The best way to plan out a gallery wall (or any set of photos and artwork) is to “fake” your layout with paper. After collecting all of my items and putting my photos in their frames, I traced their shapes on a roll of paper. You could use magazines, newspapers, or construction paper. I used a newspaper end roll that you can buy from The Forum for $2 (there are so many uses for these!).
After cutting out my shapes, I taped them on my wall. This is the easiest way to figure out exactly where you want your items to be placed. You can easily reaarange without drilling or nailing holes in your wall. I like to draw a little stick figure on my paper, too, so that I’m reminded of what photo is going where.
And here’s my final gallery wall! You can see the DIY items I made, like the signs and the photo matting here.
I did go with a more simple route, with dark brown frames. I chose to use pops of color in my DIY photo matting. The opposite wall has an accent color of a guacamole green, so the green matting ties that in. I purchased the “Welcome” sign at Hobby Lobby at 50% off of $4.99. The ledge shelf was purchased at the Boys and Girl’s Ranch Thrift Store a few months back for $4.99.
Then included a wedding photo and an engagement photo underneath my romantic sign.
After taking the above photo, I realized my frames are constantly going to be brushed up against and I will always be arranging them to make them straight. I found some of that gum-like tacky stuff in my junk drawer and stuck some on the backs of everything to hold it in place better.
What do you think? I feel like this wall will evolve, but I think I have a great starting point. I want to add a few more cutesy items that you wouldn’t normally find on a wall. And my stepdaughter pointed out that we don’t have a photo of our dog, Nash, on the wall — and he is part of our family, after all. I’ll have to figure out how to add him in.
I’d love any suggestions — I’m even considering painting the “All You Need Is Love” sign in a dark red to match the red matting and add another pop of color. But right now I like how it balances out the white shelf.
See my previous blogs on gallery walls: