DIY Photo Wall

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The photo wall is ready for decoration.

I really should have been taking pictures as this process went from concept to finished product. Instead, I’ll describe how I made it.

Step one is to have a wife who is into Pinterest. You know, that site where you can find inspiration for a whole lot of projects to suggest to your husband. My wife has a few boards of projects for me, so I avoid Pinterest like the plague.

Step two is to have an event. My daughter is having a graduation party, and my wife wanted a photo station. If I understand, she will be adding paper flowers and favorite photos to it and it will serve as a display board and as a backdrop for picture taking.

Step three is for your wife to ask you to recreate what she sees on Pinterest. So you accept your fate, push your other projects to the back burner, and get a plan.

Step four is to gather materials and tools. This is when you have a bit more leverage to make purchases. Unfortunately, I already had all that I needed for this one, except for pallets and the frame.

The frame is three sets of two boards, so six boards unless math is still racist. My boards were 1x3s, cut to seven feet. Then comes the pallets. Ugh.

Most businesses don’t mind you taking pallets, just be sure to ask. Also, do a little research about pallets. You don’t know what may have spilled on the wood, but you can know how that pallet was treated to withstand the elements. Pallets are gross. Wear eye and breathing protection whenever you work with it and hearing protection when needed. And don’t use it to hold food.

I took a bunch of pallets and had to disassemble them. A circular saw or a jigsaw down the sides is my first step. Yes, I do lose some wood that way, but in my experience, pallet edges aren’t worth the added hassle. The center bar is all that’s left and I pry the slats up with a dedicated crowbar. These slats have nails in them so be careful. I bought a nail cutter, but that sucked. So I tapped the nails out and pulled them.

To process this crappy wood, I ran the straighter side through my table saw with a blade that is old and cheap. I then used that side to reference against my fence for a parallel cut. My wife wanted eight feet of overall width, but nine feet meant easier math, so I cut the end of each piece square, then cut the other end at a length of three feet.

Now would have been a great time to scrub the wood with a wire brush. It also would have been a great time to connect the 7-foot boards with the hinges. I hope I remember that lesson the next time I have a project. A La Brava.

I did use a framing square to set up the construction. If you begin with a square frame, the rest will go much better. I used my air nail gun to attach the pallet wood to the frame. I used similar width boards across the three frames and spaced them with the edge of a board for a uniform look. Had I brushed the boards and attached the hinges I would have been done. Instead I did those steps at this point.

The photo wall stands on its own, but I may install bracing if my wife wants it outside and there’s wind.

Happy wife, happy life!

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