I’ll show you the final wall at the end (it’s super cute!), but I wanted to walk you through my process for creating a gallery wall.
First things first, collect art and frames.
I don’t know why we have so many frames laying around our house, but in this moment I was thankful for the abundant supply. For Audrey’s room, I chose to do a combination of white, gold and black frames. I like a simple frame and while you can definitely do all matching frames, I find it more interesting to have a mix. Here’s an example of mixed frames from our Wall of L’s. All of the frames I used were from Target, Minted or IKEA, with exception of the vintage gold frames from my grandmother.
As for art, I’ve been collecting favorites for about a year, waiting to put them all together in a gallery. I’ll highlight my exact art below. When choosing art, try to keep to a similar color story and feel. Varying artists, sizes, mediums, dimension is great because it adds interest to your wall. And don’t forget to add in a few photos, too.
Next up is gathering the tools. Here’s the thing about me and hanging pictures: I’m not afraid of an extra hole in the wall. Which basically means, I eyeball it and if I mess up, I just pop in another hole. Therefore, a ruler, level and tape measure do not make it into my list of tools. If this is just too much for you, go ahead and add a measuring device to the list of tools.
A few notes:
* Poster Putty. Remember this stuff? It used to be blue and it held up a lot of magazine tear outs on my bedroom wall in my high school days). It now comes in white and is great for tacking up paper, photos and I even put a little ball under the bottom corners of frames to keep them from getting knocked around and crooked.
* Washi Tape. Super cute to use as an embellishment on frames or to hang photos/little notes (tip: you may need poster putty to secure them first and then add tape – it doesn’t hold well on it’s own).
* 3M Velcro Strips. Great for picture frames that don’t have hooks (like the vintage ones I used) and also if you want to avoid nail holes in your walls.
* Picture Hooks. These little ingenious things just poke into the sheetrock and use leverage so you don’t need wall anchors.
* Small Nails. Unless the art I’m hanging is super heavy, I just hang it with a small nail.
* Hammer. This fancy one was invented by Ryan’s uncle. It’s the most handsome hammer in all the land. If you need a gift idea for a man in your life, here are a few for sale.
* Pencil. For marking where to pop in the nail.
So once you’ve got your artwork and frames selected and your tools gathered, it’s time to layout your art.
I start by laying it all out on the floor so I can see each piece and the sizes in relation to each other. I’m a symmetrical girl for most things in life, but prefer a loose, non-symmetrical gallery wall. This is a helpful wall layout guide if you need some ideas for arrangements, but again, most are pretty symmetrical and I think it’s okay to be relaxed and casual with art placement (i.e. not lining up perfectly, not equal spaces between all frames, etc.). One thing I do like to do is to arrange the art in a rough square or rectangle. This keeps everything relating, but not perfectly lined up.
For the gallery wall in Audrey’s room, I started with the largest piece first (the floral paper – so darling, yes?!) and used it to anchor the left side. Then I just started moving pieces around a little bit like a puzzle. I tried to alternate the sizes and orientation (so not two horizontal 8×10’s next to each other) as well as the frame color. Then I took it one step further and spread out work by the same artist and colors. For example, the mermaid print, cake table and shoe prints all have that pretty teal/minty blue and I kept them separate so that the color was spread out and it keeps your eye moving around to take it all in. The same is true for the gold accents – I placed them throughout the arrangement rather than next to each other.
Once you find an arrangement you like, now you get to mess up your walls and start poking holes in them! Yay! I know this can be scary, but my theory is that they are just walls and are very easy to patch and paint over if you decide to take down the art at some point. So don’t be afraid, let your walls be your canvas.
I pulled the artwork one at a time and followed the same layout I had on the ground.
This wall now makes me so happy and Audrey loves it, too.
Each piece is meaningful and has been collected just for her. I just love how it turned out!
1. Mighty To Save by Fancy That Design House
2. No longer available. From Janet Hill Studios
3. Be you tiful. By me
4. Mini card by 1 Canoe 2 from She Reads Truth
5. Little Dresses by Julia Denos
6. Mermaid by Rifle Paper Co from Paper Source
7. Mini card by She Reads Truth
8. Cardboard covered letter
9. Twirl print by Lindsay Letters for Jones Design Company (we have just a few more on sale here)
10. Button flower bouquet (tutorial here)
11. Mint Floral Wrapping Paper by Rifle Paper Co for Paper Source
12. DIY Silhouette (tutorial here)
13. No longer available by Janet Hill Studios (but she has so many other great ones)
14. Flower Shop by Coco + Ollie
15. Paper Crown (tutorial here)
Apparently I had some things to say about how to create a gallery wall! Hopefully the info is helpful and if you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below.
I love that you mentioned that walls are easy to patch and paint, so there is no need to be scared when putting up your decoration. This has helped me feel relieved since I am really worried about making a mistake. I just needed to add some decorations in a part of our house because we will be receiving guests this weekend, and that part can look really dull if I do not do something about it. Thanks!
