Decorate with Your Photos

Start digging through your files for photos to use in your home. There are super ways you can use photos of family vacations, celebrations and even local landscapes. Personal photos can interest, color and relevance to your home décor.

#1 Make a Wall Collage

A wall collage is similar to a gallery wall, but can be created using a couple of techniques.

The first is view your wall as a potential jigsaw puzzle. You’ll select the photos and then cut them in puzzle or other types of shapes.

Mount Photos on Foam Board

You may prefer to simply mount your photos onto foam board and place each shape closely together with very little space between each photo. You can cut various shapes out of the foam board and mount the photos onto them. Choose from different effects for the finish to give an artistic flair.

Make sure you collage has movement created by shapes/sizes, colors and movement. You may decide to get very artistic and go with an overall abstract pattern. This could be an optical illusion of an overall design seen only from a distance.

#2 Wall Gallery

The popular wall gallery can become a cherished family wall. Take time to plan how you wish to feature your photos. The key to a successful gallery wall is to use varying shapes. Choose a theme for your wall gallery. For example, if your family vacations at the beach or a tropical island each year, create a gallery from these photographic memories.

Use several different sizes and styles of frames. You may the frames to be same color/finish. You may prefer to paint the frames a set number of colors. Use odd numbers of things for the ideal designer look.

Create your design before you start hanging framed photos, by arranging each framed photo on the floor.

Select photos based on colors and theme. For example, select a color, such as red and choose photos with a touch of red to place throughout your gallery. This should add interest, create a sub-theme and draw attention through the gallery of photos.

Add Other Design Objects

You may want to add art and design objects to your gallery wall, such as a shadowbox of sand dollars, a small floating shelf to display a conch shell or three mini frames featuring matted sea creatures, such as seahorses. Use your imagination for whatever theme you decide works best with your photo selections.

Creating Your Gallery Wall

There are a few quick steps you’ll want to follow when creating your gallery wall.

  • Use a roll of craft paper to trace each frame and cut out each shape.
  • Use a poster tape to temporarily place each one on your designated wall.
  • If needed, move the frame shapes around until you have the desired look.
  • Mark where you want to hammer the hanger onto the wall.
  • You’re ready to install your wall gallery.

 #3 Create a Wall Mural

If you have a fantastic photo of an ocean sunset, a mountain range or some other landscape, why not turn it into a wall mural? There are several online companies that offer this service. Most are simple to order; you upload the photo and then select from set sizes available. Be sure you read everything and have a thorough understanding of requirements.

Common Requirements

For example, the photo resolution will determine the quality of your printed mural. Most companies require a file size between 500KB to 100MB depending on the mural size you want. The types of formats are usually generous ranging from JPG to BMP. One warning, you need to own the copyright of any photo you use.

Virtual Preview

Most of these companies also offer a virtual room preview of your photo mural. This allows you to adjust your photo. For example, you decide you don’t want to use the photo and crop it to focus on a specific area of the photo.

Décor Items for Your Photos

You can immortalize some of your photos by transposing them onto various décor items. Some of these include:

  • Use that great cedar covered in snow on a printed pillow cover for Christmas decorating.
  • Take advantage of a blank staircase wall to display a family outing theme.
  • Create a decorative paperweight for your home office with a photo of your children or a lush forest scene.
  • Snuggle up underneath a throw printed with photo from your trip to the Hoh Rain Forest or a cascading waterfall you visited.
  • Order a poster-size photo of a family reunion or a rock-faced mountain you climbed.
  • Replace bland placemats with a photo you took of blooming azaleas, rhododendrons, pansies or other subject.
  • Jazz up a sailing themed den with a pair of throw pillows covered with your photo print out of your last sailing trip.

Make It Personal

The key to using your own photos in your home décor can go well beyond a simple framed portrait or family outing. Use a little imagination and you may be surprised with what you can create.

photo courtesy of Mae Chevrette via creative commons (flickr)

photo courtesy of Travis Isaacs via Creative Commons via flickr

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Author: Sally Painter

"Everyone can have a beautiful home decor. It just takes a little creativity," says author and freelance writer Sally Painter. This former commercial and residential designer is also a Feng Shui practitioner and believes that, "Everything you choose to put in your home should resonate with you emotionally. If it doesn't - get rid of it!"

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