Ultra low budget photo wall

I made a photo wall on an extremely tight budget, and it doesn't look horrible at all.

Last December we finally moved to our new place - with a 2 month delay due to unforeseen renovation needs. The small room upstairs was always planned to become a study, but then the first lockdowns happened before we got to the point of buying all the needed furniture - so we spent quite a few months waiting for them to reopen, with a lot of boxes everywhere.

When IKEA finally repoened I nearly immediately got there to buy some of their 50cm deep Ivar cabinets - only to learn on unpacking, that unlike the 30cm deep ones, the 50cm ones don't have the crossbar that allowes them to be wall-mounted. Anyhow, ever since then I had a wall, with some cabinets at the feet, with completely empty greyness above it. We opted for a light-mid, tiny bit greenish grey, specifically Valspar Sculpting Clay1 for the walls upstairs; it looks great with natural pine. Valspar is OK if you use either their 700 or Trade graded paints; but avoid the 300 or 500 ones.

So I kept thinking what to do with that empty wall. Initially I was thinking of two larger photos, but I couldn't choose. Then I saw one of the examples on WhiteWall2, but the price of their "Photo Print On Aluminium Backing" was waaaay out of the amount I was willing - or able to - spend on this. Calculating with 24 roughly A4 sized pictures I ended up with, the aluminium option would have been an in the £900 range (24x£39.95) (this is the part when one either bursts into laugh, tears, or coughing), but even the cheapest photo prints would have cost around £200 (24x£9.95 rounded down due to some being smaller, than A4).

We bought a Xerox Phaser 6510 colour laser printer earlier this year to be able to print learning material. It's really very far in quality from professional photo print, but still better, than an lifeless wall.

For mounting, I went for a simple foam board, with the simplest process possible: glue the picture on, cut around with a knife, then use a tiny bit of mounting tape to put it on the wall. I got 4 A1 boards for £10 in Hobbycraft, and in the end, the whole wall costed below £20 (including glue, paper, ink, etc costs).

It's definitely not professional print quality, but it's worth mentioning that it looks a lot better, than the foam board print3 samples I ordered from WhiteWall a long time ago.

My wife help with arranging it: start from the middle. The first ones were the middle 5 pictures, everything else went around them following instincts.

And the result is:

Eastern Suburb Memory Anshun Bridge, Chengdu (closeup) Beddgelert Huanglong Lumsdale Falls Elephant Bathing Pool - Xixiangchi Monastery Dawn at Dojo Stara Wieś Fairy Glen The lake on the rear peak of Mount Qingcheng Hongcun bridge closeup Golden Dragons Nuorilang Waterfall in Jiuzhaigou La Palma - Teneguía Huangshan scenery 3 Sichuan mountains - a view from Jiuzhaigou PrimevalForest Anshun Bridge Sunrise - Hungarian National Graveyard Jiuzhaigou: Peacock Riverbed La Palma - volcano route next to Enríque A view from Barbican Up in the Sky 1 Hills from Beachy Head Snowdonia Llyn Idwal

(Click on the photos to visit them on this site.)

  1. https://www.valsparpaint.co.uk/colours/pre-selected-colours/greys/sculpting-clay/↩︎

  2. https://www.whitewall.com/uk/metal-prints/aluminum-mounted-print↩︎

  3. https://www.whitewall.com/uk/fine-art-prints/foam-board-printing↩︎