Tips for Installing a Gallery Wall

Tips for hanging a gallery wallThis past week I finally finished installing my gallery wall in the living room. It's probably taken me over three months to complete this wall, from collecting all the art, to buying all the frames, framing everything and then hanging it all up. It was such a fun project, and I LOVE how it turned out!Tips for creating your own gallery wallI have always loved the look of large gallery walls in friend's homes, and I was very excited about the idea of creating one that fit my aesthetic. I had a lot of fun installing this project, and here are a few tips I learned along the way:

1. Choose Art You Love.  If you are planning to hang a gallery wall in your home, don't feel like you have to make it look like anyone else's. You can include original art, art prints, kiddo art, family photos, personal photo projects or even found objects that get framed in shadow boxes (if needed). Hang what you love and what has meaning to you. If it helps you to get started with your color scheme, then pick your color story before you start purchasing art or printing photos. You can use the color of the photo frames to help tie everything together if needed (like how I used all black frames).How to plan a gallery wall2. Get Creative With Matting Art. For a few of my frames I knew I wanted to fill them with groups of four Polaroid pictures. All these Polaroids are from trips I took while I was in college. I have polaroids of Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and Platform 9 3/4 (I'm a big Harry Potter fan!). These groupings presented a challenging matting situation. My (inexpensive) solution was to use white poster board to fill the frame and adhere the Polaroids to the poster board. Thicker paper would work well here too, depending on the depth of your frame.

3. Plan Out the Frame Placement. This is super obvious but an easy step to skip if you're feeling lazy. There have definitely been times over the years I decided to hang things without planning the placement first, and it almost always results in extra holes in the wall and extra work. No good! There are a couple of options for planning your framed art placement. I chose to cut the shapes of each frame out of poster board and tape them to the wall. This made it easy for me to move the shapes around to find the perfect arrangement before we began hanging them. But don't think you have to stick to your plan exactly. Once you start putting the actual frames on the wall, you might want to shift a few things around. I definitely did! But it was nice to have a guide so I knew the general layout I was shooting for. Can't break the rules until you know the rules, right?How to make your own gallery wallIf you're curious about some of the pieces on my wall, here's the low down. I have personal photos and Polaroids, a pug portrait made by Hope (Katie's sweet daughter), prints from UO, Pretty Little Thieves, Clare Elsaesser, Lisa Congdon, Vivienne Strauss, Hands Workshop, Ashley Goldberg and United Thread. What kinds of art/photos do you have hanging in your home? xo. Emma

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