April 17, 2013

gallery wall diy


It’s no secret that I love my gallery wall. I’d say a majority of my admiration stems from the fact that it was such a bitch to put up, but in all honesty, the reward was totally worth the effort. Having had some experience with gallery walls herself, Kelsey acted as my guide and accomplice in this project last summer, and now I am passing the torch by sharing it with you.

gallery-wall-inspoImages via caitlinwilson.com and simpledwellings.blogspot.com

The first step to building a gallery wall is finding your inspiration. Personally, I gravitate toward a non-uniform arrangement that incorporates frames of varying size, color and material, but there are some beautiful homogenous displays out there to draw inspiration from as well. Pottery Barn and Pinterest (duh) are my go-to resources for inspiration photos.


Once you’ve decided on the look you’re trying to achieve, the next step is buying and filling the frames. Because I was going for a non-uniform look, I chose to incorporate a big mirror from Home Goods into my gallery wall, along with several woodgilt and metal frames in various sizes and shapes from Pottery Barn, a thrifted frame that Kelsey spray painted gold for me (what a pal), and a canvas London tube station print that my sister-in-law gifted us years ago. I filled the frames with family photos, decorative paper from a local art supplies store, and a drawing that reminds me of the English cottages near my in-laws’ home in Oakham that I bought off of Etsy.


For me, the most difficult part of this whole project was arranging the frames. Kelsey and I spent well over an hour positioning and repositioning the frames before we found the perfect arrangement. Some people suggest cutting pieces of brown paper in the same size and shape of each frame and pinning them up on the wall to get a feel for your layout, but I need to see the actual frames laid out next to each other to make sure the arrangement works. I used the mirror and the large metal frame as my anchor pieces and built out from there. Once the arrangement was set, I snapped a few iPhone photos so that I could replicate it on the wall.


The final and most laborious step is getting the frames up on the wall. I started out trying to use a tape measure and my level app to get the spacing right but ended up just kind of eye balling it. I discovered too late that the best way to hang a frame with two hooks is to use tape to measure the distance between the hooks and then stick the tape up on the wall. Oh well, my wall needed fifty extra holes in it anyway.

There you have it! A fun, weekend DIY project that completely transforms any room.