How to Decorate with Photos, Posters, and Postcards

Too often we think that art needs to be costly. We think that we can’t take cheap or homemade items and turn them into decor for our homes. But we would be wrong!

My daughter loves to take pictures. She can’t keep enough memory on her phone because it’s filled with photos that she captures at all times. If she sees an interesting railing on a house as we walk by, she must capture it! If a bridge that we drive over is rusty in just the right places, she must zoom in! The interesting thing is, she is very good at finding just the right angle, so we pause whenever she gets the urge to go clicking, knowing that it will be worth our wait.

Trying to figure out how to take advantage of her creative eye while also filling up blank spots on my walls, I came up with a few ideas.

I had some of her photographs of interesting people and places developed into sepia prints so that they looked like pieces of art. I found small clothespins at the craft store and used those to clip the printed photos on to a long string of twine that I attached to my window as a valance. I simply tied the twine to a small nail that I tapped into the frame above the window on each corner. See picture below for this idea.


Another way that I incorporated her photographs was on an old window that I found at a hardware store. I have it hanging in my dining room as a decoration, but what really makes it look like art is my daughter’s contribution. I used the same clothespins but small screw hooks this time (hooks with a screw at one end to screw into the wood) that I screwed into the window to create the clothesline effect with twine. Be sure to leave slack in your length of twine before you cut it so that your pictures will drape along a line that is rounded instead of too taut when the photos hang on it. See the picture below.


Of course, photos are a cheap way to add interest to a wall. But there are other inexpensive options. We found a great poster we liked that we wanted to put at the end of a hallway to make a statement. We simply purchased this poster and a poster frame with plastic for the glass part. We get comments on the “punch” it makes all the time. See picture below.

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Smaller “posters” to me are postcards and fronts of cards. We use those throughout our home as well. When I was in London, I was able to purchase postcards of the scenes of London in drawing form. What came of it was what we refer to in our home as the London hallway. I purchased cheap oak frames and spray painted them black and placed the postcards into each one. The trick for this was in the leveling to make sure that the frames hit at the same straight line on the wall. So, do some measuring! See picture below for the effect.

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Cards, too, can be lasting keepsakes and can make great art. These two cards were given to me from a favorite aunt of my husband’s. The bottom one was for our bridal shower. The top one was for the wedding. I glued the card fronts to a piece of heavy scrapbook paper cut to fit the frame. I outlined around the frame’s glass and trimmed off the excess. See the picture below for the end result of stacking them. These look great on the same wall that contains our wedding photo!

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Lastly, my husband created a gift for me using cards. He went through the Bible and used the month and day of my birth date to search through each book. The verses that seemed relevant in making a tribute about me were recreated on cards with my name inserted. He then clipped the cards to twine that had been wrapped around wood that he obtained from the craft store. If my husband can do something like this, then anyone can create art with wood, twine, and cards! See the picture below.

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You can now see that photos, cards, and posters make great decor for your walls! I hope that you have been inspired to raid your keepsake boxes and turn your findings into art for others to see when they come to your home! Happy decorating!


Mary Toepfer