How To: Gallery Walls

It’s true, nothing is as impactful in a space as a large scale piece of art. But when you don’t want to fork over a couple hundred bucks (at a minimum) for something special, a good ol’ gallery wall can really make a statement too. When my husband, Kale, and I started traveling, I made a habit out of buying a piece of art wherever we were to remember the trip by. It wasn’t long before I had a collection of random pieces that all meant something, but had absolutely no plan for.

In our first condo, I had a couple of glasses of wine one night and busted out nails and a hammer (you know, as one does). We had a large wall leading to the second story that was large, awkward and very boring. Without measuring a thing, I just started hanging. Not a method I would recommend, but it turned out ok:


When we moved into the Bungalow, we immediately settled on an awkward wall/corner in our dining room that needed something focal. I wanted it to be much tighter in composition and definitely less haphazard. So, I got a little crafty with some old holiday wrapping paper and it worked like a charm:

DSC_0197-1(photograph by Hilary Rose Walker of Our Style Stories for Houzz)

Because it’s such a large collage wall, I didn’t want to over-do it on the collage walls throughout the rest of the house. However, when we started on our daughter’s nursery, I was adamant on incorporating some travel-themed art work above the dresser.

I have been obsessed with Rifle Paper Company for quite some time. Each year, they introduce new calendars – one of which is the perfect floral, travel inspired goodness that I was looking for. Once the artwork is cut out, they just so happen to fit perfectly into Ikea’s Ribba frames (which are $19.99 each!). Since I wanted them to be more of a grid pattern, it was important to take the time to get them straight.

Step One: Find yourself some wrapping paper or butcher paper. I prefer to use the wrapping paper with the light blue grid lines on the back. Makes lining everything up super easy.

step 1

Step Two: Trace! Since they were white frames, I used a ballpoint pen rather than a marker with a very light hand. I didn’t want to risk marking up the edges.

step 2

Step Three: Mark your nail locations. I’ll be honest, this is where a better quality frame might be worth it for some people. The Ribba frames require you to loop your own picture wire. Not as big of a deal when you’re doing a random gallery wall cluster or maybe just a single piece on the wall. It can be annoying when you’ve got 8 frames you’re trying to get perfectly aligned. I measure each point where a nail needs to be placed with an ‘X’ on the wrapping paper.

step 3

Step Four: Take your wrapping paper sheet and tape it onto the wall to hammer in some nails. My husband uses a level to make sure it’s all straight before putting unnecessary holes in the wall.

Although it is hard to see, if you look close, you can see I marked which piece went where. After the last nail is in, you simply rip off the sheet and place your frames! Really easy and for the most part, completely foolproof.

XO – Aubrey

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