How to Create & Hang a Gallery Wall in 8 Easy Steps!
Gallery walls are our favourite type wall art display! They inject style and personality into the room. A gallery wall is a selection of prints, sometimes in different sizes, displayed together to create an ‘art gallery’ effect. It can be a selection of prints (artworks, photos, posters, family photos, you name it!) displayed in a cluster, like below examples:
We believe everyone deserves gorgeous art at an affordable price. The great thing about art prints is that they can be changed with the seasons or fashions easily. They provide an accessible way to update your décor and can change the whole look of your space quickly & easily.
Creating the perfect layout and combination for a gallery wall can feel like a daunting task. You might have countless ideas and elements to consider incorporating into the design. If you are renting, let us introduce you to your new best friend - 3M wall strips! They won't damage the wall and you can hang your wall art or decor with no fuss 😉
Follow these 8 easy-peasy steps below, to create and hang your own gallery wall in your home without the stress ❤️
Let's begin with the wall you have in mind. Doesn't matter if it has artwork on it already. Attach an A4 (or Letter size in the USA) paper to the wall with removable tape. This paper will come in very handy for artwork scale purposes later, trust us 😉 Take a photo of the room, front on, in good lighting.
Here is a photo of our wall we will use as the example:
Now the fun part! Think about the photos or wall art you would like to display on your gallery wall.
These could include digital photos of family or friends you already have, some new wall art or posters found by browsing your favourite stores online, or checking out shopping centres or even thrift stores for more unique pieces. Feel free to check out our website here to get some inspiration! Collect all your ideas and pictures, we will come back to them later.
Once you have your ideas, it's time to think about the size and layout. If you have existing wall art or family photos, now is the time to measure them all and write it all down on a piece of paper. Think about the layout you would like.
Pro Tip - Create focus with a large main piece, and maintain balance around it with smaller pieces, to give your gallery wall the WOW factor! Don't be scared to mix up frame colours too. Black, oak or white mixed together looks just fabulous 🙌
We have created a free gallery wall layout templates guide. Click on the picture below to download the free PDF template of popular gallery wall art layouts. Keep this file handy for the next step.
Hop onto the canva website and create a free account. This is best done from a computer, and the below instructions might be different if using a phone or tablet.
* From the main area, Click on "Create a new design".
* Select + Custom dimensions
* Enter your dimensions. We have just entered a simple square shape of 20 x 20 cm. Click create design.
* Click on the + symbol to add another page, so you should have 2 blank square pages in your new document. Canva automatically saves your work as you go.
* From here, import the photo taken in step 1 onto the first page, resize and centre it if desired.
* OPTIONAL - If your photo already has artwork on it, you can put a solid colour over this by selecting "Elements" then "Shapes" from the menu. Then select the colour by clicking "colour" square at the top, and selecting the closest match.
* Your wall is ready for artwork! Go to page 2. Start inserting screenshots of your photos, artworks or existing wall decor from the images you have already gathered earlier in step 2. You might need to take photos of existing artwork you already have, or find screenshots online. You can crop and resize the photos easily in canva to remove the backgrounds 😊
* Start dragging the artworks onto page 1. Use the A4 page as a scaling guide. For example, for 60 x 90 cm size, the height should be 3 x the height of the blank A4 page (60cm / 21cm = approx 3).
* Use the gallery wall template to play with some different layouts. You can also google "gallery wall ideas" for more inspiration.
* OPTIONAL - Get creative and add different colour frames using the "elements" section and search for "border". Add plants and other items by searching for free images online. Keep playing around until you are happy.
Here is a screenshot of our layout almost finished. Too easy!
Step 4 - Part 2 (Optional)
Once you are happy with the layout and sizing, it's time to test it on the wall. You can skip this testing step if you are confident in your mockup. If you are not 100% sure on the scaling and size, then please see below:
Measure and cut newspaper or butcher's paper in all the sizes needed. Write the size on each using thick marker.
Using painter's masking tape, stick the paper to the wall, keeping an even distance between each. Step back and eyeball it every couple of times to ensure everything looks level and spaced out well. You might need a ladder if they are up high, so make sure you have someone helping if so. Hopefully everything fits well. Otherwise adjust as needed by cutting and pasting more paper etc, until you are happy with the sizing & layout 👌
Looking good? Go ahead and buy any frames or artworks you need, and / or get all your existing pictures ready for mounting. This is a great opportunity to get those family photos or holiday snaps off your phone and onto your wall 🙌
Once all the wall art is good to go, time to stick them to the wall!
We used 3M Command range as we didnt want to drill holes. You can buy these from your local stores or online. We used 3M Velcro for the framed prints so we have a chance to correct any crooked mounting.. which is highly likely 😂 If you want to drill them instead or have another method, please skip to the next step. For the canvas, we used a 3M canvas hanger instead as its made for this type of product. Make sure you have cleaned your wall before any application, as directed on the pack.
Start by sticking mounting strips on the back of each framed artwork, as directed on the packs. Do NOT try to stick them horizontally instead of vertically (like we did) and find a smashed artwork on the floor the next day!! 😅
Pro Tip for Thin Frames - Are you frames narrow? So are ours. Here is a neat trick we used: We cut the 3M standard width strips in half. Command sell narrow strips too, however this trick gives you double the amount compared to the narrow strip pack. Why not double your strips and save some cash! See how we did this below 🙌
Keep going until all your strips are stuck on the frames. We recommend having 4 to 6 points of strips on the frame, to really make sure it stays put! If you have cut the strips in half like we did, then keep in mind the weight mentioned on the packet is now distributed between 2 strips instead of 1.
Here I am deciding if 6 pairs on one frame is enough! Spoiler: these frames are still up 5 months later and no issues 👍
Remove ONE piece of newspaper at a time, leaving some of the painter's tape behind to mark where the artwork sits. We worked from left to right. Peel off the backing from the strips, and stick the artwork to the wall in the correct spot. If you are nailing them or attaching another way, then mark the spot using painter's tape and attach them one by one.
If you are using 3M velcro like us, remove the frames once positioned and wait as directed. Reattach after the directed time, no sooner as the strips need to set. Step back and check to ensure everything is straight & fix if needed.
Keep going one by one, until everything is attachedand sitting straight.
DONE! Sit back and enjoy a cuppa or glass of red 🍷
All that effort sure was worth it when you see the end result!
We hope you found this post useful and easy to follow! If you have any feedback please let us know by leaving a comment below. We can't wait to see how you dress up your walls! Tag us in your photos on instagram here.
If you choose to use any of the suggested hanging products mentioned above, including but not limited to the 3M command range, please ensure you follow the manufacturer's guidelines for each of the different products listed on the back of the pack carefully, to minimise risk of frame falling. Further details from 3M can be found here and here.
Please note stick-on wall strips or hooks do fail from time to time, due to age, humidity, not being applied in the correct manner, etc. We cannot be held responsible for these products failing if this method is used. While we may provide these strips with some of our products for free, they do not constitute part of the product. Please consult a mounting specialist if you are unsure how to hang or install the wall art in a safe and secure manner. We cannot be held responsible for for any loss or damage arising from these hanging products, whether direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential.