January 28, 2018
How To Get Your Gallery Wall On
By Amanda Louise Campbell
Alright! If you've been around, you know that gallery walls are my jam. For so many reasons but here are just a few...
When working with a small home or limited wall space, gallery walls allow you to collect from different artists and create a curated look. Instead of having to commit to one large piece to fill the space, you can display a collection. Especially for people who enjoy the act of buying art, gallery walls can allow you to purchase small pieces over time - and in most cases, if you're buying things you truly love, there will be a cohesiveness to the collection - whether in color or subject matter - making the gallery wall look purposeful.
Even if you have the space to go big, gallery walls are a great way to add diversity in a room. Instead of one big thing hung over the mantle and one big thing over the sofa... try one big thing over the mantle and a gallery over the sofa. Much more interesting in my opinion.
And lastly, gallery walls are just fun. They don't have to be serious and they can be an expression of YOU!
So, to share my tips and tricks for how I get down with the gallery wall, I borrowed a wall and some rad art from
Art and Light Gallery
, here in Gville.
You ready to put some holes in the wall!? Let's do this.
1. Whatcha Workin' With?
To start out, survey what you have and gather them all together. Grab anything you possibly think could hang on a wall. A hook with necklaces or beads hanging, a small mirror, that piece that you never framed that can be pinned or clipped to the wall, a basket, a plate, a small shelf, a sconce... grab it all. The idea here is diversity and difference in texture and depth.
If you're purchasing pieces just to create the gallery wall - here's what I try to look for when shopping for art and all the wall things: common color trends, common subject matters, interest in shape, things that will add a 3D element, and difference in sizes.
For my subject matter, I knew I wanted the gallery to be a collection of birds and plants with abstracts thrown in. Abstracts work as a great way to add color and interest without introducing competing subject matter. Totally neutral territory on the wall in my belief.
My key idea here is just have the gallery wall make sense to you. We have a gallery over our sofa at home that is full of dogs and abstracts. Birds and plants go together so that makes sense for me, but the subject could also be as vague as "your favorite things" - it could be a commissioned charcoal of your cat, a shadowboxed jcrew shopping bag, a watercolor of a taco, a small shelf with a bottle of wine on it, and your fave necklace hung on a hook. You know, all the things that make you, you.
Point is, no real rules here... just put some thought behind it and it will be an interesting addition to your home.
If you've got those things.. You've got all you need to succeed, along with your toolbox.
Stuff you need: hammer, nails, tape measure, painters tape, sticky tack, a ladder, and a level.
Photos : Luke Cleland
2. Where Do You Wanna Hang?
Once you have your collection of things, map out where you want your gallery to go. When you have the spot chosen, decide how much of the space you want to fill and give yourself some parameters with painters tape.
3. Take It to the Floor
Once you have the dimensions of your space, make a box the same size on the floor.
4. Play Around
And now it's the fun part. Time to play around with your art and find the best layout.
For the layout, I like to start with my biggest piece anchored somewhat in the middle of the space but slightly off. Then, start building off of that... and just have fun. I generally like to leave three or so inches between pieces. There's no wrong way to do this but if you stick to the pointers above about creating a cohesive collection (commonalities in color and size, difference in size and texture and depth) you will succeed. Promise.
So, start building around your large piece and see what feels best to you.
I played with different layouts and took pics of three that I liked. Then, decided on the one I liked best and laid it back out.
5. Let's Hang
Just like we started the layout with the biggest piece, this is also where I like to start with hanging. Measure from the edges of your painters tape box to find the right spot on the wall for your picture hanger.
Once the big guy is up, start building the rest of the wall around that. You can measure these or eye this part, and it doesn't have to come out exactly like it did on the floor.
For tricky things that hang with two nails, I have a handy trick. As long as the two hangers on the back of the frame (or in this case the shelf) are level, use painters tape to create a template. Line the tape up straight and mark the top of the hangers with a nail hole. Then, hold the frame or shelf up to the wall and mark the general space where the nails need to go. Place your tape there and make sure it's straight with a level. Then hammer nails into the same holes made in the tape. Remove the tape and hang yo thang.
6. Straigten and Level
Now for straightening and leveling. If you skip this step, your gallery wall will never, ever, once be straight and you will without a doubt lose your sanity. So for your health, do this. I like to use a sticky tack from the craft store or Command velcro strips to keep everything in place. Either place the velcro strips or the sticky tack on the back two bottom corners of your frame or canvas and let hang without pressing hard against the wall. Place a level on the piece and when it's level, press the velcro strips or sticky tack firmly against the wall.
Now, you just get to sick back and look at your art! Or sit in the floor under your art and pet a dog. What ev.
Peace out, friends!
How To Get Your Gallery Wall On