Gallery wall tutorial

Gallery wall tutorial

I had mentioned last week about my 20 minutes before people arrive, gallery wall on a whim experience. I am big into random and spur of the moment projects. Let me set the tone for the day that I decided to through in a gallery wall formation.

It was the Saturday before Easter, and we were hosting Dale’s family to celebrate. We had kids we were trying to keep neat and clean in their Easter best. Dale and I were both trying to figure out a way to distract the kids enough for one of us to sneak in the backyard and hide eggs. A ham was cooking, lemonade was being made, whining from at least one of my kids was happening, and the bathroom was being cleaned. Yes, we grew some extra hands doing all this. Of course. In all of this manic atmosphere I was putting away some canvas’s I got from my Grandma, she painted them and I have never found the perfect spot for them. One had been hanging in the laundry room. But had been taken down and was sitting on the floor. I was trying to put it away when I got called into the new study with a fight between two kids on who had the paper first. Yes, the fight over paper was done next to identical piles of blank paper. But, they both wanted that paper. I straightened out the paper-gate and laid my eyes on the new spool library and book wall. 
This is how it looked right after I moved all of my furniture around. I had a few pictures on the wall, with plans to eventually organize something. Shop, purchase and plan the perfect wall feature. I held the picture in my hands and literally gasped. I had everything I needed in my home to make this work, now. I had a home decorating epiphany.
I had these hand canvas’s up.


 Here is one of the pictures my Grandma painted. She is one talented lady.


I saw this picture at Goodwill and liked the look of it.


The canvas on the top and on the left I gave Dale. I thought they were perfect because he is nerdy and loves bacon. Like, loves it so much the kids play a game of what can bacon be mixed with. They say “Bacon and cheese coffee.” And ask if Dale would eat it. Most of the time he would because “You had me at bacon.”
This is the other painting my Grandma did. I love the bright colors in it, but never felt I had a space where it fit in. This room with it’s bright chevron rug, globe, and kids art works perfectly.
I sent the kids downstairs to clean the basement playroom while Dale began hiding the eggs. I sent them down there in hopes of actually cleaning it. But really just needed them downstairs with no view of the backyard and the “bunny” outside. I had 20 minutes before people would start arriving. I am not the kind of person that has to have everything together when people come over. But, I knew I either needed to not do this gallery wall at all or get it done. You know, hammers, pictures and nails are somewhat of a hazard when kids are coming over that are not DIY savvy. My kids don’t even care, touch or notice, they are always whatevs when we do things around the house. I committed to doing this gallery wall and I was going to do it. Imagine me, looking like I ransacked a art gallery, holding a bunch of varied pictures. My weapon of choice was a hammer and some nails for the heist. This is how Dale found me. “I am making a gallery wall. Can you make the lemonade?” He did not even have a question in his mind, this is the crazy wife he married. He laughed, and made the lemonade. Did I mention I love him?


Here is where I will break down the gallery wall tutorial. Try to explain why I put the things I did up, and the reason they are in that specific placement. This is what I started with. The Family rules canvas, and the hand prints.

I added the bright, blue river painting next. I liked the blue and green being close to the bright green hand print canvas’s. It also fit perfectly between them and the light switch. Yes, that is a very professional office tack I used to hang this. It is a smaller hole, and since I was doing this on the fly I needed to be able to move things around. I plan to change it to a normal nail… probably… eventually…. maybe. You know what? The tack works fine.

Now it is time to make the other side of the wall feel as substantial as the left side. It is somewhat hard to do because of the large text of the family rules canvas. I wanted to add the other small word canvas’s I had accumulated here.

Balance out the word canvas’s on either side. This way it is not all words on one side. With gallery walls it is important to make them feel “weighted evenly”. Depending on the type of gallery wall you are planning will set up the amount of concise plans needed. The one I am doing is a random one, which I prefer. But there still needs to be some organization to it.

This gallery wall of mine is similar to getting dressed up for a date. Taking forever to get done, over thinking your outfit choice, changing multiple times. Show up with the perfectly imperfect outfit and when told you look great you exclaim “Oh this old thing…”. That is what my gallery wall is. The imperfect, perfect. There needs to be a somewhat method to the madness. I am handling this by keeping text on either side. Not clumping all colors together. And making sure there is a blend of large pictures, and small on either side.

After placing the text pictures down. I picked the old feeling bridge picture to place next. I wanted to add it here so that the gallery wall would have a image on the top portion of it. Again, it also fit perfectly in between the other canvas’s.

Putting the other painting my Grandma did of the barn was a no brainer. It is bright, is sitting vertically, and almost the same size as the other painting. All of these things are on the left part of the gallery wall. Putting this picture on the right, brings it all to even out on the other side. An example of the perfectly imperfect thing I was talking about earlier.

To finish it off I added the name plaque that we got from my cousin when Dale and I got married. The shape of it makes it a perfect topper for a gallery wall.

Once I put that up, I was done. Dale was needed with the name plaque to hang. I could not reach it, and this being a fly by the seat of my pants thing I was not schlepping a ladder out here to hang it up. I stood back, felt like I was in a decorating fog. I looked around, blinked, and saw what I had done. I love when things just fall into place like that. Yes, I thought things through. But, it all fell into place. It felt as simple as hanging piece after piece on the wall. I was on a roll with the gallery wall.


I finished with just enough time to put the hammer away and throw on some makeup for myself. I am that woman that will have her house, kids, and life together long before my attire is put together.


