DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

I’ve been extremely fortunate these past couple years in that work and life have taken me on some travel adventures. As much as I love being home, traveling has become one of my hobbies. Travel brings me so much joy and countless memories.

One of my favorite recent trips was the Carnival cruise I took with my mom. Not only was it wonderful to spend a week on the sea with her, but she really deserved it. In addition to her job, she takes care of my elderly grandparents who now require 24-hour care. Giving her a week of Caribbean sunshine, delicious food, total relaxation, and endless entertainment was something I was so honored to be able to do. Cruising is such an easy way to do that and more. Everything you want in a vacation is at your fingertips.

As you know, I took lots of photos on our cruise. Because everything is digital these days, I find that many of my travel pictures get uploaded to my computer and then are long forgotten. I wanted a fun way to remember the time on that grand ship, so I came up with two alternatives for creating a DIY Travel Photo Collage that I’d like to share with you today.

Let’s get started!

This first collage is made in a shadow box frame. Along with some mini clothespins and a touch of gold (of course!), it’s a quick and colorful way to show a series of photos, and it can be easily changed or updated.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Here’s what you will need:
shadow box frame
coordinating paper
mini clothespins
photos
glue (hot glue or E6000)
double sided tape
scissors
ruler
pencil

Begin by gathering your supplies. Most of these items can be found at your local craft store or online.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Cut a piece of paper to fit the size of your frame. Any color or patterned paper will work. I’m using this gold wood grain paper which is actually leftover wrapping paper from the holidays. With a pencil, just trace the backing of the frame onto the paper and then cut it out.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

If your paper is flimsy like mine, you’ll want to use some double sided tape to adhere it to the backing of your frame, the piece of paper typically included in the frame, or a thicker piece of card stock.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Then, tuck your photos into your mini clothes pins and arrange them on the paper to get an idea of the layout you’d like. Since my paper was highly patterned, I used a theme of blue and green for both my pictures and my clothespins.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Next, measure exactly where the clothespins will attach to the paper. Since my frame was 12 x 12″, I started in the center with my first clothespin and set one on each side three inches away. I repeated the same measurements with the second row.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

To attach the clothespins, I applied a very small amount of hot glue to each clothespin and then placed it where I wanted it on the paper. (E6000 would work here as well; just be sure to give it time to dry.)

Once all the clothespins are in place, tuck in your pictures and assemble the frame.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Tada!

I thought this particular collage turned out great. All of these photos trigger such great memories of the time I got to spend with my mom. There were beautiful sunsets and sunrises we could watch off the balcony of our stateroom, we were able to enjoy fun and relaxing days when we ported, and the gorgeous palm trees always remind me the ocean is nearby. As you can imagine, just by varying the paper, clothespins, and photos, you can create something that is truly customized to your space.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

This collage also perfectly captures the memories of our cruise. While I took a few photos of this collage on my mantel, it will ultimately reside on my hallway gallery wall where I can see it every day.

Okay, ready for collage number two?

This one is a bit more of a traditional collage-style, but with a modern twist. A cut out chevron / arrow pattern reveals a collection of pictures in the negative space. The finished piece has a more modern feel, but is still bursting with memories. Let me show you how to make it.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Here’s what you will need:
8 x 10″ photo frame
cardstock
chevron printable (free PDF download here)
photos
double-sided tape (or rubber cement)
scissors
x-acto knife
ruler

If you want to make this exact collage, I’ve provided a free PDF printable here. However, you’re welcome to create your own in any shape or pattern you like. Begin by printing off your pattern on a piece of card stock.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Carefully cut out the design using an x-acto knife. Do this on a self-healing mat, scrap piece of wood, or another surface you don’t mind damaging.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Then, on a second piece of card stock, start arranging your photos in the areas that will show through in your design. I used a couple different sized photos. I also removed any white borders around my photos so the photos would blend almost seamlessly together.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

Once you are happy with the placement of your photos, attached them to the sheet of uncut card stock with double sided tape or rubber cement. (Rubber cement is better than standard white glue because it won’t cause your photos to curl or bubble.) With all of the photos secured, attached the cut out card stock to the top with double sided tape or cement.

Place the finished piece in your frame, and your project is complete.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

This piece lets you display multiple photos in a really fun pattern. From a distance, it looks like a piece of modern art, but upon closer inspection, it’s a travel keepsake and memory inducer. The best of both worlds. Now, all I have to do is open my eyes and I’m transported back to the Carnival cruise with my mom.

DIY Travel Photo Collage | Inspired by Charm

I hope you enjoyed both of these tutorials. If you’re anything like me, now is the time to get those travel pictures off your computers and onto your walls. No more excuses. I can’t wait to see what you create.

This post was created for Away We Go with Carnival, the destination for getting in the getaway state of mind. Head on over.

Comments

  • Maria at

    So incredibly cute! I need to make these asap! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks Maria! You’re welcome.

      xo Michael

    • Frank at

      I agree with Maria… got to make these inspiring photo frames ASAP. i love the clothes pins.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I think so too! Thanks so much!! 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Maria at

    I love that chevron collage. I like that it looks like one thing from a distance and then you get a little surprise when you get up close!!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      You got it Maria! Thanks. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Elle at

    What a fun way to display your Instas. Changing out the photos will be breeze. Thanks for this fabulous idea.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      I know! That’s why I love about the clothespin project. Thank you!! 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Michael at

    Michael – Where are your reclaimed wood frames from? Target used to have some similar to yours but they have since discontinued. I haven’t found a similar look at the Target price point. Thanks!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      They are from Target and I’m so sad they don’t sell them anymore. They are my favorite!!

      xo Michael

      • Michael at

        Womp womp 🙁 I’m so mad at myself for not buying the Target frames when I had the chance. I’ve since bought something similar at Restoration Hardware, but I need more. The quality is not nearly as good (it’s plexiglass!) and they were ridiculously expensive.

        • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

          I know. Right. 🙁 Sorry I didn’t have better news. Maybe we need to write a letter to Target! Haha. Yeah – I don’t get the plexiglass trend. Drives me bananas!

          xo Michael

  • jenw at

    Hi, I just wanted to provide some feedback on the new site layout. Overall it’s fun and I like it. However having all the overlay text (like post titles) white makes it REALLY hard to read. Especially over lighter colored photots. Could you do it in a color? Black might be too boring for you, but what about charcoal or gold? I see places where you’re incorporating a gold leaf text look.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Thanks for the info! This was definitely considered in creating the new look for the site. There’s a black fade on all the photos, just under the text overlay that makes the text easy to read. We played with that black fade a lot to make sure it was far enough under the title text on the photo so that you could read it. When hovering over the image, the black fades away so you can see the image better. My designers, friends / family, and I can all read them clearly. Maybe the black fade isn’t showing on your screen? What browser are you using? Thanks again for the feedback.

      xo Michael

  • Lisa B. at

    Hi Michael,

    Where did you have the pictures printed and what size are they? Love the collage and I’m going to make one. 🙂

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Lisa – Great question. It’s called Social Print Studio: http://printstagr.am

      They offer two different sizes. I used both for the chevron collage and the smaller prints for the clothespin art.

      xo Michael

  • carla at

    I love your website, so fresh and fun! I loooooove this idea…thank you for the inspiration!
    Sending love from Southern California!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Carla – glad you like the idea!! Thanks for the love. 🙂

      xo Michael

  • Shilpa Malhotra at

    So fantastically adorable! I have to make these asap! A debt of gratitude is in order for the motivation!

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