You Can Do It: Create a Gallery Wall
Creating a gallery wall can be really intimidating. I know it was for me. The first time I made an attempt was a few years ago, and can only be described as comically sad. I tried to do it freeform, without a plan. Just nailing and hanging as I went. The wall I used wasn’t big enough, or a good location. Just all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
A few months ago I was chatting with my friend Natasha, who works with Minted. It just so happened that they were planning on releasing their first ever limited edition and custom print art collection and we decided to collaborate on this little how-to guide. Several of the pieces I used are from Minted, as well as a few from other sponsors, and quite a few I previously owned. I’ll share where everything came from and where you can get it at the end.
A large central wall works best for a gallery wall. You want it to be a focal point, not a side thought. I chose the space over my couch. You’ll want to visually divide your wall into quadrants. Your art can then either be built off of the horizontal line, the vertical line, or both. I went with the last option.
After choosing the artwork from Minted, I went about filling in the spaces. I knew that wanted a variety of sizes and mediums. Illustration, painting, photography, etc. I was so excited to pull out pieces that I’d never found the perfect spot for before! Next I nerded out and hopped on my laptop to lay it all out. You can do the same, or print out thumbnails and play with arranging the pieces that way. Whatever works for you, just remember the goal is to have a plan.
I didn’t want the end result to feel flat, so I chose frames of varying depths. The majority are from Plywerk and are 3/4″ bamboo platform frames that I adhered my art to. One is a printed canvas from Thumbtack Press. Everything else I framed in simple glass frames or adhered to the wall with black and white striped washi tape.
I used contractor’s paper (you can get it at any hardware store) to lay things out on the wall. This step is a little time consuming, but you’ll thank me later. Measure all of the frames you plan on using, then cut out paper accordingly. It also helps to label each piece of paper as you go with the art it’s representing. Then working off of your axis (vertical, horizontal, or both) to begin laying out your gallery wall. Try and keep the margins between pieces the same, I went with an inch. Once your paper is taped up you’re going to go ahead and hammer in your nails. Go back to your frames, measure horizontally and vertically where it hits to hang from the nail. Mark it with a pen or pencil on the paper you’ve hung and hammer away, right through the paper. Fun, right?
You’re so close! Rip off the paper and hang your frames. Fine tune anything that’s acting up, but remember that the point is not for things to be perfect. Things are going to adjust themselves according to how your home sits, etc. And tada, you’re done! Not so difficult, right?
1 painting by Erin Cooper/Pippin & Pearl
2 + 3 Toronto and Cherry Blossoms by Anabela Carneiro/Fieldguided
4 After the Heist by Patrick Leger from Thumbtack Press (Sponsor)
Thumbtack Press is like a nebulous cloud of rapidly changing art matter. Picture trillions of creatively charged particles smashing into each other, exploding, fusing together, spinning – everything moving, moving, moving. TTP exists to foster that nebulous cloud. They help it grow by injecting new particles and catalysts, always dedicated towards the creation of something that’ll push the cloud of art matter forwards. Of course, they’re also an online store where open edition prints by top illustration, lowbrow, and character artists from all over the world are sold.
5 je t’aime from Minted (Sponsor)
6 type study new york from Minted (Sponsor)
7 Silly Kitty from Minted (Sponsor)
8 vintage Pittsburgh map
9 Constellation from Minted (Sponsor)
10 In a Row from Minted (Sponsor)
11 Black Bear by Ryan Berkley from Little Paper Planes
12 Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow by Mike Monteiro
13 Painted Ferns from Minted (Sponsor) (not yet released, but based on this invitation)
15 Trust Your Instincts by Ashley Goldberg from Little Paper Planes
16 Read More Books book page print by Weather + Noise
17 Vintage Keys from Minted (Sponsor)
18 Gloves by Caitlin Keegan from Little Paper Planes
19 Oh Darling, Let’s Be Adventurers screenprint by fifiduvie
20 Be Nice Or Leave letterpress by Louella Press (no longer sold)
21 Red Elusive by Cori Kindred from Little Paper Planes
Frames for all Minted prints were sponsored by Plywerk, eco-conscious bamboo mountings and maple art panels. Stay tuned later this week for more on their fabulous product and the good they’re doing!
Disclaimer: All Minted prints, Plywerk frames, and Thumbtack Press canvas provided in kind.Posted In create, house and home, illustration, letterpress, make it, my house, painting, paper goods, photography, prints, walls, wood
SusieMay 15, 2012 at 9:07 am
I find this SO intimidating too but I really like the end product … may have to work up the nerve to give this a whirl.
Sea and Swank
adeleMay 15, 2012 at 10:51 am
I would so love to do this…maybe in my office – thanks for the great how to!
BrandyMay 15, 2012 at 10:53 am
I LOVE this. The boyfriend is having a hard time envisioning what I’m trying to get him to do, so this will be super helpful. Thank you!
Amberly @ The Good LifeMay 15, 2012 at 10:57 am
I love all the white in your gallery wall – very pretty! This post is so helpful – I’m in the process of creating, as I call it, an “art wall” (ha), and wish I had enough pieces of art to do it all at once like this. I’ll save this for the future though. 🙂
roothMay 15, 2012 at 12:22 pm
Nicely done – I think your gallery wall looks pretty fantastic. And some of those frames are pretty awesome as well
ElissaMay 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm
This looks great! Thanks for the step by step!
KodyMay 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Nicely done. I’ve been wanting to do this on my walls for some time. Thanks for this “tutorial” 🙂
aliciaMay 15, 2012 at 4:56 pm
Love this and have been trying to do it for a while. Yours is great!
MelissaMay 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm
I thought your living room was a magazine photo! Love the gallery wall. LOVE it.
Kelly Lynn JonesMay 16, 2012 at 9:48 am
Great curating lady!! Thanks for including Little Paper Planes!!
DawnMay 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm
This is a great guide! And despite being a Minted customer for a while, I had no idea they were doing art prints. The finished product looks fantastic.
frankyMay 17, 2012 at 10:56 am
This is such a great guide! thanks for all the tips…what is the color on your wall?
BecJanuary 8, 2013 at 12:21 am
Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!
I gave it a go: http://oi45.tinypic.com/29pcio8.jpg
It seems a bit chaotic to me – the choice of pieces for inclusion – but every piece means something to me and my partner. So I think I like it 🙂