Our new house has a grand two-story foyer with a staircase and open loft to below. I really wanted to do a gallery wall up the whole staircase. But it seemed like a daunting task. Does anyone else find gallery walls intimidating? How do you visualize what it’s going to look like in the end? How how to you hang everything level and with the right spacing. I’ve done small gallery walls before and spent hours measuring and marking to get the pictures hung just so. But then I discovered the ultimate hack for hanging a gallery, and it made it so easy! I am very happy with how it turned out.
I went around to TJ Maxx, Ross, Home Decor and Walmart to find various picture frames. I had a black, grey and white color scheme in mind. A know a lot of people worry about how to mix up frames stylishly. I started with a few large classic frames, collected other frames I liked in pairs and then got a few more obscure frames in one. I made sure to get a variety of wide and thin frames and mattes. If you have enough photos, you’ll be able to mix the frames up enough to pull it all together. I even added in some mixed media art to the gallery wall.
The trick to hanging a gallery wall is to use paper to make templates of all your frames and map out the gallery wall beforehand. When I purchased the frames, many of the stores wrapped them in large swaths of paper. I saved that paper to make the templates. Here’s how I did it.
Step One: Cut out a template for each picture frame.
Step Two: Mark on the template where the hangers are placed on that frame as well. I poked a hole through the template precisely where the nail hole or holes would need to go for that frame.
Step Three: Write something descriptive about that frame on the paper template, so you will be able to match them up later.
Step Four: Use painter’s tape to tape up the templates on your wall. You can rearrange as much as necessary until you are happy with the look. Be sure to get an even mix of vertical and horizontal frames.
Step Five: Nail holes into all the marked nail hole locations. Note: If your picture frame uses two nails to hang, you will want to make sure that the two nail holes are level. This portable laser light level is amazing for making sure everything is lined up.
Step Six: Take the templates off the wall one at a time, replacing with the corresponding actual picture. Note: We chose to have all our pictures printed in black and white. After I arranged all the templates on the wall, I counted out how many pictures of each size and orientation I would need, so I knew how many to order.
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