Thursday, January 23, 2014

Family History Wall - in the making

Many people have awesome ideas on how to make a photo wall and how to make a family tree with real pictures of one's ancestors.  I have LOVED these ideas!  So, I decided to give it a try.
Grandpa on his pony with Great Grandpa (ancestor)

My dad is something of an amateur photographer (a really good one), especially photos of nature.  He did something with his photos that I thought was a brilliant idea.  In his basement, each of his photos has the same plain ol' white matte around it.  But on the bottom of each of the mattes, written in pencil, is the name of the place where he took the picture.  I thought this was a fun, yet simple way to remember each place - and you don't have to turn the frame around to figure out what the photo is or where it was located, or who is in the photo.
Waterfall on the Buffalo River (vacation)

On our walls growing up, my mom was great to keep so many photos of our ancestors all over the hallway walls.  In quiet moments of reflection I remember standing often gazing at those photos wondering what so-and-so's life was like and thinking how nice it was to be connected to so many people!

So, with the combination of these ideas, I decided to finally help my kids get interested in their ancestors by finding interesting photos of family and also taking all of our special places we've been on vacations over the past 14 years and any special photos of my husband and I and our children and put them all together on a gallery wall in our hallway.

Grammy and her sisters (ancestor)
I wanted to incorporate my dad's idea of writing on the matte board, and create a cohesive look that would prompt the kids (and myself) to look over the wall and hopefully gain a love for the places and people on the wall.

Coal Kiln's at a ghost town in the southwest corner of WY (vacation)
Getting a cohesive look, especially with finding pre-cut mattes can get expensive.  Since I like doing things on the cheap, most of my "mattes" are cardstock cut to fit the picture.  I hope to replace them as I find them on sale or actually buy matteboard and cut them (this with a hand matte cutter is kind of tricky to get a straight line - but it is doable; that may have to be a tutorial later down the road - i.e. make sure  you have a metal yardstick and don't try to just "wing it").
My kids on a ride at SDC, in Branson, MO. (vacation)

Also, to keep to my budget, I used  It's fabulous!  Using it allowed me to take the photos of ancestors that I had scanned in to my computer and add the same effects to each photo and crop or touch up. 
Great-grandpa Max's beloved Shetland Cattle (a special memory of time with an ancestor)

The final cost to me was only $12 (for the photos printed out at my local retail place); the frames I had on hand and of course the mattes were really cardstock that I had on hand except for the two large ones and they were at the Dollar Tree for $1 a piece. 

This one wall is ready (yes, I know it's on the floor instead of the wall, but ideally this is how it will look).  On another note, I just received a CDROM with more family history photos and hope to implement those new pictures as soon as I can!!

I have a small wall at the end of my hallway with room for just one large frame - so this is what I put there.

This one is currently on the wall opposite of the (potential) large gallery wall.

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