If you have some family photos or a themed collage, you should hang a gallery wall. Grid gallery walls are beautiful, organized, and will show off your photos to the max!
Our Dining Room had a long wall that was just begging for a gallery wall, especially a grid style gallery wall. It was long and rather blank. Getting the photos hung perfectly level and spaced was a bit of trial and error. But you don’t have to go through that because this tutorial has some great tips and tricks that I learned along the way.
There are so many reasons that I love gallery walls. Using items I already have that have a history always gets me excited. Even more if it’s my own history. I believe homes should reflect their occupants in more ways than just the choices in design. They should reflect our stories, our joys, and the experiences of our lives.
The Story Behind Our Gallery Wall
I always think of my grandmother as the most elegant person I ever met. Her condo was filled with finds that gave it a global, worldly vibe. For instance, entire dining room was covered in a well-done bamboo wall paper. The bathroom always smelled of old-fashioned face powder, sort of like a perfumed baby powder and very distinctive. My most fond memories are her reading to us in her Thonet Rocking Chair. The lady had style. It’s actually almost surprising that my Dad was of any relation to her at all, but they were actually quite close.
Unfortunately, when I was around 10 or so, my grandma developed Alzheimer’s and it worsening in only a few years to the point that she would need round-the-clock care. Although I was too young to really understand it all, it was tough to watch someone so refined slip away into the senseless decline that is Alzheimer’s. I clearly remember the day when we drove up to her home to choose mementos as keepsakes before the auction. Although the rocker wouldn’t fit in our car, I carefully chose a Japanese tea set, several books covering a variety of topics, and a framed poster featuring a Snow Leopard and Urdu (Pakistan) writing. I cherished them all and spent hours reading those books as a child.
One of my favorite books became the inspiration and the missing puzzle piece to my dining room. There are literally hundreds of exquisitely detailed drawings of every kind of bird you can imagine. Of course, many of the photos are only about 2-3 inches but the detail is so rich that I created an entire gallery wall with them.
Using my home printer, I scan several of the drawings, making sure that the drawings were at least 3 inches for maximum detail. I then enlarged them to fit on an 8.5×11. I used photoshop but if you don’t have that you could probably do it at a local printing store. As you can see, the scaling of these resulted in almost no perceptible pixelation or distortion in the images. A few of the images required removing of the text that surrounded them but this was done pretty easily.
***Especially because I do run a blog on the internet, I made sure to obtain permission from the copyright holder, Reader’s Digest, to photocopy these stunning drawings and photograph the wall to show you. I respect copyright and the works of others.
How To Hang A Grid Gallery Wall Easily
Perfectly hanging a grid style gallery wall can be rather daunting. To make things easier, I cut out sheets of craft paper in the same size as the frames and positioned them on the walls and then took measurements. I lightly marked the walls and then used a 4-foot level to lightly draw lines where the tops of the frames would sit. The trim in my dining room is (thankfully) level so this made it easy. However, my frames have the backing with the two small triangles in fixed positions so it took some measuring and math to determine where to perfectly align the screws in the wall.
Have you ever tried to hang these types of frames? They can be a real pain. My husband figured out a neat trick to hang them quickly however. He tied one end of a string to the screw and then threaded the other end through the hanging triangle. Hold the loose end of the string over the top of the frame and gently guide the triangle onto the screw. I thought his method was genius. You have no idea how much I have struggled hanging these type of frames.
It’s perfect and exactly as I imagined it!
This post is part of the One Room Challenge, where over 200 bloggers and designers are tasked to completely transform a room in less than 6 weeks and update their progress during that time. There is a little something for everyone and every style. Today’s post is week 5 for us, but you can check out all the posts of our dining room (including the reveal!):
Week 5 – This Week
More Wall Art Ideas