5 simple steps to the perfect gallery wall

Thrifted Abode gallery wall image.jpg

Do you have a blank wall that desperately needs something? Do you have a pile of photos and prints that are sitting around not being used as you aren’t too sure what to do with them? Do you want a gallery wall but are overwhelmed at the thought of where to start? If your answer is yes to any of those questions you might find these simple tips helpful on how to create the perfect gallery wall in just 5 steps. I thought it would also be useful to add in a note to the steps below talking through what my process was when this gallery wall.

1. Collect photographs/cards/prints/paintings

Essentially anything you would quite like up on a wall one day. Even if you aren’t too sure which wall and how. One day they will absolutely be useful. From one-off pieces of art to a card that a loved one might have given you that has a huge amount of sentimental value. Keep collecting even once your gallery wall has been finished. There will always be other walls/noticeboards to fill, either now or in the future.

I had been collecting different items for a long time so had different prints ready to go. I particularly like getting prints and postcards from exhibitions I have been to. A good momento and often a great value option for art.

2. Find a wall in your home

Pinterest gallery wall image

Pinterest gallery wall image

Look around your home and see where you fancy having a gallery wall. Places that I think work particularly well for gallery walls are hallways, the stairs, above the sofa, above a bed on a shelf, any shelf at all in fact, and alcoves. Look at the space and shape of the slot and do some research into the layouts you like the look of on Pinterest. Just simply search for Gallery wall layout and loads will pop up like the one pictured here which was taken from Pinterest.

I knew I wanted a gallery wall above the new Swoon sofa of dreams and because of the wall space it was going to need to be landscape and as I had a few different prints I decided on doing a mixture of sizes and shapes.

3. Prepare.


Get out all of your prints/cards/images/photographs and look through them.

Do you want a theme to the gallery wall – either in look and feel (eg all black and white) or in terms of content (eg all family photographs)?

Which of your collection of items work together and in the space you have?

Make your selection so that you then understand what frames you need.

Having looked through the mini collection of items I thought it would be nice to do a mono gallery of women.

4. Frames

Thrifted Abode Gallery wall image2.jpg

Thrifted Abode Gallery wall

Do you have frames for all of your prints that work? Do you want all the same size frame? Would they look better all in the same colour or with different effects? That is of course if you want them framed. Gallery walls can look really fab attached with some washi tape.

Good places to source reasonable new frames are Ikea, Wilkinsons, Matalan and habitat.

I had quite a few frames already and once I had made my final edit I only needed to buy a couple extra which I sourced from Matalan.

5. Hang. With care.

I love being efficient and quick so DIY has been a big learning curve. Preparation it seems is key. Measure twice, do once as they say. It is annoyingly true and particularly with gallery walls. Lay the whole gallery wall out on a large surface – the floor or a table and play around with where you want the frames to go. Once you have it where you want it take a photo and then:

  • Measure the total dimensions of the gallery
  • With those dimensions in mind look at your space and work out where you would like it to fit and then from there you can work out your starting point. If the total dimension of your space is 2m and the gallery wall has a width of 1m then in order for it to be centralised the gallery wall needs to start 50cm from the wall.
  • Start with your first image and then work from there stepping back in between each one you hang to make sure you are happy with the look.

I gave my husband this job because he is a lot more patient than I am! It took a couple of evenings to hang them all (even though there weren’t that many).

Once all that is done you deserve a cup of tea/jug of wine (depending on the time of day or preference). Then sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Thrifted Abode living room


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