The Easy Way to Hang a Gallery Wall

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Gallery walls are all the rage right now in interior design but I’ve always loved a good gallery wall. They bring so much personality and interest to a space, but they can also look a bit disheveled if not hung properly. And, lets face it, it can be quite the daunting task to take a blank wall and decide where each picture should be hung. I will admit to being slightly overwhelmed in this undertaking and that is why, I’m ashamed to admit, this project sat on hold for more than a year. Now that the gallery wall is up, I couldn’t be more pleased at the results. My uneasiness to begin this project was unfounded after all was said and done. I’m so excited to share the steps I took and to show just how simple this was to do.

Here’s how it went:

I have a long narrow hallway that leads to my two daughters bedrooms and a Jack and Jill bathroom.  We had already painted the walls white and added crown molding and baseboards, although flooring still needs to be done. Across from the wall is a set of windows, so whatever I put on this wall will get lots of sun. Making this a gallery wall allows me to change out pictures should they get faded, so I will only be using photos from my own collection, that way if they need to be replaced I can just reprint them.

I started collecting the frames. I decided on all white frames with white mattes, so that the color photos could speak for themselves and be the center of attention. I love the look of an art gallery and that was what I was going for here.

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I used the canopy collection from Walmart and started buying different sizes, always buying two of each size. To not break the budget I would just buy a couple whenever I went shopping at Walmart, it took a few months. After having enough to start the gallery wall (and lets be honest, having them sit around in a closet for a year), I started to hang them.

Here’s what you will need to get started:

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1. Frames  2. Scissors  3. Pencil or Pen  4. Painters Tape  5. Craft Paper   6. Ruler (not shown)

7. Nails (not shown)  8. Hammer (not shown)

The first step was to lay out my frames on the floor to try different configuration. This is the one I ended up with. My intention was to make it look decorative but still allow the gallery to be added on to, its a big wall with plenty of space. For now, with the amount of frames I have this is what I liked…

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This allowed me the freedom to play around without putting a bunch of holes in my wall.

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Next I made templates. I traced each frame on the craft paper and cut out the template. After the template was cut out I laid it on the back of the frame and found the hanging hook, on these frames it was a small metal triangle, using my finger I pushed the craft paper down a bit on the hanging hook  so it made a small indentation on the paper which showed me where the nail would go. I marked this with my pen and actually made a little hole so I would know exactly where to place the nail.

Next I took a small piece of painters tape and put the number 1 on it and placed it on the frame  I just traced, and put a coordinating number 1 on the template. You do this which each one, so each frame should be numbered with a coordinating numbered template. This will make it easier to hang.

This is the longest part of the process but you want to take your time and get it right. The more accurate you are the easier it is to hang the gallery wall. It took me about 45 minutes to an hour to do all these templates.

Now the exciting part begins…placing them all the wall.

It was tricky getting photos of this for the blog because, as I stated before, this is a long, narrow hall.

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I really just eyed this to begin with. I started with the middle two pictures and went from there. I used about  one inch between the frames. I’m pretty good at eyeing this sort of thing so I was pretty spot on with most of it. Honestly, this part was really easy especially after you get the first couple up.

Remember to use the coordinating template with the frame because each frame could be a tad different and the hanging hooks could also be placed differently.

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After just a bit of moving the templates around to get them right, it was done.

There’s been a lot of painting going on in my house , so I used the painters tape sparingly, bigger pieces would be suggested.

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I decided to leave the templates up and place the frames over them for accuracy and I’m so glad I did. This was a very helpful step, because if the frame didn’t line up with the template I could easily move the nail around until the frame hung correctly. This only happened a couple of time. The rest were right on the money.

This part of the process was so fast that I could hardly believe it.

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I removed all the craft paper and put the frames back into place.

The gallery wall was hung and it looked GREAT!!!

Why did I wait so long?!

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I only  had a few photos already in the frames, so now the fun begins to find just the right photos.

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This perfectionist is very happy with the results. Hope this helps you too.

Any questions let me know in the comments.

All the best,

Joy

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7 thoughts on “The Easy Way to Hang a Gallery Wall

  1. Haley says:

    What size are the frames at the very top and bottom? I can’t tell. I know you have two 11×14’s in the middle but the ones that are above and below those? Are those openings 8×10 or 11×14? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Avenue of Joy says:

      The frames above the 11×14’s frames in the middle of the wall are double matted 5×7 photo sized frames. So they are not standard size. Each frame holds 2 5×7 photos. All the frames on this wall are from Walmart and the same brand so I could keep the wall consistent, but I’ve seen these at Aaron Brothers, Target and Michaels. Hope that helps. Thanks for stopping by the blog.

      Like

    • Avenue of Joy says:

      Sure, the sizes of the frames are as follows: the largest frames are 11×14 and can hold an 11×14 photo or with the matte (that comes with it) an 8×10 pictures, the smaller frames are 8×10 but come with a matte to hold 5×7 pictures and the 2 frames in the middle that are above and below the larger frames are not standard size but are matted to hold two 5×7 photos side by side. All frames are from Walmart and use to be named the Canopy brand but now they are by Better Homes and Gardens. They must be very popular now because I use to be able to pick them up anytime I was shopping at Walmart but now (at least at my local Walmart) I have to keep checking back because they are always out of stock. I’m actually adding to this gallery wall later this week, it’s just taken me time to get more frames. Hope that helps. Good luck with your gallery wall and thanks for stopping by. 😀

      Like

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