Gallery Wall Tips, Tricks, and Progress!

Originally I was going to hang an entire gallery wall of mirrors.  I pinned and plotted and did oodles of research.  Then the marine came back from deployment and vetoed the entire thing.  Cue epic meltdown.

I was prepared to go to war over it, until I realized it saved me the absolute agony of decision-making.  For someone who has as many opinions as I do, it’s a bit laughable how much I loathe making decisions.  I’m not sure if it’s something to do with my creative disposition or just one of those genetic wiring issues I can’t seem to get past [like my freakishly small wrists and freckles].  Whatever the cause, I’m indecisive to the core.

Luckily P is beyond decisive, and when I can’t seem to make a decision, it’s much easier for me to hand over the reins of a project and let him at it.  Which is exactly what I did this time around…  And you know what?  He rocked it!  I freaking love that man.
Gallery Wall Tips and Tricks

The first step was to grab all the frames and mirrors we had in our possession.  You’d be surprised how many you can squirrel away over the course of 27 [FINE! 28] years.  I deleted any and all photographic evidence, but in true Jenn fashion, I broke one.  Don’t do that.

Then we [FINE! P] measured our wall.  We chose the staircase wall because it was covered in several weird scratches and dings from the move, and we’re procrastinating on painting it.  Dirty wall?  Put a frame on it!  Or twenty.

The wall had a steep angle so we laid the measuring tape across the floor at the same exact angle, then began to arrange our frames.  If you’re a visual person like I am, this helps immensely.

DIY Gallery Wall!
DIY Gallery Wall!
You’re wondering why there’s a pumpkin there, aren’t you?  It acted as a space saver for the sconce/lighting fixture that’s already anchored to the wall.  Eventually it shall be lunch!
Of course once the mad scientist pilot had all the frames laid out, I suddenly knew exactly what I wanted.  So I did do some of the work.  I tweaked the arrangement of a few of the frames and took photos.  And during the hanging process?  Well I took more photos and ate peanut butter pretzels while P did the dirty work.  I’d hang my head in shame, but those pretzels were really freaking good!

If you’re hanging frames in a high traffic area [hello stairs!] I highly suggest using wall anchors to set the screws into.  This way if you happen to run face first into one of the frames, the screw won’t yank from the wall and leave a gaping hole.  I haven’t done this yet, promise!!!

When it came time to arranging the frames, P opted to use the toothpaste trick instead of going pencil crazy all over the walls.  You simply squeeze a bit of paste on the hooks attached to the frame and then line up the frame where you want it.  If you have a level, set it atop the frame and when it’s perfectly straight, smoosh [that’s a technical term, right?] the frame gently against the wall to leave behind the toothpaste marks.  This is where you’ll add your anchor and screws.  Viola!

For a bajillion and one layout ideas, check out my pinterest board of gallery walls.  
It’s excessive.  AKA awesome!

Pinterest Inspiration: Gallery Walls!

I’m beyond excited to finish mine:
DIY Gallery Wall!
Now all that’s left is one teeny tiny step…

Part of me wants to go silhouette happy and put a bird on it!

But then I’d have to start padding the walls.

For now they’re filled with the factory stock photos of other couples and their darling children that were in the frames from when we purchased them.  It’s borderline creepy if you think about it.  Even creepier that P refers to them as our imaginary family.  According to the frames currently hanging on my wall, I have dozens of children and enjoy canoeing.
What’s your favorite website/store for photo printing?  Spill it!


  1. says

    Mpix is my go to for printing – even when I print client photos! It’s easy to use, the colors always turn out great, and the quality can’t be beat for close to Walmart or CVS in-store print prices.

  2. says

    I’ve lived in my apartment two years now, have a cute collage above the stairs… Still has my imaginary family in it. Apparently we are half Asian and black and enjoy jumping on each other in a park?!
    Love the frames. I print pics at, Walmart or costco

  3. says

    Better hope that gallery walls don’t tell the future. Dozens of children would be extremely tiring. And would require a lot of canoes.

    Love the wall. Mine is similar and blank right now. I was hoping that those command strips would work but you’re right about this being a high traffic area.

  4. says

    Loving this! I’ve been wanting to do this on our stairs forever, my mind just hasn’t made it to the actual application part yet, what a project! Thanks for explaining, this will be helpful for me (my husband) when we finally do it!

  5. says

    This looks amazing! I’m so with you with all parts of your contributions as well. I would’ve easily broken 2 or mores frames, I would’ve re-arranged and re-arranged and re-arranged the pics until Will told me to leave the room b/c it takes for elfing ever for me to make a decision(you don’t even want to know how long it takes me to pick out a jar of something or another at the flipping grocery store), and then I would’ve sat down and played on Instagram or caught up on blogs while he did all of the dirty work! Gah, I love being married sometimes! Oh, and Mpix for sure. No question. It is where our amazing wedding photographer told us to get our pics printed, plus they have this amazing pearlescent photo paper that is to die for.

    • says

      emailing you right now! <3 It’s Glidden’s “Veil” gray/grey and pretty much any company can match it. We had Sherwin Williams match it in a matte for the entire first floor. For upstairs we just picked out a lighter version of the same hue that I adore as well. It’s Sherwin William’s “Snowfall” I think? I’ll have photos up soon once it’s all finished! xoxo

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