A massive picture hanging fiesta

When we were in Atlanta a few weeks ago and stumbled into some extra cash (long story,) Rachel made the fantastic decision to go ahead with something she’d been wanting to do for a while: She went to Joann’s and bought some picture frames for the house. Wait, let me rephrase that. She bought enough frames to wallpaper every inch of our first small DC apartment with picture frames.

Ever since we moved in, for whatever reason, we’ve been pretty slow to get pictures and painting and decorations up on the walls. There have been exceptions of course, as we hung a few pictures in our bedroom pretty quick and the odd picture here or there throughout the house, as well as the big photo I took in Bruges, Belgium that we put up in the living room as our housewarming gift to ourselves. But for the most part, we just haven’t done a good job of putting up family pictures and covering the walls.

So Rachel bought enough frames to fill an entire storage bin, with a handful more piled up on top and around the car on the way back from Atlanta. I have no idea how much money she spent on frames — probably for the best.

Sunday afternoon, we got to work on getting all the frames up in the house, mostly filling the stairway from bottom to top. We’ve always loved houses that have a wall that’s just jammed with family pictures, so that’s what we set out to do. We traced out the shape of all the frames and put them all up on the wall and moved ’em around to see where things would fit best.


This is a great strategy for figuring out how to fit together a bunch of different sized frames on the wall. Once we got them all up and arranged in a good pattern, I got to work on hanging the frames. It’s a little more complicated to hang on this south wall, since it’s just plaster on brick. So I use a drill to make small pilot holes for nails, rather than trying to nail into the plaster and brick, which just results in bent nails and damaged plaster. The plaster and brick are also stout enough (unlike some drywall) that if you go in at a small angle, it’s more than strong enough to hold a large picture frame with a single small nail.


After about an hour or so, I had all of the frames hung on the wall. Including a few that we hung in the to-be-unveiled nursery and elsewhere, we counted up 27 or 28 frames or pictures that we put on the wall in one day. Wow.


Of course, now we need to figure out what pictures to put in the new frames. Until then, we’ll just have those beautiful smiling photo-frame models smiling back at us.

Oh, one last thing. Our good friends Lily and Colin gave us this great print by a local Petworth artist that we framed. (This same picture fills a front picture window at Annie’s Ace Hardware in the neighborhood.) Incidentally, we ended up hanging it on the very wall that Lilly scraped free of wallpaper all the way back on our workday with friends in 2010. Didn’t realize it until we put it up.


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