Tell Your Story with a Creative Gallery Wall

Jun 28, 2022DESIGN

Gallery Wall Inspiration, Joanna Goddard

Gallery walls chock full of personal photos make me happy. Hanging a collection of family photos, kids’ art, or pages from a favorite book injects unique personality into a space. It tells your life story in a creative way. 

My favorite space to install a gallery wall is the dining room. Looking at a cohesive collection of photos of my kids and ancestors warms my heart. My great-grandmother and grandmother were vigilant about preserving family photos. Like their homes in which I was raised, my home is chock full of wise faces from generations gone by. 

Photos aren’t the only type of gallery wall inspiration. Framed book pages, sheet music and kids’ art can make a unique impact, too. If you’ve been thinking about creating a gallery wall of your own, here’s some inspiration to get you started.

HOW TO CREATE A GALLERY WALL

The thought of installing a gallery wall can feel overwhelming. It’s easy to make mistakes when you don’t have a plan. Here are some simple steps to gaming the perfect gallery wall.

Step One.

Choose a frame color palette. Will you use all black frames or a combination? Gallery walls that include no more than three different frame colors look best. I like these black frames I found on Etsy

Step Two.

Before you begin nailing, measure and tape-off a box around your gallery wall area. Keep in mind, you’ll want to leave between 2-3″ of space between each frame.

Step Three.

Create your gallery wall configuration on the floor. If you want to avoid making swiss cheese out of your wall, outline each frame on poster board or art paper. Tape the cut-out to the wall and then nail through it. This is more time consuming, but leaves much less room for error.

Step Four. 

If you’re using several sizes, hang the largest piece first, a bit off-center. If you’re hanging a grid, grab your level to ensure your frames are straight.

Step Five. 

Hang the two second largest pieces on opposing sides of the first. This will help balance your gallery wall. Fill-in the empty space with smaller frames.

Helpful Hint: If you move, remember to take a photo of your gallery wall before packing up. This has saved my hide many times.

Gallery Wall Inspiration, Studio McGee
Gallery Wall Inspiration, Copenhagen Wilderness

“When hanging a series of pictures together, keep the gap between them 2″ – 2.5″ to make use of the wall space. And keep 9″ between the art and the tops of sofas and chairs.”

—Milly De Cabrol

I love scanning our gallery wall with my boys. We talk about what kind of people their ancestors were and what their lives must have been like. Having their images in our home allows me to share the colorful stories that were once shared with me. These are a few of my nostalgic faves:

Julie Pedraza's Great-Great-Grandparents' Family

These are my great-great-grandparents, great-grandfather, great-grandmother and her identical twin sister, and my grandfather as a boy in cap and overalls.

Julie Pedraza's Great-Grandmother

This is my great-grandmother and her bestie.

Julie Pedraza's Great-Grandparents

These are my great-grandparents at the Oklahoma state fair.

Julie Pedraza's Grandfather

This is my grandfather as a teen working on his car.

Creating pockets of joy around our homes is the ultimate goal. And gallery walls do just that. So, gather your photos, kids’ artwork and torn pages from your favorite book. Tell your unique story with a creative gallery wall.

As always, thank you for being here and sharing the articles you appreciate most. Be sure to subscribe to occasional future posts below. For bonus inspiration, my curated Pinterest Boards and Instagram Stories are yours for the taking. And if you have questions or suggestions, leave a comment or reach out via email. My mind and inbox are always open. —xo

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