• Decor / Decorating Tips / DIY

    Gallery Wall Tutorial + DIY Wall Art Blog Hop

    Gallery Wall How to

     One of the features in my home that has been most talked about for years is my gallery wall. This is something we started almost 10 years ago when we were first married and in almost every place we have lived since (six homes), we have hung our gallery wall. With each gallery wall, we made some improvements and added more pictures and decor items over time.

    Here is a picture of our very first one that we ever did (excuse the terrible picture quality, this was many years ago!) When we first started this gallery wall project way-back-when, we only incorporated pictures. We knew we wanted them all in black frames, some with white matting and at the time, we wanted them all straight-edged. 

    Gallery Wall How To

    I would say the first few times I would put this gallery wall back up in one of our new homes, it stayed relatively similar. I would never follow a picture of what the previous one had looked like…I would simply lay it all out (which I’ll explain below in the how-to section) and just go for it. 

    Then in our last home, I decided to change the entire look of the gallery wall by doing two new things: 1. Incorporate decor items, such as sayings, a clock, keys, doorknobs, etc as well as changing the look of only straight-edged frames and 2. Splitting the wall into two sections. You see we had a raised bungalow home, the kind where you when you enter the home, you enter on a landing and then there are five stairs that go up to the main floor and five stairs that go down into the basement (which is only half in-ground). Therefore because of this layout, we had a lot of wall space in that entry way. This was definitely the most complicated gallery wall I had done (and still have ever done) as we also had trim that we had placed halfway up the wall to act as a divider and so the space was very limited in what objects/frames could go where. Here’s how it ended up looking:

    Gallery Wall How toGallery Wall How to

     For our current home, we have a hugely lonnnggggg entry way with one of the longest walls I’ve seen in a home. At first, I wasn’t sure about putting the gallery wall there. I didn’t want it to look overwhelming. But since I really didn’t have many other options in my possession and had well over 60+ frames and smaller art pieces, I decided I would give it a try. 

    When you step back and look at the entire gallery wall collection as a whole, one can easily think that it was an overwhelming and difficult task to put together. But it really isn’t. Gallery walls are supposed to be fun, to be creative and ultimately tell a story…YOUR story. So this shouldn’t be considered a burdensome task but rather an opportunity to really reflect on your life thus far and be excited to share your story with others.

    Gallery Wall How to

    So before we get into the how-to part, let’s first talk about the “why.” Why bother with a gallery wall? Why are gallery walls so popular these days? Here are my reasons why.

    What I love most about gallery walls are the way they make people feel when they walk into your home: welcomed. I have often said that I feel like my gallery walls are a way of my walls giving me a big, giant hug! That’s honestly how I’ve always felt when I would walk by my gallery: loved and like my heart was being given a giant hug.

    Gallery Wall how to

    The reason why it feels like a giant hug to me is because of the reasons I stated above: it’s about sharing your story, remembering and honoring your past and celebrating life’s most joyful moments. Those are (or hopefully are) all things that should cause your soul to smile and your heart to swell! Pictures of my wedding day, my kids when they were babies, my best friends, my family members (some of whom are no longer with us), amazing trips we’ve taken and some really awesome events that we have been fortunate enough to participate in. These pictures aren’t just pictures, these pictures tell a story, MY story, my husband’s story, my family’s story. It honors my past and looks ahead to what is to come. It reminds me of the biggest blessings in my life, ones that I can so quickly take for granted. 

    So that’s “why” we have gallery walls in all the homes we have lived in. And I truly believe that’s why it’s such a popular trend in the last few years because people want to celebrate their story and share it with others and ultimately create a space that is warm and inviting.

    Now let’s get to the “how-to” part!

    1. Gather Materials
    Long before you will ever hang a frame, you need to start gathering. Obviously everyone will have different sizes for their gallery walls, but regardless, you need a collection of frames and/or art before you can assemble your gallery. 

    For me, our collection has taken years. When we first started, we had been married a few years and I had been collecting the frames. I didn’t just decide to one day do a gallery wall and go out and try to find a bunch of frames. I shopped around and slowly started stock-piling my collection.

    gallery wall how to

    2. Thrifting
    Along the lines of gathering your materials, try as much as you can to thrift for your pieces for the gallery wall. This will save you oodles of money! Go check your local thrift stores for frames and if they aren’t the color you want them to be, don’t worry! You can always change color with a little bit of paint. In fact many of my art pieces in my gallery wall were NOT black when I first bought them and therefore I had to spray paint them.

