The Insider: Displaying old family photographs


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The Independent Online

Digital may dominate these days, but most of us have dog-eared collections of old-school family photos. For years I had mine patched together in a giant picture frame; it looked awful, as well as not doing the individual images justice. I binned the frame, but now what?

Border control

Individual framing of randomly sized shots is expensive – but you could collect attractive junk-shop frames, glass and backing missing, and re-paint them the same colour ( paint needs no prep). Hang as many as you can muster and pin a photo to the wall inside each, making no attempt to align sizes.

Stick to it

Alternatively, does a set of wall sticker frames that'll do the job for £28.

PC perks

My friend, Nick, scanned his wife's cherished photos on his computer. He resized them uniformly, and arranged as a giant A0 (1189cm x 841cm) grid using design software. Printed and framed in white, it is now a beautiful focal point. Bonus Print does an A1-size image for around £30.

Glass act

Nice old mismatched glass jars make for unusual receptacles (pictured).

Clip art

Mark a straight line across a decent-sized wall with (temporary) masking tape (and a spirit level). Use it to line up the top edges of a row of photographs, attaching them to mini bulldog clips hung from thin nails, tapped in at a slight upward angle (or use colourful Japanese washi sticky tape).

Lean sweep

Ikea's Ribba picture ledges are ace for propped-up photos. Make loose images solid by sticking them on backing card with Spray Mount.

Hang on

I do like a bit of photographic bunting – use pegs and string. What could be simpler?

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at