Mother's Day is Sunday! And rather than just give mom a card, flowers and a bottle of perfume, why not give her something different? Give a gift that keeps on giving and make mom a memory wall. Today is Wednesday so you still have time to get it together. Here's what I did to make mine for my mom - hopefully this will inspire you to make one too. For starters, you'll need some inspiration. After spending some time with my mom, looking through several catalogs and magazines to see what she liked, we choose this image as the inspiration:

At the time I made the memory wall for my mom (2009), we were also doing a (LONG overdue) makeover in her town home. Since we had already selected a sage green color for the walls, and she knew she liked the espresso furnishings (vs. black or white) this photo from a Pottery Barn Catalog was a wonderful starting point.

Next, we choose a location to feature this grouping. I suggested the tallest wall she had - it was also thin, and a great focal point in her space. It's the first wall she sees when walking through the front door, as well as the first wall she sees when she wakes up in the morning and steps out from her bedroom.



Two abstract wall art pieces we found at HomeGoods 
was the color palette inspiration for the space. 

After choosing the style and location, she made a pot of coffee, and together we sat and went through a TRUNK load of photographs. I'm not joking - my dad LOVED taking photos - of family, of friends, of events, and of all the parties they use to have up in New Jersey in our basement. We sat on the sofa, flipping through albums, sifting through boxes, and reminiscing about the stories behind the photos (HINT: another wonderful idea to do for Mother's day: Spend TIME Together). Since there were so many photos to go through, I asked my mom to pick ALL her absolute favorites. Afterwards I grouped them by category:

Friends as Bonnie & Clyde from a Halloween Party
(GREAT conversation photo for the living room memory wall!
Friends and immediate family

They looked SO cool!
Mom & Dad dating

Mom with her sisters and brothers
Mom and HER immediate family

Since most of her fave photos were of friends and immediate family, that became what the focus of the memory wall was about. I used the other two categories to create two other memory statements for her. More about those shortly, but here's a sneak peek:

Mom & Dad dating
Wall Grid

Mom with her mom, dad, sisters & brothers
Book Shelf Styling - also with HomeGoods goodness!

I brought home all the photos she selected and scanned them into my computer. Since we would be using espresso frames in the living room, and I knew she liked the sepia look of photos, I edited the photos for the memory wall to sepia. Since she likes the beach, I also tried to pull together some of the beachy pics from what she had selected...

One of the original photos...
Family of daughter of one of her best friends.

Scanned and edited to sepia...

One of her best friends from New Jersey - Gail.

Yup. That's me with a bowl haircut - courtesy of dear ole mom.
I think this was from 1979, the year after we moved to Florida.

I hunted around clearance sections and discount stores such as HomeGoods, Ross and JCPenney to find frames to hang on the wall, as well as scored a few to use on the bookcase later...

HomeGoods frame on clearance...

Linden Street frames at JCP...

I think this set was marked down to 17.99 at JCP, and I had a coupon, PLUS my (then) associate discount. The savings really added up!

Since I was making this from my home to hang in hers, I used the floor in our home office to layout a composition I thought would fit on her wall. Next, I printed an INDEX SHEET of all the photos I was going to frame. I cut all the index images and started to place them on the frames. This helped with grouping like stories together within frames PLUS then I knew which photos to print and in which size from each fame...

Gallery wall planning tip:
Layout wall grouping on the floor with printed index photos - helps to know which size to print special photos.

After deciding which photos for which frames and printing them, I cleaned and framed each and took another photo so I would have my idea to refer to install at moms... In case you're wondering - Yes. This was basically all done by eyeballing.

Space after painting + fitting in new (thrifted) furniture pieces and repurposing some existing accessories...

Post Update:
Shared post on the HomeGoods Happy By Design board on Pinterest.

I relocated the buffet to the dining area and used the original two prints I got from HomeGoods over it. Having the abstract wall decor is a nice break for the adjacent photo gallery wall...

The built-in bookcase (built by my father) also got an update - painted white plus restyled with finds from HomeGoods...

Although not EXACT - the vision and plan still came together for the gallery wall...



Inspiration for the vision...

End result - a HAPPY mom!

Found the wood X-bench on clearance at It was a weathered gray-wash finish. I painted it espresso, to coordinate with the other pieces I thrifted & refinished for her space. The candle holders, books, ting-ting and glass vessel she already had. I found the basket at Ross while looking for frames, and filled it with some weathered bark chips I picked up on clearance at Pottery Barn. So although not an EXACT copy of the PB wall decor, it still has the look and feel of it - for a HECK of a lot less. And most all, mom has a gift that keeps on giving her a smile everyday!

Give mom the gift that keeps on giving -
Make Mom a Memory Wall.

Happy Mother's Day Moms!!



  1. a perfectly lovely gift! Your finished wall turned out really great. I love how cohesive it looks. happy mother's day to you too.

  2. Wow great job!! I love framed photos.......I get carried away sometimes!
    I love the beach picture of your parents!

  3. First time visiting your blog- and I love it. I am just about to attempt this project on a wall in my hubby's home office. Great inspiration and tips!

    :) crafty texas girls

  4. That is a great idea for a gift. The "End Result" is stunning! Everything just sparkles.

  5. amazing! I'd LOVE a wall like that!
    *visiting from tip junkie's tip me tues*

  6. I love this. You know i like your grouping better than the inspiration photo.
    I am working on one of these walls in all white frames. I am still gathering the frames and the photos. There is a lot of choosing to be done!
    You did a super job. that is a wonderful gift.

  7. This is amazing! Absolutely perfect. What a wonderful gift. I bet your mom loves it. Now, come over and make one for me:)!!!

  8. You did a beautiful wall arrangement, but I also loved that you got to spend time with your mom as you were going through the photos. Both were such nice gifts!

    I featured your blog at today.

  9. I love this idea!

  10. A lovely gift, indeed! I shared this on my FB page, and everyone loves it as much as I do - thanks again, from Brenda Star Studios

  11. THANK YOU very much for visting and your sweet comments!! And especially thanks for sharing the post on FB Brenda! xo

    Enjoy a Happy Mother's Day!
    :D Lynda

  12. That is such a wonderful idea and you did a great job with it! Bet your mom is delighted with your gift. Glad you added your link to Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

  13. Stunning absolutely love it. Better then the inspiration pic. winks- jen

  14. This is just gorgeous & such a wonderful mother's day gift!! LOVE IT!!

  15. Visiting from Fine Craft Guild. Very nice! I'll bet she loved it. What a wonderful gift.



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