Photo Murals for Your Ceiling! Whoa!

Extra photos for bloggers: 1, 2

Water stains. Ceiling tiles. All those pencils you stuck up there.

So many evils can mar your ceiling. But take heart, photo peeps!

Your ceiling’s not the boss of you.

Cover that water damage with a colorful mural, or slap a collage of fluffy clouds over those grimy ceiling tiles.

All ya need to make it happen are some photo Post-its and a stepstool.

Yessir, everything’s looking up!

How to Make a Photo Mural for Your Ceiling

p.s. Hey Chicago! Hey Milwaukee! Photojojo readers are gettin’ together to shoot pix. Check out the forum thread for dates/times/mucho bueno info!

What To Put On Your Ceiling

Go out into the world, look up, and find something interesting to photograph, like:

  • Fluffy clouds and blue sky
  • Looking up into a grove of trees
  • A cathedral ceiling
  • Looking up at skyscrapers
  • A spiral staircase viewed from the bottom

Or declare Opposite Day! Look down at a lush field of grass, or your sneakers on a gritty sidewalk. Call it an homage to Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling.

What You’ll Need


  • Post-it Picture Paper (or photo paper and Glue Dots or double-stick tape)
  • Large piece of poster board
  • Ladder or stepstool

Step 1: Shoot Out!

panography-smOnce you’ve found a subject, do what we like to call panography. Shoot a big ol’ panorama while moving your lens in all directions, but without moving from your position.

The more your shots overlap, the easier it’ll be to assemble your collage later.

Make sure you cover every spot with at least one picture, and don’t forget less interesting, “blank” areas. If you leave a shot out, you’ll have a hole in your final piece and no way to fill it!

Step 2: Print the Photos

Print all your collage photos onto Post-it Picture Paper (it’s photo paper with adhesive on the back, but photo paper and double-stick tape would work too).

Use the 4″ x 6″ size for smaller constructions, or use the 8 1/2″ x 11″ size for really large murals.

Step 3: Assemble the Mural

layout2-smAssemble your collage on a sheet of poster board. You could try assembling it on the ceiling, but you’d either get a huge crick in your neck or fall off the stepladder. Stay grounded, bucko.

Start the collage from the center of the picture and work outward for best results. Overlap the photos as needed to reassemble the panorama (and to keep them all together).

Step 4: Stick ‘Em Up

putup-smWhen you have the collage assembled, carry it over to where you want to put it up. Then peel the collage carefully off the poster board.

If the collage is relatively small, you can hop on the stepladder and put it up yourself. If it’s large, have a hapless minion help you stick it to the ceiling.

Stick the collage to the ceiling by starting in the middle and working your outwards, to avoid bubbles. Make sure all the edges are stuck down well.

Care and Feeding

If you hang your mural in a fairly dry room (not the kitchen or bathroom), it should stay up for at least a few months. You can always stick stray corners back up with removable adhesive or double-stick tape.

When it starts to peel or come loose, it’s time to make a brand-new mural!

Floor It!

floor-smWhy should ceilings have all the fun? Make wall-to-wall photo flooring!

Perhaps a grassy meadow takes your fancy, or manhole covers, or bare feet in a mountain stream. Or induce vertigo with a photo of a city from high above—the options are limitless.

Protect your work by slipping your floor collage under a clear plastic chair mat, or accept it as a temporary luxury and tape it down with clear packing tape. It’ll look great while it lasts!

More Ideas

  • Take collages from underneath the trees near your house in different seasons (cherry blossoms in spring, maple trees in fall). Relax under the lush green canopy and change your ceiling murals with the passing seasons.
  • If you see a ceiling you like at somebody’s fancy renovated house (like pressed tin or real wooden beams) steal it with your camera and put it up at your place.