Scott and I have always been in the habit of taking our Instax Mini camera with us when we travel, always making sure to leave enough room in our backpack for extra film. (One of our favorite ways to get photos with both of us in it is to ask a group of passersby to snag a shot; as a ‘thank you,’ we’ll take a photo of their group for keeps, too!) For as long as we started collecting these teeny photos, we’ve stacked them in a dish that we set out on a table or console, and every now and then, our friends will sift through them, and we’ll add more to the mix on those extra-goofy late nights over cocktails.
The only problem with this method of storing is that we don’t get to see our favorites as often as we’d like! As a quick and fun craft project, we chose a handful of the ones that makes us smile the most, and I gave them a permanent home. I also love the idea of framing just one or two together as well, so I can definitely see this collection growing down the road!
SUPPLIES + TOOLS
What I did
I used this IKEA RIBBA that we already had on hand, and I cut down a scrap of white foam board to give our photos something sturdy to stick to. A few inches of artist tape on all four sides kept it in place. Tip:Cardboard would also work, but I’d stay away from thin paper, which could easily ripple under the weight of too many photos.
I flipped my mat over, and then I began the hard part – math. Argh! Each tiny photo is 2 1/8″ x 3 3/8″, and my mat has an opening of 13 1/2″. At first, I tried spacing my photos so that they were evenly spaced top to bottom within the mat, but the rows felt disjointed. Instead, I decided on 1″ between all the photos, side to side and between the two rows. This left me with a 2 7/8″ border above and below the photos, and after eyeballing them into place initially, I liked this look the best:
To add a little more interest, I wanted them to ‘pop’ off the mat, so I used these 1/4″ thick foam squares that come in two different sizes. I made teeny, tiny pencil marks at 2 7/8″ from the top and bottom, and I used my ruler as a guide while I worked on each row. All four corners got a small piece of foam, and I used a larger piece in the middle to keep the photos from bowing outward. For the spacing in-between, I used 2 side-by-side rows of the 1/2″ foam squares to keep everything properly aligned.
Sticking them to my foam board was a little bit stressful, because once they’re down, they’re down. All it took was some light pressure to set them into place!
I stepped back every now and then to make sure the photos were staying on track, and once I was done and happy, I put the frame back together! The 1/4″ foam thickness was just what I had in mind, but if you’re looking for more dimension, you could always stack them.
The frame found a home at the top of our second floor landing, occupying our awkward wall with its awkward light switch. Moving that switch has been on our to-do list for far, far too long, but in the meantime, at least it has a friend – ha! The above photo was taken standing from my shipping room, and I liked that it could give you a better view of how the landing is divided from our home studio. We’ve been working on a lot of studio updates with Crate & Barrel (one of our longtime partners we heart so much – their blog has been killing it!), and for the first time in over 3 years, this room is going places. In fact, this whole second floor is finally starting to feel more like home than ever!
Isn’t it funny how hanging one new frame – of artwork or a favorite photo or, like this, a bunch of mini photos! – can change the mood of an entire space? More often than not, it’s the little things. Note to self: start digging through your still-packed artwork from the last house, and start hanging!