Giant Family Gallery Wall

I first published this post in 2017 in our previous home. I loved the project so much that I did it a second time! Today, I wanted to share how I expanded the project in our new home.

I used the frames and photos from our previous project, which was made before we became parents. Our gallery wall is mainly older family photos mixed with current photos from our season of life now.

Gallery wall with black and white family photos

These first two images are in our new (current home) and the gallery wall is about double the size of our first project.

Below you’ll be able to see the instructions and video I made in 2017, which still applies today. I used the same frames, same printer and same method to create this gallery wall.

This post is in collaboration with Canon USA. I used my PIXMA TS9521C printer to print family memories in black and white. The printer produces really strong black and white images and I always choose the Canon Luster paper for these type of photos.

I resized all my photos to 8″ x 8″ to fit these matching frames. I used 24 frames in four rows of six. I think the things that make this gallery wall really pop is that all the frames are the same size and all the photos are in black and white.

The gallery wall is a mixture of family memories from my parents’ childhood, recent photos, and photos of Jeremy and I when we were kids.

Elsie Larson hanging a photo on her gallery wall

You know I love a good before and after moment …

This is the original before and after. When we first moved in, the hallways (and almost every room) were covered in blue carpet. It’s hard to tell in these photos, but the walls were powder blue as well.

Hallway before and after

We lived in an l-shape ranch, and the hallway curved around and has every bedroom in the house (as well as a couple bathrooms and the laundry room) down this long hallway.

Giant family gallery wall Giant family gallery wall These photos have completely transformed the feel of our hallway. I tend to shy away from big family photos in the home. We barely even have any wedding photos out, and just a few snapshots in frames.

I think a lot of people are this way because, well, it feels extremely awkward to hang a bunch of photos of yourself up on your own walls! Haha!

But doing this project was extremely meaningful and comforting to me! Yes, it has a couple wedding photos, but it also has dozens of other memories. And when they are all combined together, it’s just magic.

Giant family gallery wall If this post inspires just one of you to go dig out your box of old family photos and make a similar wall, I will be SO HAPPY. This is one of the most meaningful DIY projects I have ever done. I just keep pausing to look at all our memories and feeling so, SO happy.

Bottom line: While I talk a lot about how we need to get our photos off our phones, we also need to find ways to use those boxes of old photos hiding in the attic. They are full of the best, most special memories.

Here’s another idea for a black and white gallery wall and an ombre gallery wall. Thanks for reading! Elsie

  • I love that you used a wide variety of photos of different family members at different times and in different settings. My grandmother had a hallway full of family photos when I was growing up, this reminds me of that in the best way.

    I have definitely been to people’s houses who have an awkward amount of photos of themselves up. But that’s more like when they have multiple huge engagement and wedding photos. It’s fine to put these up, but it does get awkward when they are poster sized and there is no other art or photos of anyone else up.

  • Hi there,
    Can you help me resolve a debate? I am doing a gallery wall (like yours!) only my husband is convinced the top of our frames should line up perfectly to the top of the door moldings in the hallway. We’re doing 5 across and 4 down 11×14 frames with 8×10 photos. I think the top frames should be either 2″ above or 2-3″ below the top of the door molding so it’s not so matchy-matchy. Who is right here? – And, no pressure…our marital bliss hinges on the answer! ha!

    Thanks so much!

  • Hi Elsie,
    VERY awesome! What program did you use to print the pictures 8X8?

  • The photo wall looks great! I love the black and white. 🙂

    Kristi Beth | Be Loverly

  • Your gallery wall is beyond incredible! It’s absolutely gorgeous and totally inspired me to do something similar on my stairway, I love taking pictures and recalling the memories behind the photos!
    – Rebecca ♥

  • My mother needs to do this – we have so many family photos from all different years and this is a great way to really unify everything. It’s so clever to do them all in black and white – so they feel similar! That always seems to be the problem with trying to put together an old photo collage. The other challenge is our dark wood home – I’m not sure what the right color frame would be for something like that!

  • Hey Elsie, I love the gallery wall but PLEASE iron the wall hanging. It looks so out of place in your beautiful home attached by two corners and all crumpled. The easiest trick for getting wall hangings to hang nicely without ironing: spritz with water. You can also fold the scarf over a wooden dowel (or some other piece of wood) so that the top edge is straight, not sagging.

  • Wow! What a difference these make! I am usually a person to have as little as possible on my walls and as decor in general. But as someone who grew up with so little pictures of myself as a child, I definitely think this would be a staple in our home. Will do some more research on this idea. Thanks!

  • We also shy away from having family photos in our house because of not knowing how to display them! This is perfect and I can’t wait to give it a go, time to look back over all our memories and pick the best ones. This is going to be fun, thanks for the great inspiration.

    Holly xo

    The Art of Being Holly

  • This is a wonderful idea to display family pictures. I’m not a big fan of lots of personal photos in every room. But this is an awesome idea to look back on memories.

