Creating a Collage with Picture Frames

Pictures capture our best moments and memories. They provide the viewer with a glimpse of the joys, sorrows, celebrations and everyday ordinary life. These scenes and memories can be hung on your wall as one gallery display, using a number of frames that feature one photo for each picture frame. Another idea (and one that saves a lot of wall space) is to use oversized frames to display a collage.

Here are some considerations for displaying pictures as a collage:

  • Using window matting. By using a large-enough picture frame, you can fit 4 or more photos into one frame. You can keep the photos organized by using window matting. A multi-cut matting board features pre-cut windows in various sizes, both in portrait and landscape format. There are a number of multi-cut mats in the market that you can choose from depending on your requirements.
  • DIY mats. If you are concerned about the cost of pre-cut mats or can’t find a mat that fits your needs, you can cut your own mats. This allows you the freedom to choose non-standard photo sizes, or to have rectangular windows leaning at an angle or windows that have different shapes. For those interested in creating their own mats, you will need a mat cutter (including its blades), a matt cutting sheet, knives, tape and rulers. With DIY mats, you can play around with your matting boards. For instance, you can cut windows in the shape of the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre Museum for your holiday in France. You can cut windows in the shape of a shell for a collage of photos you had of your week at the beach. Of course, DIY mats need some level of cutting skill so you should consider whether you have the skills (and the time) to make your own window mattings.
  • Grouping pictures in a gallery display or in one frame. When displaying a collage, be mindful of the overall look you would want the collage to have. Piecing together unrelated sceneries and pictures may result in a cluttered-looking display. To tie the pictures together, you can make use of pictures that feature similar colors or that have a similar theme. For instance, you can have a collage with a red motif, where the predominant subjects bear some shade of red – your son in a red shirt, a daughter holding a red rose and so on. For theme-related collages, you can group together shots that are related. For example, you can have a collage of your child’s year in school, including his school portrait (with him in uniform), in his costume during the school play, or him posing with his Science project during the school fair. Or, you can tie together photos of the family on the beach by photos of shells, the sunset by the beach and other similar shots. For collage display of multiple picture frames, your choice of frame can also help unify the look of the display. Choose frames with a similar style and shade. For a whimsical collage of frames, use a number of distressed vintage picture frames in white or in shades of one pastel color. For a collage of modern-themed landscapes, you can use simple black picture frames with cream or white matting.
  • Scrapbook style collage. Another way to display a number of pictures is for you to crop, cut, paste and add scrapbook embellishments. With this, you can tell a story and use tags to add notes and labels to pictures. You can also incorporate three-dimensional keepsakes such as spoons, keys, shells and other items that are related to the display. If you plan on adding 3-D items, though, be sure to use custom display cases such as shadow box frames. When making a scrapbook page, it is best to use photos that are easily reproduced, since you will be cutting and pasting these photos in your display.
  • Choose the right area. The right spot to hang your collage will be a place that is spacious and bright. The spot should allow a viewer to come closer to the display, or to stand further to view the collage as one piece. Thus, avoid putting your collage behind bulky furniture such as the sofa. The same goes for enclosed stairwells, which are dark and do not provide enough “breathing space” for the collage. Usually, you can display the collage above a low shelf or a slim console table.
30th May 2016 Eric Morgan

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