Who doesn’t love a good DIY project, especially as something as easy personalized as a gallery wall? I’m crazy about gallery walls. Gimme all of them. I want gallery walls full of art, decor, baskets, mirrors.
Family pictures? Yes.
Fake animal heads? Umkay.
Taxidermy childhood pet? No. Ew.
Gallery walls are versatile and can be as quirky or straightforwardly classy as you want. But how to hang a gallery wall? Now, that’s a different beast altogether. BUT it doesn’t have to be! Here are 5 simple steps to get your on your way to creating the perfect gallery wall. Sans gross pet tribute art.
Gather your goods
a) Décor Wall: have a fun mixture of items and pictures. Think outside the box on décor! Think wall vases, letters, a clock, baskets or boxes. Even an open book can be a unique, eye-catching piece. Try to stick to complimentary colors, but mix it up with the textures.
b) Photo Wall: choose frames that are different sizes but in the same color family. For example, pick one big one (16 x 20), 2-3 large (8×10), 4-5 small (5×7 & 4×6).
c) Both Wall: see A? See B? Put those together and form a C-baby. It will be a beautiful wall with pictures of your family and the perfect funky little piece of décor that will give your wall a little pop.
Round up your supplies
-level (short and long are helpful to have, but a long one will do the job)
-hammer, 1-2 inch nails, anchors and screws (for the heavier stuff, and these are my very favorite type. I don’t even use the wall anchors that come with decor. I toss them and use these bad boys)
-drill (this one is nice and light!)
Some optional supplies (which I always have on hand for these projects): command strips (with double-velcro; those keep your pics level once they’re hung and BONUS: if you live in a rental, you can hang lighter items with just these little guys), and shark teeth picture hooks (they are the BEST to have on hand when the picture frame only has those annoying little triangles that are impossible to actually get on the wall without losing your temper). You also can use wire to string between the aforementioned little jerk triangle hooks.
Layout on the floor
Maybe at this point you need a nap, but that’s not what this means. When you’re ready for this step, clear and area where you can lay everything out. Start with your big item and arrange your smaller ones around it. Re-arrange it until it looks just right! I will even take a picture because it’s helpful to get an idea of what it will look like on your wall. Plus, then you can send it to your friend for advice. Or your mother. This is a very handy step because once things start going on the wall, sometimes it’s hard to remember exactly how everything was spaced.
Install your largest piece
If you’re hanging anything over 5 lbs. you’re going to want to make use of those anchors and screws if you’re not going to hit a stud. Find a drill bit that is nearly as big around as your anchor (check this by holding the anchor behind the drill bit. If you can’t see the threads on the anchor, your drill bit is too big). Drill a shallow hole where you want the anchor, then lightly tap the anchor in that hole. Use your drill to slowly drill it until it’s flush with your wall. Then, drill your screw in. Voila! Now you won’t have things falling off the wall in the middle of the night, waking you from your sweet dream-filled slumber because you think someone is breaking in. How embarrassing to call the police over a picture falling.
Install your smaller pieces
Use the 5 lb rule again. If you’re in the clear, use the nails to hang your other décor/pictures. I have a 2-5 inch spacing rule. Just keep the spacing consistent with all your items and it will feel like a cohesive gallery wall.
Here are a few ideas for alternative-to-art gallery wall decor:
1. wall planter : Crate and Barrel ($119)
2. floating acrylic frame : Crate and Barrel ($59.95)
3. oval wall mirror : Crate and Barrel ($299)
4. blackened wood and brass : West Elm ($209)
5. lattice wall art : West Elm ($299)
6. little quilt : West Elm ($250)
7. wall hanging : West Elm ($200)
8. metallic macrame : West Elm ($103)
9. broad strokes : West Elm ($149)
10. graphic wood : West Elm ($169/piece)
11. hoop mirror : Anthropologie ($248)
12. fringed wall art : Athropologie ($48/small)
You got this!!!