How to Make a Handcrafted Wooden Photo Wall

I always ensure that at least two weekends in a month my children and I get to try something new around the house. It is fun seeing how those small brainiacs get excited when we get to try some of their or my ideas. We always have a good time, and the best part is that most of the activities do not take too long.

Over the past two months we have created several photo walls and one of the projects that has gained much attention from my friends is a certain wooden photo wall (in the picture below) that we created last month.

This photo wall provides an elegant and unique display for your pictures and photographs, and you can easily replace old photos with newer ones. It is quite easy to make as you can knock it out in an afternoon and still have time for other ‘To Dos.’

And I thought maybe I could share it with you by illustrating how we pulled it through and the materials required. More so, this project is simple yet elegant, and you can do it yourself in a few hours. Here are the simple DIY steps to make the wooden photo wall.


STEP 1: Gather All the Tools and Materials You Need

I started my photo wall project by gathering all the materials and tools that I was going to use. The materials included:

  • 1 and a half inch square pieces of timber for the frame,
  • a beautiful textured Masonite board for the back,
  • cross-sectional cuttings of tree trunks all with a one-inch thickness,
  • magnets,
  • nails
  • and wood glue.

The tools I used included:

  • a hand saw,
  • measuring tape,
  • pencil,
  • sandpaper,
  • a wide blade wood carving chisel,
  • hammer and
  • a hot glue gun.

It helps to have all your tools in one place before you start your project because it makes the working process smoother and saves a lot of time. You won’t have to go looking for a hammer when you need one.

For the trunk cross sections, you can get those easily by visiting your local lumber yard. Ask them to cut them for you in the thickness you want. And the best part is that they are not expensive.

You can also get them from fallen trees and branches. If you are just making one piece, you don’t need many of them depending on the size of photo wall you are making.

Gather All the Tools and Materials You Need

STEP 2: Decide the Size of Photo Wall You Want and Cut Your Wood for the Frame

Before cutting anything, I had to decide how big I wanted the photo wall to be. I figured out the exact measurements and wrote them down so that I wouldn’t forget the exact measurements I was working with.

It helped to look at the trunk cross-section pieces I had so that I could ensure that they would fit perfecly.

Since I wanted my photo wall rectangular, I settled on two measurements 16 inches for the length and 11 inch width.

I then took my measuring tape and measured the lengths and marked them on the wood . And proceeded to cutting the pieces using a hand saw.

Cut Your Wood for the Frame

STEP 3: Sand the Wood to Make it Smooth

Using the sandpaper, I smoothed the cross section part of the wood where I had cut

I also ensured that all the wood I was working with was sanded and smooth. This will ensure that the  final product won’t look clumsy.

The sanding helps to make the whole piece look more appealing and neat. It also adds finesse and elegance to the finished product.

Sand the Wood to Make it Smooth

STEP 4: Glue the Pieces to the Board Make the Frame

Once all my wood had been sanded smooth, I took the board that I was using for the back and I arranged my frame the way I wanted it to look when I was finished just to see how they would fit.

Then, using the hot glue gun, I applied the glue to the frame pieces and stuck them on to the board to create the frame. Once all the pieces had been glued, I left the piece to dry for 30 minutes.

Glue the Pieces to the Board Make the Frame

STEP 5: Use The Frame to Mark and Cut the Board For the Back

Now that the frame was firmly in place, I could proceed to cut the board. I used the frame to guide me as I cut.

In this case,it is important to ensure that you cut the board as close to the end of the frame as possible using a wide wood carving chisel.

I didn’t want the board sticking out at the end of the frame because it would end up looking odd and clumsy.

Use The Frame To Mark And Cut The Board For The Back

STEP 6: Use Nails to Secure the Back to the Frame

Once the back had been cut, my photo wall was now taking shape. I flipped it over and used nails to secure the frame to the back.

For this, I used one-inch nails because two-inch ones would have shown on the front side.

I used four nails on the length and three on the width. The nails really help to ensure the strength and durability of the photo wall.

Use Nails To Secure The Back To The Frame

STEP 7: Use Glue To Fix Your Trunk Cross Sections

The next step was my personal favorite because I saw the piece come to life. In this step, I took the cross-sectional trunk cuttings and arranged them inside the frame.

Since they are one inch thick, they fit inside the frame very well. There is no formula for arranging them, so I just set them as I liked.

Then I took my trusty hot glue gun and glued all the pieces in place. One has to give the glue some  time to dry and set.

Use Glue To Fix Your Trunk Cross Sections

When I got back to it, it was time to finish up. I took my magnets and glued the back pieces to the back of the photo wall and placed the front piece on the front so that I’d always know where the magnets are.

For this part, one has to ensure that the magnets are on top of the trunk pieces since it looks better that way.  I also fit hooks at the back of the photo wall so that I could hang it on the wall.

My children then choose the photo they liked and added them.


Fix the Photos

This Photo wall was such an easy and quick project to make. It can transform a small space by adding interest and beauty to it. You can also choose to customize yours by applying varnish or staining the wood just to give it a different color or a more polished look.

Wooden Photo Wall


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