Harper + Oakley

How to Create a Gallery Wall

Decor + DesignMaggie | Harper + Oakley7 Comments
How To Create a Gallery Wall | Harper + Oakley

We have a large wall that separates our kitchen and our living room.  For the first year after we moved in, this wall was a blank canvas.  It stared at me begging me to do something with it.  I had been toying with the idea of a gallery wall for a while, and I had been pinning several different ideas to my Living Room Pinterest Board.  While they were all beautiful, they also seemed intimidating and time consuming (read: lots of measuring).  So, I decided to figure out a better way to do it, and I'm so happy with how everything turned out!  Because I like step-by-step guides, I'll lay out my simple process for designing our gallery wall.


1. Search for gallery wall inspiration 

Start gathering your ideas in one place.  Pinterest and Instagram are my favorite places to find design inspiration.  Begin to notice patterns in the images that you are gravitating towards.  Do you like neat and uniform or different shapes and textures?  Do you like all one color or a variety of colors?  Do you like a theme or more of an eclectic feel?  For instance, I knew I wanted a variety of sizes, textures, and colors.  The colors in my house are shades of gray, cream, and blue/turquoise, so I used that as my color scheme. 

2. Gather Potential Pieces

When I decided that I wanted to create a gallery wall, I began gathering pieces from all around my home.  I kept in mind my color scheme and design aesthetic, but other than that, everything was fair game!  Get creative and don't discriminate - the editing will come later.  I found picture frames, mirrors, hooks, signs, and plates.  The possibilities are endless. 

I also began to look for pieces when I was out shopping.  I purchased pieces over time, knowing that I could always return them or use them somewhere else in my house if they didn't work out (it helps that I have a similar color scheme running throughout most of my house)! 

Some of my favorite places to shop for gallery wall pieces are: TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Target, Michaels (always with a coupon of course), and local antique and thrift stores.

3. Measure Your Space and Try Different Arrangements

Measure your space.  For example, if you have a large wall, measure the length of the wall.  If you want the gallery wall centered over a couch, measure the length of the couch.  This will give you parameters.  Now, find a large floor or table-top space and mark your measurements with anything you have on hand (shoes, tape, string, pencils, etc.).  This will give you an idea of the space you're working with. 

Next, start experimenting.  Try different combinations of pieces, different layouts, and different sizes.  Make sure to take pictures of each arrangement so that you can refer to them later.  As you can see, I tried several arrangements before finding the perfect one (bottom right).

Once you finalize the layout, make sure that all of your frames are filled and ready to go.  {Don't tell anyone, but we still have to fill in the frame on the top left}!

For our gallery wall, we decided to use pictures that were meaningful and unique.  We printed an antique map of Kansas City for one of the frames, and then used our own Instagram photos for many of the others.  We also wrote the quote "home is wherever I'm with you" on the chalkboard, because it has special meaning for us.  Your gallery wall should be filled with things that show your personality.  

4. Finalize Layout and Hang It Up

There are so many gallery wall tutorials out there that involve a lot of measuring and placing everything in an exact position, but I wanted to keep it simple.  Remember, this is an art, not a science.  First, I made sure that everything was set the way I wanted it on the floor and took one final picture.  Then, I measured the height and width of the arrangement and used those measurements as my outline.  I began hanging everything from the outside in, centering and leveling as I went along (really I should say "we" - my fiance helped a lot...this is probably a two person job).  I continued to reference the picture I took to determine proper spacing and layout.  For most of the items, I used 3M Command Strips which makes for easy repositioning and removal. 

How to Create a Gallery Wall | Harper + Oakley

5. Enjoy!

Enjoy your new gallery wall!  It is a great conversation piece and fun to look at your favorite art, memories, and pictures in one place.  I've tagged the sources for most of our frames below if you're interested. 

{Sources listed left to right, top to bottom} Michaels | TJ Maxx | TJ Maxx | TJ Maxx | Michaels, Print from Local Artist | Francescas | Gift | Michaels (similar) | Michaels | Elizabeth & Co. | TJ Maxx

{Sources listed left to right, top to bottom}

Michaels | TJ Maxx | TJ Maxx | TJ Maxx | Michaels, Print from Local Artist | Francescas | Gift | Michaels (similar) | Michaels | Elizabeth & Co. | TJ Maxx


Was this tutorial helpful?  What questions do you still have?  Do you have a gallery wall in your home?  If so, I'd love to see it - be sure to share the link in the comments or tag me on Instagram @harperandoakley