Thursday, July 23, 2015

10 Tips for Creating a Great Gallery Wall

I'll admit it. Sometimes, I just want home decorating to be simple and quick. But other times, I find that the longer I think, and drool, and dream, and shop for just the right item, the more I love it in the end. This has definitely been the case for the gallery walls that I've done in our front room. It's sort of like wedding planning, but without a set timeline. And just like I shared in A Young Homeowner's Tips for Saving Money, home decorating doesn't have to break the bank! Here are 10 tips to making a great, personalized gallery wall:

1. Choose a theme.
What do you want your wall to include? Pictures? Travel? Art? Things that describe you? Where you come from? An initial? A little of each? I would encourage you to decide this before you begin. For the small gallery wall next to our stairs, I wanted to do some artsy pictures from our wedding and engagement. I balanced color and black/white photos. For the gallery wall shown above, I choose "places we love", highlighted by our initial and the year we were married and bought our home.

Theme: Wedding/Engagement. Color Scheme: Black. Location: Stairs.

2. Choose a location.
You know that empty spot on the wall you've had your eye on? Could be the perfect spot for a gallery wall. This is important to keep in mind when deciding on the size of your frames and how many items you want in your gallery. I didn't decide on any set sizes of everything, I just let it happen fluidly and I kept on eye on my space.

3. Choose a color scheme, and stick to it. 
You should choose one to three of your favorite colors to really highlight, and then bring those colors out in the frames, the pictures, the art, and whatever else you include in your wall. Keep the colors that are already in the room in mind. For example, in our front living room, I knew I wanted to highlight black, white, and red. I chose mainly black frames, and then accented with white and red to match the other color accents I'd already put in the room.

4. Be patient. Very patient.
Building your wall (and finding the items) takes time. Don't be in a rush. Keep your theme, budget, and vision in mind. I knew that I wanted to have a map of some places that were significant to our story, so I kept my mind out for some old maps. I found two perfect ones at First Fridays in the West Bottoms: one of the Southwest to commemorate our Spring Break trip, and one of Mexico to commemorate our honeymoon and Cancun trip. They were $1 each, and I found the matching black frames for them for $4 at Hobby Lobby. Winning.

5. Include something that can be changed up during the year.
Think about a place in your gallery wall that can be changed and or personalized for different seasons, celebrations, names, etc. On my gallery wall, my personalized space is the small red frame on the bottom left, which has a little folding picture clamp. For now, I have a picture of me and my hubby on it, but I'm planning to print off various pieces of paper that I can put on it with different holiday sayings, and one with 6.15 on it for our wedding date. Or maybe, someday, we will use it to showcase our kiddos art! Who doesn't love having an item that can be changed as much as desired?

Theme: Places We Love. Color Scheme : Black & White (with Red Accent). Location : Front Room.

6. Include things of personal importance.
Have cute art your kids made? Frame it. Have an awesome artsy picture or map that are important to you? Put it up. Our front room wall is all personalized: our last initial, where we went to college, where we're from, where we went on trips, and a photo! (And I spent no more than $10 on every item.) Make it yours for less.

7. Leave room to grow.
When I was creating our gallery wall, I wanted to make sure that I felt like I could add new items as desired (because being totally done with it means I don't get to keep my eye out for other cute things to add!). I have room on both sides where I can definitely add more if I find it. Tip: Add in pairs. Balance both sides if you add more.

8. Before you hang anything, play around with your arrangement. Then sleep on it.
If you're anything like me, you can be pretty indecisive, and feel unsatisfied with any rash decisions. In order to avoid this (and to help your gallery look its best) lay everything out on the floor and get a feel for what you're looking for. Then (and this is the hard part) don't hang anything. Not yet! 

9. Hang it up!
Keep things as straight as possible. Have other eyes help you (or if you're lucky like me, have your great hubby hang them for you!).

10. If you don't like it, change it!
Seriously, you aren't married to it. Change things around. Paint some frames. Make it yours, and make sure it's something that YOU truly like!

I LOVE gallery walls. I think they are such a fun little puzzle to put together. Have questions? Let me know below, or connect with me on the Facebook page. I hope you have a blast putting your wall together, and making it yours. Hope these tips help!



  1. I love this! I've been agonizing over our gallery wall for months now. It just seems like so much pressure. I guess I don't have any more excuses now! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yay, Abby! You can do it. I agree, it seems like a lot of pressure, but it's really a lot of fun once you get going. Let me know if you have any questions :)

  2. Excellent tips. Yesterday I was at our booth trying to create gallery walls. I thought I had a plan but that quickly fell apart. It took hours and I'm still not satisfied. I'll try again another day.

    1. Thanks so much, Ann Marie! It is definitely a process. Don't give up :) Thanks for reading!


Have a question or comment?