    Also check local garage sales, your parents home (you would be surprised at what you can find in their basements, amiright?!) and the discount/clearance sections of your local home goods stores. The nicest frame I have on my gallery wall was actually on clearance at HomeSense because the back of the frame was broken. PERFECT! One less step for me to have to rip the stand off anyways! 

    3. Laying Out Pieces to Hang
    So this is when you start putting together your gallery wall. You need to group all your pieces together in similar sizes and categories (meaning frames stick with frames and knick knacks with knick knacks). By grouping them on the floor in front of you, you know how many of each size and item you have to work with. 

    4. Visualize
    Before even one nail hole is made, you need to visualize in your mind what you want this gallery wall to ultimately look and feel like. Do you want it tall? Do you want it long? Do you want it symmetrical? Asymmetrical? These are questions you need to ask before you begin the process.

    gallery wall how to

    5. Just Go For It
    I don’t know how many tutorials I’ve seen out there that tell you that you need to lay everything out first or even cut out the shapes of the frames and tape it to the wall before you nail it. Just trust me, there are TONS! This is NOT one of them! I have NEVER EVER pre-planned where all my pictures would go on my gallery walls. EVER. 

    What I always do, however, is I start with ONE focal piece as my center point for the gallery. The one piece that I want central goes up first. Then, what you will want to do is after you’ve separated all your items into their groupings (point #3), you will want to divide them up to go on either side of the central point. You follow? What I mean is that let’s say you have four large art pieces, like a plate, a mirror, a clock and a bowl (yes, you can hang bowls on  your walls!), you will want to make sure there’s a good balance of how many you put on either side of your gallery wall. I’m not saying that you want it all symmetrical, because actually, when it comes to gallery walls, I’m not sure that symmetry is always the best approach (at least not in this application). But you also don’t want to have all four of your unique art pieces all on one side of your wall and then none of the other. Know what I mean?

    But other than that, my best advice when it comes to doing a gallery wall is to honestly just go for it! Don’t overthink it. Let yourself go through the creative process and create! Place pictures and objects in a way that truly reflects your story best! That is when the magic happens with these walls! 

    Well there you have it, a look back at some of my gallery walls and how to create your very own! I’m also super excited that this post today is featuring 14 other amazing bloggers and some of their wall art! All you have to do is click through the links below and get to visit all their blogs and see their take on wall art! I know I for one am super excited to check them all out! I’m already inspired just by seeing some of their pictures!

    DIY Wall Art Blog Hop


    1. Amidst the Chaos

    2. Old House to New Home

    3. One More Time Events

    4. The House Down the Lane

    5. A Shade of Teal

    6. Vintage, Paint and more ….

    7. Penny Loves Projects

    8. Uncookie Cutter

    9. Green With Decor

    10. Casa Watkins

    11. Domicile 37

    12. Refashionably Late

    13. Up to Date Interiors

    14. Pocketful of Posies

    15. Shabby Grace Blog

    And if you are another blogger who would like to link up, we are hosting a DIY Wall Art link up below. Just leave your link and be sure to check out all the other blogs and follow along!

    Love & Blessings,


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  • Reply jessica July 13, 2015 at 8:42 am

    We have so much in common…you do not even know! when my husband and I married we created a gallery wall of our families using only black frames, too. Every home we lived in we had a wall…this is the first home we lived in where we did not use black frames and chose art rather than personal pics for our gallery wall. Great post, I love the wall and all the tips!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:03 am

      So funny! And it’s interesting that you say that because even after I posted this I thought “Maybe I need to do something new!” LOL!

  • Reply Tiffany July 13, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Hi, Christine ~ Gorgeous gallery wall! I loved what you said about “Gallery walls are supposed to be fun to create and ultimately tell a story…YOUR story.” That’s SO true! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      My pleasure Tiffany! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Reply Ruthie July 13, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I love the depth and detail of your walll! It really looks great! I especially love the curved, mirrored candle holder! I love the mixture of pictures and decor!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:04 am

      I think I like it a lot more now that it has the mix of pictures and decor too! Makes it more interesting!

  • Reply Heather @ DeansListBlog July 13, 2015 at 9:48 am

    I looooove your current Gallery wall — You can tell it reflects your family perfectly! I linked up my Gallery wall as well!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Awesome! And thank you! xox

  • Reply Sara July 13, 2015 at 10:51 am

    This are great tips!!! I’m decorating my first home right now and she wants a gallery wall. This will come in handy. Your wall looks great with the perfect mix of items. I now use the Command stickers to hang items without nails. Love them!!

