All Framed Up: Our Anniversary Photo Tradition

Deck progress drags on, so we’ll be back with more details for you on Monday (wish we had more full days to devote to it, but it’ll probably be a weekly update situation like our first house’s bathroom reno and our kitchen redo since it’s such a big undertaking). But I just couldn’t resist sharing this in-progress picture of John and his dad telling the auger who’s boss:

Oh but the time it’s taking us to build this deck isn’t what I meant by the title of “half a decade” (at least we hope it won’t take us five years to get ‘er done). That has to do with our five year wedding anniversary, which is coming up on July 7th. How crazy is that? We can’t even grasp that it has been half of a decade since our little backyard wedding. And it means that seven years ago we shared our first kiss (we picked 7/7/07 as our wedding day because 7/7/05 was when we started dating – yes we kissed on the first date, haha).

There are some parts of our wedding that we remember so vividly it easily could have been a month ago. So funny how time flies. And as some of you know, it has been a little tradition to take a picture of our family on July 7th in honor of our wedding day, like this:

This was last year’s picture, with just one wiggly kid…

… and with both of them…

We like to frame each year’s picture in small differently shaped capiz frames that we’ve found over time (from Target, thrift stores, Hobby Lobby, etc). But our sink was getting cluttered with four full frames and the latest empty one that we snagged from Target a few weeks back in anticipation of our fifth photo. So we decided to tackle a little photo-hanging project to get them off the sink and enjoy them in a nice little grouping on the wall next to it.

For some reason hanging frames seems to be something we get asked about the most, so we thought we’d break down the process for getting these guys on the wall without any oops holes. Either folks are just plain intimidated to hammer a nail into a pristine hole-less wall or they’re not sure how to settle on “the right” arrangement. The good news is there are probably always at least ten arrangements that would look good, so we just like to put the frames on the floor and play around until we have a little grouping that we like. Like this:

The next step is to make little paper templates for each frame, so you can map out where you want to place them (and only make one hole in the correct spot for each frame instead of ten bad ones). We just laid the frame on top of white printer paper, traced the outline, cut them out, and taped them to the wall, shifting things around until we liked what we saw:

We had also taken a second to mark where the nail hole needed to be on each one by holding it up against the back of the frame before taping it up and pushing a nail through to rest on the hook on the back of the frame. So when we taped them up they already had these nail guide holes to completely take the guesswork out of things.

Some of our frames didn’t come with hooks for hanging them on the wall (since they’re meant to be tabletop frames) so we just picked up a pack of picture hanging hardware at JoAnn for 99 cents (for four of them). Then I crazy glued them to the back of the frame and pulled off the little flap that you use to stand them on the counter (since the flap would make them sit away from the wall more than we wanted them to).

Next we just hammered through the pre-made hole in the paper template where we knew the nail should go for each one.

Which looked a little something like this:

Then we left the nails in the wall and pulled the paper templates off. Less then a minute later we had everything hanging. And then I ran outside to grab some flowers, because I’m girly like that.

It’s sweet to see four anniversary photos all together on the wall, with that blank fifth one just waiting for our latest family pic in a few weeks.

Think Clara and Burger are going to cooperate this year? Nah, me either. But that’s half the fun.

Oh and we thought this could also double as a budget blooms post since we’re woefully overdue for one of those. See all these flowers I mentioned running outside for? Yup, they’re all free from the yard! They’re clippings from the hydrangea bushes out by the patio, and a giant man-eating (not really, but it’s huge) butterfly bush in the back yard.

I just stuck a little glass vase full of water in the middle of this giant ceramic planter (from HomeGoods a while back) on top of a cardboard box to lift it up so the stems of everything didn’t have to be impossibly long.

I love the little pointy butterfly bush clippings mixed in with the lace-like balls o’ hydrangea. I wonder if they’ll live long enough to see us put our next picture in the empty five-year-anniversary frame?

Probably not, but they sure are pretty for now.

I especially love how you can appreciate all the different types of capiz frames since they’re not all jumbled in front of each other on the counter anymore.

And come to think of it, hydrangeas are pretty fitting for that vase beneath them since they were in my little homemade wedding bouquet.

