5 Steps to a Picture-Perfect Gallery Wall

Brian and I usually have a camera (or two) by our side whenever we go somewhere. We both tend to be drawn to nature and landscape shots the most and have amassed thousands over the past few years. Seriously, that is not an exaggeration.

To help put some of our favorite pics on display, we created two gallery walls in our home. They take some planning and time to put together, but the results are well worth it.


A colorful gallery wall by somethingwewhippedup.com

Here are our tips for putting a gallery wall up  in your own home:

  1. PROCURE FRAMES—LOTS OF THEM: For both of the walls, I was on a mission: Every brown (for the living room) and gold (for the bedroom) frame that was within budget was scooped up. I tried to get a variety of shapes and sizes and made sure that all had hooks for hanging. No hooks? No problem! You can attach sawtooth picture hangers to the back of nearly any frame if you have time.
  2. MAP OUT YOUR DESIGN: Lay out all of your frames on the floor and start planning your creation. It’s easiest to start in the middle and work your way out and it’s best to keep a similar amount of space between each frame. Remember that they can be placed vertically or horizontally and don’t keep too many going in the same direction all in one place. Mix it up! Walk away from your design for a bit, then come back and see how you feel. Snap a picture of the frames in one configuration, then try something new. You can always revert back to a previous design if you like it better since you’ll have a photo to refer back to.
  3. HANG THE FRAMES: Once you’re happy with your design, start attaching the frames to the wall. This step also works best if you start in the middle and work your way out, adjusting the placement of frames if you need to as you go along. Remember to step back after each one is hung so you can get a look at the big picture and make sure you are satisfied with the outcome.
  4. GO OVERBOARD WITH PHOTOS: Though a bit unconventional, I think it’s best to select your photos after the frames are on the wall. It can be hard to get the exact right configuration with the design and you don’t want to be locked into images that must be hung horizontally when the only thing that will look good in the space needs to go vertically. Besides, you’re likely to  have lots of extra photos to choose from help get this job done. When ordering photos, get your favorites in multiple sizes (if you can afford to spend some extra money) so you can see how different options look in different sized frames. Once you have the photos, see which frame accents each one best and be sure to keep color in mind so you don’t have competing images next to each other.
  5. STRAIGHTEN UP: Sometimes it can be hard to tell if one picture is slightly off-center, but once you get multiple on the wall, these small imbalances will stick out like crazy. Once the photos are secured in their frames, attach a small pice of double stick tape to the back of the bottom edge of each one and gently push against the wall so it won’t move around.

SWWU Tip: Add a pop or color or another point of interest to your design. We have a single window frame hanging in the middle of one of our gallery walls. Shelves, a single frame in a bold color, a mirror or a frame with a unique shape or texture would all add an interesting element to help draw the eye in.

Do you have any secrets for getting a similar look on your own wall? If so, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

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