How to Hang a Gallery Wall: 5 Creative Hacks

how to hang a gallery wall

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Gallery walls are a versatile and creative way to display art in your home. Whether you opt for a minimalist design or eclectic look, your gallery will transform your space. You can curate a collection of your favorite art in your living room, dining room, or even your bathroom to add personality to a blank wall. 

However, you’ll want to do some research before breaking out your hammer and nails. Perfecting how to hang a gallery wall requires careful planning to execute effectively. 

This guide will break down some of the key elements of a gallery wall, as well as some of our favorite hacks for creating the perfect spread of images.

Elements of a Gallery Wall

When planning out a gallery wall, it can be tricky to know where to start. Where should you hang it? How should you arrange the frames? Which prints should you choose? Fortunately, you can get all the details in order by considering the main elements of a gallery wall. 

Wall Size

One of the first steps of planning out your gallery wall is measuring how much space you have to work with. The size of the wall will determine size limits for the frames, as well as how many frames you can hang. And while you’ll have more flexibility with larger walls, that doesn’t mean you can’t hang a gallery wall in a small space. You should plan carefully for spaces of all sizes. 

General Decor

A gallery wall should pull together the style of the room. So, you want to ensure that your interior design and plan for the gallery work well together. If you have a minimalist space with a neutral color palette, a gallery wall might serve as a pop of color. If you live in a more colorful home, the art in the gallery can compliment the color in the room. Keep general style in mind when choosing frames as well. 

Print Size

How bold do you want to be with the print sizes? Gallery walls can feature five large prints or twenty smaller prints. The balance between size and quantity is entirely up to you. To decide which balance works best, consider how busy you want the wall to look. You might also want to emphasize certain prints more than others. Remember that there aren’t rules when it comes to choosing sizes for your art. 

Art & Frame Colors

Color is a key element of gallery wall design, and this applies to both art and frames. Consider whether you want the gallery wall to include splashes of various colors or a generally monochrome look. You might prefer to organize black and white photographs to create a more neutral aesthetic. Sticking to a few central colors can also work well. Feel free to get creative when choosing a color scheme for your gallery wall. 

Your gallery wall should be an inspiring part of your home. Putting your own creativity into the design and planning the layout carefully will help you create a statement wall that you love. 

Hacks to Hang a Gallery Wall

Now that you have an idea of how to design a gallery wall, it’s time to consider the logistics. Whether you’re creating in your home office or living room, here is a roundup of tips to help you hang the frames with thought and precision. 

For Careful Planners

In this video, the creator uses a large piece of paper and painters tape to experiment with the layout of her gallery wall. She features her favorite pieces and carefully edits out pieces that don’t fit into the overall look. Hammering in the nails through the paper is a great way to keep every print in the right spot. 

Top Tip: Practice your gallery layout on the floor before you take a hammer to the wall. 

For Free Spirits

This creator uses a mix of frames that she already had on hand. She foregoes measurements to intuitively spread out the pieces, using wall decor as a backdrop for the other decor in the room.   

Top Tip: Don’t want to use a measuring tape? Use your finger to estimate the spacing and plan the layout as you go.  

For Creative Collectors

Looking to pair your favorite pieces into one gallery wall? This approach combines statement pieces and filler art prints to create a cohesive, yet bold, gallery wall. If you have a few pieces you love, this video is a great place to start. 

Top Tip: Use one “anchor piece” as the focal point of the gallery wall. This doesn’t have to be the largest piece, but it will determine which colors and shapes will go on the wall. 

For Decor Perfectionists

Gallery walls don’t always need to include bold colors and asymmetrical spacing. This creator includes larger pieces, which are all black and white family photos, in her space. She uses painters tape and paper cutouts to measure the spacing before hanging the walls. Since all the frames are in line, this might be one of the easiest ways to create a simple, yet aesthetically pleasing, gallery wall. 

Top Tip: Use painters tape to make sure the frames are in line and level. 

For Architectural Minds

In this precise approach to a gallery wall, the creator drew a precise and detailed template on a large piece of paper. She ensures that the frame backings line up with the nail holes, so the entire wall is even. The final result features a combination of small and large frames that are perfectly spaced. Your tape measure will be your best friend in this picture hanging method. 

Top Tip: Remember that different backings could cause frames to hang unevenly. Take measurements before you hang.

There are several methods to hang a gallery wall, and the perfect approach for you will depend on your DIY style. If you are comfortable with various frame styles and potentially uneven spacing, you might want to freehand your wall design. However, more precise gallery wall ideas will require careful measurements and planning before you actually hang art. You know your style, so approach your empty walls in a way that makes you feel confident. 

Design It On a Budget

Ready to start hanging art? We’ve rounded up a selection of affordable frames on the web, as well as some sources to buy prints. 

Affordable Frames for Every Space

You don’t need to spend a fortune on professional framing to create a sophisticated room feel. Here are some of our favorite budget-friendly frames for every wall space. 

Golden State Art Frame Set (Amazon)

Target Matted Metal Gallery Frame

Egofine Picture Frame Set (Amazon)

Wayfair Basics Aluminum Picture Frame

Paper Therapy Posters Basic Wood Frame

Scholartree Wooden Grey Frames (Amazon)

Studio Decor Black Belmont Frame  

IKEA RIBBA Frame

H&M Home Wooden Frame

Where to Buy Affordable Wall Art

Everyone has a different starting point when planning a gallery wall. You might have a few pieces of art that you’ve collected on your travels or purchased from friends. While these will likely be the center of your gallery project, you might need to buy some filler art as well. These home decor sites are great sources of art prints and printable wall art.

And of course, your own creations and photographs always make great additions to your gallery walls. 

While there are countless ways to hang a gallery wall and make it perfectly your own, remember to get creative and have fun with it. This wall will be a visual representation of your travels, memories, and personal inspiration.

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