DIY Wall Art for Photos

2 Materials
4 Hours

February is the month for hearts. I have team with other amazing women on projects that showcases something near and dear to our hearts.

For me, my world revolves around God, my husband, children, grandchildren and my two fur babies. I have been wanting to do a DIY project to create a wall hanging for photos of either the family or just my four grandchildren.

Every time, I see my bare wall, it reminds me “you need to make something for that wall”. Do you have a wall that is bare and you keep looking at?

We have been in this house for a year now. The challenge has been what to do with that particular wall on a limited budget. I wanted to spend little to no money on my project.

So what did I do?

I shopped my house!

Now, you may not have all of these items on hand. However, I am going to show you how to think outside the box and let your creative juices flow. You never know, there may be something in the shed or garage that could work.

If you don’t have anything, keep an eye open the next time you are thrifting, face book market place or antiquing. I see vintage wood pieces at markets that could be used to upcycle into something else.

For my project, I remember a piece of wood saved from my antique sideboard. The hutch part of (middle) was removed. I saved the top piece of it. It had such beautiful carvings in the wood.

I decided to upcycle it into a piece of wall art for hanging photos.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. The opinions here are my own.

SuppliesWhat I found shopping my house:

  • Vintage piece from an old sideboard
  • A can of Pure White Chalk Paint
  • A can of clear wax for adding a protective coat over the chalk paint
  • Chalk Painting Brushes
  • 3 Lint free cloth (for the clear wax), 1 to apply the wax and 2 to buff
  • 2 Heavy Duty D-Rings Picture Hangers
  • 4 wooden picture frames of your choice (I am using frames that are 5 x 7 that holds 4 x 6 photos
  • 4 x 6 photos of your choice (have ordered updated black & white photos that due to the ice storms have not arrived yet)
  • 4 Brass Plated Screw Eyes (or you can hot glue the ribbon to the back of the frame)
  • 4 Screw-in Ceiling Cups Hooks
  • 3/4″ ribbon of choice, minimum of 20 yards (I am using a 3/4″ wired ribbon, any ribbon would work)
  • Fine Grit Sanding Block
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • Pencil
  • ToolsMeasuring Tape
  • Scissors for cutting the ribbon
  • Canvas Drop Cloth
  • Drill to start a pilot hole (optional) using 1/16 drill bit
  • Philips Head screw driver for the screws

Let’s Get StartedFirst, I grabbed my Canvas Drop Cloth cloth from my painting supplies. I love using a canvas drop cloth to protect my table or counter when working on a project. The best thing, it can be washed or just rolled up to use for the next project. I have not bought a canvas drop cloth in years.

You will need to make sure you vintage wood piece is clean before you paint it. I use a microfiber cleaning cloth just to wipe off any dust.

PaintingThe fun part is painting. I find it therapeutic.

This wood is dark, so it’s going to take three coats of paint to cover it. The beauty of chalk paint, it’s very forgiving.

Start by dipping your Chalk Painting Brush into the can of Pure White Chalk Paint. Begin to work it into the carving (if you have any). When there is a raised carving detail such as the one in the photo, I tend to work the paint in a circular motion.

If it is a plain piece of wood, paint in the direction of the grain of wood. On the straight flat surface, again paint with the grain of the wood working in small sections at a time.

Follow the instructions on the can and allow your paint to dry according to the instructions before apply the next coat. If you are like, me I tend to add the next coat after 1-2 hours.

It took three coats of paint on this vintage piece. Allow the piece to completely dry.


Once the paint was completely dried, I used a fine grit sanding block to distress the piece. Love how the dark wood is coming through and you don’t even need to add dark wax to age it.

Next, I make sure the piece was free of any dust particles. Be sure to wiped it off with a microfiber cleaning cloth.

Protecting Your work

With your lint free cloth, dip it into the can of clear wax. A little goes a long way. You will want to rub it into the wood. Remember the more you put on it the more you will need to buff it. You want to give it a layer that will protect it.

Next, you will take a clean lint free cloth and buff off the wax. It’s best to work in small sections at a time.

Remember the Karate Kid Movie, “Wax On, Wax Off”. You will get a good work out here. Really, it’s not bad at all!

Once the wax has finished drying, I flipped the vintage wood piece over. On the back of the wood, I drilled pilot holes to attach screws into the wood to hold 2 Heavy Duty D-Rings Picture Hangers.


You will need four 5 x 7 wooden photo frame and four Brass Plated Screw Eyes.

On the top of each of the frame find the center and insert the screw eye.

Repeat until you have all four frames done.

The length of your ribbon is going to be a personal preference. For this project, I cut the ribbon into 4 inches in length for two of them; and 4.5 inches in length for the other two. I plan to put two of the frames on the end lower than the other two frames. Again, it’s a personal preference.

You will need one piece of ribbon for each frame. I wanted mine long enough to tie the ribbon into a bow. You could knot tie it as well.

I tied each of the ribbons into a bow and cut the ends of the ribbons at an angle.

This vintage piece was 45 inches long. Each of my frames are 5 inches long. I laid out each frame in a row. My math: 4 frames with 5 spaces (2 spaces on the end and 3 spaces in between each frame) equals 9; 45 inches long divided by 9 = 5 inches. Therefore, I should have 5 inches on each end; each frame is 5 inches; and in between each frame would be 5 inches. So I began making my marks in pencil along the bottom.

Next, I used my measurements to mark where each of the frame should be placed.

Next, you will need the four cup hooks. I flipped the frames the opposite direction just it to find the center where each of the cup hook should be placed.

With a drill and a 1/18th drill bit attached, drill a pilot hole to help you to screw the cup hook into the wood.

You will need to screw in each of the cup hooks.

All four cup hooks are screwed in and it’s ready to hang. You can see my side kick, Piper, the Frenchie is never far from me. Although, she did not like the sound of the drill.

Finished Project

It’s time to hang the piece on the wall. Adjust any of the ribbons to the length you want it to hang from the hooks.

I have photos on order that have not arrived yet due to all of the snow and ice storms. In the meantime, I place four of my favorite photos of my grandchildren in each frame. If you want me to show you my heart, here’s all four of them.

For more inspiration, please follow the links of these amazing women as they showcase something near and dear to their hearts.

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Tammy Gilleland

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2 of 11 comments
  • Toni
    on Mar 19, 2021

    Beautiful! I’m going to create something similar now thanks to you for sharing! Love everything about this!!

  • Tammy Gilleland
    Tammy Gilleland
    on Mar 20, 2021

    Thank you so much.

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