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      Great idea! That would make it faster I bet! xox

  • Reply Amanda @ Old House to New Home July 13, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    THis is beautiful and such a great use of space! The combination of everything you used so works so well together!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Thank you so much Amanda! xox

  • Reply Samara July 13, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    This is awesome. My favourite part about going to others homes is seeing all the pictures they have up. Pictures make a home, homey, and I love it! Beautiful 🙂

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:05 am

      thanks so much Samara! xox

  • Reply Katy July 13, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Your wall is soo impressive! I love the cohesive black frames look.

  • Reply Cathy July 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Love your gallery walls – each one of them is so unique. You have given some great tips that I intend to use when I get all my gallery wall items together.

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Awesome! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Reply Tammy July 13, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    This is one amazing wall gallery! Nice Job!

  • Reply April Rutherford July 13, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    This is amazing and such a statement! I love that you did this on this wall, it looks great and those are great tips!

  • Reply LiNdsay July 13, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    I LOVE gallery walls, you’re right, there’s something warm and inviting about them… I just love displaying photographs but creating a gallery wall is a great way to showcase your favorites and what means most to you and yours.

    Thanks for sharing Christine!

  • Reply Kathy July 14, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I love that your gallery wall tells your story. It gives a home so much for personality and warmth when we use things we love and that have a past with us. Great tips and I really like “Just go for it.” 😉

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Thanks Kathy! Couldn’t agree more! xox

  • Reply Daria July 14, 2015 at 11:42 am

    I love this. I’m in the middle of creating a wall collage and this is perfect for ideas. I’m so excited to see it come together. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

      Awesome! Glad to inspire! Thanks for stopping by! xox

  • Reply Holly Housewife July 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    I am not alone in the “lets wing it” decor style 😉
    Who has time to cut all those little pieces of paper and fake hang them.. Maybe if you’re very particular about perfection but I love to “eyeball” things!

    Gallery walls are my favourite thing ever, they do make you feel welcomed and cozy. Yours look amazing!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:08 am

      Lol! So funny Holly! And I probably should have added that there are DEFINITELY more nail holes than pictures hanging from a couple of “Whoops…that’s not where that should be!” HA! And thanks for the compliment! xox

  • Reply Katy July 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    I love how each gallery wall tells it’s own story leading to where you are right now. What a fun way to welcome people into your home! LOVE love love it!

  • Reply Miranda @ Miranda Writes Blog July 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    Wow! Looks great! I have two small gallery walls in my house and I want to add more. Love the black frames!

  • Reply Tee @ Beauteeful Living July 14, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    Wow, you did a wonderful job with your gallery wall. I agree that not having things in symmetry is best when it comes to creating a gallery wall. Love all the interesting things you have on your wall along with the photos 🙂

  • Reply Dayne July 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm

    Love the wall art! The positioning is so elegant! I bet it’s gorgeous in person!

  • Reply Danielle Greco July 14, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Love this post 🙂 . I love that you include art and decor pieces in your gallery wall, I think it makes it way more fun to look at! Thanks for linking so many fun DIY projects! I love the one with the & sign.

    Danielle Greco

  • Reply Sydney @Tastefully Frugal July 14, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Wow! You’re wall is stunning!! I love all the different textures but how well everything flows at the same time…great job!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:10 am

      Thanks so much Sydney! xox

  • Reply Stephanie @ Casa Watkins July 14, 2015 at 4:42 pm

    Christine this is awesome! I love gallery walls and never have enough things to fill up a good amount of the wall. You really have motivated me to get more frames and fill up my wall. The wall doing down the stairs is AMAZING!

    • Reply Christine July 18, 2015 at 12:10 am

      Thank you so much Stephanie! And yes, it’s all about collecting overtime! xox

  • Reply Angela Tolsma July 14, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Oh goodness I love your wall art!! I can’t wait to one day do this!! Need a house first!

  • Reply Meg @ Green With Decor July 14, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    What a great gallery wall! The clock and key are awesome!

  • Reply Cathi July 14, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Beautiful gallery walls! Pinning!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply Christine July 15, 2015 at 7:46 am

    This gallery wall post is awesome. I am in love with them. I believe it shows your family story. I can not wait to link up with you and I will definitely check out everyone elses 🙂

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Thanks Christine (great name, btw 😉 xox

  • Reply Brooke Knipp July 16, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Wow, that’s massive! And it looks great. I would stand there and look at every detail for at least 10 minutes if I was visiting 🙂 We have a floor to ceiling gallery wall and people always comment on it. I really like it, but am feeling like switching some of the things up, we’ll see if and when I actually do 🙂

    • Reply Christine July 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      So funny you say that Brooke because even after I posted this I was like “Hmm…I think I”m going to change this soon!” lol!

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