I had a child who snuck upstairs from the child slavery that was cleaning up the playroom. Did I say child slavery? I meant play time, if my kids are sent unsupervised to clean they just end up playing with all of the toys they forgot to dig in the mess to find. I will spare you the surprise, the playroom never got clean before guests arrived.


With this room being off of the kitchen, it is hard to try to naturally blend the two. I have decided to treat it as it’s own room. I think a more realistic name now would be a hearth room. It is really just a nook outside the kitchen. It has a amazing view of the backyard and is my new favorite place to sit with my lap top and tinker away.
This art table is on the other wall in this room. Lots of color, textures and fun in here. Now the gallery wall fits in with the color and personality of the space.
This is a older picture of the kitchen. Not much has changed with it. So this is the view from our new hearth room into the kitchen. See, it is seperate and open to the kitchen at the same time.



Teddy and his posing, I promise you I do not make him sit in the shots. I am not that much of a alpha and he is not that well trained of a dog. This is just him thinking he is the true star of this show.


I am really happy with how this wall turned out. My Grandma was with family in California and I text a picture of this wall to my cousin who was with her. She could not believe I was displaying her paintings like art. She is one modest lady, with huge talents. I am not this kind of creative, painting pictures and art is not my thing.


My goal of getting this gallery wall up before guests arrived was done. I am all for the spur of the moment decorating. Too much thinking can be a bad thing, and for me it almost always is. Yes, I just insulted myself. It is ok, over thinking home decorating can be just as bad as never thinking things through. I used to be scared to give things a try, but I realized that the majority of home decorating is not permanent. The worst that could have happened was I leave it up, most people did not even notice it anyways. Or I hated it and took it all down before anyone showed up. When I decorate it is always for me and my family. We are the ones in this home, we are the ones who have special things in this space. This is where our memories are made. This gallery wall is packed with inside jokes and special things just for our family. To me that is always what will make a gallery wall work. As long as you like it and there is personal touches it will always be a success.
I had a new gallery wall, yummy food, a magic Easter bunny that hid the eggs and was never spotted, and kids that still looked neat and festive when people arrived. The only failure from that day was the playroom, which is still not cleaned up.
I also managed to get a picture of all of us, sort of smiling and sort of looking at the camera. It was a successful day.
How do you go about starting a gallery wall? Any experience’s where one just could not work? If you need any advice or opinions on one I am always here to lend a home decorating obsessed helping hand. I love it and will talk it up with anyone.




  1. LOOKS GREAT! PS. I loooove that book table and the rug <3

  2. Love the way it came out!!

  3. I've always wanted to have a gallery wall. When I visit other homes, they always look so nice and visually pleasing. Currently, I have about 20 items waiting to be formed into a gallery wall. Lol. we will see how long they sit and wait for inspiration to strike me.

    • You should just jump in and do it. If possible, hang them with tacks like i did. it is smaller holes and you can move them around easier. Or measure the wall you want to put them on, then mark on the floor the measurements. Move the stuff around there. When you find a layout you like take a picture. Then you can recreate it on the wall. Good luck!

  4. I love gallery walls! We are going to put one on our staircase wall!

  5. This is so sweet! I love a good gallery wall, but I don't trust myself to do my own in my apartment. I would need lots of help.
    xo, claudia

    • Thank you. You comment justifies me pushing her to make this tutorial. I wanted her to explain her thoughts because unlike her there is no why I could every do this. For me it would be in a columns and rows of like colors or sizes much more logical and not very pleasing.

      So Thank you Emily

    • Thank you Claudia, gallery walls are not too tough. Gather what you want and start playing around with formation. Either by using tacks for temporary placement or even on the floor. Once you find something that works it will falll into place. There might be little pockets of blank space that will need to fill with something when you come across it. Give it a try!

    • Thank you Dale for encouraging me to make the gallery wall tutorial. A gallery wall in columns with like colors and sizes would work nice too. They can be anything. Thank you for the support my main man 😉

  6. I am a huge fan of gallery walls. Great tutorial! Love your rug!

    • Thank you! That rug was purchased from the clearance section at Wal-mart. I never shop there for home goods, but saw it and had to have it. I think I spent maybe $12 on it. One of my favorite pieces in my home. It has helped me use more bright colors and patterns.

  7. It looks awesome! I have a pic gallery in our stairwell, but like the idea of doing it on a main wall- especially with the kids prints. And I love that circular table!

  8. Love the mix of art and I especially love the hand prints!

  9. LOVE all the shades of green. Looks so cozy! I'll be over around 5..Lol

  10. Adorbs!!!! All of it, little cuties incuded!!!! Love gallery walls and the wooden spool table is genious

  11. Great ideas! I think so many people struggle with making a gallery wall. Great job on making this one seem effortless! (Even though we all know otherwise.) 🙂

    • I think gallery walls are fun to put together. This one was ridiculously easy for some reason. Everything just flowed and worked together. I like the idea of them, especially if you use personal touches to make it special.

  12. Turned out really nice and to think it was all put together while the bunny was hiding eggs, the ham was cooking, and lemonade being made! You are one busy lady!! Haha

  13. There's a wall in our house that I can't wait to do a gallery wall on! Just gotta' start buying some stuff. 😉

  14. I just love this wall! I really like the hand prints!

  15. I love this, I looks so unique and different from most of the gallery walls you see. Really lovely!

  16. I am building a house which means I will soon be decorating. One of my goals is to do a gallery wall. Thanks for the details!

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