Great Wall of Ancestors

With my desk finished and in place, it was time to move on to the next project for my Genealogy Room.


I spent over a year collecting various sizes and shapes of picture frames from thrift shops and garage sales.  My original plan was to paint all the frames black, but when I looked at photos of other photo wall projects online, I really liked the mix of gold and silver frames in with the black.


I am blessed with so many vintage photos of family members.  To keep me organized, I created a spreadsheet with frame sizes and lists of photos I wanted to use for my project and carefully matched them up.  Even though my photos were black and white, I printed them in color on matte photo paper.  This preserved the sepia tones and other richness in the photos.


Once they were all framed, I measured the wall and cut a large piece of paper to size so that I could take my time and lay them all out in an arrangement I liked.  Even with all the “help” of my curious furry children, it took me hours to finalize my arrangement.


Then I carefully traced around the outside of each frame to preserve the placement and create a template for hanging the photos.  As I had some frames that were the same size, I also wrote the description of the photo within the traced border so I would remember exactly which photo went where.


With the help of my husband, we used painter’s tape to secure the template and I started to work.  I matched up each frame with its corresponding tracing.  To obtain the perfect positioning for the nails, I used a tiny bit of toothpaste dabbed onto the picture hanger and then pressed the frame against the template.  After I had all the frames hung, I removed a few at a time and carefully pulled my template away from the nails, rehanging the photos as I went.


As I stood admiring my work, my son, who will be going off to college in the fall came in and remarked, “That’s creepy. Please don’t change my room because I don’t want to sleep in here when I come home to visit.”

To which I replied, “Dude, these people on that wall are why you are here!”

While he may have his reservations, I find the photos give my room such a warm cozy feel and I find it quite comforting.  Each and every one of them are there with me.  Not only can I call this The Great Wall of Ancestors, I am proud to say it is also The Wall of Great Ancestors.

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