How to Create a Wall Photo Collage | 4 DIY Rules

I received a text image of frames scattered across her carpeted floors.  These words followed, ” Can you help me?”

She wanted to hang a collage of photographs on her wall, but had no idea where to begin.  Maybe you are in the same boat and have been “pinning” to an inspiration board collage options for the past 3 months, but are stumped on how to re-create them within your home.


Here are 4 basic design principles I use when creating a Wall Photo Collage.  Let’s start with the easiest one…

1.Repetition– when in doubt choose the same size frame and repeat.  The results will be clean and simple.  Make a statement with 2-3 large framed prints, or make it bold in numbers with 6 or more framed images. Here are some examples:

2.It’s all about Balance- our eyes like things to be balanced. Because it is comfortable and organized instead of chaotic. There are two ways to balance your collage:

  • Symmetrically (Formal Balance): If you have a first grader, ask them to list off some examples of symmetry.  They may say a butterfly, our bodies, a leaf, or maybe  crab.  Things that are the same on both sides when divided down the middle (vertically or horizontally).  So as you lay out your collage, you can use symmetry to bring balance.  Here are some examples:
  • Asymmetrically (Informal Balance): this form of balance is when both sides of your collage are not identical when divided, but they are still similar.  An apple and an orange placed side by side is 1 example of asymmetrical balance.  To our eye they are about the same size and same “weight” yet not identical.  Discover another example by laying a pencil on a table and then directly parallel lining up 5 mini marshmallows.  The 5 mini marshmallow all together are similar in size and shape to the pencil.  Now let’s see some examples with wall art:

3.Uniform Spacing– keep the same amount of space between each frame. Just as we created balance with the frames we also need to do that with the space in between the frames. Because our eyes like balance and unity.  I recommend consistently placing 1-4 inches between the edge of one frame and the next.

4.The Shape of your Collage- choose a shape for your collage before beginning. Think about what you would like the overall shape of the collage to be so that if you were to connect the dots from frame to frame and trace all the way around, you would see a square, a rectangle, a diamond, or anything else you can create. Then use uniform spacing and balance within the shape of your entire collage.


Tip:  Lay it Out

It’s hard to envision in your head how everything will look.  So grab your frames, slide your furniture to the edge of the room, and start playing with the pieces of your collage.  Move frames around, try different arrangements, and take a picture of each design. In the end, you’ll compare the pictures of each design to choose and create your favorite.  And if you really want to envision your collage in it’s exact location on the wall, cut out pieces of paper in the size of your frames and tape them to your wall with masking tape (scotch sometimes takes paint off).

And if you are stumped on what sizes to buy, a great place to play is Michaels (even if you have frames from another store picked out…sshhhh).  Bring with you the size of the space to fill on your wall and a ruler, open up these design tricks on your mobile device, and play with frames.  Don’t worry, they most likely won’t mind…I speak from experience.


Of course, rules of design can be broken…but they do provide us with guidelines to create something beautiful, balanced, and eye-grabbing…and that’s what you want when you showcase your photographs within your home.

And if you are one of my clients, this is one part of your At Home Design Session. We will take a look together at the wall space  and style of your home. Creating collage options that highlight your family and your home. So that your photographs become a part fo your everyday life and on-going story.




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