Gallery walls are my favorite. Our wall space is limited in our home but I love photos and art on the walls. So gallery walls are a great way to still be able to add a lot of photos and art in smaller spaces.
I wanted to share some tips that I have learned in creating gallery walls partly because a few of you have asked and partly because Field and Forest Design's art pieces are smaller and I think that gallery walls are a great way to display them!
If you look on Pinterest you can find tons of super-detailed blog posts about how to do gallery walls. This is my condensed version for people like me who are overwhelmed by all of the detailed explanations and want a quicker version. Go to Pinterest for more detailed versions.
STEP 1: PLAN AND MEASURE
Figure out what wall you are going to use and how much of the wall you want to fill up with your gallery.
Figure out what type of gallery you want this to be. Family photos? Art? A mixture? All black and white photos? All matching frames or an assortment? The possibilities are endless. Look on Pinterest at gallery walls for ideas to help you figure out what type you are drawn to and will work for your space.
STEP 2: LAY EVERYTHING OUT ON THE FLOOR
After I measured how wide the wall was, I used the edge of a bed and the ruler that you see here on the floor to mark how wide the space was that I wanted to fill. I then experimented with laying the frames and art pieces to fit the space. This part took me a little while. I kept rearranging them until i was pleased with how it looked. Pay attention to spacing. Do you want everything to be spaced tightly or more spread out? Here, I wanted everything to be evenly spaced. Be sure to take a photo of the layout on your phone in case you forget where something went once you start hanging them on the wall.
Command Strips are your BFF for gallery walls. They are a strong type of velcro where one side sticks to the wall and the other side sticks to the back of your frame. They are made to come off walls when you need them to without pulling off paint.You don't have to worry about putting a ton of holes in your wall and if you change your mind or don't like the layout, you can simply pull the strip off and use a new one to fix it. It is also so much easier to get the frame or art piece exactly where you want it to fit your gallery 'puzzle'.
I found these at Target. You can also find them online and I am sure Walmart has them as well. I think I even saw some at the grocery store.
Step 3: MEASURE AGAIN AND HANG
Once you have your layout set, measure how wide and tall the entire group of frames are. Then measure your wall to center the gallery.
My wall space was 66 inches tall and 61.5 in wide. My group of frames were 35 in tall and 38 in wide. I subtracted the height of my group of frames from the height of the wall space. To line up vertically: 66-36=30 in ). I then divided that by 2 and that let me know how much space should be on the top and bottom of my gallery (30 / 2=15) So I need to space the bottom of the gallery 15 inches down from the top of the wall and 15 inches from the bottom part. I did the same for the width.
Then I made a light pencil mark on the wall for where the bottom, top, and sides of the gallery should be. I took the frame that was on the outer and bottom edge of the group of frames and lined it up, used a level to make sure it was straight, and simply stuck it to the wall using a Command Strip. Then I worked my way up leveling, spacing, and lining up each one together almost like a puzzle.
If you read the instructions on the Command Strips, it says to put your frame on the wall and then take it off, leaving the wall strip for 30 min to allow the wall strip to adhere fully. I put everything up (because you need each piece up to know how to space the next piece) and then took all the frames down, leaving the strips for 30 min. Then I put it all back up and voila!
This gallery is in my boys' room. I wanted a mixture of art and photos. I love the reminders for them to 'be kind', 'be wild' and 'be brave'. I wanted to have photos of our family in their room especially for our youngest son who was adopted a little over a year ago. I want them to serve as visual reminders that he is loved and is a part of our family.
Here are 2 more gallery walls in our house just to give you a few more ideas of variations. In one I have a mixture of round, square and rectangular frames. In the other, the frames don't all match but each frame has at least one other frame that is the same color and they all have the theme of family photos. Again, the possibilities are endless and I don't think there are any hard and fast rules. Just be creative and have fun with it!
Lastly, I wanted to share a tip on how to keep things cheap:
Frames can be expensive. Two of the frames I used in my boys' room were old, shiny gold frames that I found at a thrift store. I simply spray painted them to match the brown frame color scheme I wanted. If you want all of your frames to match, find some cheap frames and spray paint them! A local thrift store, TJ Maxx, Olde Time Pottery and the clearance section at Hobby Lobby are all good options.
I hope this is helpful! I would love to hear back and see your gallery walls! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @field_and_forest_design with photos of our pieces in your home or a gallery wall that this post inspired!