Last year I wrote a post sharing the fast and easiest way to backup and print all of your cell phone photos. If you’re like me you take too many, and don’t save enough, so this post helps a lot with that. I mentioned Groovebook—a product that not a lot of people knew about, and now, thanks to me (and a little show called SharkTank) they are on their way to becoming a household name. Today I’m going to tell you about another product that’s still on it’s way to meeting the masses, but that I can now attest to.
If you never take the time to print and hang the pretty photos you take on your camera, either because you never get around to it, or can’t afford to do it the way you picture in your mind, this post is for you.
I literally have tens of thousands of images of my kids but hardly any on my walls. It’s really a shame because I’m so proud of a lot of the photos and I’d love to show them off.
So let’s talk about the options we have to display photos, what’s most appealing, affordable and least time-consuming.
Personally I’ve been drawn to canvas wraps for years. I don’t have to choose a frame, and I love the way they look when hung up. But the price adds up quickly. Even when I get them half-off (that’s most of the time) the total still comes out to cost a pretty penny. In my living room I have three 16×20 canvas prints hanging. Two I ordered from CafePress when they had 70% off deals (so they were $34 each) the other I got from Zazzle (quality is ok). All are super cute, pretty easy to move around, but take some effort on my part to nail and get just right (in fact, looking at this photo I can see I still don’t have it perfect).
My plan is to get smaller frames from thrift stores and hang them between these canvas prints to make a full photo wall. How long that will take me, I have no idea. It takes quite a bit of time, energy and patience for me to do a project like this.
I wanted to do something similar over my computer but I wasn’t sure how I’d ever manage to get it just right. The wall over my computer is huge, and also in the playroom, so I didn’t want something that could come crashing down on my electronics if a ball came barreling in that direction.
I was looking into invisible frames, with plexiglass and clips to hang in a montage over my desk. But each 4×6 frame is $9 (plus $8 shipping), not to mention I’d like some larger photos displayed. I could see this was going to be quite the investment.
I bought four square 20×20 frames from Ikea, but 1. Again, they’re heavy and I didn’t want them over my computer, and 2. The square dimensions limited my photo selection and required cropping.
Just when I was measuring the wall to risk hanging my heavy frames, I got an email about WeMontage, a new way to display photo art using removable photo wallpaper. On their website they have an example of a gorgeous photo wallpaper collage of the owner’s babies in their nursery.
Impressed, but still a little skeptical, I researched the company, as well as people who have used it, and looked at how their photos were displayed. I’m pretty picky when it comes to photo prints. Anything larger than a 4×6 that I plan to display I have printed from a professional printer. They said they’d send me one to try and review, so I went for it. Here’s the result:
No lie, I’m blown away. I even got teary eyed as I unrolled his huge display. Even my husband who is VERY hard to impress, is in awe. They’re all photos I’ve taken. Photos that woulda taken who knows how long to get hung on my wall. To be honest, I probably never would have gotten them all up, much less as beautifully organized.
This is definitely the fastest, easiest, and more affordable way to display high-quality images in an attractive style.
A few things to note:
1. On price- I gasped of sticker shock when I initially saw the price tag of $120 for a 6ft x 2ft display ($69 for 3ft X 2ft), but then I realized that the regular price of my (tiny by comparison) canvas print that’s less than a quarter of that size is normally $109. I got 12 extremely large pictures for a little bit more (the smallest is a little bigger than an 8×10). You can also use my coupon ‘babymakingmachine’ to get 20% off until March 27th 2014.
2. On using their website– It’s super easy to upload your photos and shuffle through the way you want to display your images. I spent WAY too long trying to get it just right, re-editing photos so they matched better, and shuffling through collage styles to get one that looked just right. I made about 10 drafts before I chose one. In the end I realized I was crazy and that they all looked good. That said, I really wanted one that didn’t have an extra white boarder around the edges, so if that’s an issue for you, click the “shuffle” button a few times til you see it go away. The interface is really good about giving excellent options that fit your images and don’t crop them. (It also gives you a warning if your image quality is too low for the size it’ll be displayed. If you have questions about changing your resolution let me know and I can explain more.)
3. On installing- I measured the height I wanted it at from my desk up, marked the wall, then had my husband help me set it up. We had it way crooked the first time, and we were able to easily remove it and re-stick it. I was extremely paranoid about lumps, bubbles, and wrinkles. I’m pretty sure I’ve spotted oopsies around the blogosphere that didn’t seem to be stuck right and I wanted to jump through the photo and fix it for them. It’s not hard to install but for heavens sakes, get help to do it right!
4. How it looks- It’s hard to tell from this photograph but this thing is HUGE. For perspective, my computer screen is 27in. There are smaller size options but I wanted something large for this space. As for picture quality, it’s great. You can see a string that’s dangling from my daughter’s cowgirl boots and individual eyelashes on my kids. Ok, so a lot of that is my lens, but there’s no distortion or quality loss in print. The colors are vibrent and true, and I believe they have a color-correcting service.
There isn’t really anything like this on the market, so the appearance at first is like “wait, what is that?” When shared a preview on Instagram everyone wanted to know what this was. Vinyl? Canvas? Paper? It’s actually fabric. I was looking for a no-frame option for this space (either plexiglass or canvas) so this was the perfect solution. It’s definitely modern, and new, and I think people might not know what to make of it at first, but I love being one of the first people on the bandwagon of what I think will become a new trend for photo art.
5. On practicality- I love that this won’t come crashing down on my computer, it’s like wallpaper, it’s stuck for good—But can come off when I need it to without causing damage to the wall. This is a positive and negative in my opinion. It’s great for renters who don’t want to stick 12+ nails in the wall trying to hang frames just right. But I wonder how it’ll preserve if you want to move it to another room or home. My plan (whenever I decide to remove it) is to get a thin piece of 6x2ft plywood to stick it to so I can re-hang it again in another place. Granted that’s a giant piece of plywood to move and store (or maybe frame like this), but I suppose could always cut the photos out of the collage and stick them individually to smaller pieces of wood if I wanted to only display a few later and store the rest. Ack! I just got anxiety imagining hacking into my gorgeous piece of work.
So there you have it, my latest discovery for preserving and displaying our precious memories. Stop waiting for the perfect frame, or detailed strategy to make that photo wall you’ve been dreaming of. Grab a handful of your favorite pictures from your latest trip and show them off, or do what I did and create a display that makes everyone jealous of your gorgeous kids the second they step foot into your house.
I think I’ve covered it. Any more questions? Shoot! I’m happy to help. Also, you can get 20% off until March 27th 2014 using code “babymakingmachine”.