How to Make a Large Family Portrait

Add a creative touch to cherished family photos with cropping, large format printing and framing.
Family Photos Wall Art

Family Photos Wall Art

Add a creative touch to cherished family photos with cropping, large format printing and framing.

Materials Needed:

  • family photos
  • desktop or laptop computer
  • basic photo editing software
  • professional digital printing house
  • professional or DIY framing
  • heavy-duty picture hangers
  • hammer
  • level
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • picture hanging wire
  • picture hanging hooks
  • drill
  • ladder
  • wire cutters

Select Proper Photos

In order to achieve the proper effect, it's best to choose photos in which faces are positioned straight-on. Stick with close-up angles (Image 1) rather than full scenes in which faces are hard to determine (Image 2). Use the cropping tool of basic photo editing software to edit photos to the proper scale and shape that best fits where the printed images will hang.

Determine Usable Wall Space

Before printing the images at a professional digital printing house, first take proper measurements of the wall along which the images will hang. Use measuring tape to determine the proper width and length, then divide that measurement by the number of images intended for hanging. This number will equal the maximum size for each individually printed image.

BPF_original_big-blank-wall-oversized-photos_s2-determine-useable-wall-space_h

BPF_original_big-blank-wall-oversized-photos_s2-determine-useable-wall-space_h

Print & Frame

Search local listings for a professional digital printing house, then set up images for large-scale printing on canvas or paper. Depending on your budget, have printed images professionally framed or take a DIY approach by placing paper prints in large ready-made frames or stretching canvas to a wood frame. Tip: Most digital printing houses and professional framing stores will discount pricing when pieces are ordered in volume. Although taking the DIY approach to stretch canvas to wood is a budget-saver, it's also complicated and the end result may end up crooked or unbalanced. A much more successful end result is guaranteed when money can be spent on professional printing and framing.

Attach Hooks and Wire

Depending on the size of the frame, mark the back side approximately 2/3 of the way up from the bottom. This is a great height for installing picture hanging hooks and wire to ensure a balanced installation. Next, use a drill to fasten hooks directly into the frame with attached screws. Unfurl picture wire to about double the width of the frame, thread the wire through the first hook (Image 1), looping it around, then twisting the wire around itself to keep it secure (Image 2). Once taut, stretch wire across back of frame (Image 3), then repeat the same process for second hook (Image 4), cutting excess wire with wire cutters.

Arrange Art on Floor

One of the most important steps in achieving the proper look is the arrangement of the framed images (Image 1). Lay the frames out along a flat, level surface, repositioning each piece until the proper layout is determined (Image 2).

Create a Wall Outline with Painter's Tape

Use measuring tape to determine the exact width and height made by the properly spaced grouping of frames. Referring to these measurements, use painter's tape to mark the space along the wall where the frames will be hung.

Determine Spacing & Install Hangers

Determine the center point for each frame within the outline using a measuring tape. Mark with a pencil, then install picture hangers with a hammer (Image 2). Tip: To ensure a perfect fit, consider adding two picture hangers for framed pieces 36 inches or wider.

Hang Frames

Hang frames in position one at a time (Image 1). First, make sure the picture wires catch the hangers, then adjust each frame until straight (Image 2). Next, place level on top of each frame until perfectly aligned (Image 3). Repeat this process until all frames are successfully hung (Image 4).

Next Up

How to Make Rubber Stamp Art

Use ultraviolet light to make a stamp from a negative, and create a work of art with the stamps.

How to Make a Statue Mold

Use latex, putty and gypsum cement to create an artistic sculpture.

How to Create Fractured, Framed Map Art

Put a modern spin on map art with a multi-frame application.

How to Make a Mirrored Photo Frame

Create a mirrored photo frame to highlight special memories. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

How to Make an Ornate Framed Chalkboard

Elegant meets humble when a sophisticated gilt frame surrounds an inexpensive DIY chalkboard. Place it in the dining room with a thoughtful greeting for holiday guests, or use it to announce the dinner menu or evening's festivities.

How to Create a Colorful Paper Sculpture

Sal Matteo creates his vibrantly colored sculpture with paper shapes and swirls.

How To: Framing Mirrors with Crown Molding

A bad, boxy room gets new life with cool new architectural details.

How to Make an Acrylic Plastic Candle Screen

Try this original technique to create a decorative screen that softens the glow of your candles.

How to Make a Fabric Picture Frame

Frame a favorite photo in a whimsical fabric art frame with these simple steps.

Make a Tinwork Picture Frame

Decorate a piece of tin with sun rays and star punches for a one-of-a-kind Southwestern design.

On TV

Fixer Upper

7am | 6c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Hawaii Life

8pm | 7c

Hawaii Life

8:30pm | 7:30c

Island Life

9pm | 8c

Island Life

9:30pm | 8:30c

Island Hunters

10:30pm | 9:30c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Island Life

12am | 11c

Island Life

12:30am | 11:30c

Island Hunters

1:30am | 12:30c

Hawaii Life

3am | 2c

Hawaii Life

3:30am | 2:30c

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.