DIY Shiplap Photo Wall

Took a break from sewing to work on a woodworking project – a photo wall!  I wanted to build something that was large but portable (that I could break down and fit into my minivan), double-sided (paint on one side and stain on the other) and solid enough that it would stand up on it’s own without the danger of falling over.


I’m not normally a woodworker so there was a lot to learn!  I learned that ECOS stain and paint are products that I use without the chemical smell bothering me. This is HUGE because I’m sensitive to by most paints and chemicals – the brain fog rolls in first and if I can’t get away, a migraine starts.


I learned how to use a router. I learned that routers and router bits are sold separately.  I learned that routers are super loud and ear protection is necessary. With each new lesson was a new run to the hardware store so the project took longer than I thought.


I learned that Legos make pretty good spacers.


The routing of these 2 channels in the posts took FOREVER.  It was backbreaking work.  If I had a full woodworking shop it would have been easier, but all I had was a router and our outdoor table pushed up against a pillar.  The channels ended up being 7/8″ wide and 1 1/2″ deep.


I used 4×4 fence posts with metal post bases that were screwed into 2″ x 12″ x 4″ boards to support shiplap.  I used string and Nite Ize CamJam tighteners to keep the posts from leaning outward – one at the top and one at the bottom, strung through screw eyes.


We had a practice assembly in the backyard to make sure it all went together.


Then took it to the kid’s Winter Ball for it’s first run.  We strung Christmas lights and garlands over the top and honestly, I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.


It was solid and looked fantastic as a photo backdrop!


For the Fall Ball I’ll flip it around and use the brown-stained side.  I use a photo wall several times a year and now I don’t have to find an open wall to hang a sheet on, I can just assemble this wherever I want, even in the middle of a room!


Love it when a project comes together!

Supply List:
(All lumber was NOT chemically treated.  I used untreated or kiln-dried/heat treated wood only)

4″ x 4″ x 8′ cedar fence posts x 2
1″ x 8″ x 8′ pine shiplap boards x 14
Simpson Strong-Tie 4×4 post base x 2
2″x 12″ x 8′ board (cut in half for the bases)
Screw eyes x 2
Nite Ize CamJam tighteners x2
1/16″ – 3/16″ rope x 50 feet
Washers and screws to attach the post bases to the base boards x 8

You also may need:
Router (I purchased this one and it worked well for me, but I’m a newbie – I have no idea if this is a good long-term investment!)
Router bit (I got this one, but am not sure if there is a better size to use)
Ear protection
Mask to keep from inhaling all the sawdust
Power drill to screw in the post base
Plyers to screw in the screw eyes
A saw to cut the 2″x 12″ x 8′ board in half
Sand paper or a sander to sand the cut edges of the 2″x 12″ x 8′ board
I think that’s it!  This is by no means a tutorial, but I’d love to hear if you make one!

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