  • What perfect timing! We are just finishing up a huge reno project on our house, and I just got a bunch of old family photos that I really want to hang up. I love that you used the same frame throughout. I have a similar question as Holly up there – how did you get all the photos to fit 8×8 without ruining the resolution? Thanks for sharing!!

  • What a beautiful hallway! I completely love the idea of using older photos, it adds such a dimension to our relatives when we see them not just as “Grandma” but as World War II nurse and so on. Lovely idea!

  • I did this on a wall using B&W photos in black frames. Just took it all down to paint. I’m debating whether to put them back there or in the hallway like yours. I originally wanted to hang them in the hall but it’s not a very well lit area and kind of narrow. Any suggestions?

  • What a beautiful wall! I love all the pictures.

    Just my input on hanging photos of yourself on the wall or on shelves or wherever…

    I used to think it was weird and maybe awkward. However, after having some around the house of our favorite times, I feel like they aid in keeping our love and marriage alive in some way. They are a timeline of where we have been, the love we have felt, and they help to keep us reminiscing while also inspiring us to maintain that love and wonder that we had when we were younger. I LOVE looking back at our “old” times, and maybe I am such the oddball here with my opinion. I don’t care, haha. I also don’t care if they are in public spaces. After all, it’s OUR home, and we are the ones who live here. Guests can either be weirded out or love them, too-their opinion is none of my business 😉 . It’s not like we have them EVERYWHERE, hahaha. Don’t get me wrong.

  • This looks so great! Do you have any tips on resizing the 4×6 prints into 8×8 or any other size for that matter? I’ve always struggled to resize pictures for printing

  • This is the perfect answer to my empty wall under my staircase! We have a beautiful family and what better way to be with them all the time.

    Also I am mad for your dress!! Could you tell me where you found this treasure?

  • That is so adorable! My parents have an absolute zero of my photos around, and they even have my mum’s niece photos out… 😉

  • I’m actually halfway through a similar project myself! And this has totally inspired me to add some older photos as well though, like this absolute gem of a photo I have from when my dad was a kid. He grew up on a farm, and there was this one time his little sister (my aunt) was trying to get the horse and carrage to back up into the barn via the ramp that led to the barn’s second floor. She was like six, and hadn’t really done this before, so obviously the carriage ended up hanging off of the side of the ramp while the horse was still standing on the ramp. She ran to my dad for help, who immediately said “wait, let me get the camera”! So the photo is an old black and white film photo of my little aunt posing next to the horse with the carriage hanging off the side, stil attached to the horse. Their parents didn’t even find out about it until they got the film developed! Anyway, I’ve had this photo for a while and not quite known what to do with it– don’t know why it never occured to me to add it to the black and white family gallery wall!

  • I completely get the photos of yourselves on the walls being/feeling a bit odd. I love the idea of lots of fun old (& some new) family memories though. Especially when you live so far from family (I’m from Australia, living in the U.S, just moved from Minnesota to Florida….so now both husband and I are away from our families). We will be moving into a new home soon and I’m thinking of doing something like this along the walls of our stairs. Love that you went simple with black& white photos.

  • I love this. I just LOVE it. I’m designing my parents new home and I think this would be a lovely DIY we could all do together as a family. I’m sure a lot of laughter (and tears) will probably ensue 🙂

    • I definitely cried when looking through photos of my grandparents. It’s SO special!


  • We’re moving in a few weeks and I totally want to do this in our new house!


  • Yes! Moving into our new apartment this month and definitely suggesting this to my husband, can’t wait! I love showing people pictures from the past, I think I will add a lot of pictures of both our grandparents, we have such a great collection from them 🙂

    • I love the way this looks! Do you have any tips for hanging the frames in straight rows? It’s hard for me to imagine myself getting a look like yours. Also, would you mind sharing where you found the frames? I really like the mats with the frames

      • Hi Aidel,
        Yes- the frames are from Target (linked in the post) they come with the mats as well.

        To hang these, measure and mark your spots (with pencil) for the whole entire wall before you hang. If it helps, cut 12×12 inch papers and hang them in all the spots, that way you can “eyeball” it to make sure it looks straight.


  • The wall looks great! I’ve been thinking about doing a gallery wall myself, but I’m still debating if I should go all black and white, colors or just mix it up..

    x Silje

    • Hi Silje,
      Either way would look super clean with all matching frames. I almost went color, but since I had a lot of old photos I went black and white. 🙂 xx!

  • That wall looks stunning, I was hoping to do something similar to this!

    Katie |

  • My aunt gifted my dad a big tote full of old photos a few years ago and that was a priceless moment for me. It was my first time seeing my dad as a baby and really getting to see pics from his childhood and of my grandparents. Sadly, because my parents married later in life, I never got to meet my grandparents. The only bond I got was sifting through those black and white images, and it was definitely there.

    Family pictures are so special. If and when I have a family of my own, I plan to print out photo highlights of each year with a copy for each child so when they are grown, they don’t have to work as hard as I did to find them.

    • That’s a great plan. It’s a lot of work initially getting organized, but so worth it!

  • This is such a great idea for a personal decoration to the home. I’d prefer to do this over hanging up an artist’s painting!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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