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wall art (diy project no. 1)

Blank walls are intimidating. Like this one in my office that I’ve been staring at all year. But no longer. I’m bidding it a fond farewell.
Good bye boring blank wall, hello mosaic of photos.






Rita Konig’s collection of photos (featured in Domino, Oct 2008 issue) was my inspiration for this photo wall.

The photos are 5×5 in size (printed through whcc). I decided to go with a square format so I could include both photos and layouts in the mosaic arrangement. All of the photos were printed with a white border. I like how the white borders “frames” each individual photo and also acts as an anchor, visually bringing together all of the photos. The layouts were printed without the borders.

Below is a template so you can easily create your own mosaic wall display. It’s 5×7 in size and includes the white border, a clipping mask, and also the cut lines. If you choose to get them printed as 5×5’s you won’t need the cutting guides, but these will definitely come in handy if you’re printing them as 5×7’s. note: if you don’t want the white border edges for your layouts, don’t use the clipping mask included in the template. Instead, resize your layout (to 5×5, 300dpi), then drag and drop your layout file to the template while holding down your SHIFT key (holding down the shift key ensures that the file is centered with the document).

download template

Enjoy the free download! If you use it to create a wall project, I’d love to see it. Upload them to the paislee press flickr group.

eta – updated with instructions per reader request

These are the materials I used to assemble the wall display:
1. a leveler (+ pencil)
2. mounting squares*

Tip 1: define your space
The first time I assembled the photo wall, I “eyeballed” the positioning and the entire arrangement ended up looking like the leaning tower of pisa. So, I (carefully) peeled off the photos and drew horizontal guide lines on the wall using a leveler and pencil. If you’re really good with eyeballing/guess-timating, then you can feel free to skip this step.Tip 2: adhering photos to wall
I used double sided mounting squares to stick the photos to the wall. No specific reason for using this adhesive over another except that they were in my stash of craft supplies (left over from my paper scrapping days) and readily available. Place mounting squares along the entire top edge of the photo, then place on the wall.

*update: the double sided mounting squares didn’t work for long. I ended up replacing them with
poster strips by 3M – and they are AMAZING.
{ 93 comments… add one }
  • Tanja November 7, 2009, 3:01 am

    GOSH what a totaley awesome idea is this? LOVE it!

  • shaui lee-bobis November 7, 2009, 3:41 am

    i need a blank wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚ that is genius, liz!!!!!!!!!!! its BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!

  • nie November 7, 2009, 5:03 am

    WOW!!! Awesome idea!!!!
    I'd love to try that when we have our own house πŸ˜€ THanks a lot for the template!

  • nie November 7, 2009, 5:09 am

    Hi! I went to the download page, but I could not find the download link…

  • Anna November 7, 2009, 6:57 am

    Can't find a way to download!

  • Anna November 7, 2009, 6:58 am

    No link after purchase!

  • 6p00d83451851e69e2 November 7, 2009, 7:13 am

    gorgeous, liz!

  • Jessica November 7, 2009, 7:15 am

    gorgeous, liz! how did you adhere the photos to the wall? i want to try a version of this for Andrew's play room! i miss domino, too πŸ™

  • Vigdis November 7, 2009, 7:18 am

    Two questions πŸ™‚

    I didn't fin the dl link either at oscraps pages.

    Do you just put up your printed page or do you laminate or something to preserve it afterwards ??

  • Hollie Haradon November 7, 2009, 7:25 am

    You are so brilliant and clever. I love you!

  • Liz November 7, 2009, 7:32 am

    Thank you all so much guys!!!

    My sincerest apologies for the missing download link. The link is there now so please go ahead and try to download again.

    Jessica – I used double sided mounting squares, really easy! I also had to use a leveler to mark straight lines. I tried to "eyeball" it the first time around and the photos ended up looking like the leaning tower of pisa – I was SO off, LOL!! Did you hear about that new online Mag called Lonny that's supposed to be a pretty good?

    Vigdis – I plan on putting them into a top loading 6×6 album (by Making Memories).

    Hollie – aaaaw. Thanks girl!!!

  • dana November 7, 2009, 7:42 am

    thank you liz, this is awesome!!! i love the white borders too. i have not a white wall but blank blue wall and this is a great idea. thanks again!

  • Tali November 7, 2009, 7:47 am

    I really, really love this Liz!

  • Liz November 7, 2009, 8:05 am

    Vigdis – I read your question wrong so my response to you makes no sense whatsoever! No lamination or prep. I just mounted on the wall as is.

  • Liz November 7, 2009, 8:24 am

    Thank you Dana and Tali.

    And Hollie – i meant to also say that I heart YOU, but ended up clicking the publish button before I typed that out. I should not be up this early. Maybe I'll go back to sleep now. πŸ™‚

  • SassyDigiScrapper November 7, 2009, 9:11 am

    Thanks so much Liz, this looks so cool!

