It’s easy to enjoy a gallery wall once it’s finished, but how easy is it to enjoy the process of making one?
We’re going to cover how to make a gallery wall, and we’re going to make the process as easy and enjoyable as possible.
One of the things that stops me in my tracks with any home design project or idea is if it feels intimidating or frustrating. And that can happen with almost any DIY project, big or small. For a while I thought that I hated DIY, but that wasn’t the case. I just hated the status quo of “this is how things are done” – um, no thanks!
No more toughing it out, spending more than you’re comfortable with, or forcing yourself to finish a project squeezed into one weekend when you’d rather have a moment to relax.
Welcome to Garland Collections, where failures are embraced and the process is enjoyed. I’m here to make your life easier, and my goal is to make home design more fun and approachable.
These are 5 easy steps to make a gallery wall from start to finish. This method makes it as easy as possible for you so that you can enjoy your gallery wall without getting stressed during the process.
And trust me, because I’m someone who gets stressed easily during the process 😆 this method makes it so much easier, and my secret trick is using gallery wall templates. You can see my favorite 5 gallery wall templates here!
Let’s get into these steps!
What you need to get started:
- Art and/or photos
- A gallery wall template
Step 1: Pick a gallery wall layout
The first step to putting together a gallery wall that you love is picking out a layout. I know, if you’re someone who’s prone to skipping steps like I am, you might want to blaze right past this. But having a layout makes the rest of the process so much easier and way less stressful.
You can download this free printable with my favorite 5 gallery wall layouts if you want to make it even easier on yourself. And trust me, because I have tried winging it before and it did not work out very well. Don’t make the same mistake I did and use a template! It’s so helpful, and you can always make tweaks along the way if you prefer a different sized frame somewhere.
The gallery wall templates that I made include 5 unique layouts with measurements for each frame so that you know exactly what size frames to get. You can definitely work with what you already have too, but the measurements are there to be helpful if you need them.
Tip: Use a gallery wall template to make it easy to choose a gallery wall layout that you like – then you’ll know exactly what size of frames and art you need next.
Step 2: Choose your art for your gallery wall
This step is so fun! Choosing art for your gallery wall has to be the best step in the whole process, at least it is to me. Based on the measurements that you determine you need using the gallery wall template, you can go forth and pick out art that will fit in those frames.
Remember: not every frame has to be full from edge to edge – frame mattes will make it so that the internal art is actually different, smaller dimensions than the rest of the frame itself. You can pick out art based on what will fit inside the frames in the gallery wall template that you chose.
You also have full permission to adjust as needed, because if there’s a piece of art that you really love that doesn’t fit exactly with the measurements in the gallery wall you chose, there is always a way to make it work.
When it comes to shopping for art, the best practice is to directly support artists as much as you can. This also will mean that your art will be more unique. I try to avoid shopping at places where art is mass produced (like Target, Anthropologie, and Urban Outfitters). Those stores are amazing for other things, but shopping for art is different.
I love looking at Etsy, Saatchi Art, and Tappan Collective. You also can find some great stuff on Jungalow and by searching for artists on social media.
Tip: I have so many lists of beautiful art prints that you can browse as well! Here are some links if you’re interested:
Step 3: Select your frames
The reason that you pick out your art before your frames is because the art is the priority. That’s what you will notice the most, and it’s important that it feels good to you.
Now you need some frames! If you already have some that you love, perfect. If not, that’s what I’m here to help you with. First, you need to decide if you want all of your frames to match or if you want to have them look different.
Having frames that all match creates a very cohesive and classic look. An assorted mix of frames tends to look more eclectic. Both are beautiful, and it’s really about choosing what you like best.
Make sure that you refer to your gallery wall template so that you’re picking out all of the right sizes. Also, if you haven’t already checked to make sure the measurements of the template work well with the wall you’re going to be hanging your gallery wall up on, now is the time to double check that.
This is also a good time to remind you that having somewhat oversized wall art is good. If you have the space for the gallery wall, don’t worry about it being “too big.”
Tip: iF you need help finding frames that you like, check out some of these blog posts that help walk you through it:
Step 4: Frame your art
This is pretty straightforward once you have the right frames for your wall art. You can also go to a local frame store if you want someone to help you with this step.
For example, once I wanted to use the same size frames for different sized art prints, so I went to the local frame store so that they could cut custom mattes for the art prints to each fit in the frames.
Also, don’t be afraid to use a little bit of tape gently on the back of the art and the matte if your art keeps sliding around inside the frame.
Tip: Don’t feel pressure to do all of this in one day if you’re tired by now. You can make a checklist of the rest of these steps so that you can come back to it later when you have more energy.
Step 5: Hang it all up!
Yay! It’s the final step (thank goodness 😅 if you’re like me you might be a little fatigued by now – feel free to take a break and come back to this part later). Now you’re ready to hang everything up.
Using your template, try to mark with pencil where to hang up your art. Keep in mind where the hook sits on the back of your frame and use that as your reference of where to actually nail into the wall. If you’re using Command hooks or strips, this will be a little bit different, but same idea.
Hang your art at eye level. Most people hang up their art really high, which isn’t awful, but I have noticed that interior designers tend to hang it lower than you might think. I recommend hanging your art so that it is within 4 inches of the nearest surface, like a headboard, dresser, or table. Use this tip at your own discretion and go with your gut of what looks good to you.
Tip: Keep the spacing between the frames as consistent as you can. I recommend spacing frames one to three inches apart.
That’s the end! Woohoo, you did it! 🎊 I hope that you’re feeling inspired, that maybe you’re about to tackle creating your first gallery wall, or you’re about to put up a gallery wall in the most hassle free way you’ve tried yet. Or maybe this simply planted a seed in your mind about a gallery wall in your future, which is an outcome I would be equally grateful for.
I hope that this helped you figure out how to make a gallery wall in an easy way. It may seem like a bit of a process at first. Don’t let that scare you away. It’s only because I tried to explain every little detail that you could get hung up on (no pun intended 😉) along the way. Hopefully you’re feeling empowered and inspired to create a gallery wall of your own!
Here’s the link to the free printable with my favorite 5 gallery wall layouts if you need it! By the way, if you have any trouble downloading the templates be sure to check if they were emailed to your spam folder, because that happens sometimes.
If you need any additional help with making your gallery wall, here is a list of helpful resources for you:
Do you need help finding the best frames for your gallery wall?
Are you looking for cute and unique art for your gallery wall?
For Garland Collections video content, make sure you check out the Garland Collections YouTube channel.
I hope that you enjoyed! Thank you so much for being a part of the Garland Community.