Friday, July 30, 2010

Photos On Display

Photographs play a significant role in my life. I like to surround myself with reminders of memories that make me smile. One way that I do this is with photograph displays.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Buy some picture mats. They can be in a certain size, variety of sizes, whichever color[s], single mat, double mat, etc. I tend to buy mostly black single mats to fit a 5x7 frame, for a 3½ x5 image. They are about $1.50 at stores like Pictures Plus or Benjamin Franklin Crafts.



The mat on the left is a double; the white mat is inset with a gold mat. The right mat is a single mat in a dark navy color.


2. Print out photos to fit the mat. I print out photos that I would love to display. I try to be mindful about how the image will fit the 3½ x5 mat opening.

I'll use this photo of me and Apple for illustration. Doesn't she have a sparkling smile?

3. Using removable tape, attach the photo to the mat. I place tape along one edge of the back of the photo. I look from the front of the mat to position the image in the opening. Then I fix the photo to the mat using more tape.



4. Consider a layout. I consider: the display space, the number and sizes of photos, orientation of photos. Sometimes I will also consider the images themselves, like how many subjects are in the image, or if a theme comes up like places I’ve been, landscapes, or pets. Try a few arrangements on a table or on the floor until you find one you like.

5. Apply usable adhesive putty to the back of the mat. I like the adhesive putty because I don’t have to make a lot of holes in the walls and it can be cleaned off later. Besides, the photos and mats are not very heavy so putty on the corners and a little extra on the long side do the job nicely.

6. Mount the mats on the display space. For me, the spaces are my room walls. Optional: use a level when mounting the mats.

Here are a couple of examples of displays I recently put up:

[Click on image for larger view]

The display on the left was a sizable blank space between my book shelves and window, above my DVD shelves and earring case. It used to be rows of themes: places I've lived, friends, pets, and friends. This time it is two columns of friends and a column of my cats. The arrangement looks a little funny in this picture because I also use some white mats, so they're not showing up as well as the black ones.

The display photo on the right is a wall space I left open when I designed my book shelves. For a long time, this space only had the whiteboard and the phone. Recently, I decided to change-up the display a little by incorporating a framed and matted art print that I love, then surrounding the frame with personal pictures. Notice on the bottom right, next to the whiteboard, I've included a couple of smaller pictures, untouched. I simply used very small amounts of putty to tack them up. I think it makes this display a little more fun and loose. [I think I might look for a photo to place just above the phone, that space is looking a little bare.]


I like using the picture mats because they’re helpful as an organizing element, it’s easy to switch out photos, and they lend importance to each photo in a simple manner instead of having to buy a bunch of frames [which can become costly] or punch holes in the walls.

Try this method for yourself or use it to jumpstart your own display ideas!


[Adhesive Putty image source]