  • Karen November 7, 2009, 9:38 am

    Fabulous. Thanks so much!

  • Jessica November 7, 2009, 9:46 am

    I LOVE your wall!! Thanks so much for the inspiration… I'm off to look for a blank wall of my own! πŸ˜‰

  • Anne November 7, 2009, 9:51 am

    AWESOME! Thank you for the tut and the download!!

  • Kristi November 7, 2009, 10:18 am


    I love this…thank you so much for sharing! You are the best!

  • Jennifer B. November 7, 2009, 10:44 am

    tfs! you're the best!

  • anita November 7, 2009, 12:08 pm

    Great! I like the use of photos & layouts together.

  • Becky November 7, 2009, 12:27 pm

    Hi, Love this idea. I am going to do it in my stairwell. You said you print your photos from WHCC. I am unfamiliar with this. Could you elaborate? Thanks!

  • scrapcat November 7, 2009, 1:14 pm

    i totally need this! I have a blank wall (actually several) around my house including one over some bookshelves in my scraproom/office.

    Thanks Liz!

  • Anonymous November 7, 2009, 2:12 pm

    check out rita's amazing blog for the new york times!

  • Anonymous November 7, 2009, 2:15 pm

    whoops! i forgot the link to rita's blog


  • jillconyers November 7, 2009, 2:41 pm

    Liz your wall is fabulous! I know just where I want to do this and my week off for Thanksgiving is the perfect time to start. Thanks πŸ™‚

  • AnneH November 7, 2009, 4:39 pm

    It's official – you're the sweetest! Thanks so much for the newsletter freebie – as always totally fab! Love the wall art project too – may just have to do one also! You're truly an inspiration! BTW did you just use Blutack to stick them to the wall?

  • Susan Toon November 7, 2009, 4:44 pm

    I think when I do this I will have the photos printed on a mattboard to keep them sturdy. More of an expense of course πŸ˜‰

  • Linda Walton aka bobbysgirlforever November 7, 2009, 5:06 pm

    Liz, this is FANTABULOUS!!! I was just sitting here looking at top loading frames to house layouts to the tune of $20 a pop!!! This is SO eye-catching and WAY less expensive! WOOT!

    I hope I made my way onto your list okay! TOO many windows open today!

    Happy DSD and thank you for the goodie too!

    Hugs …

  • belle007 November 7, 2009, 5:36 pm

    Beautiful effect. Thanks very much for the template!

  • Liz November 7, 2009, 5:37 pm

    Thanks SO much for your awesome feedback! Apologies that I didn't include info about how I mounted the photos. I'll be updating the post with that info sometime tonight (after I get the girls to sleep). Thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog, you guys are AWESOME!!! πŸ™‚

  • Hanadi November 7, 2009, 10:28 pm

    I luv the idea!
    I will do it πŸ™‚

  • Dana November 7, 2009, 11:55 pm

    What a great idea. Thank you for the template. Now if only I could find a blank wall in our house…

  • Solysombra November 8, 2009, 12:58 am

    thank you so so much for all this love sent! for all those precious gifts DSD. I'm an happy and proud follower!!!

  • Soco November 8, 2009, 9:55 am

    This is just wonderful Liz!!! I moved last year and we still have a lot of blank walls that I need to decorate! Thank you very much!!!

  • Donna November 8, 2009, 12:53 pm

    Lovely idea! I'm thinking of a wall this may work well with! Thanks for sharing!

  • Soco November 8, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Just wanted to tell you that I received the gift you sent with your newsletter. It's beautiful!!! Thank you very much Liz!!!

  • Sandy_in_MD November 8, 2009, 2:44 pm

    Thanks for the great project idea, and for the template to make it easier for me to duplicate. Your wall looks awesome!

  • Urszula November 8, 2009, 4:11 pm

    I am so thrilled to see this wonderful idea. I am in the process of putting together a photo wall for my daughters 21st, and was wanting to do something a little different. And this is it! Would like to know though if it could be enlarged to an 8×8 or 10×10. And if so, how?

  • kl November 8, 2009, 5:26 pm

    i love photo walls too.
    this is so simple & stunning
    i adore the white borders and offsize-size.

  • Caroline November 9, 2009, 5:53 pm

    okay, i've been meaning to do something like that for the longest time but never got around to it. you just inspired the heck out of me – that wall looks awesome!

  • Jane November 10, 2009, 5:42 am

    wow…this is such an amazing idea!!! I stare at this blank wall every day and this would be an excellent idea for me!

  • Laura McCandless November 10, 2009, 6:37 am

    Liz, this is beyond inspiring. I adore it! TFS! πŸ™‚

  • Mandi N. November 10, 2009, 6:48 am

    This is such a cool Idea!! Can I ask what is your photo treatment? It's excellent, not too bright for walls.

