DIY Picture Rail

I love family photos – especially candid ones. They make a space feel so personal and home-y. But the ease of digital photography is such a blessing and curse, isn’t it?! I have a million photos of my kids, but I so rarely get anything printed, and even more rarely framed. It’s a pain to…

I love family photos – especially candid ones. They make a space feel so personal and home-y. But the ease of digital photography is such a blessing and curse, isn’t it?! I have a million photos of my kids, but I so rarely get anything printed, and even more rarely framed. It’s a pain to deal with, and it’s impossibly expensive to do it well.
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I wanted to make a family photo wall in our bedroom on the wall opposite the desert murals, but I wanted something a little different than the standard gallery wall. So I headed to Ace and picked up a few supplies and made a picture rail using just plumber’s chain and two brass rods hung on cafe curtain brackets.

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It’s a pretty simple set up for displaying my newly printed family photos in some of the prettiest custom frames I’ve ever seen! I partnered up with a new-to-me company called Framebridge, and to say I was impressed with the simplicity, price and quality would be a huge understatement!

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To print, frame and ship a photo from my Instagram account was only $39 with Framebridge! They have a really great app that makes it a breeze to order. (How’s that for removing some of the anxiety of the upcoming gift-giving season?!)
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I ordered a handful of my favorite instagrams in a mix of different frames. They have 25 really beautiful frame options – all of them simple, classic and high-quality. I’m obsessed with the burl and tiger wood options.
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The frames come ready to hang with kraft paper backings, felt feet, saw tooth hangers and even nails! I removed the hangers and screwed in little brass hooks to hang the frames on the plumber’s chain.
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I love how the simplicity of the rail and chain let the frames (and photos!) be the stars of the show. Hardware store hack success!!
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In addition to the great Instagram deal, Framebridge has really straight-forward pricing on bigger, even much bigger, prints that you can upload for them to print out or you can send in. Like this gorgeous Nicole Cohen print I had them frame. They sent me a prepaid mailing tube and I got this beautiful burl wood beauty right back. I LOVE it.
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The art print can be purchased here (along with a ton of really cool images from the uber-talented Nicole!)
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I love discovering companies that make it painless to finish projects for my house! After getting burned one too many times at the arts and crafts store framers, I feel like I’ve found a resource that I’ll be using for a long time to come.

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A big thanks to Framebridge for partnering with us on this post! And this just in: use the promo code 2INSTA50 to get two framed instagram prints for only $50! Super sweet.

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37 thoughts on “DIY Picture Rail

  1. I LOVE this. I'm kind of over the gallery wall unless it's a ton of pictures. This is beautiful and totally doable.
    But… $40 to print and frame an instagram picture is completely NOT affordable.

  2. love this– what a perfect xmas gift! i'm ordering some prints right now and wanted to let folks know that the coupon code is actually 2insta50 (no "s"). thanks, jenny!


  3. Molly – Thanks for the heads up! You're right about the discount code. I updated the post info. Thank you!

    Katie – I think $39 to print, mat, frame and ship is a great value, especially for such quality materials! Just a picture frame at Pottery Barn posts that much – forget about custom framing! My framer would have charged $100 for the labor and materials alone here and I would have had to deal with the printing myself. Which means I for sure would not have finished this wall! :)

  4. I just used framebridge for the first time and loved my results – I framed a print I picked up on vacation and was sorely in need of a good frame. Absolutely plan on using them again and will totally use the Instagram promo code. Thanks!

  5. Jenny, I think you read my mind! I was JUST looking up picture rail options online over the past couple of days. I was displeased with the prices I saw for picture rail kits and was hoping I could find a decent DIY option. You came to my rescue!!! Talk about perfect timing.

  6. Jenny, this post reminds me that I've been meaning to ask you if you've ever come across an affordable alternative to Christian Chaze beach photographs?

    I found his gorgeous pictures of the umbrellas and beaches of Portugal on you site and would love to own a big one, but the prices are staggering. Have you ever run across similar photos?


  7. This is a gorgeous project, I love my candid pics too and what a chic way to display them! It's not easy to find great framing and matting options for instagram pics. & thx thx Framebridge for such a great promo code!

  8. I think this is a incredible value for framing, my local framer would have charged me twice for the frame I order thru Framebridge this morning. Thanks for sharing the link

  9. Love this! So clever! And I agree that's a great price for custom framing — custom being the operative word. :) I have done a lot of framing over the years and usually buy stock frames to save money and then pay for custom when something is special or an unusual size. Thanks for sharing your idea!

  10. Hi Jenny! So I agree that your display looks amazing… BUT I see that you have ten photos framed from that company, which would be at least $400!!! Holy smokes that's steep for a photo wall. I'm sure you could DIY the frames (thrifting?) and make it look just as beautiful. I wish I could afford a $400 photo wall!

  11. love this idea for hanging pictures! I really need to get my photos printed as well, with everything being digital you really do forget the beauty of printed pictures.

  12. I can not believe your timing on this post! I just received a huge print yesterday from my photographer and had planned on researching around town for pricing on custom framing. I saw this this morning and have already shipped my (30×40) print off. They pay for shipping both ways…i just had to print our the prepaid shipping label. I wish i would have known about this before and i would have had them print it as well. THANKS so much for letting me know about this! It could not have been easier and even for the large size i was thrilled with the price!

  13. I love this new approach to the gallery wall. I like the fact that they are all hanging from the same pole but the different size frames and the different lengths of the chains creates beautiful layers and depths. Also, I agree with what you were saying…I´m always looking for ways to share the photos that I have taken. Photos are taken to be saved but to be shared, yet sometimes getting to the second part is difficult!

  14. What are the other hooks you used on the bottom to hang the secondary chains (look like they stick straight up)? I've been looking for something like those to hang frames from each other.

  15. Great hardware hack! I always love all your photos and pictures on your walls. You have great taste and inspire me to mix and match artwork on my gallery wall.

  16. I am an American man, and I have decided to boycott American women. In a nutshell, American women are the most likely to cheat on you, to divorce you, to get fat, to steal half of your money in the divorce courts, don’t know how to cook or clean, don’t want to have children, etc. Therefore, what intelligent man would want to get involved with American women?

    American women are generally immature, selfish, extremely arrogant and self-centered, mentally unstable, irresponsible, and highly unchaste. The behavior of most American women is utterly disgusting, to say the least.

    This blog is my attempt to explain why I feel American women are inferior to foreign women (non-American women), and why American men should boycott American women, and date/marry only foreign (non-American) women.


  17. This also came at the perfect moment for me! So much easier than schlepping to the framer with my 2 yr old in tow. Not sure, but I think I just got my 2 instagram prints for $8!! with that code.

  18. Thank you for sharing! What a great gift idea – one for a friend, and one for me. And your chain-hanging prints are gorgeous – I feel like that image is going to get the crap pinned out of it!

  19. Oh, I love this! We have an apartment and can't drill into the wall, but we can drill into the bulkhead…so I'm always trying to figure out how to hang pictures…I could easily drop a rod from the ceiling and hang the pictures off. Thank you!

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