Do you need an affordable and easy decorating idea for your graduation party? Then you’re going to love this incredible wood pallet photo display that can be put together in no time!
Graduations are a bittersweet time for us moms!
A milestone in our kids’ lives.
The end of their childhood.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a working mom or a single mom, we know one thing is for sure…you’re a proud mom!
As moms, we may want to recognize this major achievement in our children’s lives with a super fun high school graduation party.
You may be thinking throwing a party is so expensive.
But they don’t have to be!
We’ve got lots of great ideas to keep your celebration amazing without breaking the bank.
One of the easiest ways to save some money when hosting a party is to make your own decorations.
This burlap banner would be perfect for a graduation celebration.
These simple graduation year numbers are so fun too.
Decorating with photos is one of my favorite ways to decorate my home, so of course I think it’s the best way to add a personalized touch to a party!
These feminine photo centerpieces are so pretty.
This photo banner is incredible.
And this picture display idea can be used for graduates too.
Today I’m sharing a new way to incorporate pictures as party decor for your celebration!
I made this pallet photo display for my daughter Emma’s graduation last year but it would be great for a baby or bridal shower, wedding, birthday, anniversary, or any celebration.
Some of the items used in this post include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you. You can read our full affiliate disclosure policy here.
What Supplies Do You Need to Make a Pallet Picture Display
There aren’t many supplies you need to make a pallet picture wall.
The biggest and most obvious item you need to get started is a wood pallet.
You can check Facebook marketplace or other local online sources for businesses looking to give them away.
Yup that’s right you’ll be able to get a pallet for free!
If you don’t see anything listed online then head to a store and ask an employee if they have any pallets they can give you.
I got all three of mine at Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Below is a list of the additional supplies that you’ll need to assemble your pallet photo display.
- printed photos
- wood pallets
- small clothespins
- staple gun
How to Tell Your Graduates Story
After you secure a free wood pallet or two (or three in my case) you’ll need to figure out the pictures you want to display.
If you’re anything like me you may have hundreds or even thousands of images of your child throughout their 18 years.
To narrow it down you may want to only display photos of your son or daughter during the past four years to celebrate their high school experience.
Or maybe choose only school portraits or professional photos.
You can decide to use pictures through the years that include family & friends with the graduate.
Or you can display photos of only your child which is what I did for Emma.
I wanted the focus of her pallet photo display to be all on her!
And honestly, it was the easiest way for me because then I didn’t have to worry about leaving anyone out or searching for a picture that included someone who would be at the party.
All I had to do was select pictures over the years out of the thousands of images I had taken…lol!
If you’re struggling with organizing photos to accomplish a project like this check out how I sorted 18 years of pictures when I created this childhood memory photo book.
Where to Print Photos for a Graduation Display
The next step is to get your photos printed.
If you are ahead of the game you can order prints online for the best prices from any number of sources.
But if you’re a procrastinator like me then you may need to order your pictures from a local store.
I ordered mine online at Walmart then picked them up right in our local store in just an hour.
I was even able to get the prints in a matte finish which is usually only a mail order option.
And at 9 cents for each 4×6 print, I thought they were actually really affordable.
It only cost me $11 for 120 pictures…not too shabby!
Decide how you’d like your display to look.
Do you want everything to be symmetrical or a little more casual?
If you want it to look more orderly then you can trim each print to 4×4 so they’re all the same size or even get them printed in that size if you don’t mind spending the extra money.
I wanted my display to be more relaxed so I left the prints in a 4×6 size and I was also sure to include both vertical and horizontal images so I could mix them up throughout the pallet.
How to Assemble a Wood Pallet Photo Display
I used jute twine for a bit of a rustic look for this graduation photo display.
But another option, if twine isn’t your vibe, is ribbon.
Ribbon in any color or style to coordinate with your party theme would be awesome.
Try using different textures or patterns of the same color ribbon for a fun look.
