How can I display photos and postcards somewhere other than my fridge?
August 2, 2013 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Our new fridge is not magnetic and our new apartment is very plain and white. I am not very crafty or DIY oriented, but it would be nice to find somewhere/some way to display all our photos and pictures, and personalise the place a little in the process. I don't mind expending some money on this.

My husband and I live in a different country to the rest of our families, and they regularly send us photos of nieces, nephews, weddings, birthdays, etc. My husband is also a prolific Kickstarter backer, and as such we receive a large number of great postcards in the mail. We previously had all of these covering our fridge, but we recently moved to a new apartment where the fridge is not actually magnetic (we had also amassed a pretty great collection of fridge magnets, so this is even more annoying). I would still like to display these photos and postcards somewhere to make our apartment a bit more homey. We had been putting some up on the fridge with Scotch Tape, but it isn't very elegant, and the fridge is tucked away in the corner of the kitchen so it's difficult to see them. Does anyone have any ideas for simple, not super expensive ways to display these things?

Some (possibly) pertinent facts:

- Our apartment is your pretty standard generic new apartment: plain white walls, modern, minimalist. We have one large, bare wall, and many other smaller sections of bare wall, so space is not an issue in that sense.

- We rent, so we can't really nail things to walls or do anything permanent like that, and I don't want to leave marks on the walls.

- We don't have a lot of shelf space, so framing everything isn't really a viable solution. I guess I could buy more bookcases, but we really prefer to own a minimal amount of large furniture.

I've had success using these in our previous apartment, and they're strong and don't leave a mark, but just sticking the photos and postcards on a plain white wall seems a little boring/teenage bedroom-esque, and I suspect will look weird if they aren't all perfectly straight. I've also used very lightweight frames with these before, but we're talking a fair number of photos and postcards here (and growing/changing all the time), so that would get expensive and very time consuming. Neither left marks or tore off plaster though, so I'd be open to anything lightweight that could be held on with these kinds of 3M products.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
posted by retrograde to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You can hang pictures with string/ribbon and clothespins. It's a little college-dorm-y, but if you use nice-looking ribbon and pretty clothespins (you could paint them fun colors to brighten up the white walls) it could look really nice.
posted by JuliaJellicoe at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

i kind of like the washi tape frames. washi tape is everrrrywhere lately (i even saw it at target the other day) but you can also buy cute rolls of it online too.

i also like the idea of these postcard ledges but it's a little intense to make and hang, especially for apartment dwellers like us.
posted by kerning at 12:54 PM on August 2, 2013

Magnetic photo rope to the rescue! No DIY required. These look great with colorful photos and postcards against a white wall, especially with several hanging in a row. You could use one of the small, clear 3M Command hooks to hold them. Bonus: it's ridiculously easy to rearrange and swap out photos.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:55 PM on August 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

How about these magnetic photo ropes? You'd need to mount it at the top (I bet the 3M things would work), but hey hold a lot of photos and are super easy to add to/change out photos.

On preview: jinx!
posted by Empidonax at 12:55 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

What you need are picture hooks. I've used these extensively in my rental apartments and they leave only the tiniest hole (approx 1/16 inch). Applying a dot of spackle with a toothpick can hide the holes when you move out, if you deem that necessary. They support a surprising amount of weight (two double ones hold a large, heavy diploma frame on my office wall), even in just plaster and without the need for giant anchors.

Buy a bunch of frames, with mats, and make a gallery.
posted by melissasaurus at 12:58 PM on August 2, 2013

I've made a magnetic makeup board before and it sounds like this would translate well. You'd need sheet metal cut to the size of an empty frame, spray adhesive, and pretty fabric. Glue the fabric to the metal and the metal into the frame. Magnet board in any pattern you like! I think you could probably also leave off the frame and just make sure the edges of the metal are well covered with the fabric.
posted by brilliantine at 12:58 PM on August 2, 2013

You could buy or make one or more French memo boards. There are all kinds of craft blogs out there with instructions, like this one.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:17 PM on August 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

What about some magnetic paint for your spare wall ... would be like having a huge fridge door!? :)
posted by Presentnapper at 2:01 PM on August 2, 2013

Not wallspace-based, but my mother gave us this floor-standing, rotating postcard rack from Pottery Barn, and we use it to combat this exact same issue.
posted by lhall at 2:04 PM on August 2, 2013

Are your front and service doors metal? You can put stuff up with magnets if so.
posted by brujita at 2:19 PM on August 2, 2013

A friend of mine got an old wooden framed window from a house that was upgrading (so it had lots of layers of paint and some character) and hung that from her wall. She then puts the photos behind the glass, with a small magnet in front of the glass and another magnet or magnetic strip or something behind the photo.

It looks great.
posted by aubilenon at 2:23 PM on August 2, 2013

I, for one, love this vintage wire photo holder. Sadly, it doesn't really go with the rest of my home's decor.
posted by shesbookish at 2:49 PM on August 2, 2013

The Command products from 3M should allow you to hang a bulletin board or memo board without damaging the walls. Be sure to read the FAQs, though.

If you want to use your refrigerator, you could use Lulalu clips or Stainless Cling. Or you could use Gripping Stuff or any self-adhesive magnetic tape.
posted by jeri at 12:16 AM on August 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used this when I got back from vacation and suddenly had loads of photos I wanted to display. It's good for displaying a lot of photos together thematically, and I had two hanging on the sides of a doorway in my apartment.
posted by bodyofproof at 1:04 AM on August 3, 2013

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