I. Love. Gallery. Walls.
I love them because they help fill large spaces, communicate a theme, and allow me to revel in my hoarding and collecting tendencies.
I also think that gallery walls are super easy and cheap to put together. You literally just arrange some of your favorite items on a wall and you’re done! But, I understand it can be overwhelming.
Read on for a few steps I’ve followed to create gallery walls I love (and for details on how you can win a print from Passing Notes Paper Co).
Pick a Theme
Picking a theme, color, or general feel for your wall will help when selecting items to hang. For our wall I was thinking of pieces that are masculine and capture nautical, travel, wildlife, and local themes. I also wanted to include personal pieces that bring back memories along with fun and quirky items.
Some of the items that are Mod Podged (like the white plate with the map and the octagonal piece with the plant) actually feature North Carolina imagery.
Our wall has a number of birds, landscapes, and darker colors that really speak to the masculine tone I wanted. I wanted to capture the idea of the room of a man who has traveled the world and collected items along his journey.
Pick an Item to Center the Wall
I think it’s really important to have a center piece or a collection of center pieces to work away from as you’re putting the wall together. It doesn’t have to be a large piece. It could be a small collection of frames, a singular painting, or anything else! Just select an item to place in the center and give you something to work from.
For our wall I’ve used the skull at the top and the print in the middle as my centering pieces (follow me on Instagram at @tylerjmccall for your chance to win the “Everything Happens for a Reason” print).
Plan Your Wall Out on the Floor
This is so simple but it will save you tons of time. Seriously. I’ve created gallery walls before without this step and I regret it halfway through.
Gather all of the items you’ll be placing on the wall, measure your space, then recreate the wall on the floor in the same size. Take a photo of the completed “wall” and get to hanging.
A great way to ease the pain of hanging items is to apply a small dab of a bright toothpaste applied to the hanger on the back of your item and press it to the wall where you’re going to hang it. The toothpaste makes a mark on the wall where you can put your nail/screw/thumbtack/pushpin and hang your item.
Better yet, try these Command Picture Hanging Strips to make hanging items even easier without leaving holes in your wall – I LOVE them!
Avoid Straight Lines
This is a tough one for some folks, but you have to strive for symmetry in your hangings without creating straight lines of items. You can always have some items line up with each other, but for a fun and organic wall hanging like ours, you can’t really apply everything on a perfect grid.
This could all be a matter of personal preference too, but I think it’s much for more when everything seems to fit perfectly on your wall without it looking too planned or contrived. That’s why preplanning the wall on the floor helps!
Mix Mediums and Types of Wall Hangings
Our wall features prints, a mirror, paintings, drawings, needlepoint, brass items, prints, upholstered and embellished items, painted wood, and more. All of that works well together since it’s in the same color and theme family. Mixing mediums and types of wall hangings gives your wall tons of interest and brings it all to life.
Our wall features prints and pictures found at local thrift stores, a paper fan that belonged to my grandfather, the tiny needlepoint owl that belong to my grandmother, a mirror and other items from T.J. Maxx and Homegoods, a piece of a fence that was outside my first college dorm, a grape vine wreath, a print from Passing Notes Paper Co., and the adorable bear holding a PDR and wearing a poncho by one of my favorite Asheville artists – Andy Herod.
Don’t Be Afraid to Mix It Up
Do you know how often I change up our gallery wall? Often! I find new pieces while shopping (or around the house…remember the junk problem I mentioned?) and change up the layout.
Don’t be afraid to do the same! Add in seasonal items – I like to update our wall for Halloween by adding spooky paintings and fake spider webs – and change out pieces you’re bored with for newer items you find or create yourself.
Win this FREE Print for Your Gallery Wall
Now, here’s your chance!
You can win this print from Passing Notes Paper Co. for your own wall.
To enter, check out my Instagram feed at @tylerjmccall!