This was a really fun project, and it was inexpensive and quick to do. When we took the bunk beds apart, we suddenly had a lot more wall space that needed something. We painted the back wall a neutral gray/green that actually ties in nicely with the quilt colors. I had seen some photo “film strips” mounted on boards at this site I found on Pinterest. All the examples were vertical, meant to mimic a series of photos you might get at a photo-booth. My wall did not have enough height for the 4-foot panels, so I turned my horizontally and they worked fine.
Here’s a closeup of the strips on each side of the wall:
Each one is a 4-foot x 1-foot 1/2″ MDF board. Because I needed five of these, I had Home Depot cut a 4’x8′ board into five 12″ x 4′ sections, and then the remaining as two 18″ wide sections that I’ve put away for another project. Cost of the board was $25. Some of these projects I’d seen on Pinterest used 1/4″ thick plywood. While that would be lighter weight, I wasn’t confident that they would stay in shape without warping. I liked the thickness of the board panels I used, and they have the advantage of letting me use small nails to hang the fasteners on the back. Those who used the thinner boards used a strong adhesive for the fasteners, but that seemed like it might not last. So – thicker boards for me.
Each board was painted on its side edges with flat black acrylic paint. Now I needed photos of each grandkid. We had Kaydn and Macee for a weekend, and I got them to pose together and separately for all of 90 seconds, but it was enough. My new Canon camera lets me take multiple exposures in a row, which let me find the ones where the expressions looked the best. I took these inside against a blank wall with just room light. The following weekend, I had a chance to also get pictures of Ethan, Isaac and Hannah. I pulled the photos into Photoshop, cropped them at 12″x12″, and converted them to black and white. I upped the contrast and brightness on most of them as well.
As suggested in the post I was following, I uploaded the photos to Costco. I have a Costco membership, but hadn’t ever thought to have pictures made there (usually I focus on chocolate!). I picked the option with a black border, which helps to frame them so it looks more like a photo filmstrip. Each 12″x12″ photo was $2.99. The first batch of Kaydn and Macee were mailed to me, which took longer, included a mail charge, and arrived rolled up in a tube. I had to press them under books for a few days to get the curl out of them. For the next batch of the other three kids, I picked them up at the store. They were ready within 48 hours, and were nice and flat! Definitely the better way to do it.
Anyway, the next step was mounting them. Some people used a spray adhesive, but I decided to listen to someone’s advice to use double-stick tape around the edges instead. That way, if any pictures are damaged or if I want to swap them out later, I can reuse the boards. Good plan! It took about five rolls of tape to run it around the edges and across the middle and corners, but they seem to be adhering wall. We then nailed two saw-toothed picture hangers on the backs of each one.
I love how the series of pictures captures some of their individual personalities in a way that a single picture cannot. We hung them up last night, and I’m pleased with how they look. . . . although it was quite a math problem to figure out exactly how to center and space these. Total cost for all five was around $80. It’s good to have pictures of the kids on the walls, something we didn’t have until now.
Next, I want to get a table and lamp for between the beds, and replace the awful dresser we’ve had in there for some time. I’ve got a few things picked out on Overstock, so I just need to wait for some spare cash to get them. I’m also planning some canvases for over the book pouch, but that’s for another day!