Friday Five: Gallery Wall (how-to)

Every Friday I’ll indulge my order-crazed brain in a list of randomness. Welcome to my Friday Fives.

If I could describe myself in two words I’d probably choose “sentimental” and “photo-holic.” In a dream world, dream house, I’d have photos e v e r y w h e r e. So many photos, so little wall space.

In Virginia, I hung a gallery wall of photos over my computer in the study and I absolutely loved it, since it’s where I spend most of my time. Our last visitor of the year (I’m guessing) comes this weekend, so I wanted to get jumping on our Utah gallery wall. And just like last time, I wanted to hang it over my computer where I can enjoy it every single day. Here’s how to put up your own gallery wall, in 5-ish easy steps:

5. Collect what you want to showcase

I recommend a variety of frame shapes and sizes, as well as a mix of photos and other sentimental items. I also like sticking with one frame color. I prefer the contrast of black frames, but an all-white gallery wall looks amazing too.

Gallery Wall 1

4. Finalize a layout

For this step, I measured the length of wall space I wanted to cover and then moved frames around on the floor until I found something that worked. I was careful to spread out the color (a recurring turquoise blue for mine) and photos, and also knew I didn’t want to have any area be longer than around 3 frames since it was going over my computer monitor.

Gallery Wall 2

3. Cut and Paste

I trace each frame on old newspaper and then arrange the papers on the wall.

Gallery Wall 3

It starts to feel a little John Nash/A Beautiful Mind-y, but don’t worry. This allows you to rearrange an indefinite amount of times before nailing any holes in your wall.

Gallery Wall 4

2. Measure…twice

I measure where each nail should be on the back of the frame, then measure again….then make a note where that lines up on the newspaper version, measure again…and then finally hammer it in. #productplacement

Gallery Wall 5

Gallery Wall 6

Then, with the newspaper still hanging, I hang the frame over it to see that I’m in the right place. If not, take it down and move the nail. (What’s one or two more holes at this point?) You can see little hints of the newspaper peeping out from behind the frames, but mostly they’re spot on.

Gallery Wall 7

1. Finito!

When all nails are in, I remove all of the frames (one at a time), strip down the newspaper and hang the frame back on the wall. Easy peasy! And then you can step back and admire your handiwork.

Gallery Wall 8

The best part about gallery walls is that nothing has to be perfect. It’s all about the collection of special items…like favorite moments and people from your wedding…

Gallery Wall 9

autographed watercolor art from your niece…

Gallery Wall 12

notes of encouragement from your mom the day you left home for college…

Gallery Wall 11

childhood nostalgia and family photos that now need to be updated

Gallery Wall 13

and wonderful gifts, like this hand-sewn beauty from my friend Elizabeth!

Gallery Wall 10

I’m so very pleased with how this gallery wall turned out and look forward to adding items here and there, at least while we’re in this house. I dream of having a long hallway covered with frames someday, but until then, this fits the bill perfectly.

Have some free wall space? Dig out those family photos and treasures and get ’em up where you can enjoy them! This is a very gratifying weekend project.

{Sorry for the bad photos. I did most of this at night with a crazy overhead light, forcing me to use the….*gasp!* flash.}


One thought on “Friday Five: Gallery Wall (how-to)

  1. Pingback: Friday Five: Young House Love | hashtag marci

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