One of my most-watch “highlights” on Instagram is the “Gallery Wall” highlight. I thought it was finally time to share a formal “how-to” with step-by-step instructions and pictures! In today’s post, I am sharing an example using a “grid” gallery wall. A “grid” gallery wall is typically 6-12 frames that are identical in size. It creates the perfect mix of modern and traditional, with clean lines and symmetry, and displays one big statement piece! These step-by-step instructions also work for a classic gallery wall, which includes frames often of different sizes! The prep for a gallery wall might seem time-consuming, but when it comes time to hang your frames there is absolutely no guessing. You will be left with completely level and evenly spaced frames and only one hole in the wall that makes it all worth it!
One of the most important pieces of information to cover prior to beginning this tutorial is to mention a few tips when selecting your images. For a gallery wall, it is important to select images that have all different angles, poses, and distances. You will notice in the final image of this “how-to,” that I selected photos that were both close-up and far away, smiling straight on or a profile, posed and candid shots. I also ensured that those that might be similar in angle, pose, or distance were not next to each other!
It is also important to choose images with similar edits, coloring, and lighting. I personally like to use images from a single photo session with similar backgrounds, or images all from the same photographer with a similar edit. I partnered with Kelcy of Kelcy Leigh Photography for our family session to create the perfect cohesive gallery wall! Kelcy is a photographer in Oklahoma that Logan and I have shot with before, shortly after getting married! Kelcy has a clean, timeless edit with bright and vibrant colors that look true-to-life! An edit that is perfect for a gallery wall. She has the most outgoing and joyful personality and she can make just about anyone feel comfortable in front of the camera. She was able to get Holland’s attention long enough (with puppies, bubbles, and lots of silly faces) to create the most beautiful family photos that I will cherish forever! Kelcy has over 8 years of experience with weddings, couples, families, and newborns. She will make sure that you look and feel your best while also making it an enjoyable experience!
Step 1: Begin by using a roll of wrapping paper and arrange your gallery wall exactly how you want it. I love to use wrapping paper that has “cut lines” on the back, to ensure that everything is evenly spaced and level. However, if you do not have wrapping paper with “cut lines” readily available, you can use a ruler or a level to ensure proper spacing!
*Keep the frames tight together, they should be a maximum of 1-3 inches apart. The smaller the frames, the smaller the spacing that needs to be between them. This is the number one mistake that I see people make when creating a gallery wall! In this step-by-step tutorial, my frames are 16″ x 20″ with 11″ x 14″ images with 1.5″ between each frame on top and bottom.
Step 2: Once you have ensured that everything is properly spaced and level, lightly trace the frames on the wrapping paper. The tracing does not have to be perfect!
Step 3: Measure the center of each frame, for the nail.
Step 4: Mark where the nail will go.
Step 5: Measure for the center of the wall, or the center of the area that you are placing your gallery wall and mark it. Then, hang the wrapping paper on the wall lightly with a few pieces of tape. Don’t forget to make sure that the wrapping paper is level when taping it to the wall! I personally mark the middle of the wall and the middle of the wrapping paper and match them together.
Step 6: Nail on the marks you previously measured for.
Step 7: Remove the paper from the wall and hang your frames. Use a level to make sure all the frames are level and use clear adhesive bumper pads, that I like to call “sticky dots,” to hold them in place to avoid shifting!
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Another huge thank you Kelcy for helping me create the perfect timeless gallery wall of our family, as well as these step-by-step images for today’s tutorial! Learn more about Kelcy and her services by following her on Instagram or via her website.