I attached the natural jute with a staple gun to the side of the wood pallets.
Make sure you pull the twine or ribbon tight when securing it to the wood.
At first, I left some slack in the twine because I wanted it to drape nicely but the weight of the pictures made it droop a bit too much.
So take it from me and pull that string or ribbon tight before stapling it into the wood.
If you’re adding anything additional to your pallets you may want to attach them before the photos.
These DIY burlap banners are a fun way to further personalize your photo display.
The banners also coordinate with the theme of Emma’s party.
Now the fun part…adding all those beautiful childhood memories to your baby’s high school graduation party photo display.
I’m not crying…you’re crying!
Since Emma’s party was a sort of rustic boho theme I used natural colored mini clothespins to clip her photos on twine.
You can find clothespins in many different colors if you prefer something other than natural.
White or even black clips are great too and wouldn’t clash with the colors in your pictures.
How to Personalize Graduation Party Decorations
Incorporating a fun pennant banner is a perfect way to break up all those photos.
You can make a banner with the graduate’s name, graduation year, or even a simple word like “congrats”.
Other ideas could include hanging a plain banner for color, a garland, or string of beads.
Have too many photos that you want to display of your grad?
That’s ok so did I!
Just make more than one pallet display.
You can attach them to each other, either two pallets side by side or one on top of another.
Or even combine four pallets together to create a huge photo wall for your party.
Where to Put a Graduation Memory Photo Display
So now that your pallet photo display is finished where will you actually put your masterpiece?
I planned to place Emma’s pallets side by side on our fireplace hearth but I didn’t love it.
So I tried moving one pallet down on the floor to the side and centered the other one in the middle of the fireplace.
Ahhh…it looked perfect!
Pallets are large…like really big which is fantastic because they make a huge impact for your party decor without spending a lot of money.
But you have to make sure you have the space to put something that large.
Often graduation parties take place outside so you may have more options to display something as big as a pallet photo wall.
Another Option for Yearly School Pictures
Outside is exactly where I set up a third pallet photo display for Emma’s party.
Most kids don’t love their school pictures but it’s a really fun way to see their growth through the years.
I created another display and included all of her professional school photos from each year…kindergarten through senior year.
I didn’t have a 5×7 print of Emma’s senior photo so I decided to hang that one in the middle of the pallet.
And did you notice grades 10 and 11 are hung on the same picture?
She was a junior in 2020 so she didn’t get a class pictures that year.
I made those cute tags to mark each grade out of cardstock and attached them to the clothespins before hanging each school photo.
I hope you enjoy every last minute celebrating your graduate!
Hugs to you mama…you did it!!
Click on any image to shop items from this post
Sources: mini clothespins | burlap pennant banner | scissors | staple gun | jute twine
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact me or leave a comment!
Don’t miss any of our tips, tricks, or stories!
We’d love for you to follow us on social media! You can find us on YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Sunday 21st of May 2023
Love this idea!!! Your boards look so cute!! My question is how did u get them to stand up without falling?? Putting mine outside in a tent without walls….any suggestions??
Monday 22nd of May 2023
Hi Shelly - Is it possible to add a stand behind your pallet made out of a 2x4 or scrap piece of wood? You could attach it to the pallet with a hinge so that it supports the pallet on uneven surfaces. The pallets are about 4-5" wide so they do stand up on their own on a flat surface but if it's going to be on the grass you'll probably need to support it from behind. You could lean it against leg in the corner of your tent. Or maybe grab something heavy to put behind it to hold it up. Good luck! I'd love to hear what you come up with and see your pallet photo display if you'd like to share photos.
Wednesday 26th of April 2023
This is so cute. Great budget idea.
Thursday 27th of April 2023
I love how this display turned out too!
Wednesday 26th of April 2023
Okay. Now I’m crying. Such a great idea. I love it.
Thursday 27th of April 2023
I love how her photo display turned out too! Nothing like a walk down memory lane to get the tears going.