  • Barb November 11, 2009, 6:20 pm

    I love your wall project! And you spoke of your paper scrapping days and I felt a bit of a pang… as much as I love your digital designs, I miss your paper scrapping, Liz. πŸ™‚

  • Shanna January 17, 2010, 8:41 am
  • Shanna January 17, 2010, 8:41 am
  • brandie May 28, 2010, 4:53 am

    I love this idea! When you say, printed through whcc, what does that mean?

  • Emily June 8, 2010, 7:53 am

    This is gorgeous- just right. -e

  • jamie June 8, 2010, 10:24 am

    i HAVE a blank wall!
    and while i am seriously inspired by your wall…
    my idea is going in a bit of a different direction…
    but it was because of this post.
    i will link when it is done.
    thank you sooooo much for sharing!!!

  • kim June 8, 2010, 11:17 am

    I LOVE this.
    Love this, love this, love this.
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful idea.
    Inspires me to get to my photos, do some creative cropping, and make a beautiful display of all the things I love. I am going to do this immediately. πŸ™‚

    Oh happy day!

  • Lexi June 29, 2010, 9:08 am

    okay, i'm totally late to the game, but I AM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS!!! I just wanted to say you can use chalk or even a string with the removeable tape to help you place them.


  • Liz June 29, 2010, 11:06 pm

    brandi – whcc is a print vendor: http://www.whcc.com

    lexi – Using chalk or string is a brilliant idea, thanks so much for sharing!

  • vosges paris September 29, 2010, 9:14 am

    great idea! it is looking lovely I like all the matching colors to

  • 321digimaster November 25, 2010, 7:30 am

    how do you select the photos such as all would have the same tones and balanced color scheme?, that would make a difference I would think.

  • stephanie wind February 3, 2011, 12:55 pm

    i fell in love with this idea the moment that i saw it! thank you for sharing and inspiring others!

    i posted about my wall on my blog. πŸ™‚

  • Shelley Haganman February 6, 2011, 8:34 am

    I LOVE this project! Thanks for the free template! I used it for this project: http://scrappergirl.typepad.com/scappergirl/2011/02/paislee-press-template-photo-project.html

  • Dariela February 10, 2011, 2:02 am

    Beautiful idea!! Thanks so much for sharing, definitely want to do it someday!

  • Chriss April 26, 2011, 5:24 am

    Wonderful! It is even more special because you have a beautiful family!
    Great way to use up all that "white"


  • Mirys + Guigo + Nina May 12, 2011, 9:16 am

    I just LOVED it!!!!

    IΒ΄m gonna try this in my bedroom next week. If IΒ΄m well succeded, IΒ΄ll make a post about it (at http://www.diariodos3mosqueteiros.blogspot.com). Stop by and see my master piece (inspired in yours!)!

    Kisses and blessings.

  • Janet August 15, 2011, 9:09 pm

    OMGoodness I ADORE this idea.. thank you…

    • Liz August 15, 2011, 9:25 pm

      Glad you like it! If you make a photo collage, please be sure to come back and share it, I’d love to see what you create!

  • Kirsten @ Triple Max Tons October 19, 2011, 9:50 am

    This is a brillian concept….love that you did the 5×5 squares, and the photos you took are stunning.

  • Sabis February 12, 2012, 11:16 pm

    I did this about a year ago when my kitchen presented the issue of having two sides of the fridge exposed. I used the non- door side as my ‘wall’. At the dollar store, they sell these photo magnet sleeves in all sorts of sizes.( Michael’s craft store has a larger variety but far more expensive) after that, I printed all my favorite photos out in platinum (almost black and white but much softer on the eye) and arranged an entire fridge full. You can slip a few colored prints in to give a focus and some snap or not to achieve less distraction to the room design over-all.

    I love the idea on a wall without having to buy frames and pound in nails! It never comes out perfect when it involves a hammer and nails lol. Bravo on the solution!

  • fromthekiwigirl March 26, 2012, 3:39 pm

    Hi there ..this is a gorgeous display.
    What about dismantling it. I am renting so I guess I could mount it on to a board. Any suggestions?

    • liz March 26, 2012, 10:32 pm

      I recommend the 3M poster strip adhesives – no surface damage when you remove it from the wall. It’s the best!

  • Lynae July 3, 2012, 8:36 pm

    Awesome project! I’m trying to download the free template but am having no success. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  • JP July 7, 2012, 12:50 am

    Hi, thank you so much for this idea. I used your template but changed the size to 4×6. Here’s what I came up with -> http://i45.tinypic.com/2zjcf9s.jpg

    I used Scotch Restickable Tabs and I like that I can reuse them when I change the pictures.

    Thanks again for the template. I’ll probably do more for my other walls. πŸ™‚

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