Oh my gosh, was that really five years ago? I’m in denial. Haha. Anyone else have any anniversary traditions or frame groupings you’ve been hanging up? Do you use paper templates to simplify things? Or do you have another easy hanging method? Share and share alike!

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winner, so click here to see if it’s you.


  1. Rebecca says

    When I read this and before I scrolled down…
    This was last year’s picture, with just one wiggly kid…
    My heart jumped! I thought you were announcing another pregnancy!

  2. says

    The picture hanging trick blew my mind! Oh my gosh, why didn’t I ever think of that!? That could have saved my walls about 386 nail hole mistakes. You two are really inspiring. I love your cheerful and idea packed blog! Thanks!

    • Tonya says

      Me too! How smart are they?! I usually like to slap my stuff up, realize it needs to be moved, reslap it up and pray it actually works that time. Yeah, lots of patched holes where I have things grouped on the wall….

  3. says

    I love the idea of using all capiz shell frames. It ties them in nicely without being matchy matchy. Very cute!

    I’ve been married 6 years and have been with my hubby for 10 this fall… that’s crazy to me, so I understand the whole shock of how quickly time flies! Good luck getting the kid/dog combo to cooperate! :)

  4. Ashleigh says

    Congratulations on FIVE YEARS! We are celebrating our fifth anniversary tomorrow. Praying little girl waits until at least the 17th to come since we had a “five-year agreement.” ha ha! Five years goes way too fast and makes me wonder if I’ll feel the same way at 25, 50, etc.

    • says

      Aw, congrats on the little girl in waiting! Haha. The doc told me Clara was going to be 2 weeks early since I was walking around dilated to a 4, but she waited until just a week before her due date. It was sweet of her. Haha. Or mean, depending on how you look at it (I was ready for her, and ready to not be prego anymore, haha).


  5. says

    Happy almost anniversary! We always celebrate with a nice meal. This year it was an amazing Porterhouse steak with baby napping in the stroller. The photos are a great idea though. Perhaps a new tradition now that we’ve gone from two to three. And the paper trick is going to be my new favorite party trick.

  6. Sarah says

    Awwww, you guys! Super cute :) i especially love this post as I first discovered your blog googling around for diy garden weddings! Yours has given me so much inspiration… although we still have yet to get married, oops! I feel for you with that ‘was it really 5 years ago’ denial!

  7. Rachel says

    My hubby and I take an anniversary picture every year too, usually at whichever restaurant we decide to celebrate at! This year is our 5-year anni too!! Ours is in October, though. I agree, how the time flies!!

  8. says

    If you want to attach one of those hanging brackets with the tiny screws, i have a trick

    I take a hammer and nail and give it a tap to make a pilot hole, then it is easy to screw the little screw in

  9. Taya says

    Happy almost wedding anniversary! My fiance and I are getting married on July 7th of this year! I think 7/7 is kind of a magic date (in reality it was just a Saturday that fit my rule of being far enough away from the end of the school year and far enough away from the beginning of the next school year)!

    Can’t wait to see the 5th anniversary photo!

  10. Caroline says

    Congrats on 5 years! Another easy, but perhaps less precise, trick for picture hanging is to trace all the frames (as you’d like them arranged) on a large sheet of paper and use that as a guide. Might be easier than cutting out 5 separate shapes, however you lose the ability to move the individual frame shapes around when they’re up on the wall.

  11. Brenda says

    I really like the little photo arrangement. And those flowers are to die for! Blues and purples together are my favorites, so this post is a double-win!

  12. says

    We’re doing a photo of just us each year, holding up a little sign with the magic number on it. This year we decided to do it kind of at the last minute, so our “sign” is just some white cardstock and a sharpie scribbled “1”. But I’ve bought a super cute frame from Hobby Lobby, spray painted the frame itself hot pink and painted the glass with chalkboard paint.

    I can’t wait to see how we age together and how we change over the years.

  13. says

    My husband and I are going on 4 years this year! We make a point to do something fun and out side. We’ve been camping, canoeing, hiking and this year we are renting a cottage on a little lake so we can relax and go swimming with our daughter. :)

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