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I used to think that I didn’t really have many family photos. I had a few and my Aunt Agnes game me some but it really wasn’t very many and I had none of my parents when they were young. But when I connected with a few fourth cousins online, they shared their pictures with me. Then my father-in-law made me the keeper of all his family photos including all the ones he took during WW II when he was in Italy. Plus I harassed a cousin of mine until she sent me her pictures so I could copy them. Really, I harassed her. I gave my genealogy guru a phone card and she called my cousin every three or four months for three years. Finally got the photos and you bet I took my sweet time getting them back to her.

Then the question became what to do with them all. Oh I could get really organized and scan them all and post them in my family tree. Boring!! (I really do plan to still do that). But I wanted to do something different. A neighbor of mine has an ancestor wall just inside their front door. Of course she has very expensive frames, real wood panelling as a background and it’s really first class all the way. I wanted to do the same thing but on a more limited budget. Like, no budget.

Never one to make a firm committment to color I decided to make my background temporary. So my daughter and I got a large piece of dry wall, covered it with a beautiful  piece of rusty tomato colored synthetic suede and my husband attached it to the wall. Wanting to keep some consistency and economy to the wall I haunted thrift shops, flea markets, yard sales and dollar stores and found all the frames I needed, painted them all black and framed pictures of both my husband’s and my families.

Then my daughter and I put a huge piece of craft paper on the floor and shuffled the frames around until we liked the composition. We drew outlines of all the frames, taped the craft paper to the material, put up the pictures and then tore off the craft paper.

I have to admit it looked really great and I’ve got so many complements on my wall. At a glance I could see where I came from. It seems to help me stay grounded to know where I’m going. Even my brother liked it when he came to visit.

Ancestor Wall

Since then, I have received more photos that I would like to put up. Plus I have become bored with the colors so I have started taking the frames down, and I plan to paint them all white, change the material to a light turquoise and put the frames back up in a different configuration. I’ve found some better quality frames at the thrift shops and antique malls so I will be changing out some of the old frames.

The main change I’m doing this time is hanging them with Command hangers. The newer ones that are kind of like Velcro work fantastic. I’ve hung stuff on them and they lay flush with the wall and they will hold a lot of weight. So I feel confident that they will hold my frames just great.

I’m confident you will find a unique way to showcase your favorite family photos. This is just the one I like.

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