How to make a photo collage wall with IKEA picture frames

ikea ram photo collage wall

Creating a picture collage wall is a fun and creative way to turn your empty walls into vibrant works of art. A photo collage wall allows you to showcase your favorite memories, inspirations, and personal style all in one visually impactful display.

Whether you want to fill a hallway with family photos or decorate your bedroom with images that reflect your interests, a collage is a versatile way to liven up any space.

The process is simple and requires only a collection of meaningful images, some adhesive material like tape or mounting squares, and a vision of how to creatively arrange everything.

In this post, IKEA hackers share how they made their photo collage walls using affordable IKEA frames. IKEA’s range of picture frames is always changing, and the frames mentioned below may not be available. Other affordable frames you can use are the YLLEVAD and FISKBO.

1. Make a photo gallery wall grid

photo collage wall with IKEA wooden frames
Photo Credit: Rose

Rose creates a gallery of photographs with very cheap IKEA RAKET frames. Rose says, “My RAKET picture frame collage is made of 56 4″x 6″ RAKET frames – 3 for $1.50. All I did was mount four 9-foot-long strips of 1″ thick wood to my dining room wall and slide in the frames. I like that each frame’s color and precise dimensions vary and that I can switch out my pictures at any time because the frames aren’t mounted to anything; they rest between the strips of wood.”

2. Allie’s photo collage wall

Photo Collage Wall with IKEA NYTTJA frames
Photo Credit: Allie

She glues a bunch of IKEA Nyttja frames using superglue and then strips of duct tape as reinforcement. Some frames are arranged next to each other, and some are layered on top. Leave enough room to access the back of the frames to change the photos.

3. Wall collage with IKEA RAM frames

Photo Credit: Amy

Amy wanted to create a photo collage wall like the inspo picture above using the IKEA RAM frames.

“I painted the frames and mapped out their arrangement first with graph paper, then with painter’s tape on the wall,” she explained. “If I had to do it again, I’d probably use a big sheet of butcher paper on the floor, mark the places for the frames on the paper, and then hang the paper on the wall and nail the hangers/hooks through it.”

planning the gallery wall
Photo Credit: Amy
IKEA RAM photo collage, painted black
Photo Credit: Amy

“Using painter’s tape to mark the placement of the frames on the wall took time, but it was worth it! I spent about $35 on frames instead of ten times that by buying a system of frames,” she adds.

IKEA RAM photo frames on wall
Photo Credit: Amy

Click to see more of the picture collage wall on Amy’s blog.

How to make a photo collage wall

photo collage wall with IKEA KNOPPANG frames
KNOPPÄNG frame with poster, set of 8 | Photo Credit:

Creating a photo collage wall is a fantastic way to showcase memories and personalize your living space. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you design and arrange a stunning photo collage on your wall:

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  1. Photos: Collect a variety of photos that you want to include in your collage. Choose a mix of sizes and orientations for visual interest.
  2. Frames: Decide on the type and color of frames you want. You can choose matching frames for a cohesive look or mix different styles for an eclectic vibe.
  3. Tools: Get a hammer, nails, a level, measuring tape, and a pencil for proper spacing and alignment.
  4. Wall Space: Identify the wall where you want to create your photo collage.

Step 2: Plan Your Layout

  1. Space Consideration: Measure the wall space to determine the overall size of your collage.
  2. Layout Ideas: Sketch different layout ideas on paper. Consider symmetrical, asymmetrical, or geometric arrangements.
  3. Mockup: Use sheets of paper to mock up the photo positions on the wall. This helps visualize the final arrangement without putting holes in the wall.

Step 3: Frame Your Photos

  1. Frame Selection: Place each photo into its corresponding frame. Ensure that the frames complement each other and your overall room decor.
  2. Arrangement: Lay out your framed photos on a flat surface to experiment with different arrangements before committing to the wall.

Step 4: Measure and Mark

  1. Wall Measurement: Use a measuring tape to mark the dimensions of your planned collage on the wall lightly.
  2. Center Point: Find the center point of your marked area and use it as a reference for hanging the first frame.

Step 5: Hang the Frames

hanging picture frames with IKEA ALFTA adhesive hook
ALFTA adhesive hook for picture frames | Photo Credit:
  1. Start from the Center: Hang the first frame at the center point you marked. This serves as the anchor for the rest of the collage.
  2. Maintain Consistent Spacing: Use a level to ensure each frame is straight, and measure equal distances between frames for a cohesive look.

When hanging picture frames, you have several options for hardware depending on the weight of the frames and the type of wall you’re working with. Here are some common choices:

  • Nails: Traditional nails are suitable for lightweight frames on drywall. Use nails with heads that are large enough to support the weight of the frame without slipping through the mounting hole.
  • Screws: For heavier frames or if you’re hanging on a stud, screws provide a more secure option. Choose screws that are appropriate for the weight of your frame and the type of wall material.
  • Picture Hangers: These are specifically designed for hanging picture frames and come in various sizes and weight capacities. They often have a hook or loop for the frame wire or sawtooth hanger to hang on.
  • Sawtooth Hangers: These are small metal or plastic hangers with a sawtooth edge that attaches to the back of the frame. They’re suitable for lightweight to medium-weight frames and can be installed with small nails or screws.
  • D-rings: D-rings are metal or plastic loops that attach to the back of the frame with screws. They provide a secure attachment point for hanging on hooks or nails in the wall.
  • Command Strips: Command strips are adhesive strips that stick to the wall and the back of the frame, providing a damage-free hanging solution. They work well for lightweight frames and are ideal for renters or temporary displays. IKEA sells an adhesive hook called ALFTA, which, unfortunately, may not be removed as cleanly as Command Strips and cannot be used with the RIBBA.
  • Wire: If your frame has a wire across the back, you can use hooks or nails to hang it. Make sure the wire is securely attached to the frame and centered for proper balance.

Before hanging your frames, consider the weight of each frame and the condition of your walls. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any hanging hardware you use, and double-check that the frame is securely attached before letting go. If you’re unsure about the best option for your frames or wall type, consult with a hardware store expert or a professional handyman.

Step 6: Adjust as Needed

  1. Step Back and Assess: Periodically step back to view the overall arrangement. Make adjustments as needed to achieve the desired balance and symmetry.
  2. Fill in the Gaps: Continue adding frames, working outward from the center, until the entire planned area is filled.

Step 7: Secure Frames

  1. Secure Hooks: Ensure that all hooks are securely in place. Adjust frame positions if necessary.
  2. Double-Check Alignment: Use a level to make final adjustments, ensuring all frames are straight and aligned.

Step 8: Enjoy Your Collage

  1. Admire Your Work: Stand back and enjoy the personalized masterpiece you’ve created.
  2. Make It Dynamic: Consider updating your photo collage regularly with new memories or changing the arrangement for a fresh look.

Creating a photo collage wall is a creative and personal way to celebrate your life’s moments. Experiment with different layouts and have fun curating your wall display.