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How to Create a Gallery Wall From Scratch

Gallery Wall

A gallery wall is a great way to make a bold, personal statement in your home. It’s also a really fun project because you get to show off your artwork and photography while arranging everything to get just the look you want.

But there are a few things to consider before you get started on your gallery wall.

Choose Photos and Artwork

The first thing you need to do is figure out what artwork or photography you want to display on your gallery wall. Choose your best pieces, but make sure you have a variety of sizes to add visual interest to the wall. Pictures that are all one size, no matter how good the artwork, can be visually boring.

Consider the pieces you have chosen. Do you have several pieces with complementary colors? Are you hanging canvas paintings, frames, large prints, lettering, or decorative wall accents? Are you working with a black and white theme or do you have a color palette for the room? Consider what colors are in your furniture and whether or not the artwork you have chosen will compliment or contrast with it.

Pick a Wall

Figuring out where you want your gallery wall to go is your next step. Determine which wall in your home is large enough to accommodate all the art you want to use and has enough room to lay out the photos in an interesting way.

Play Around with Layouts

Next, determine what type of layout you want to use. The best way to do this is to lay all of your photos and artwork on the floor, then arrange it in an eye-catching manner.

This allows you to move things around numerous times without putting unnecessary holes in your wall. Use painter’s tape to mark out the dimensions of your wall on the floor so you know exactly how much space you're working with and can properly space out the artwork.

Choose up to four photos to be the focal point of your gallery wall and then work outwards from there when playing with layout ideas. These focal photos should be hung at the same height. To help you remember your layout, use your smartphone to take pictures.

Keep in mind where this gallery wall will be placed. If it will be over a couch or other furniture, make sure you have at least eight inches of space between the back of the couch and the bottom of your lowest frame.

Bonus tip: It’s best to keep your gallery wall at eye level (on average it's 57 inches from the floor) to ensure that all of your artwork is easy for everyone to see (especially you).

If you’re still not sure about the layout you designed, use kraft paper to trace the frames, trim the paper to size and then hang it on your wall with tape. This will allow you to visualize what the layout you created on the floor will look like on the wall and help prevent you from creating unnecessary nail holes.

Don’t forget about the frames around your photos. Depending on the look you are going for, you may want to use frames that are similar in shape and color or you may want to use different frames to make it look like your gallery wall has been collected over time.

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Give your Wall a Theme

You can also choose artwork with a theme. For example, your gallery wall could be all about travel, family, or nature. It’s a great way to show off your photography skills and create a gorgeous wall that will act as a conversation starter. It’s like using the “stories” feature on Instagram, but on your living room wall.

Spice Things Up

If you don’t want to go for a theme, try spicing things up by using more than just artwork and photos. Add in oversized letters, quotes, vintage finds, or wooden words to give it more variety and interest. Also, simple pieces with texture are a great addition to a gallery wall.

Gallery walls are all the rage right now, and a great way to show off family photos. If you’re intimidated by creating your own gallery wall, don’t be. It’s a fun project!

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