May 12, 2016

How to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall

A nice paint colour and furniture can make a space beautiful, but it’s the personal touches that make it inviting and feel like home. Artwork is a great way to add personality but it isn’t always the most budget-friendly option. If you’ve had your eye on a new piece of furniture to update your space, a gallery wall is a great way to dress up a room without breaking the bank. Favourite photos, souvenirs, and objects de arte all make for a beautifully styled gallery wall, and it’s a great weekend warrior project. All you need are a few items and you’re good to go. See below for some tips to make creating your gallery wall simple and with results you’ll love.

What You'll Need:

  • Hooks & nails
  • Hanging wire
  • Hammer (a rubber mallet is good if your aim isn’t the best)
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Warm wet cloth

1. Pick the Wall You Want to Use

Consider how large you want the gallery wall to be, if you want to be able to add and/ or move things around, and if you want it to be the focus of a room or compliment it. Once you know which wall you want to use, give it a wipe down with a warm cloth (depending on what you have in mind, you may even want to give the wall a fresh coat of paint and fill in old holes).

2. Gather Photos, Prints, Artwork, and Other Items You Would Like to Include

Select the things you would like to see included and then narrow them down based on how full/ busy you want the gallery wall to be and how much space you’ve got to work with. It never hurts to allow a little space to add on new items, photos, etc, so keep that in mind as you make your selections. If you want a very spontaneous gallery wall- essentially a collage of anything and everything you like- your biggest challenge will be deciding how to fit everything around each other. If you prefer a more curated and simple look, the photos, frames, and items you select to include will probably be narrowed down much more selectively. Things like colour/ black and white, frame styles and sizes, and symmetry will probably have a big influence on your choices.

3. Choose and Fill Frames and Play with Them

Maybe you’re not picky and prefer a variety of sizes, colours and styles. Or perhaps you’d like only 1 or a few colours to keep the look of the gallery wall simple. This is where your personal tastes and style will influence your gallery wall. Once you’ve got the frames filled, lay them out on the floor until you find an arrangement you like. Pick one to be your reference point (and the first one you’ll hang) so you can replicate the layout on your wall.

4. Begin Hanging & Select a Reference Frame to Guide You

Begin by holding up your first frame and making a faint pencil mark on the wall at the top centre of the it so you know where you want it to go. An important tip here is to consider if there’s a wire or hook to hang the frame from, or if you’ll simply hang the frame on top of a hook/ nail (if there’s nothing to hang it from), as you may have to adjust where you hammer in your hook(s)- for larger/ heavier items you may need more than one. This is where it can get a little tricky and having someone help can make this step a little easier. Once you have your first item hung, use the level to get it straight, as this will be your reference with your other items. Continue the process until you have everything where you want it.

5. Don't Forget the Finishing Details

Once you’ve got everything where you want it, check for any visible pencil marks on the wall and wipe them off with a warm cloth. Also double- check everything is straight by using the level, so you don’t have something askew (unless you purposely hung it at an angle). If your gallery wall is the focus of the room, adding some accent lighting is a great way to draw attention to it. If you prefer it more as an accent, choose furniture and other décor items to compliment it as you add the finishing touches to your room.


About the Author

Katherine Petrunia is a Mom of two little ones and founder of The Pampered Baby blog, where she shares about her adventures in motherhood, DIY ideas, recipes, and more. She loves a good DIY project, but just has to find the time get them all done while chasing after her family.

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