See how Daniel Gonzalez made this brilliant photo wall for his friend for her wedding. Through text and images, Daniel has very generously shared with us how he built the wall should any of our readers want to make their own.
Enjoy this tutorial!
To make the Photo Wall I used the following:
2x4” cut into four pieces each 35" long, two pieces each 71" long, two pieces each 8" long cut to fit
4x4" cut into two pieces 2ft. long
A piece of ¼ inch plywood 6ft. wide and 3ft. 6” tall
A piece of white paneling for the bottom part of the wall
6ft. wide and 3ft. tall
4 hooks and 4 hangers
A piece of fabric approximately 48” x 6ft. 6”
6ft. long piece of molding
2 ½” woodscrews and 1 ¼” woodscrews
¾” machine screws and nuts
2 door hinges
The wall I made was 6ft. wide and 6ft. 6" tall. This height worked best for people to stand comfortably behind the cut-outs (wall windows). It has cost me approximately $100 to make the photo wall and here is how I did it:
1. Make the “stand-alone” frame
The frame was made out of 2x4”s which were cut 1” inch shorter than the dimension on all sides. This was done to make sure the frame would not show up on any pictures taken from in-front. I cut four Horizontal pieces each cut 35” Long and 2 Vertical pieces cut 71” Long.
The 2x4’s were attached to each other by L brackets, using the 1 ¼” wood screws. The Vertical 2x4’s were attached in between the base and top of the frame. I first put together one side then did the other side. Each side was a 35” 2x4 on the base, a 71” 2x4 on top then the top was another 35” 2x4.
The key to the frame was to make it fold so it could be transported. I used old door hinges, to attach both sides of the frame and placed two of them in the middle of both horizontal 2x4’s so it would fold in half.
2. Assemble the legs for the frame
Next was assembling the 2 legs so the frame could stand on its own. For the legs I cut the 4x4 into 2 pieces 2 ft. long. Then attached the 4x4’s to the base with more L brackets. I then took the 8 ft. long 2x4 and clamped it next to a top portion of the frame and to the side of the 4x4, near the back. Next I took a pencil and marked the angles of what to cut in order to attach the 2x4’s for extra support. The height of the 2x4’s on the frame and length of them don’t have to be exact just close. The 2x4’s were then held in place with 2 ½” wood screws. The screws attaching the 2x4 to the 4x4 have to be drilled in on a 45 degree angle.
Now the large free standing frame was finished and standing.
3. Hanging the wall on the frame
The wall was made in two pieces that would hang from the frame.
The top part was a piece of ¼ inch plywood and the bottom part was a piece of white paneling cut 6 ft. wide.
I then attached a piece of molding (normally used for trim around a door) to the top of the white panel. I did this to hide the space between the two parts of the wall. This I attached with construction adhesive.
The top part of the wall was a piece of 1/4 inch plywood, 6 ft. wide and 3 ft. 6” tall.
The two pieces were then attached to the frame, individually, with basic hooks and hanger pieces found in any hardware store.
I attached the hangers on the white paneling first. I lined the paneling up so it overlapped the frame by 1” on both sides and used clamps to hold it in place. Then drilled holes into the paneling about 2” down from the top but in the middle of the frame. I attached the hangers on the inside of the paneling with machine screws and nuts. The hooks were attached in a place were the paneling lined up with the bottom of the frame while hanging.
The same steps were used to attach the ¼ plywood above the paneling just leave about a ¼” between the two pieces so there is space when putting it together and taking it apart.
Photo: Daniel Gonzalez
4. Cutting holes for the decorative picture frames
I organized the frames on the plywood in the positions where I wanted them. With a pencil I then marked the inside and outside borders of each decorative frame.
Next was to drill pilot holes in the middle of both markings and cut with a jigsaw. I then just sanded the holes to prevent any injuries.
5. Attaching the fabric (the “wall paper”)
After choosing the right piece of fabric it just needed to be attached. I used an adhesive spray to attach the fabric to the plywood.
I then secured the fabric around the edges with staples. After the fabric was attached I had to cut holes in the fabric to expose the holes I cut in the plywood earlier so the decorative frames could be attached. I just cut holes in the shape of triangles so I could and pull the excess fabric which covered holes to the back of my photo wall. I then used staples once again to hold the fabric in place.
Photos: Daniel Gonzalez
6. Adding the decorative picture frames
To attach the frames all it took was to add screw from behind that were just long enough to hold the weight of the frames.