Supplies Needed For This Gallery Wall Project:
- Frames / Artwork
- Paper (Wrapping or News)
After we moved into our new house, the walls scared me so much I left them blank for months. In the beginning we installed a chair rail on all the walls, but then I stopped and couldn’t decide to hang up a single piece of artwork.
To get over my fear of committing to decorating those huge blank walls, I needed a plan. After looking for inspiration I knew I wanted a gallery wall leading to the hallway and a huge statement piece behind the couch, which can be seen in this post The Ultimate Pallet Sign . The gallery wall would be easier to accomplish first, so I started there.
Tip #1: Collect All Your Pieces Before You Start
The first step I took was to collect all the items for the wall. If you know me well, you know I LOVE Goodwill and thrift store shopping. If you know what your looking for you can literally decorate your whole house on a budget (I know because that’s what I did).
It took me 3 months and about 10 trips to the frame area at Goodwill to find enough frames and art I liked. I would pick up solid wood and platinum silver frames. All different sizes, but most were 4×6 and 5×7 about four were 8×10.
Honestly I just picked up anything I liked and started filling up a box in my closet with random pieces. I probably spent about $15 total in frames and art.
Some of the items I found was a plaque of a Christian poem (pictured above on left) . The cross stitch art (pictured above on right) I also stumbled across at Goodwill.
I also picked up a small hot air balloon painting (pictured above on left) that reminded me of my husbands marriage proposal. The frame with the date”02.17.2013″ pictured on the right is a vinyl decal I made of our wedding date. It had a picture I didn’t actually like, but I liked the wood frame so I just covered the picture and added the decal.
The “In This Home” Sign pictured above I made with a vinyl decal and painted MDF board from home depot. My husband made the string art of Washington State for my birthday a few years back (See guys, you can do Pinterest projects too!)
While shopping at hobby lobby I bought a metal “W” to represent our last name. Among my other goodwill finds were a wood tree cutout, and a clock (which my husband hates because he is Captain Hook).
Some other places to look for items and art for your gallery wall besides Goodwill would be Hobby Lobby or Etsy, you can visit my Etsy Shop Wandell Designs where I sell printable artwork that would be great for your project.
After collecting all the items, I painted some wood frames white and some frames got spray painted silver or black. Next I took wrapping paper and cut out shapes the exact size of every single frame, artwork or item I planned to put on the wall.
On each paper I wrote a brief description of what the item looked like so I could visualize it while I was rearranging the papers. I attached tape to the back of the paper and hung them randomly on the wall.
Tip #2: Make A Paper Placeholder
Starting with the frame I wanted in the center I made a column of the papers from the octagon clock down. Then I worked my way out left and right from there.
Using this method of making a placeholder for the frame, is by far the easiest way to make a gallery wall. Mostly because you can rearrange the pieces and play with the look.
After all the papers were on the wall I just moved everything around until I liked the look which took about a hour. When I had it how I thought it should look I left it for a few days and tried living with it to see if my husband and I liked the order and arrangement.
After it was “Hubby Approved” I placed a long line of tape along the top of the frames that were on the bottom row (as shown in the photo below) .
TIP #3: Make Sure All The Frames Are Equally Spaced
After making sure the tape was level I then placed the paper lined up against the tape so all the papers were level. I did this to every row working from the bottom up.
As I went I also spaced everything 2 inches apart equally from each other. If you’re putting a lot of frames and art together, spacing it equally helps give everything a even and balanced look. You don’t want it to look messy like you just threw everything up on the wall.
TIP #4: Use Paint Stick To Mark Nail Hanging Holes
Unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of this part but I took a paint stirring stick and nailed a nail through one end. Then I would hang my frame on the nail in the stick. Holding the other end up against the wall aligning the frame with its paper twin, then pushing the frame against the wall slightly. This makes the nail in the stick create a indent in the paper. That is how I knew where to put my nail so that it would line up perfectly when hung.
TIP #5: Don’t Let Crooked Frames & Artwork Frustrate You
Okay I will be the first to admit, I always notice when something is crooked and it drives me crazy. I have spent way too long trying to correct a wayward frame. Once I realized that my best friend tape could easily fix the job I have never looked back. Seriously I LOVE tape. All I do is roll it over like in kindergarten and stick it on the bottom edges, flip it over hang it and press it against the wall….and Wall-la! Its fixed…..okay yes I know it is spelled Voila!
Finally when everything was hung up, I felt instant relief. I conquered my fear of decorating the wall and finally it was DONE! It was way easier then I thought it would be. It was fun arranging the pieces and designing the look. If you are considering a gallery wall, I really recommend it.
Any guests or visitors I have love to stop and look at glimpses of our past. It tells a story of where we have been. I love seeing it everyday and being reminded of how important my family is to me. I also love seeing pictures of my husband and I before we had kids.
A gallery wall is like a photo book that you never have to open and I enjoy having so many memories in one place. My kids will look at the pictures and point and ask “that dada?” or “grandpa?” It’s just a beautiful wall and I love how it turned out.
Here Are Some More Photos Of Our Gallery Wall.
We ended up using 19 frames, and 12 pieces of artwork , signs and decor. I would love to hear what you think of our wall. Is there something you think we should have added or done differently? I would love to hear from you below.
Would You Put A Gallery Wall In Your Home?