Oh, Gallery Wall…you are my home decor Everest. Despite the “fool-proof” layouts I find on Pinterest and the perfectly imperfect look I’m going for, my past attempts at gallery walls have crashed and burned. The artwork and photos always end up mismatched, and not in the good way. Even when I try to follow a layout, I somehow get very far off course. It looks random–again, not in the good way. Pinterest Fail in real life. So when I managed to pull off a cute DIY nursery gallery wall in my daughter’s room that was quick, easy, and under $10, you better believe I did a happy dance.
I learned some very valuable lessons along the way, so stick around if you wanna learn from my mistakes.
1)Know when to trust the Gallery Wall experts….
This little beauty was on sale for $7 at Hobby Lobby, and it was actually the only money I spent for this project. This is a booklet full of adorable wall art in various sizes that you just cut out and put in a frame. Ta-da! All of the artwork is so cute and coordinated without being matchy-matchy. I chose the one called “Isn’t She Lovely” but they have other sets available for different tastes. Every single picture in the gallery wall came from this booklet, and I still have leftover pictures I didn’t use! This way, someone else did the selecting for me and I don’t have to get all up in my own head about what artwork I want to use.
2) Use What You Have
I happen to have a collection of unused picture frames in my house and I have a feeling I’m not the only one. Since gallery walls require lots of frames, this is a perfect way to save money by using what you already have lying around. I got really lucky and decided that all my mismatched frames looked good together, but if you want a more cohesive look, you could easily spray paint your frames the same color. Normally, my solution is to spray paint everything white, but since my walls are white, I left the frames au naturale for some visual boom. When I ran out of frames, I actually used washi tape to hang some of the pictures. I love it when laziness works out…:) There are also some embroidery hoops to break up all the rectangle shapes. I just drew the designs on scrap fabric with a Sharpie marker and stretched them in the hoop. If, for some strange reason, you are a sane person and don’t have piles of picture frames or embroidery hoops lying around the house you can run to a thrift store and get enough for the whole project for just a couple bucks, especially if you’re going to hold me to the “under $10 part!
3) Don’t Overthink It
If you, like me, are tempted to bust out the ruler and level, DON’T! Every bad gallery wall I’ve ever made started with a ruler and a plan. Let your instincts guide you, my friend. Choose the biggest piece (or whatever you want to be the center focal point-in this case it was the ‘you are my sunshine’ print), find the center(ish) of the wall, and pound that first nail in. Just do it, I dare you. Then, find your next biggest piece, choose a direction, offset it slightly, and hammer another nail. The less time you give yourself to second guess what you’re doing, the better the result. Just repeat and repeat and repeat until your frames are gone. At this point, step back and look at what you did. If you need to move something over a little, do it. You only live once, and Spackle and nails are cheap. You might also feel like there are some bare spots. For me, this meant finding a tiny 3 inch embroidery hoop to add at the top, and taping up the pink image in the corner above Teddy’s head.
Of course, as I stood gazing proudly at the new gallery wall, I knew it would be all for naught if the room’s occupant didn’t approve…I invited Elise in to see what Mommy had been doing. She said “bootifuwl” and giggled at the flamingo, who she now kisses goodnight before every bedtime. Then she saw the picture of the peach and asked for a snack. Sigh…
Okay, so we’ve made a lot of holes in a wall, helter-skelter. Now wasn’t that freeing? I hope you guys found this tutorial helpful. May it inspire you on your own gallery wall quest! Go climb that Everest!