Our Gallery Wall How-to Guide

We know the art you hang in your home is tailored to your taste. And the way you display it should be, too. Unless you have large standalone prints or framed family photos that will hang unaccompanied on your wall, you'll need to come up with a gallery layout for your art and/or photo wall.

And if you're wondering how to do that (and how to do it so that you have the most beautiful gallery wall on the block) - we've got the tips for you.

Gallery wall with black and white photos

The first step to a gallery wall that will put your local museum to shame is to find art that fits your home's aesthetic. Acquiring a collection you love can take years (and tons of money). One of our favorite ways to incorporate beautiful imagery and personal style into a gallery wall is to use personal photos. For our sample gallery wall, we opted for intimate family snapshots. The photos were edited using the same settings in Google Photos and affordably printed via Costco's photo center. Getting edited prints of these photos that were uniform and high quality helped us maintain an intentional look and feel for the whole display.

(Note: the quickest way to create a gallery wall that's messy and distracting is to throw a bunch of prints together haphazardly. Even if you don't want to go the photo route, you can still create a beautiful gallery wall with your own art - you'll just need to be patient. Finding the right art for your home and your collection can take time.)

Tape paper to your walls to measure where to put your frames

Now: layout. There are two different ways you can do a gallery wall layout. The first is assorted sizes. The second is identical sizes. The one you choose will obviously depend on what kind of prints you are using. We went with prints that are all sized the same, so our gallery wall is perfectly symmetrical. If you have frames of all different sizes, start by hanging a large "anchor" piece - something that will catch the eye - then fill in the space around it by hanging different sized frames (varying long + vertical, horizontal, square, etc) next to it. One of the perks of going with this type of layout is that the spaces between your art don't have to all be the same width. They can be sporadic in size - just make sure no frames are too close together (we recommend at least three inches) or too far apart, so that you have a completely clutter-free, intentional appearance to your gallery wall. For our gallery wall, we took the (arguably) easier, but more precise route of spacing all the photos out evenly.

Use command strips to put your photo frames on the wall
Progress photo of gallery wall

For either type of layout, hanging the frames is where things can get a little hairy. You have to decide whether you're going to go the time-consuming route of cutting paper placemats and making a layout template before hanging, or the far quicker - but risky - route of eyeballing the frames before hanging. For our gallery wall, we opted to use paper to lay out and size the gallery frames before hanging, since we were going with a precise layout.

girl putting the last frame up of the gallery wall

(Helpful tip: we used Command strips to hang our frames, and in hindsight would recommend following the instructions a little more closely than we did.... Within a day we had a couple of frames fall down.)

If you want to see some more gallery walls we love, click here.


Frames: Wayfair