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12 Tips to Create the Perfect Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

When you Don’t Love It, a room in your home can become a place to avoid. Last week I hung our TV on the wall in our living room, but was cringing because that big fat TV was screaming “Look at me! Look at me!” It was killing the cozy vibe I wanted to create in our room. This is the place that my family likes to chillax. It’s the room where wrestling matches happen and the room where we curl up by the fire. We watch movies and sports in this spot.  But, frankly, I didn’t love it. When I looked in the living room all I could see was a giant black elephant in the room.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I agreed to let Pretty Handsome Guy pick out a big flat screen TV. But, I secretly devised a plan to keep me happy and let Handsome Guy have his big honkin’ TV.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

And I Created a Perfect Gallery Wall around the TV to de-emphasize its size and dominance in the room.

15 Tips for Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall:

#1 Start with a Level Line

Determine the area you want to install your gallery wall. Measure down from your crown molding or ceiling to the top of the gallery area.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Insert a thumbtack or pin at that height. Run a piece of string from the thumbtack along the width of your gallery wall space. (It helps to have a friend hold the free end of the string, but you can use a piece of painter’s tape to hold it temporarily.)

Level the string and secure the opposite end with a thumbtack.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#2 Create Paper Templates

Pull together all your frames and art. Create a paper template for each object. (Craft paper, butcher block paper or old dot matrix printer paper works perfect for this task.)

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Use painter’s tape to secure the templates to the wall. Step back and look at the wall from across the room. Take a picture of the wall with your mobile device and look at the picture to see if you see any issues. Or face away from the wall and look at it in the mirror to look at the arrangement from another angle. Play with the templates until you Love It! I will be honest with you, this process takes a while. In the long run, you’ll love your gallery wall if you live with the arrangement for a few days before the final installation.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#3 Pick a Color Palette

Choosing a color palette of 2-3 colors will help you create a cohesive look and make it easy to create a visually pleasing gallery wall. The easiest palette to work with is black and white, because you can use black, white and a variety of grays.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

You can also add a bold color to the mix and know that everything works with black and white!

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#4 Use a Variety of Shapes and Sizes

For more visual interest, use a variety of shapes and sizes. Gallery walls that use the same frame for the entire collection can look stunning and orderly. But, for a more organic and eclectic gallery wall, feel free to play with many shapes and sizes. Your color palette of 2-3 colors will keep it looking unified.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#5 Balance Larger and Smaller Objects

When working with several shapes and sizes, it’s important to balance your arrangement. Space larger items away from each other and preferably on opposite sides. Pay attention to collections of smaller objects as well. Your wall would look unbalanced if all the large objects were on one side and all the small art on the other.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

While spacing the object templates, use the trick in #2 by taking a photo or using a mirror while playing with placement.

#6 Use Consistent Spacing and Align Edges

Use consistent spacing between your art. Smaller collections can visually work as one large object if you space them closer together. But, use a larger space outside the collection that equal to the rest. Try to align horizontal or vertical edges with adjacent art. They don’t have to be hung in a uniform grid, but creating a shared horizontal or vertical line can help create a pleasing installation.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#7 Group Like Objects

As mentioned in #6, you can group smaller objects together to fill a larger space. Use objects of the same color, material or shape together as a collection.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#8 Mix Textures

For lots of visual interest, introduce several different materials and textures into your gallery wall. Break up black frames with wooden art, metal signs and even natural elements like feathers, branches, found objects, etc. The sky wall is the limit (ha, ha). Have fun using your imagination.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#9 Use Good Wall Anchors, Hangers, and Bumpers

While hanging artwork, be sure to use picture hangers or anchors strong enough to hold your artwork. It’s so important to use a hanging hook or anchor that is designed to hold more than your art weighs. Watch the video on “Testing Drywall Anchors” to see why this is so important:

video-screen-shot-buildcom

Way to go Build.com for performing this test!

#10 Mark Hanging Hardware on Templates

This trick will save you time and save your walls from turning into swiss cheese! Set your template on the back of your art (the back side should be up) and poke a hole with a pencil where the hanging hooks, holes or wires are. Hang your template back on the wall.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#11 Hanging Your Art Perfectly

Ready to hang your art perfectly the first time? Grab your picture hanging hardware, nails and a hammer.

Make sure that each template is level. For art that has visible holes, line up the art on top of the template. Hammer the nail or hook through the hole.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Then simply pull and rip the template off the wall from beneath the art.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

For hanging hardware that is hidden. Hammer your picture hardware through the template lining up the hook or nail with the hole you poked through in tip #10.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

Tear the template off after you have your hangers installed. Hang your art on the hooks perfectly the first time!

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

#12 Make it Personal

Make your gallery wall a reflection of you! Use vacation photos, messages and art that has meaning to you and your family.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

I smile every time I walk into our living room. It is filled with memories and art that makes me happy.

Tips for Creating a Gallery Wall | Pretty Handy Girl

PHGFancySign

Disclosure: Thank you to Build.com for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to discover my #LoveItMoment 

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20 replies
  1. Lisa E
    Lisa E says:

    Great tips. I, too, have a gallery wall around my t.v. and you’re right, it makes a HUGE difference. Yours looks fabulous!

    Reply
  2. Kimberly
    Kimberly says:

    This is the only post that showed what items to include in your gallery, not just how to hang it up! Thank you so much for writing this and helping me plan my layout.

    Reply
  3. Amir Najam Sethit
    Amir Najam Sethit says:

    I was enjoying your post while reading. Beautiful photos, amazing ideas, and techniques of arranging the room.

    Reply
  4. Betsy Bishop
    Betsy Bishop says:

    The idea of using templates to try out the spacing and locate the hanging hardware has saved me so much frustration. Thank you!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Measure twice, hammer once. Hanging anything on a wall can really test your patients. It’s best to stagger your gallery wall unless you have chalk tape and a leveler things could start to go sideways real quick. One really easy way to get an idea of what things will look like all hung up on the actual wall is to use newspaper or butcher paper. Cut out the paper to the size of each piece and use masking tape to attach it to the wall. Not only will this give you a real visual of your gallery wall, but you’ll be able to make adjustments and get things right where you want them. Check out the image from Pretty Handy Girl. […]

  2. […] A totally new look for that sad 80’s mirror. It fits in nicely on our living room gallery wall. […]

  3. […] This is probably the most common way to hang up items. Simply mark where your item will go and hammer in your nail and hanger. Brittany shows you how to hang up items when putting together a gallery wall here. […]

  4. […] can see the rest of my gallery wall here. And learn tips to create your own perfect gallery […]

  5. […] needed an extra piece of art for our living room gallery wall I created DIY Feather Art. You can create your own, but please purchase craft feathers, use fake […]

  6. […] like me and too lazy to DIY your own frame? That’s where I found myself last week when I was creating the perfect gallery wall. I was at the corner of cheap and lazy. But, I stood my ground at that corner and created an Easy […]

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