STEP 1: Collect your piece for the wall.
Think of your gallery wall as a collector or curator would. You don’t want to procure a bunch of meaningless items and stick them up to fill the wall. Instead, you’ll want to shop for items slowly. It took me a few months to gather all of these items for our gallery wall in our entryway. I wanted to be sure I had amassed the right collection to decorate the wall. I also wanted pieces that would complement and accent the color palette of the space.
STEP 2: Keep your eyes open for pieces to add to and round out your wall.
Shop garage sales, flea markets, and thrift stores to find additional hanging art pieces to fill out your wall and complete your collection. For our wall, I purchased several items at local craft stores, but then also incorporated many of my flea market finds into the mix. Watch for accent pieces that complement the color scheme and fit the theme of the wall. These items will frame your more precious pieces and help them really stand out. You can look for pieces in coordinating frame colors or simply items that look cohesive together.
STEP 3: Measure the wall.
Measure the wall and estimate the size you want your gallery wall to be. Generally speaking you want items to fill the wall either floor-to-ceiling or starting at the chair-rail level. I’ve seen both methods done well and either method is eye-catching. Your biggest focal pieces should be displayed at eye level. If you want a really BIG gallery for a wall, measure the space, leaving about a foot or frame-width between your pieces and the edge of the wall. This will create a visual frame of blank space around your collection (like the mat in a picture frame). Mark the center of the wall, before you begin, using painter’s tape.
STEP 4: Replicate the gallery wall design on the floor.
When you get to this step, you’re going to need a large floor space to work with. Choose a basement, garage floor, or simply move your furniture to the perimeter of the living room so you’ve got a big space. Mark the wall measurements out on your floor using painters tape or string.
STEP 5: Mark the middle.
Measure to the center of your floor space and mark with your tape. Lay your largest piece or preferred middle item down in the center of your floor space. Our centerpiece was a bright “hello” sign to welcome visitors. Your gallery wall should center around one of your favorite pieces and something that makes a statement (either literally as in our case, or figuratively).
STEP 6: Fill in on the sides, working your way out.
Slowly work your way up, down, left, and right adding in items until your designated space is full. You’ll want to work your way out from the center. One gallery tip I’ve discovered is to watch that pieces on the edge feature lines to draw your eye back to the center of the wall. For example, if you’re using photos, you’ll want the subjects of the photos to face into the center, rather than off to the side. This will keep viewers eyes moving through your gallery.
STEP 7: Step back and assess.
Once you’ve filled in your space, take a step back and look at the overall layout of the gallery wall. Do you like the look? Is there anything you’re not sure about? Start to move pieces and change it up until it looks how you want. You do NOT need to use every item you purchased. Sometimes an item won’t seem to go with your gallery wall and that’s fine–they’ll find better homes elsewhere in your house. I ended up not using 8 items I had purchased. It’s better not to use a picture, painting or piece than to force it and end up with a wall that looks disjointed.
STEP 8: Hang your middle items first.
Decide how you’re going to hang your items. You may want to use nails, screws (depending on the weight of your pieces) or use Command Strips, which won’t leave marks on your walls if you change your gallery wall in the future. Start hanging your items up exactly as you laid them on the ground. Begin with the middle item first then work your way out to the edges.
STEP 9: Admire your beautiful wall!
Hanging a gallery wall isn’t an exact science, as so many claim – it’s more of an “art.” Hang your pieces in a way that feels right and in a pattern that makes you happy. The most important part of hanging a gallery wall is you enjoy it. The method of laying out the wall beforehand has been the easiest way for me, and I’ve loved the results every time. I’ve hung many gallery walls, and this method is fail-proof. Don’t feel scared–give it a try!
Friends, if you’re interested in more gallery wall and entryway ideas, tips, and tricks please visit our blog!