This was such an exciting project. I have wanted to create an ancestor wall in my “genie cave” for about 10 years. I have a lot of ancestor photos and have collected more in that ensuing ten years.
I began by taking a look at all the frames I had purchased over the years.
- What size photos would I need?
- Which pictures should be in which frames?
- How would I group them?
I made the decision on the photos, downloaded them to a flash drive and went to Walmart. I’d never used their photo center. I found it easy to use. You can crop or enhance the photos, to a limited ability, right there on their screen. They print immediately.
Cost – 79 cents for a 4 x 6 and $3.99 for an 8 x 10
Once I got home I realized there were a couple of additional enlargements that I needed. This time I decided to use Costco photo service. I uploaded the pictures directly to their site and they were ready the next day. Cost – $1.79 for an 8 x 10 (cheaper than Walmart)
Now I have what I need to begin. Here is what I did:
- Took the frames apart and cleaned each piece of glass and the frame.
- Created labels for each photo stating who the people in the photo were and a date and location, if I knew. And, in many cases, how they were related to me.
- Placed the photos in the frames.
- Laid the frames out on the carpet in my office and moved them around until I was happy with the layout.
- I took a photo of the layout.
- Got a large piece of glass from an old table top and laid it on the carpet so I could trace a template of each frame.
- Using brown painter’s paper I traced each frame, and cut it out, and as I did, I numbered each template and each frame. It didn’t matter what number or that they were in any special order. Once the template is on the wall you just match the frame number when you are ready to hang.
- Check the back of each frame to determine what type of hanger it had or if it needed one. Then be sure we had the items we needed for the process of hanging them.
- All that was left now was to ask my husband to help me hang the frames. He is always very helpful and in about an hour we were finished.
On a scale of 1-10 I was an 11 when this was finished.
To have all of these family members that I’ve studied and gotten to know over the last 13+ years, right there where I could see them everyday…..PRICELESS!
Yes, they are on my computer in digital files. Yes, they are in archival boxes in my closet. Yes, they are in my Legacy program.
BUT, this is different. Now they are right here where I sit every day. Not to mention that I think they look just great.
Who is the oldest generation on my wall? That would be my 2nd great grandparents, Horace Henry Thorp and his wife Catherine Dorsey. He was born in 1836 in Skaneateles, Onondaga, New York and she was born about 1842 in Dublin, Ireland. Their photos are courtesy of my 3rd cousin Jim Nymberg and his wife, Bonnie.
It’s a matter of personal taste as to whether you mix and match your frames, or have them all the same. I like them mixed.
There are many suggestions I’ve found on Pinterest that gave me inspiration for this project. Here is a link to my Pinterest board, where I’ve saved some things I’ve found. Gallery Walls
If you have done this in your home, I’d love to know how yours turned out. Leave me a comment or send me an email at michiganfamilytrails(at)yahoo(dot)com.
Copyright © 2015 Diane Gould Hall
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