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We all know how to display photos in frames, collages and albums but have you ever thought of affixing them to furniture?

Before you begin it is imperative that you make copies of any photos you intend to you use in case of mishap or if you wish to retain the photo for future generations.

Here are some original ideas for you to try.


The dictionary definition of 'decoupage' is - 'the decoration of a surface with applied paper cut-outs, often finished with varnish or lacquer'.  It is usually made from pictures cut from magazines etc., but it is also possible to use photographs but, if you use photos developed on photographic paper they are more difficult to stick down. 

It is possible to make copies of your chosen photographs and, as this will be on much thinner paper, they will be easier to stick down.  If an ink jet printer is used you may find that the ink runs during the gluing process.

Using favourite photographs in this way is not only an ideal way to display them but it can also enhance and enliven an otherwise drab or uninteresting piece of furniture.

For example, you can decoupage the surfaces of a storage chest or coffee table with photos of your travels around the world or add photos of flowers and foliage to a garden/patio table.

small table Decoupage is very easy and somewhat therapeutic to do but you should prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding it lightly before adding the photographs. Some surfaces (especially metal) may require a primer. You can even paint the item to provide a good background colour for the chosen photos.

Take time to arrange your paper copies or photos until you are completely satisfied with the result and then glue them onto the surface of the furniture with glue suitable for decoupage and for your type of surface. (available from any good craft store).

When this has been completed allow to dry thoroughly before applying decoupage varnish/sealant.  Several coats will be required with each being allowed to dry and sanded before the next is applied.  The exact number will depend on the type of glue being used and the required finished affect.

Photo Screen

You may be lucky enough to own a screen, if not look out for a secondhand / used one at car boot sales, garage sales, thrift shops, charity shops etc.

Alternatively, there are now purpose made photo frame screen room dividers available to buy and they are not as expensive as you may think.

Screens are very versatile as they can be used in any room as room dividers, to screen off unsightly areas or against a blank wall to act as a focal point.

As long as the photographs are not precious or you have copies, they can be stuck directly onto a wooden screen either in neat, vertical columns or overlapping making a collage.

If that is not practical you can hang them in the normal fashion using frames and/or mountings.

screen decorated with pictures

Coffee table

Enhance and update a coffee table with favourite photos beneath the glass surface.  Again, do not use original photographs as they are likely to get stuck to the underside of the plastic.

For safety's sake get a piece of clear acrylic (e.g. Plexiglass) cut slightly smaller than the size of your table top.  This is usually available from good DIY or home improvement stores as well as online suppliers.

It is now just a case of choosing which photos you want to display and arranging them on top of the table.  When the desired effect is reached carefully place the plastic on top.

Photographic edging

Use small, identical photo frames to make a decorate edging along the top of a headboard, around mirrors, on doors, around windows or on wardrobe and cupboard doors and sides etc.

Frames can be painted to co-ordinate with your decor and then filled with your chosen photographs which can be glued onto the surface with a hot glue gun.

This is just a small selection of ways to display cherished photos and to freshen furnishings cheaply and easily.  Hopefully it will trigger your imagination and encourage you to make up your own ways to use all those wonderful images.




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