I’m a big advocate for printing your pictures and not just letting them live in your computer or phone. I always put together an annual photobook for our family but in addition, I like printing photos to frame and hang around the house. A few weeks ago I had an idea for a black and white gallery wall for this large blank wall near our fireplace. Figuring out living room wall art can be tricky and this blank wall was driving me nuts! This wall was the perfect size for a gallery wall and I love the look a grid style gallery wall. This was the perfect opportunity to print some family photos and fill up a blank wall in our living room, a win-win. In today’s post, I’m going to share with you how to hang a gallery wall, grid style.
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How to Hang a Gallery Wall: Grid Style Gallery Wall Tutorial
As a serial renter, it’s so important to me to actually hang things on the walls. This is one of the ways I’m sure to make a space feel like home. I mention this tutorial in my ultimate guide to rental decorating because it’s such a great way to spruce up your rental and make it feel like HOME. This tutorial is pretty straight forward. I hung nine 11×14 prints in 16×20 frames about an inch apart. I think the one component that makes this whole gallery wall work is the scale. The large frames fill the entire wall – that’s really important to remember when hanging your own gallery wall.
I had the nine 11×14 prints printed from Mpix.com (my favorite photo printing service) and framed them in these 16×20 frames with 11×14 mats. I recommend using frames that are at least 11×14. Otherwise, the frames will look too small for the wall. If you are considering a smaller scale gallery wall, like above a table or a bench, then you may want to use smaller frames like an 8×10 or 10×10.
The tricky part about a grid style gallery wall is getting the frames levels and evenly spaced. Gallery walls that are asymmetrically don’t require precise measurements, a grid style gallery wall does.
My trick to getting my gallery wall straight was to use a laser level. I really love this handy tool and have used it many times when hanging artwork but also when we did the horizontal board and batten wall treatment. You can see in the image above, this level suctions to the wall and you can rotate it to get that perfectly straight line.
I started building the gallery wall with the middle top frame, first measuring the width of the wall and then putting a nail in the center of the wall. It’s helpful to measure the entire wall to determine the placement of the frames. For my gallery wall, I determined the best aesthetic was to have the frames be level with the opening to the left of the wall.
Side note – can you see the mat on the top right picture is like an off-white color? It’s driving me nuts – I got all of the frames at the same place but obviously, one of these things is not like the other! I have to swap it out.
After the first nail was in – I used the laser level to get a nice straight line across the wall – then measured 17 inches from the nail on both sides – that’s where the other two nails went. I did this on all three rows, started with the center frame, then did the two outer ones. This created a perfectly straight grid style gallery wall.
Gallery Wall Frames For less than $20
I went around the perimeter of the gallery wall with my level to ensure everything was nice and straight. To keep everything perfectly straight you can use these sticky tabs around the corners of the frames so prevent any movement if say you’re one year old was to bump them 😉
This gallery wall is one of those transformational projects that takes little effort but has HUGE rewards. Now you know how to hang a gallery wall and you can do it in any space to really spruce up any blank wall in your home. I love using gallery walls as living room wall art, in hallways, entryways, and kid spaces. Gallery walls also look lovely in dining rooms as well. You can use your family photos, travel photos, or even a collection of artwork. They would all look lovely in a gallery wall.