I have to say Thank You for this one. I’ve done my own gallery walls at home and really don’t have any method to my madness (which I was so happy to read that you don’t either – no templates, no cutting out brown paper shapes I just nail them up there when I’ve set up my layout). When I had a client hire me to do a gallery wall for her I was a little nervous – How could I just “wing it” for her? I couldn’t. And then I saw your post come through in my e-mail and it was such great timing. It gave me that boost of confidence that I needed and you’ll be happy to know that I knocked her gallery wall out of the park – and thank you for mentioning the poster putty!! That worked like a charm for those pesky little frames that don’t want to stay straight. I put a little bit of that on the bottom corners and I was golden.
Would you consider making the Be you tiful print for sale? I really love it and what it conveys.. so simple, so perfect, and exactly what I need to be reminded of daily.
Truly perfect! Thank you so much for sharing! :o)
hi emily! my little sister encouraged me to leave a comment because you inspired me! usually i’m super indecisive and feel the need to measure Everything! your post gave me the courage to just lay all my things out and nail them up straight away! and it worked and now i have a wall that i love! thank you for your guidance and tips! it totally helped me!!
Yay! So glad you just went for it. No need to measure :)
This is the precise weblog for anybody who needs to seek out out about this topic. You notice so much its almost arduous to argue with you. You positively put a brand new spin on a subject that’s been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!
I’m trying to order the twirl print but it won’t let me use the coupon code.
It’s so lovely !
I love this, it turned out so beautifully. I too am an eyeballer, glad to find a kindred spirit ;) can I ask where the gorgeous stripy rug is from?
I’d love to know where the frame around the wrapping paper is from as well! It’s fits so perfectly!
Great gallery wall and all the art work is just darling!! I’ve been working on one in my bedroom but have been adding as I go along. Haha, not the best approach but I couldn’t wait. ;) I used three fame colors too – white, (which I have painted all the same color) and a light pine color and dark walnut color. I have one oval but hope to add a couple of others as I find them. :)
Love the gallery wall! What perfect artwork for a little girl! Your videos you have been doing lately are great too-so fun! Our new home is open concept and has very large windows-which I love, but I miss the room for more art! One more trick for gallery walls that I have used in the past is to cut out your frame shapes in scrap paper/newsprint and tape them to the wall if you aren’t able to visualize it from your floor and to help know where to start those first few pictures! You can put the nails right through and then rip off the paper. The putty is a great idea for holding pictures straight too. I sometimes use those rubbery chair protector sticky things-official name ;) but they aren’t always the right depth!
I also would love to order the Be You-tiful print. We are moving and I get to create three new kid rooms (yeah!) and this would be a lovely addition.
Gosh, I love this wall so much! I’m a 27 year-old woman, and I’d absolutely have this in my room. Your daughter is a lucky girl. :)
Hi Courtney, I just glanced at your comment, and in case Emily doesn’t have time to answer all the comments, I know there is a font called PaperCute that is somewhat similar to the one in the Be-You-tiful print. I don’t know if it is exactly the same one, but that may help you out.
(Hope it was okay I replied to a comment :)
Do you plan to make the be you tiful print available on your shop?
It is so wonderful, that probably feels really good to get done!
Adorable! And worth the wait. :) Could you please share what font you used for the “BE YOU TIFUL” print you made? Love that one.
What a lovely collection of art for your girl’s room! I appreciate your advice, as I have been meaning to arrange a gallery wall in our living room. Thanks for this post!
I simply love you! Your style is just what I like….. how do I hire you haha!
My question is, did Audrey help pick out the pictures and prints? I love your whimsical collection and how it all flows together. Just wondering if I would try this with my 5 year old, if we could come up with pictures that we both like.
This looks awesome! We have several gallery walls around our house- such a high impact look for a more reasonable price. Where is the frame with the rifle and co wrapping paper from? We have the same sheet and I couldn’t commit on what to do with it! I love that you still get the whole look by framing it!
where do you find the poster putty? I love the tip about putting it on frames to keep them straight, this drives me insane with gallery walls!
This turned out so cute, I love how it even ties in to the bench below :)
Love this and am planning to do the same thing for my little girl. Oh the stacks of pictures and frames! Just need to play musical bedrooms to make it happen! But need to finish our M Bath reno first! The gold frame in the upper left with the flags….I assume they spell out Audrey’s name? I think I can figure this out, but I think this would make for a great tutorial. You always have the best ideas!
Adorable. I think you did a great job with Audrey’s picture collage. I am currently in process of taking some fun pictures of tractors and dairy cows (boyish artistic pictures) for my two year old’s new big boy bed room. Just out of curiosity, do you know of any great online sources for reasonably priced canvas prints? I’m hoping to do somewhat of a picture collage as well for his room.
You seem to know a lot of what is offered and available on the web. I’ve been following your blog for years and love it! You are super talented and an inspiration!