Custom Photo Frames and Over-the-Couch Display

Custom Photo Frames and Over-the-Couch Display

We are still working on getting our living room looking the way we want in our new house, and this weekend, since it was a long holiday weekend, we finally got around to working on one of my projects. I found an image on pinterest ( that I really liked, and wanted to work with that to do something new on our living room wall. I have also always hated how the floor lamp looked in the living room area, but hate overhead lighting even more, so have dealt with it.

My vision was to have some sconce lighting on the wall so we would have a little light in the evening, but nothing blinding or that reflects off the tv like the overhead light does. Also, Justin and I have been getting up early and working out first thing in the morning, but if we turn on almost any amount of light, Tyler will see it and come out of his room early. This morning, we were able to use our sconce lights and it was so nice to be able to have some ambient light but not too bright when first waking up or too bright to wake up the boys.

I am not going to go into much detail about hanging the sconces for a few reasons:

  1. I don’t want to give any advice on electrical things. If you don’t know what you are doing, or unsure, please call a professional for help with this. I am not responsible for you trying this at home and not know what you are doing, too many things can go wrong.
  2. Justin and his dad did most of the electrical work, so I wasn’t even the one doing much to know what they did. I told them where I wanted the sconces hung and the switch for them. I also helped grab wires and guide wires, but that’s all.
  3. Every house is wired differently so even if I did know what I was doing and did all of it for ours, yours may be different.

We started this project with getting the photo frames built one evening and put the first coat of stain on them to let it dry overnight. Yesterday morning we started around 7:30 so the guys could get in the attic before the heat got too brutal up there. And it was a good thing we did because about an hour after we finished everything, we had thunderstorms for the rest of the afternoon which would have stopped them from being able to finish the electric. Last night we put a coat of poly on the frames, and this morning Justin and I got them hung up. We are just waiting for the other photos to be finished so we can pick them up and get those made and hung.

Step 1: Lighting

Poor Ryan did not like being locked in the playroom while we were working. He just wouldn’t stop touching everything!

Step 2: Photos

The first thing we did was to order an engineering print of one of our wedding photos. I took it into photoshop and desaturated the photo Then gave it a sepia tone to match with everything in the living room. I picked that up, and bought a foam board to mount it on. All I did was wrap the photo around the back of the foam board. I used some clear packing tape to hold it on from the back.

Our engineering print laid out. I was trying to flatten it a little from being rolled up from the printer.
The back of the foam board once I was done putting the photo on. I could have gotten a bigger board, or a smaller print, but I made it work.

Step 3: Frames

The guys went to the home store and got the supplies for the frames and the sconces. We did one frame at 26″ x 36″ to hold the large photo. The smaller photos had frames at 10″ x 12″. We wanted a 3-inch border on the large frame, and 1-inch on the smaller frames. They were able to get all of those from one piece of plywood for the backing of the frames.

The next thing the guys did to make the frames was to add the edging. This was made with some small trim pieces of wood, and tiny finishing nails. They did put some wood glue on, but then also used the nails to help secure it. The only problem with the wood glue is it doesn’t stain. If you use it make sure to try to wipe any extra glue off as soon as you can.

After the trim, they added some wood to the centers of the frames. This would “float” the photos off of them to give it a little more dimension once they are done.


Next came the stain and poly. We used the same stain that we used on other projects in the living room so all the wood matches.
IMG_3028 IMG_3029

Step 4: Hanging the Frames

Last but not least, once everything was dry, we finally got everything hung up in the living room. I ordered the photos for the smaller frames, but I don’t have those in yet. I ordered more sepia photos, one family photo, one of each of the boys individually, and one of them together. We hung the frames by making a small hole in the frames, and ran a nail through into the wall. Then we used double-sided tape to hang the photos since they are on poster board so don’t weigh too much. Also, that gives us the option to be able to take the photo part down to change in the future.

Almost done, just have to get the other photos in. We put the large print on the frame before hanging, and that made it much harder to do. So we went ahead and hung the smaller frames before getting the photos done.
Tyler is always such a big helper!
We used a ruler and a level to make sure that everything was as straight as we can get it.


Custom Photo Frames and Over-the-Couch Display Custom Photo Frames and Over-the-Couch Display

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