Instagram Inspiration

As I mentioned in my very first post, my husband is Associate Pastor for Youth Ministries and our latest endeavor is to redo our lower youth room (more on that when the entire project is done).  Our fabulous intern this school year is Caroline and she has so many great ideas and is incredibly crafty and artsy.  She had the idea to make an Instagram-inspired board for the room.  We have a huge area over one couch that needs something and a 3’x3′ board seemed to be the perfect thing to fill the space.

It’s a great project with a small cost but large impact.  But it’s not for the feint of heart.  This DIY requires lots of patience, but I think the end result was definitely worth it.


  • 3’x3′ piece of plywood
  • White paint
  • Pictures cut into 4″ squares
  • Rubber Cement
  • Mod Podge
  • 1″ painter’s brush
  • hooks and wire (to hang)

Here we go:

First, we just bought some plywood and painted it white.  We debated on black but decided white would fit the rest of the room better.  And good thing we did.  We realized later that with a black board, the pictures would blend too much into the background and we wanted them to pop out.  I guess Instagram has a white background for a reason as well.

The boring part: waiting for paint to dry.

The boring part: waiting for paint to dry.

We weeded through a bunch of 4×6 pictures we hand on hand and decided which ones were board-worthy but also which ones we cut crop.  The big group pictures were out because they always fill the frame and we wanted to crop the pictures, giving the board a clean, uniform look.

Now came the tricky part: figuring out how many pictures to include.  We knew our board was 3′ long (and wide), which is 36″.  Each photo is 4″x4″.  Let’s just work with just the length (since it’s square), every photo needed a space above and below it.  So, 8 photos takes up 32″ on the length, giving us leftover space of 4″, but we needed to divide that leftover space into 9 partitions (8 photos needs 9 blank spaces), meaning each space would be 4/9 of an inch….greeeeeaaaaat.  Find .4444444444 on a ruler…..

We also checked out what 7 photos would look like (7 photos would take up 28″), leaving 8 inches, so each gap (we would need 8 gaps for 7 photos) would be 1 inch.  We decided that left too big of a gap.  So back to the 8 photos across and the 4/9th inch gaps.

So with 8 photos width and lengthwise we needed 64 photos.  Luckily, Caroline took on the project of cutting all 64 of them.

Great job, Caroline!

Great job, Caroline!

I laid them out on the board to get a feel for it and pretty much estimated the .444444 inch gaps.  I knew I would never get exact, so laying them out ahead of time was essential.

Trust me, this part was stressful.

Trust me, this part was stressful.

Now to adhere the pictures to the board.  We used rubber cement because it seemed like a good idea.  I took one photo off, applied the glue and put it back on so I could use the other photos around it as a guideline.  At first the rubber cement didn’t seem to be working; the photos just wouldn’t stick.  Ack!  Luckily, our resident carpenter, Kenny, had some sage words.  Apparently you’re supposed to put glue on the photo and the board, let it dry for a while until it’s tacky and then put the picture on the board.  Seriously, you’re supposed to let the glue dry?  Yes, you are.  And it worked.  I also weighed the pictures down as I went.  I would take up a picture, put glue on it, let it dry, and do this to a few more pictures in different areas of the board before placing them back on the board.  It was fairly efficient.

DSC_2755I let this dry overnight with some books on top (especially over corners that were coming up a bit) and the next day most of them were stuck, with some corners coming up just a bit.  But that’s okay because we’re not done!  The next step is to decopage over the entire top of the board.  It gives the board a glossy finish and ensures that everything is good and stuck on top.

I used Mod Podge and a 1″ painting brush from a local hardware store.  It was the perfect match.


True love?

Beware: at first you will be terrified that your project is ruined.  Why all this white goop?  Well, trust me, it’ll dry clear.  It will take over an hour to see that it’s drying clear and therefore your entire project isn’t ruined.  But seriously, it will dry clear.  No need to panic.

Time to panic?  Project ruined?  Nope.  It'll dry clear.

Time to panic? Project ruined? Nope. It’ll dry clear.

After a couple of hours the project was almost dry and looking quite clear.  Here’s the wall it’s going on.  We figure we’re going to put hooks in the back and use wire to hang it.  Can’t wait for this room to be done!


Let me know if you try this project or have tried it.  Any other tips you can offer up?



3 thoughts on “Instagram Inspiration

  1. Pingback: Cable Picture Hanger | The Ever-Aspiring Homemaker

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