How I Created and Hung My Gallery Wall
My home has been in need of some redecorating for a while, or at least that’s what I was telling myself (it was probably perfectly fine). So, when we finally decided to go for it, the first thing I wanted to do was take this giant wall I had in our living room and turn it into a gallery wall. After all, I am a photographer with about 1 million photos ready to be printed and hung. So here we go…
Before we get started, I want to stress that YOU DO NOT have to be a professional photographer OR have professional photos taken to have a beautiful gallery wall. Two of these photos included in my wall are from my phone y’all. Yeah, for real! And those photos were two that I just randomly shot when I pulled out my phone at the beach. There was no intention behind them…just the pure joy I was felling at the moment and so I took them…very quickly I might add. So please do not hesitate to take a handful of iphone photos that you love to create your gallery wall. I’m sure it will look amazing.
SUPPLIES USED TO HANG MY GALLERY WALL
Hammer or drill ( depending on your hardware choice)
Nails or screws (we always use screws and a drill)
Pencil with eraser
Step ladder or larger
Now if you want to skip putting holes in your walls and use command strips, go for it. However, these frames do have a glass front, so I didn’t want to risk one of them falling and breaking and I would recommend taking the same precautions.
Alright so back to creating my gallery wall. Because this empty wall I had was so big, I knew I wanted a lot of photos to fill it. And I wanted them all to be symmetrical because well, I’m just that kind of gal. PLUS! It’s also a great way to make a big impact on a large wall, without burning a hole in your pocket. I mean come on, who doesn’t love walking around their home and seeing amazing memories hanging on their walls? Incorporating personal touches like this in your home is all the art you need in my opinion.
CHOOSING THE PHOTOS
Like I mentioned earlier, I have so many photos to choose from for a project like this so, when selecting my photos for the gallery wall, I made sure to think of it as one entire art piece. I wanted it as a whole to flow and be balanced. I knew it would probably be impossible to pick favorites of mine that were all mostly white with a little black in them or vice versa. So I decided I would try to stagger that look, a mostly black photo, then a mostly white photo and on and on. This allows your eye to move in a pattern from left to right just as it does when you’re reading. It is just natural. I also was mindful of where I pIaced the photos where we (or my kids) are smaller in them. Those also needed to be balanced out in the gallery as a whole. SO let me talk this out for you. If you take a look at the photo directly above here’s what you will see (sorry about the glare):
First row - black close up photo, white far away photo, black close up photo, white far away photo
Second row - white far away photo, black close up photo, white far away(ish) photo, black close up photo
Third row - Black close up photo, white far away photo, black close up photo, white(ish) far away photo.
Now this isn’t perfect, but I tried my best to find photos I LOVED that would work with this idea and I think I got it right.
I ended up using twelve 16x20 frames from Micheals. These frames are inexpensive a very sleek looking if that’s what you’re going for. The thin black frame and that thick white mat makes my pictures really pop! But can we talk about the price again? You guys these are so budget friendly that it’s one of the reason I decided to choose twelve photos. Here is the link to the exact frames on Micheals.com, and they are usually always in stock at the local stores too.
VISUALIZING AND MEASURING OUT THE WALL
Okay so I think you are probably waiting for me to give you a genius way that we hung these frames so perfectly, but I need to be honest here...We just used good ‘ole fashion math y’all! And now you’re probably having a flash back to a time where you were sitting in math class thinking, “when am I ever really going to use this stuff?” Well, a gallery wall is the perfect time for that.
I mean yes, there probably is some easier way to do it where you press the photo up against a wall and make a mark and voila!, that’s where you hang the photo. However, I didn’t have that and I would still have to double check my work with math if I did. So, there you have it.
To start, I looked at the entire space and eye balled how I would center four photos (each row was 4 photos). Then I took four photos and placed them on the ground around where I thought that would be. From their I spaced out how far apart I wanted them by moving the two inner photos until they all seemed equally distanced apart.
Then my husband and I took out the tape measure and measured the distance from the first photo on the left from the edge of the wall. We did the same thing to the last photo on the right. We wrote that number down as the distance from the edge of the wall to where the gallery would start and end.
Then we measured the distance between each photo and wrote that number down as the distance between ALL the photos.
After that, all we had left to do was figure out how high and low we wanted the gallery to hang and how to center the gallery that way. So, we measured the height of the entire wall and subtracted the measurement of the height of the entire gallery (each row + spaces in between). We were left with a number. Then we divided that number by two (because we will have two spaces to consider, the top of the gallery to the ceiling and the bottom of the gallery to the floor) and got our measurements for where to start the top of the gallery and where to end it.
Oh man I may have lost you so I’m going to draw it out again to visually explain a little more as to what we did to figure this out correctly.
To hang everything we like to use small screws (that fit the frame hole size) and drill the screws into the walls for more security. Since these frames are not heavy at all, we did not use anchors, but typically we do for heavier things.
Once all the screws were in the wall, it was time to start hanging that baby and boy am I happy with how it all looks. The gallery wall makes such a statement and makes my living room feel so welcoming and overall happy. Plus, I absolutely love walking into that room or sitting on my couch and looking at all of these real moments that I remember so well. I can honestly say I can’t wait to start a new gallery wall in another room soon.
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