I’ve been wanting to do this for ages! In my previous home I had a similar thing but without the frame. I really love how flexible it is. Every December I go through my photos from the year and do a print order. I always print doubles so that I can gift the extras to my friends and family – always the best gift – memories! So this photo display is great because I can easily change the photos in it whenever I want!

I found this old frame in the cupboard and it didn’t have any glass in it. It’s purpose as an ordinary photo frame had obviously been snatched from it – I imagine the glass had broken. So I decided to give it new lease of life!

This is surprisingly easy. All you need is:

  • Some jute string
  • A little hammer
  • A tape measure
  • A pencil 
  • Some upholstery pins [or similar, nails will do]
  • And some photos and pegs! [Of course.]

Time to complete: 30 minutes

I popped down to my local hardware store [Homebase] to get some nails. When I got there I realised I had grossly underestimated the huge variety of nails that would be on offer, and how I had no idea what I was specifically looking for. I also realised that I hadn’t measured the frame – rocky error!

Top Tip: make sure you measure the thickness of the frame so that when you go to buy nails or upholstery pins you get the appropriate length. You don’t want the nails to poke out the other side of the frame once you’ve hammered them in! 

Thankfully, I seem to have this innate ability to judge the size of something by eye [this does not apply to parking spaces when I have to parallel park – unfortunately]. Most of the nails on offer were too long. There were some floor tacs that looked like they might do the trick, but they only came in bags of about 500,000x nails [might be exaggerating here] and I really didn’t want to buy that many. 

Eventually I spotted these little beauties – upholstery pins! They were definitely short enough and they had a pretty head on them which would clearly have no trouble keeping hold of some jute string. So I made my purchase! 


When I got home I had to figure out how many rows of string I would need, and which way around [landscape or portrait] I wanted to orientate my frame. I did this by placing my photos on the frame, seeing how they’d fit and working out the spacing.

I still might change my mind about the orientation – in which case I’ll just add some more string going in the other direction. It might actually be nicer like that come to think of it… hmmm.


Once I’d done that, I took my tape measure and marked where the first two pins would need to be hammered in. After that I measured equal distances down the frame for each pin. To be specific – this frame needed 17cm between each pin/length of string to allow for this photo layout. 

It was a little trial and error working out the specific measurement. I didn’t do any fancy maths. I just tried 16cm as that looked about right, then realised the final row would hang to far from the bottom of the frame. So I tried 17cm and the worked great. 

The wonders of a pencil and an eraser! No one will ever know about my mistakes…


Then I tied the end of the jute string around my first pin, and hammered it in. No fancy knots, just your standard way of tying a knot. I am no sailor [yet]!

Top Tip: When you hammer in the pin make sure the string is all facing the same way. For example, the end of the string is poking out of the front of the frame [or wherever you want it to]. I didn’t do this for the first row of string, and so each row isn’t perfectly matched. No big deal imo, but you might want to aim for perfection.


I then pulled the string across the frame to determine how much I needed for the row. Again, no fancy maths! I didn’t measure it with a tape measure. I just pulled it past the edge of the frame so that there was enough to tie a knot, and then cut it.

Top Tip: This imprecise method means that some of the rows are more taut than others, so if you want them to be exactly the same you should measure it. I personally quite like the variety. 

I repeated this process for all of the rows, then pegged my pictures on there and voila!

A beautiful way to display photos.

Currently not sure where it is going to hang [still in ‘moving in’ mode]. So for now, you can see it propped up on top of our RAST flat packs from IKEA [another super exciting project coming up!]

I also bought some paint in case I wanted to paint the backboard of the photo frame and re-attach it. Jury is still out on that decision as it depends where it hangs and what colour the wall is behind it. But you might like to paint yours, or cover it with some left over wallpaper or wrapping paper.

The possibilities are endless!