Sea of memories need creative home
November 26, 2011 1:31 PM   Subscribe

After sorting through a castle of boxes, I discovered hundreds and hundreds of loose photographs. The photographs vary in size from 3 x 5 to 8 x 10 and even a few 10 x13's. I have many albums, and they are full. I have several photograph boxes, also full. I would like to display as many as I can without being obnoxious but I'm looking for fresh ideas. What are some interesting, space saving artistic ways I can use and display my sea of memories?

I recently moved and have a very large wall space in the living room that extends down my hallway and was thinking of that area for my photograph/art. The space is 12' long and the ceilings are approx 8 to 9 feet tall. The color on the wall is a gentle celery green. My furniture is eclectic mission/antique/wood with very few nicknackie things. The carpet is sadly very light perhaps we could call it light beige. But I have a massive area rug with burgundy, blue, moss green, gold, wheat, purple and orange.

I want to maintain the integrity of the photographs but don't necessarily want 50 frames on the wall. The more creative the better, and I should mention that I am NOT gifted with the ability to cut a straight line and I eye ball everything I hang up...
posted by gypseefire to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
We used long strips of wood (Like 1" by 4" maybe) to make shallow shelves for pictures. We used L brackets on top of the wood so the brackets are hidden by pictures.

Here is something similar, but they used ribbon loops instead of brackets. I would bump into that and destroy it, though.
posted by artychoke at 1:39 PM on November 26, 2011 [3 favorites]

Pinterest is great for things like this. Here's one, two, three ideas.
posted by raisingsand at 1:40 PM on November 26, 2011 [2 favorites]

Don't know how it would work out but I've been thinking of one of those digital picture frames that have been dropping in price lately (~ $30 on newegg). I like the idea of the random shuffle feature to shuffle through old memories at surprising times. It seems like you could get hundreds if not thousands of photos in one. Though I might not like it when I actually try it.

Of course in your case you'd have to use a scanner to get the photos in digital form. I'd assume a regular scanner would work for smaller ones and if you weren't a stickler for high accuracy. There are cheap scanners around now or places both local and mail order that scan them in for you in batches.
posted by aleph at 3:22 PM on November 26, 2011

This was on a HGTV craft show. Although they were taking a poster, and splitting it up into smaller segments, you might be able to adapt it to your use for individial photos. No frames, minimal wall damage, and you could make it anyshape/size you want by doinking around the basic idea. Cant find any video for it, but here are the project plans
posted by timsteil at 5:31 PM on November 26, 2011

I like this method. You don't have to spend a ton of money on frames, and because of the nature of the method, it's easy to change things around. So you can rotate your stock, since it sounds like you have way more cool stuff than space to display it in.

The wire thing is a curtain apparatus from IKEA. The clips are part of an organizing thing called Clip It Up. You can buy just the clips, I think they come in packs of 25 and are fairly cheap. Use two of them on larger pictures so they don't end up curled! You can stack multiple wires to take advantage of height. Way cool.
posted by wwartorff at 6:44 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I saw this on Dooce and loved it. Seen in use here
posted by taff at 6:53 PM on November 26, 2011

Crud. Sorry.
posted by taff at 6:54 PM on November 26, 2011

I want to second wwaroff's suggestion. It is a simple way to show and organize off prints, postcards and other stuff. I have had something similar in my studio/bedroom/office for the last few years and I keep going back to it. I use mine for hanging up stuff I want to look at but also for things I need to remember. Bills frequently find their way on to it.

I haven't used the ikea stuff though, primarily because I had the basic supplies laying around. I bought some nice stainless steel pushpins awhile back. I put the pushpins in the wall, check to see if they are level, stretch picture framing wire between them until it's taut, wrap it around a few times and trim off the extra. This way I can make them as long or as short as I want. I suspect it's even cheaper than the ikea version, though perhaps not as finished looking. I've used binder clips and clothespins to hang things from the wire but I've found the clothespins work better, though they can leave small dents in the prints.
posted by godshomemovies at 7:30 PM on November 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

I would digitize them all with a photo scanner, then put them in a digital picture frame, as someone else also suggested above.
posted by limeonaire at 7:41 PM on November 26, 2011

It's not very expensive to get a set of 2400mm x 1200mm pin up boards (the carpeted kind) screwed into the wall. You could put them at intervals, like large separate art pieces (could even be framed?) on your lovely hallway. I've used this method in my study on two walls for my postcard collection. You can use sticky dots on back of pics to arrange them - I'd scan the pics before though.
posted by honey-barbara at 8:27 PM on November 26, 2011

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