pendant light | vintage rug | live edge bench | black + white planter
pendant light | vintage rug | live edge bench | black + white planter

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!



Your favorite instant photos
Any shadowbox frame (I used this RIBBA)
White foam/card board
Artist (archival) tape
Foam squares
Ruler/straight edge


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.


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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!

15 replies on “A Fun and Easy Instant Photo Display”

  1. Now that you’ve hung that little photo display, I kind of like the light switch there?? Like if you had people over and were like oh hey, can you hit that light switch, they would HAVE to go over there and look at the photos! But then again, they’d see it on the way up the stairs anyway haha. Also, I think the best part of that last photo is Chunk inching her way into the frame.

    1. Let’s be honest, we’ll probably never get around to moving that switch anyway, ha! Especially now that it found a BFF.

  2. I love this project! What a cute way to display sweet memories. I have the camera on my wish list, fingers crossed Santa brings it for me! :)

  3. love this! we have a bowl full of instax! this is a great way to display! i also love that you wrote on them! we haven’t done that in the 8 years we have had ours and i kind of regret it! I have to do this asap!

    1. We tried to get into the habit of writing on them the minute we unpack them after a trip, and it stuck! I make Scott do it since he has better handwriting than me.

  4. That white + wood plant stand *insert heart-eyed emoji* !!!Gorgeous!! How does water drain out??

    1. It doesn’t drain, but we only water this guy about once a month! He’s been going strong for almost 2 years now.

  5. This is such a great idea! How fun to grab a handful of instax from a party or event and make one of these as a thank you gift for your hosts or the guest of honor – love it!

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