the landing at the foot of our stairs was a good place to start. It also allows for gradual expansion as we take more photos that we deem frame-worthy.

I thought for a couple of weeks about the types of frames to use and couldn’t decide at first if we should go with all one color/tone or various ones. I liked the idea of white frames, but since our walls our white (one of the downsides of renting), I decided to go with a natural wood theme.

Luckily, I was roaming the aisles of Home Goods the other day and came across some inexpensive frames that look like a dark shade of drift wood. They had three identical frames with a faux linen mat, so I grabbed those first. I needed one more of that size (5×7), so I settled for one with a plain white mat.

I still had one minor issue for the fifth photo I printed. It was a panoramic shot of the houses in Oslo along the fjord. It’s a beautiful photo, but the size was not standard. I was fine with buying a standard panoramic frame for it (somewhere in the 6×20 range), but they are pretty expensive and I knew I was already going to be spending a good bit with printing and all the other frames. {I shopped around for a few weeks for these, and the best prices I found were at Home Goods–less than half the price of the ones I was eyeing at Target!} I noticed that Home Goods had a frame that is actually meant to hold three 5x7s and the price was right.

IMG_1167I removed the mat that it came with, but saved it in case I ever want to use it for three 5x7s instead. Then, I took the backing and covered it with burlap instead of making a real mat. Yep, I went the faux mat route.

IMG_1170 IMG_1171It may not look that tight, but that’s because the backing is a bit flimsy. I knew it would flatten out well, once I secured the fasteners in the back of the frame. I placed some double-sided tape on the back of the photo and placed in the center of the burlap before securing the fasteners. I like how the burlap matches well with the other mats and you can’t really tell that it’s not a real mat.

IMG_1174I know a lot of people tape paper to the wall in the same sizes as the frames to lay out their gallery design before putting any nails in the wall. I just laid mine out on the floor in different arrangements until I found what worked for the space. This arrangement also allows me to expand the wall as we take more photos. I’m sure we have some older photos from past trips we could use, but something about this process makes it more exciting to take new ones and build from there.

Do you have a photo gallery wall in your home? Does your collection include only photos of family? Just travel? A mix?


Posted by on September 13, 2013 in DIY, Interior Design, Photography


4 responses to “Travel photo gallery wall and a faux burlap mat

  1. Kristin

    September 13, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I’m in love with the panoramic shot. It’s such a beautiful photo! And kudos on the creative framing; I never would have thought to do it that way!

    • mypersonalcoffeebreak

      September 13, 2013 at 11:21 am

      Thanks, Kristin! I didn’t know when I took it that I was going to love it that much, but I think it turned out nicely! My original plan for the framing was to stretch the burlap around another mat that would fit the frame, but burlap can be finicky, so I changed my mind at the last minute. Btw, I loved your post yesterday with the new photos you took!


    September 13, 2013 at 9:06 am

    Reblogged this on Design Tact and commented:
    Love interesting photo frame placements that correlate with the surrounding environment to create a striking new effect!


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