Get your memories off your phone and into your life by learning how to make this easy Instagram Photo Wall Collage in minutes. Simply update with new photos as you go, and relive your family travel memories for a long time to come.
Did you know that an estimated 58 million photos are uploaded to Instagram each day, according to the company? I know I’ve done my share of contributing to that number, because like many, my phone doubles as my go-to camera, and like many, Instagram is my favorite app for capturing the color and mood of the moment. I may take hundreds of photos on a family trip, but those uploaded to Instagram represent my “best of” collection – 300 of my favorite memories floating out there with the other 58 million in digital space.
If yours are out there with mine on Instagram, then you know how quickly they are taken and forgotten. They move at the speed of life, quickly replaced by the new image of the moment and buried. So if you’re like me, you may want an easy way to get them off your phone and into your life so your family can enjoy them and give them the attention they deserve.
When I assembled our big travel gallery wall in the living room, I got the idea to incorporate an Instagram photo wall collage, but I knew I didn’t want a static poster that I would order once and forget. Instead, I wanted to add an animated element to the gallery wall – one that would allow me to swap out a few photos at a time as I add more, representing a sort of real-life Instagram feed – but one that we could all slow down and appreciate!
So I repurposed one of my spare 16 x 20 frames to create this Instagram photo wall collage as an addition to my gallery wall. It only cost around $20, and took just minutes to assemble! It’s super adaptable and can also stand alone in many areas of the house, such as an entry-way, a nursery, or on a mantle. In fact, I plan to create one for each of my kid’s rooms that they can renew with memories of their own activities with friends!
Every few months, I replace a few of the photos in the collage with new Instagram prints, so that it reflects some of our newest adventures. It’s a great way to keep it fresh and relevant with very little effort! You could even create themes for holidays or a family member’s birthday if you are feeling particularly on top of your game The options are endless, and you will find that you start to look forward to using your Instagram photo wall collage in unique and creative ways.
You can create one in minutes, as long as you do a little advance planning. Here’s all you need:
- 16×20 frame: I just used an old one I had lying around, but you can buy one inexpensively at Hobby Lobby or Michaels, especially with a 40% off coupon.
- Prints of your 20 favorite Instagram photos, plus a few extras (more details on this step below).
- Removable, photo-safe craft adhesive tape (similar to the one I have pictured, which can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michaels). Note: If you live in a humid climate like me, and you find your photos slipping in the collage, you may need to use the permanent craft tape, which will still be removable, but will hold better in high humidity.
- Optional: A piece of cardboard or foam board cut to your frame dimensions, to use as a backing for the prints. Otherwise, attach the prints directly to the frame backing.
Where to get prints:
If you’re like me, you dive into DIY projects butt-first – but you can’t do that with this one. Give yourself about a week to receive the prints, if ordering from a company that mails them. And it’s a good idea to put a little advance thought into which company you will use, because you will be reordering from the same place in the future. If you don’t, they may not match up or look cohesive in the frame.
There’s a ton of options out there for ordering Instagram prints, spanning the spectrum from cheap to pricey, user-friendly to a real pain in the butt. If you need ideas, I tested several Instagram print-ordering apps and analyzed them for convenience, quality, and price. I consolidated these results into these 5 Best Ways to print Instagram photos here. Check it out if you are looking for a place to start! I ultimately went with Social Print Studio for my own Instagram photo wall collage.
A few tips on ordering prints:
- I used the standard 4×4″ prints in my Instagram photo wall collage. However, some companies also offer 5×5″ prints. If you decide to go this route, use a 20×30″ frame instead.
- I prefer a matte finish because I am always looking to cut down on glare in my house of windows. If you choose to use glossy prints and encounter too much glare, consider leaving the glass off.
- Many companies charge a flat shipping rate, no matter how many prints you order. So consider ordering several extras right off the bat, to save time and money on updating your collage with new prints later.
- I prefer my Instagram prints with white borders – I like how it adds a nice separation between photos in the wall collage. However, you can order prints with no borders, or black borders, whatever suits your style.
Once you have prints in hand, assemble the collage:
- Find the middle point of the frame backing.
- Form a vertical row of prints on either side of this middle point without gluing them down yet, either on your pre-cut piece of cardboard or directly onto the frame backing. Place the prints right next to each other with no space between them. Don’t worry about making it perfect yet – you just want to place the pictures in a format you like.
- Continue by adding the outside rows, until it is complete. Rearrange the prints as you see fit to create a good flow, prevent too much of the same color in one area, etc. This will also give you a good idea of how much space you need to leave around the perimeter of the backing.
- Affix the photos to the backing, working with one photo at a time, by drawing the adhesive tape across the back of the print. Then, place the print onto the backing and press down to adhere. Repeat for the entire bottom row. This will allow you to ensure that you’ve left approximately the same amount of space on all sides. I find that I need to start my rows of photos about 1/8″+ in from the edge of the backing all the way around the perimeter. Every frame is a little different, so you may need to play around with it a little.
- Continue adding one row on top of the other.
- Continue working your way up, placing one row on top of the other, until it is complete.
- Attach glass (if you choose).
- Update a few of the prints on a regular basis as you add more pictures to Instagram. Set reminders to order prints and swap some out, maybe with the seasons, after returning from a trip, or when you change the clocks for daylight saving. It’s up to you!
Voila! You now have yourself a unique way to get those Instagram photos off your phone and into your life! We enjoy our Instagram collage because it’s part adventurous mountain, part laid-back beach, a little bit funky New Orleans, and a dash of the bustling big city. Just like us! Each photo in the collage reminds us of a special day we spent together as a family, and swapping out prints on a regular basis keeps us engaged with our latest travel memories for a long time to come. And I love how it adds a dynamic element to our travel gallery wall.
Have you created your own Instagram photo wall collage? Have you found a unique use for it? If so, show me your creations in the comments below!
And for more resources on decorating with photos, check out my Photo boards on Pinterest!