Best Way to Hang a Gallery Wall

Alright internet.
I have to share.

Tuesday night Rob helped me hang up our living room gallery wall and – not only am I in love with how it came out BUT I am also in lovvveeeee with how easy it was to do!

With the walls all painted and cured after the reno, hanging the pictures needed to happen. *Yay for knocking more off our “wrap up the kitchen reno before thanksgiving” checklist!*

But no really, it took less than 2 hours to go from table layout to on-wall reality. Even with an emergency trip to Kroger’s for more command strips.

I celebrated.

To start you obviously need pictures & frames (duh!) and then I layered in other non-photo pieces as well for more dimension/texture/general fun. For hanging the pictures you’ll need…

  • A level (we have a small one that’s like 6” and it was perfect)
  • Something to serve as your minimum distance measurement (I used thick painters tape and it worked great)
  • Picture Hanging Command Strips (like these)
This was stage one – I realized I needed more wood/metal frames and didn’t want to include the blue one. Plus who doesn’t love a Hobby Lobby trip!

For brainstorming/layout ideas I first organized the photos on our dining room table. For the wall I wanted to use a mix of natural wood looking, solid black, and rustic metal frames. Laying them out ahead of time on the table helped me see what kind of mix I had and how many of each style I still needed to snag from Hobby Lobby. **Be sure to do the same size spacing in your planned layout (so it’s more to scale) or the one on the wall will end up a lot smaller/bigger. My spacing on the table was way smaller than what I actually planned to do so that messed me up a bit but I winged it.

These are the frame styles I used from Hobby Lobby:

When planning this design my main concerns were:

1) Avoid having big holes
2) That the minimum space between items is equal (not the max.)
3) That lots of frames don’t line up in a row

So, after the layout was all decided-ish on the table and I knew I had the right pieces/frames, it was time to measure. I measured the size of the gallery on the table (roughly 60” wide and 38” tall) and then I took those measurements and eyeballed where I wanted them on the wall (aka how high up/left/right). I marked the highest most left point and…

  1. stuck the command strips to the back of the frame like a little velcro sandwich
  2. peeled off the command sticky strip protector for the wall side
  3. leveled the photo at the spot I marked
  4. smushed the frame into the wall super hard

Once that first one was up the rest was total cake! Rob was amazing and helped me and we knocked it out. I ended up switching the layout quite a bit on the fly but I think winging it still worked. Planning is nice to spur ideas and make sure you have enough resources but some flexibility in the end result can be totally worth it. Plus less stressful.

So… that was a really long way of saying:

Anytime I hung an item, I used the tape to measure the minimum distance between items around it, picked the spot to hang it, leveled, and BOOM done.
I’m so happy it only took 2 hours and totally wasn’t a headache at all.

Using the tape was such a great idea. Yay husband win! So much easier than using a tape measure and marking the wall up!

Sometimes the items are as close as they can be and other times they’re a bit off. I think the flexibility in that regard makes the whole gallery feel like it fits together more naturally. 

Remember: spacing is key in a gallery wall. We all have that one friend who posted a smashed together photo blob on social media and called it a gallery wall and, when we saw that, it pained us. Each and everyone one of us. Don’t be that person. Plan it out. Look on the internet/pinterest for inspo/tips!

We were able to get so many cool pieces on the wall – I love how the blend worked out.

Also – added plug for those command strips. If you’ve never used them to hang pictures then you’re crazy. The frames don’t get knocked around/out of level and your walls don’t get damaged. Hell, now with this method that I used, you hardly use a measuring tape at all. #winning

So try out this method and let me know your thoughts! I’m planning to do it again for the pieces I’ll hang going up our stairs.

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