If you’ve got a spare blank wall in your home that you think needs a bit of love, but you’re not sure about wallpapering, then a gallery wall could be just the quick fix you need. Here we’ll share our winning gallery wall ideas and walk you through our simple guide to creating one of your own in just 5 steps. [Spoiler alert!] It’s super easy and will look great when it’s done.
So, what’s a gallery wall?
A gallery wall is a lovely way to create a feature wall in any room using a collection of picture frames arranged together. You can let your personality shine through a gallery wall as the frames can be filled with your own unique selection of photos, favourite images, artwork, objects, quotes or a mixture of them all. Our easy guide is full of all the gallery wall inspiration you need to totally transform your space, with none of the painting and decorating. All you need are a few frames, a little creativity and plenty of imagination, and you’ll have yourself a completely personal feature wall in no time.
Step 1: Choosing your gallery wall frames
Start by looking around the space you plan to use for your gallery wall. What colours are nearby? What style of home do you have? If your house is modern and minimalist, then shabby chic frames will probably look a bit out of place. Unless of course you’re going for a total contrast. Size wise, big will work better in bigger spaces. A collection of smaller frames might look good in a cosier room like a bedroom or a small hallway. We love the idea of simple, plain black frames filled with colourful images and patterns. But the main rule is, there are no rules – it’s your wall so bring it to life however feels right to you. We’ve got lots of gallery wall frames available so have a look around for some inspiration, and most of all have fun!
Top tip: Get creative by sprucing up some old frames with some spray paint
Step 2: Gallery inspiration – filling your frames
Now for the really fun bit. Once you’ve chosen your frames it’s time to decide what to fill them with. Have a good look around your home and get the whole family involved too. The kids will love helping find little treasures for your wall. Here are some of our frame filler ideas, but you really can use anything you can think of as long as it’ll fit in a frame!
- Family pictures – capture your fave memories on holidays, important moments like weddings or just those rare snaps when everyone happened to be smiling all at once
- Kids artwork – as kids grow, they’ll love seeing things they did when they were little, or you could get them to get crafty and create something new. Kids paintings are a great way to add a splash of colour
- Wallpaper – leftover wallpaper from decorating can make a great addition to add interest
- A little nature – press flowers from the garden or a lovely leaf found on a walk
- Inspiring words – print and frame one of your favourite quotes
- Keepsakes – think baby birth tags or a decorated pebble
- Certificates, special invites, travel tickets and anything else you find that means something and will look interesting in a frame.
Top tip: Get crafty by turning your family name into a work of art
Step 3: Gallery layout ideas
Before you get anywhere near hanging your frames and making holes in the walls, it’s worth laying out your gallery wall frames to see how they look, and making sure they’ll actually fit the space. If you’ve chosen to use the same size or style frames, then a uniform pattern will look great. However, if you’re going for something more mix and match then a more random looking layout will work well. See what goes best where. What images work best together?
Top tip: Start with the largest frame you have and work around this one
Stand back and look at the collection on the floor to see where you can make changes – its better to realise now than when it’s hung on your wall! And always get a second opinion if you can. It’s surprising what someone else might spot.
Gallery wall shortcut – adhesive hooks!
Perfect for a DIY novice, there are now loads of different types of adhesive hooks available to make the job of hanging a lot less messy (and damaging for your wall!) Which is particularly handy if you’re renting, or you just don’t feel confident to start tapping nails into your walls. These kind of fixings are so simple to remove that it also means you can change things around more easily if you decide to update your frames.
Top tip: Check the details on your hanging strips to make sure they can hold the desired weight
Step 4: Hang the frames
Hanging the frames might seem like the worst part, but it’s not as tricky as you think. If you choose to go with a traditional hanging style, then a hanging kit is well worth considering. You’ll also need to grab a pencil, a rubber and some filler just in case you make any little mistakes. Hold up a frame to where you want it (another pair of hands might help here) and draw lightly around each of the top corners. Measure and mark how much lower down the picture frame you want your nail holes. Start hammering and before you know it you’ll have them all up.
Top tip: Use a spirit level to make sure those lines are straight
Another great gallery wall idea
If you don’t have the space or want to commit to a gallery wall, then layer the photos on top of an existing shelf or bookcase. Floating shelves would work well with this too. They’ll make your storage look less like storage and more like decor. And what’s great is you can add other features like our no-maintenance fake plants!
While we’re on the subject of plants, have you thought about adding a bit of your garden to your gallery? Try bringing together a few pressed leaves or flowers in a frame. It’s really as simple as picking a few fresh blooms and flattening them inside a heavy book for a week or two. And what a lovely way to bring a touch of nature to your collection of photos. The kids will love helping you too.
Step 5: Enjoy your finished gallery wall
Congratulations! Your work here is done. Stand back and soak in your new gallery wall. It might even be nice to make a little event of unveiling your finished wall to the rest of the family and raise a toast to all the lovely memories it holds. What a great excuse to chat about all those precious moments.
Top tip: Remember it can be easily updated, so why not add a little something new each season?
We hope we’ve given you plenty of gallery inspiration to help you create one of your own. It really is a lot of fun to do and will create such a lovely unique focus to any space. If you enjoy this project and have got the decorating and DIY bug, why not check out some of our great priced decorating essentials to help you get all your home jobs done. We’d love to see how you get on with your gallery walls and hear any other great decorating tips you might have.