Tips and Tricks For Creating a Gallery Wall

Learn designer secrets for curating a collection of family photos and your favorite prints.
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January 28, 2016
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Photo By: © Rustic White Photography; LLC

Photo By: Rustic White Photography, LLC

Photo By: Tim Barber LTD; Karyn Millet

Pick a Spot

The obvious first step in creating a gallery wall is choosing your wall. If you have closets full of art, think big. Smaller gallery walls also give great impact. Take into consideration less obvious spots for clusters of pictures like over an entry way table, up a staircase or above a bed.

A Gallery Wall Should Come to You

The most effective gallery walls are the ones built with art and trinkets that have been collected and curated as opposed to the ones where the pieces were all bought in ibe day. Flea markets, thrift stores, Etsy, your grandmother’s house and a child’s craft table are all great places to start.

To Theme or Not to Theme

There are several styles of gallery walls. If you prefer a clean and minimal look, use pieces in the same color scheme and in similar frames or a theme like family portraits.  Bohemian more your vibe? Mix matched frames, styles and textures will magically come together once hung on a wall side by side.

Creating a Game Plan

Once the wall has been selected and the pictures have been chosen, it is time to come up with a game plan. Placement is everything. If you are afraid of wall damage, take the time to lay out all your pictures on the floor first and photograph them. You could take things a step further and cut out paper the exact sizes of your art and tape those to the wall first. If you just want to start hammering, hang the largest piece of art first and work out from there.

Securing Your Art

If you are using heavy pieces, be sure to use proper picture hangers. Double-sided Command tape is always handy to have. If your gallery shares a wall with a door that is often open and closed, your pictures will shift. Even the slightest movement can make an entire gallery wall appear messy. Use a level to make sure pictures are straight and then anchor the corners with tape.

How High or Low Should You Go?

If you have small children a Picasso close to the floor is not a great idea, but perhaps a collection of vintage Fisher-Price busy boards is. If you want to go floor to ceiling be sure you have a range of sizes within your art. You will need to fill awkward spaces.

Fixing Boo-Boos

After your wall is hung there might be a few scuffs and visible nail holes. In college, to get your deposit back, white toothpaste was all it took, but in your forever-home a small amount of filler, a square of sand paper and touch-up paint should do the trick.

Admire and Tweak as Necessary

Remember art, pictures and decorations are not permanently attached to your walls.  When you find something you like better make a substitution. During the holidays add something festive (or change the whole thing). Or make small changes, like paint just one frame yellow. It is your wall and your gallery.  

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