This weekend I did a fun wall collage project with my daughter. I've been planning to do the same type of collage for one of my own walls, but being a more persistent 15 year old, she got to do hers first! I've seen great collages on walls that include frames, but I'm too cheap to do that. So after brainstorming, I came up with this inexpensive alternative. My own wall collage will include images from a beach vacation our family took last year. I'll post my collage once it's up. My daughter saw me planning mine and wanted to do her own. She chose to do a 5x5 collage with images that were 5 inch squares. Because I use a professional lab, I ordered the prints as proofs to save on cost. If you don't use a pro lab, this size is still very inexpensive from any print shop. She downloaded images from Tumblr (with permission) and used some stock images. She added quotes to a handful of those images. I then printed the 25 images and the pictures below explain how we did the project. My own project is the same, but I used 11x14 pictures and am doing 5 across and 3 down. I'll post pictures of mine once it's up!
Foam Board (we bought ours at Hobby Lobby. It took one sheet. It was priced at $2.99 and was 30% off. We took it to the framing department and asked them to cut it into the squares for us.)
Cardboard or Newspaper to spray towards and to put boards on when done
Place cardboard or newspaper up so that when you spray the adhesive onto your foam board, you don't get adhesive all over the place. Hold the foam board and spray lightly. Then carefully place your photo onto the foam board. We found it worked best with us working together. My daughter did the spraying and I placed the image on the foam board. By doing it this way, we didn't get any of the adhesive onto the photo. Be sure to line it up straight so you don't have to peel it off and start over.
Once you have all of your foam boards covered with your photos, let them sit outside for a couple of hours to make sure the adhesive is dry. Then bring inside. Line them up on the floor in the order that you want them to appear on the wall. Once you have them lined up, you can turn them over and put the command strips on them. You'll notice in the picture that we used heavy duty command strips...this wasn't planned! We grabbed the wrong ones and just went with it. Since these weigh like an ounce to hang, you can get the strips meant to hang less weight.
The next thing we did was measure the wall to see where we wanted to start and to get a straight line. We went in by 20 inches on both sides of the wall and used a tape measure to get an idea of where we wanted the first row to be. We held the tape measure down 30 inches (5 inches per board and an inch in between =30 inches) and then marked on the wall with a pencil where we wanted the top to be. We then put a thumb tack in each spot we marked when we came in 20 inches from the side. Then we took string and wrapped it around each thumb tack to get a straight line and to have a visual when placing that first row of boards.
As we put each board up, we pressed down on it to make sure it stuck to the wall. We had something that measured an inch thick so that we could place it in between each image as we placed them on the wall. This helped them all to be spaced out evenly. As we went along placing each board, we'd use the level to make sure things stayed straight.
Once we finished, we used the level again to make sure all rows were even. Then we made any adjustments, which were easy since we had the velcro command strips on. Then we stood back, high fived each other and felt pretty darn proud!!