The easy ways to create a gallery wall
The art of making decorative wall arrangements is simpler than you’d think
Ever stepped into a friend’s home or sat down at a restaurant only to be struck by the beauty of an expertly hung gallery wall?
Did you panic, telling yourself there was no way you could achieve that level of eclectic perfection?
Well, friend, it simply sounds like you were never given the best tips to arrange and hang a gallery wall before!
Start with a theme
The first step to building your gallery wall is to select wall decor pieces that speak to each other. If you’re working with pieces you already have at home, see what they have in common. Are they all vintage and have a similar feel? Do they share a colour palette? Do they all fall under a common theme? If things don’t quite make sense together, think about what could tie everything together – do you need more of a particular colour? Is the theme not quite strong enough? Then go hunt for the perfect missing piece.
Starting fresh with new pieces? Select ones varying in style for a more eclectic effect or ones with the same dimensions as well as the same frame for a super sleek feel.
Keep in mind…
- For any kind of gallery wall, the part of the wall at about eye level or so should be filled well.
- If you’re nervous about making holes in the wall, pick up some picture-hanging strips at your local hardware store.
- If you’re hanging pieces that are rather heavy, like a vintage sign or a large mirror, ensure that the weight is supported. To figure out what weight you’re working with, step on the scale with the object in your hand and note the weight, then get back on without it and subtract. Check your nail packages for maximum weight supported or head to your local hardware store and select something that can support more than the weight of your item. If your item is under 100 lbs, no need to hit a stud, but do make sure to choose the right hanging hardware. Please note that picture-hanging strips are not recommended for heavier objects.
Now select your hanging style
Choose between one of these techniques to plan and hang everything:
The Poster Board
The Ultimate Beginner’s Technique
Go to your local dollar store and pick up poster board. Turns out it’s not just for grade school presentations after all! Once you’re back at home, trace the outline of every frame onto your poster board and cut them out. Then, with a pencil, make a small hole through the cardboard to clearly show where the nail would go and label every cut-out to remember the piece it belongs to. Once you’ve done this with all of your wall decor, arrange the outlines on the wall with scotch tape, making sure every single one is level. When everything is to your liking, simply hammer in your nails through the small holes you’ve made and hang!
The Intermediate Technique
Working directly on the wall, take your pieces of art and draw their outline with a pencil. Make sure to use a level before marking it and label it with a keyword so you know what belongs where. If something seems out of place, simply erase and start over! With a ruler, measure the distance of the hook from the top of the frame and pencil that in. Once you’re happy with your outlines, hammer in the nails and hang your art!
The Advanced Technique
Disclaimer: this technique is better-suited for the ones who love the thrill of winging it. Start by placing all of your pieces on the floor and arranging them in the pattern you’d like to recreate. Then, take an aerial photograph of the arrangement you’ve chosen and nail your artworks to the wall, one at a time. This technique may result in a wall slightly different than the one you had planned but, as Bob Ross used to say, “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents”.
Inspired to make a big statement in your space? Pick up a hammer, then show us the results on Instagram by tagging us or by using #bouclair!