Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gallery Wall Start to Finish

I love putting together gallery walls.  This is the last project I did for my friend's home in Virginia.  Here is a step by step tutorial for creating one from laying out the frames to how to properly hang the frames. (The wall paint is Home Depot's Behr Paint in Dolphin Fin)

Step #1 Gather your frames and play around with the layout on the floor.  
For this gallery wall I wanted different sizes, different shapes and different texture frames.  The trick to getting a good layout is to either have it perfectly symmetrical and all frames matching and squared up, or in this case, having none of the frames align.  I was careful not to have the frames line up ant the top, bottom, or in the center.  This picture is not the final layout!  Once you get your layout how you want it - take a picture of it so you can remember!

Step #2 Create Footprints
Get out your old wrapping paper and trace each frame to make a footprint to be arranged on the wall first.

Step #3 Paint
I get all my frames at garage sales and thrift shops.  For this bathroom, I had specific colors in mind to paint the frames: orange, green, navy, and yellow. I always use spray primer first.  It totally helps your paint go farther and cover better!

 Step #4 Attach Wire for Hanging
I took a picture framing class 14 years ago from a gal who framed art for the Smithsonian.  I have never forgot what I learned in that class!

It is best not to use this kind of hanger - it is too hard to get the picture to hang level.

Instead, measure about 2.5" to 3" down (depending on the size of your frame) on both sides of frame.  Attach eye screws.  If it is hard to get the eye screws started, hammer a little nail hole first.

Cut a piece of picture hanging wire and loop it through both the eye screws, winding the excess around itself.

It's ready to hang now!  What is nice about using wire is you can make adjustments to the height of your picture if you don't get the nail in the right place and it will always hang level.

If your frame has a stand on the back, you must remove it or it will also hang funny because of an uneven weight distribution.  Take your pliers and rip the thing off!!
Step #5
Clean the glass of each frame and place your art or photo in the frame.  For this gallery wall we choose some fun, retro bathroom prints.

This one is three Waldorf Toilet Paper Advertisements.

This one is a retro bathroom with a child brushing her teeth.

I found this retro Kleenex advertisement and it was in the colors of the bathroom!

Step #6 Tape the footprints to the wall with painters tape
This is important because you get a good feel of how it is going to look.  I actually ended up changing a few frames around from my original design.

Step #7 Use picture hanger nails
I hammered my picture hangers into the wall through the paper so I knew it would be perfect.
Step #8 - Hang your frames & admire!
You're done!  I love how this one turned out!! 



  1. Hi Amanda,
    I followed you over here from the message you left on my blog... and boy am I glad I did! Such beautiful inspiration here!!! And I am over the moon to find your Quilt Page. You are extremely talented missy!!! And beautiful family by the way....

    Here's to new friendships!!!


  2. Saw your post over at Whatever Goes Wednesday. This is a beautiful arrangement! I love the colors and the fact that you got the frames all at thrift stores. Visit me sometime @ www.crosson5.blogspot.com. Following your blog now too!

  3. I always LOVE a good gallery wall! I LOVE this one... So fun and bright! Great pics on the frames, colours, art, and arrangement!
    Krista @thehappyhousie