Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo Collages

A big hello to Indigo Obsession's newest follower Bree - thanks for getting us into double digits!!

I hope you all like the makeover we've had...it's still in progress so apologies if things don't quite work!
I've had a request from Sal to do a couple of posts about clustering (if you have a post request please feel free to [email me]

So today we're looking at clustering frames on a wall. As you know I LOVE photo collages, you may remember my dining room

It is definitely a hard thing to get right so I'll try my very best to give some useful tips!

Firstly, the easiest way is to buy all your frames the same size for a collage like this...This is the never fail option and I love it! (I've done a couple like this in my place). It gives you a very sophisticated look as it's so uniform. If you think it's a little boring you could try different styles of frame the same size, or different size mounts inside the frame so your images are different sizes.

For collages with different size frames, you could go with symmetrical pattern...again very easy to do.

Now the random patterns are the hardest! It's all about balance and spacing.

If you look at my collage below you will see a few things:

1. I've chosen matching frames in various sizes.

2. I actually hung all the frames out first, and THEN decided which photos to print to fit in. This way I wasn't stuck with frames in the wrong orientation.

3. I've started with the photo of Isabelle in the middle and kinda worked my way out from there. The centre of the collage should always be at eye level (150-160cm).

This is how I've done it: Izzy is in the centre. The two photos to the right have equal spacing between them and the photo of Izzy, and they're also centered to the photo of Izzy. Then the photo of our honey moon (far right) is lined up so that the bottom of the frame is in line with the one next to it. The photo of our wedding (top centre) lines up on the right with the photo of Izzy (centre). Then the small photo of Izzy (top right hand corner) is placed with equal spacing between our wedding photo (top middle) and our honeymoon photo (far right).

Another photo of Izzy (bottom right) is centred to the honeymoon photo (far right). Then the photo of Bren in Morocco (bottom centre) is placed so that the top of the frames are the same, and the spacing between them match the spacing I've used elsewhere.

The top of the TRAVEL frame is basically in the middle of the wedding photo (top centre), black and white photo of us with Izzy is centred below, the Morocco photo is placed to that the top is equal to the middle of the TRAVEL frame, and the 2 remaining frames are placed so that the spacing is the same as the other frames.


With every frame I think: Does this line up with something - either an edge or the centre of another frame. Or is the spacing between the frames (mine are about 2cm apart). If you get these 2 things happening with every frame your collage should work.

2 great things to do before you start knocking holes in the wall are:

1. Lay our your frames on the floor, in front of the wall they will be hung on, and arrange them in a way that you think will work.

2. Cut out paper the size of the frames and stick them to the wall so you get an idea of how it's going to look.

To be honest, my collage didn't come together too easy! I found the right side was working when I laid it on the floor, but I couldn't get the left to work. So I hung the right side, centering my middle photo to the middle of the wall, and then only when the whole right side of the collage was up could I figure out how to make the left side work!

Then I had to print the photos to go with it!!!!!!!

Sal, I'm not sure if that helped or made you more confused!

Always remember - to achieve BALANCE you don't need SYMMETRY. Buy Symmetry is a lot easier!
Start with one or two frames as your centre, and work out from there.
You need some consistency - particularly in the spaces between the frames.
Think about lining the frames up - either the top, bottom or middle of the frame.
Sometimes 2 frames can be read as 1 (e.g. the 2 frames to the right of Izzy in the middle). Consider this when you're looking at spacing.
Always look for inspiration online if you're struggling. All these images (except for my dining room) are from [DecorPad]


  1. Working on a photo collage for my daughter's bedroom makeover. Lots of fun actually! I always use the paper cutout trick - makes it much easier. Oh, and love the new look - very nice! K xx

  2. Thank you Luce!
    Wow, it is a hard concept to explain in words - you did a great job, thank you!
    Now I just need to decide which type of collage to create!

  3. That was great! Wish I could put stuff on our walls... holes are a no-no and those 3M stickies do sometimes take paint off even if you're super careful removing them... bah!

    Ps thanks for the welcome!