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Family Photo Wall

Personal photographs make a reception space feel like home, and you don't need a hammer and nails to display them. Gather pictures of the bride and groom as children, plus relatives' wedding portraits; arrange on ribbons with calligraphed labels. Hang by the seating-card table for all to see.

Tools for the Task
Removable self-adhesive hooks are the secret to our photo display. Plastic hooks stick securely to the wall but pull off without damaging paint or most wallpaper.

These hooks (from 3M) are sold in several sizes.

Photocopies in wood or plastic frames


Wide satin ribbon


Heavy-duty staple gun


Chipboard or cardboard cut into 1-inch squares


Card-stock tags with names and year


White craft wire

Photo Wall How-To

Before you begin, be sure to check with your reception site about any restrictions on hanging things from the walls. To safeguard original photos, make color photocopies, reducing or enlarging as needed. Choose frames that coordinate with the reception site's decor.

1. Remove the support legs from the backs of frames, or tape flat. Place frames facedown at even intervals on a cutting mat marked with a grid.

2. Lay a length of satin ribbon down the middle of the frames, allowing 10 inches of overhang at both top and bottom; trim bottom end with pinking shears. For reinforcement, center chipboard squares on ribbon just inside top and bottom edges of frames; staple in place.

3. Fold top end of ribbon back 3 inches. About 2 1/2 inches from top, pinch ribbon, and center it over an 18-inch length of wire; wrap wire tightly around ribbon twice.

4. Bring both ends of the wire together, shape into a small loop, and twist to secure. Trim excess wire. To hang, slip wire loop over a removable self-adhesive hook that has been attached to the wall. To hide the wire, loosely knot a length of satin ribbon (about 9 inches long) and cut ends diagonally; affix to ribbon with double-sided tape. Attach labels with names and years under photographs using double-sided tape.

Comments (13)

  • kristinjones2525 27 Jun, 2011

    It doesn't say how to attach the ribbon to the hooks exactly. Where do they attach to each other?

  • Genelle21 29 Oct, 2009

    I love this idea! I might use it to display past Christmas photos of the family during the holidays! I love the use of chipboard and a staple gun. Bravo!

  • Dudley718 3 Jan, 2009

    I used this idea for my wedding reception! I matched baby pictures of my husband with similar pictures of myself and put them in wooden frames, four on each length of ribbon. The wooden frames made it a little heavy, but we hung them on a close-knit wire trellis instead of the sheetrocked wall and it worked perfectly! We received so many compliments and now have several friends and family members doing the same picture idea. What a great alternative to the now traditional slideshow!

  • Racheletto 7 Dec, 2008

    I've used this idea to hang pictures in a rented apartment with plaster walls; it looks wonderful! What I never figured out was how to make the beautiful bows - now I know!

  • tknb 3 Nov, 2008

    I really like 3-M! This is a great project and one that I will probably do. How about some velvet behind the photos that are carefully double sided taped on? The photos cut in ovals and other shapes.

  • maria_fernanda 15 Aug, 2008

    lindoooo, me gusto mucho!

  • Rorie_D_Lion 28 Jun, 2008

    Try using mirrors instead of pictures and it will help illuminate a shady area or room! Do just like the above instructions, EXCEPT if you keep the mirrors OUT of the frames, make sure to use a good holding glue instead of staples so you don't shatter the mirrors.

  • 1noblelady 2 Jun, 2008

    Just wonderful. Thank you. Ditto on the pleasure of great photos and clear step by step instructions.

  • mskara 28 May, 2008

    I have been trying to construct something just like this to display some old photographs I purchased recently, but couldn't figure out the logistics of keeping them on the ribbon etc. Thank you so much for the detailed instructions! You've made my day!

  • cherryl22 26 May, 2008

    I wish all of your tips had pictures and step by step instructions like this. I love the daily tips.

  • cooper45 7 May, 2008

    I am starting a family photo wall and am doing it like a scrapbook with sayings and all. It is about a 4'x8', with a collage in the middle. I am putting it under plexiglass so the children can look and have fun . They can be changed often. After I will do a Ancestry wall so they can learn their heritage.
    bearblossoms

  • Learner10 1 May, 2008

    Thank you for the extremely informative pictures and directions. Very clear.

  • poccarina 7 Mar, 2008

    Your explanation with photo is very helpful to follow. Good idea of home decoration.