Created a Photo Gallery Wall

During my months at home I’ve been scouring Pinterest trying to find ideas to improve our shoe box of an apartment that lacks storage space. The reality is that we’ll likely be living her for at least a few more years, so I need to figure out how to make our stuff fit better in it for my own mental health.

So I googled for these shelves many of them being only a foot wide and $30.00 a piece from target! After intense googling I found the original instructions.. They seemed pretty easy to make, and would only cost $10 for an 8 foot piece of lumber. However, due to the lack of experience of husband and I with making our own shelves I realized that method would unlikely get accomplished within the 2013 year.

Another pinner described using rain gutters.

And yet another recommended using molding to create your own shelves.

So, we ventured off to Lowe’s today to explore their rain gutters and molding. None of the molding seemed to have a big enough ledge for my purposes. Then, with the rain gutters, husband discussed the impossibilities while staring at the towering strips: how would we cut it, how would we mount it, and likely it would scrap up our apartment wall.

Sighing in frustrating I wandered around the Lowe’s a little while longer, heading towards the storage section thinking maybe there would be shelves that would be inexpensive and meet my purposes. Suddenly I turned an aisle and saw little mini shelves in the perfect shape (36 inches wide, 1 5/8 inch tall, and 1 3/4inch long) for only $9.77 each. They also were packaged with the necessary screws, and had holes set up to mount it. Apparently, they were “Door Bottoms” with the primary purpose of sealing and sweeping the bottom of external doors. I was worried because they seemed a little too flexible, but they were the perfect shape, and I justified that picture frames really aren’t that heavy, so we though we’d try them.

Door Bottom


We decided to space them in the middle of the wall and a little over a foot apart.


Husband was only going to screw in the ends instead of all 5 slots. However, I could tell an improved support when all 5 were screwed through to the wall.

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The finished product!



The shelves took about 10 minutes to hang, and they seem much sturdier than originally assessed. The shelves have only been hanging on the wall for maybe an hour, but I wouldn’t see any reason why they wouldn’t last.

In order to better secure the picture frames against the wall (to protect about the air distributions that occurs when opening/shutting doors etc) I would recommend using a little bit of mounting putting or sticky tack to stick the picture frames to the wall.

I’m so excited by this photo gallery that I’ve been idealizing over the past few months! Husband is happy with not drilling excess holes into our rented walls, and I love the flexibility this provides to switch the picture frames/decorations around. Also, this provides a non museum like way to display my excessive pictures/knickknacks on the wall without it feeling/looking so excessive.

If you try this please post a picture and let me know how it goes!

Update as of Dec. 30th, 2013: The shelves have held! Honestly, I could sand down/cut the frayed edges, I just haven’t yet. There has only been one casualty from these shelves. A large photo frame fell over due to the crazy large dogs running around upstairs. I would recommend some type of tack affixed to the back of larger frames to help hold them in place against the wall.

2 thoughts on “Created a Photo Gallery Wall

  1. Pingback: 15 Blogs Explaining How to Hang a Photo Wall without Making a Million Holes | Housekeeping

  2. Pingback: Create a Versatile, Inexpensive Photo Gallery Wall with Door Bottoms | Tips for the Unready

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