Colored Mat Gallery Wall Idea

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall Sometimes decor inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. I grew up on old movies, and I still get such a nostalgic pleasure from watching my favorite Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn films over and over again. I was re-watching the move Indiscreet when I noticed that the gallery walls in Ingrid Bergman’s London apartment featured black and white prints with colorful matting surrounding the prints—I loved it! I decided that it would be the perfect inspiration to finish the gallery wall in my art room. Bring on the color!

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall Supplies:
-colored cardstock or mat board
-X-Acto knife
-metal ruler
-cutting mat
-various black and white prints & corresponding frames (make sure the frames are several inches bigger than the print so you’ll have a good amount of colored mat per frame)

You can use colored mat board to mat your prints, but I find that it’s easier (and much more cost effective) to work with colored cardstock instead. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is pick out several colors of cardstock in sizes that are at least as big as the frame that color will go into.

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall Remove the backing on your frame, and use the backing as a guide to trace the outside edge onto your colored cardstock (place it on a corner so two of the edges are already cut for you).

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall Once you cut the outside edge with your ruler and X-Acto knife, you’ll need to measure the window that you want your print to show through, and center those measurements in the middle of your cardstock. For example, if your print is 8″ x 10″ and your frame is 12″ x 16″, that means you want your mat to be 2″ wide on either side and 3″ wide on top and bottom. Mark those measurements on the inside of your cardstock, and cut out the middle opening of the mat. 

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall Use masking tape (or an acid-free tape option) to center and secure your print to the back of the cardstock, and you are ready to put your print back in its frame.

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall As always, the best way to map out a gallery wall arrangement is to use paper placeholders that are the exact size as your frames, and move them around until you find a grouping you like. 

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery WallOnce arranged, simply measure on the real frame how far the nail needs to hang from the top of the frame, and place a nail the same distance from the top on the corresponding paper placeholder. Once the nail is in place, simply pull the paper off the wall, and your hanging placement will be just right!

So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall So fun! Colored Mat Gallery Wall Prints clockwise from top: 1 (printed at home), 2, 3 (printed at home), 4, 5, 6, 7.

I made a few of the prints myself to make the gallery wall more affordable and add a personal touch to the wall (we simply adore Steve Martin’s The Jerk, so I wanted to add a quote from that movie). I love the pop of color that the gallery wall adds to the space, plus, if I ever change my color scheme I can always redo the mats for a quick update. What are you waiting for? Get color happy in your home! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman (& Todd Gummerman!). Photos edited with Stella and Frankie of the Signature Collection.

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