Hanging Wall Display

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by Marpel posted 07-23-2021 11:46 PM 415 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Marpel's profile


66 posts in 1502 days

07-23-2021 11:46 PM

Perhaps not appropriate to Joinery, but couldn’t find a more fitting category. Looking for some advice/opinions.

A thousand years ago, I started a project that, due to circumstance, has sat idle until I recently decided to pick it up again.

Way back, I started by collecting a number (well over 50) of photographs in various sizes, from about 1 1/2 inches square to the largest of about 5 inches square. Some are square, some are rectangle (like an inch by 3 inches – and everything in between).

I cut pieces of 1/4 inch ply, the sizes of which, matched the photos, and glued the photos to the front. After I had done up about a quarter of them, the project stopped and everything was put away in storage.

I have now completed the cutting and gluing, so have all photos affixed to the related piece of ply. and sitting in a box for further work.

Initially, it was my intention to have a two layer wall display with one or more corners of each piece glued to an overlapping adjacent piece (that will sit either below or above) so they are joined together by gluing an area of about a half inch square – some of the smaller pieces, which will sit in the uppermost layer, will be connected by only about a 1/4 inch square. Because the joinery will cover one or more corners of the lower pieces, I have to identify ones which are the more larger as well as have the corners will little/no real important detail. Hopefully, I have described this well enough so you get the idea. Please don’t ask for pictures as everything is in a billion pieces.

Anyway, when I finished up the last pieces and put them in a lightweight box for temporary storage, I found the whole package quite heavy. I now wonder if the whole thing will be too heavy for the fairly minor gluing surface on each piece. I don’t wish to glue everything up flat on a table surface, only to find it break apart when affixed to the wall. The display will only be attached to the wall in a few spots. An added potential issue is, to join one of the lower level pieces to an upper level piece, I will have to figure out how to remove the small area of photo paper from the underlying wood to ensure a wood to wood contact.

So, any opinions on the viability of this project, or, if you think it will fail, any suggestions on how best to accomplish what I am trying to do?

Sorry for the long post,


6 replies so far

View Sycamoray's profile


95 posts in 453 days

#1 posted 07-24-2021 04:18 AM

Are you leaving gaps between various photos? Or will the front rank overlap the second, but have the third (and fourth?) partially obscured behind it?

If not, grab a large sheet of ply, paint it matte black, and make spacers of the appropriate individual thicknesses to connect behind each picture. No need to trim corners, no concern about self-supporting. The cross section will look like a bunch of little pedestals, but the pictures at the edges will be closest to the backboard, hiding the longest spacers. For good measure, paint the pedestals black too. They’ll all fade away visually.

This will be a lot of little fiddling, but should work?

View Madmark2's profile


3057 posts in 1801 days

#2 posted 07-24-2021 05:30 PM

Build the entire thing on 1/8” backer.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View Marpel's profile


66 posts in 1502 days

#3 posted 07-25-2021 03:00 AM

Sycamoray and Madmark2,

Thanks for the responses. Not sure if my initial explanation was sufficient and complete enough to be on the same page. So I have drafted up a quick image (hopefully it will work, as I have not done this before).

The images in the actual display will be family photos, but figured this will suffice. This is intended to depict a two layer display and the draft is not properly set up regarding space between images, but that would have taken me longer to do. When done, each image will have the same proportional distance from another – not sure what that is yet, either.

I am trying to do this free-standing and not on a larger backer board, as I intend to add further images in the future so the display can

“grow” across a wall. But if the glued joining corners will not hold it together, that may have to change.

As in my image, the underlying pieces will have the appropriate corner(s) removed of part of it’s image so I may glue wood to wood surface.

As stated, I am in the initial stages of this project and am seeking input as to the feasibility of the glue-up method, and if not some suggestions on a connecting system.

Again, thanks for the replies,


View Marpel's profile


66 posts in 1502 days

#4 posted 07-25-2021 03:01 AM


Didn’t quite get the image where I wanted it.

View Sycamoray's profile


95 posts in 453 days

#5 posted 07-26-2021 04:07 PM

Thanks for clarifying. You may be looking for a lot more space between images than I had expected.

Can you mount each individual picture on its own hanger? Or at least cut down on the strain by using clusters of 2-5? That way the wall itself can be your backer, and since each piece is light enough, you can just attach to the sheet rock without fear.

View Marpel's profile


66 posts in 1502 days

#6 posted 07-26-2021 11:55 PM


Thanks for your further response. Actually, the image I posted was a quick mock-up, without much thought to dimensions and proportions. I was considering keeping the distance between adjacent images to a relatively consistent 3/8” or 1/2”, however, because every piece is a distinct size, there would be some spaces in amongst some pieces that are larger than that 3/8”.

Having said all that, You actually posed a real good idea, with having small clusters of images. Initially, I foresaw a “herd” of images that meandered across a wall space, all connected, and the ability to continuously add an image(s) as time progresses.

Coincidently, prior to reading your latest post today, I actually laid out all the pieces and tried to place them in a two layer set-up across a large table top. I discovered that too few had space(s) in the upper corners to overlay another piece (my unscientific analysis suggests photographers like to leave more room at the bottom of a picture – where legs and lower bodies are – and push the subject’s head closer to the top of the image), so I was unable to arrive at an eye pleasing arrangement. Your suggestion may solve that issue. I will have to give it some further thought.



Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics