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How to Build a Gallery Wall

Apr 24, 2017 | Guides | 0 comments

A gallery wall is a design element that has gained a lot of popularity lately. They’re playful, eye-catching as well as beautiful to look at. If you want to elevate the style of any space, a gallery wall might just be the answer.

Guide: How to Build a Gallery Wall

This step-by-step guide will teach you how to build your very own gallery wall. Although it may seem like a very straight forward process, there are a few things that you should take into consideration in order to achieve that WOW factor. We’ve also included a bunch of gallery walls that we like in this guide to inspire you and get your creativity going. This guide is divided into 4 steps. If you’ve already chosen your prints, jump to step 2!

  • Step 1: Choose your prints
  • Step 2: Find your frames
  • Step 3: Lay it out
  • Step 4: Hang it up

That’s all we need for now! Let’s get started building an awesome gallery wall!

Step 1: Choose Your Prints

Finding the perfect prints is an essential part of building a gallery wall (duh…), but it’s also the most fun part!

The selection of prints can be done in two ways. Firstly, you can build a gallery wall by combining pieces that have a lot in common, such as the color scheme or style. Or, secondly, you can create a gallery wall by combining a variety of posters of different colors and styles. To select similar prints is a foolproof way to make sure that the pieces go well together. For the latter alternative, the potential is even greater, but so is the risk for a odd-looking gallery wall if your prints happen to get mismatched.

But as always, the most important thing to take in to consideration when designing a gallery wall is that it represents you, your tastes and personality. After all, it’s your gallery wall in your home.

Size matters

When it comes to gallery walls, size does matter. An important aspect of designing a gallery wall is actually the sizes of the different pieces. It is often the combination of sizes that either makes or breaks a gallery wall. Our recommendation to you is therefore to start with a few larger posters and anchor them to the wall and add the smaller pieces at a later stage.

Need inspiration? Check out our Gallery Wall board on Pinterest where we’ve added some really cool gallery walls to inspire you.

Before we move on to step 2, let’s acknowledge the fact that gallery walls come in all shapes, colors and sizes. Below is a collection of two gallery walls to get you thinking about which type of gallery wall you want to create.

As you can see, the gallery wall comes in many different shapes. Some are symmetric while others are asymmetric. Some consist of many small posters and others of only a few, big posters. There really is no right or wrong, it’s just a matter of what you like and what you think would make for the best addition to your home!

Step 2: Find your frames

The next step is to find the perfect frames for your chosen prints.

Generally speaking, there are two options that you can go for when it comes to choosing the right frames for your posters. The first option is to use the same type of frame for each piece, which usually results in a clean and classic look. The other option is to use different frames for each print. By doing so, you can create a more eye-catching and interesting gallery wall. If you opt for this option, don’t be afraid to go a little crazy. For example, you could mix vintage frames in gold with new, minimalistic frames in white and perhaps throw in a untreated wood frame while you’re at it.

If we look at the gallery walls above, the first two uses the same frame for all posters, while the last one mixes frames of different style and color. All three of them look amazing, so there’s clearly no right or wrong here.

Step 3: Lay it out

We got our prints and frames, now it’s time to lay it out.

how to lay out a gallery wall - - custom map posters

This can be done in millions of ways depending on how you want your gallery wall to look. But regardless of how you choose to lay out your prints, we got a few tips for you that will save you a lot of time.

The first tip is to not try to lay it out by hanging the prints on your wall. Instead, lay them out on your floor. This way, you can arrange your prints freely without having to worry about gravity 😉 Rearrange the prints so that you’re happy with the result, take a few photos and use them for reference when it’s time to hang the prints.

If you don’t want to lay out the prints on your floor, you can cut out pieces of paper to resemble your prints and lay them out. If you’re tight on floor space, this method is a lot more convenient to use. You can also, as shown on the image above, cut out paper in 1:1 ratio and tape the paper on your wall.

A fourth method is to use a graphics program such as Photoshop, Illustrator or even Paint to lay out the prints. All you have to do is then to create rectangular shapes and arrange them according to your taste in the program. For those of you familiar with Photoshop, you can check out this great guide on how to place art on a wall in photoshop.

If you need more inspiration for the layout of your prints, I recommend you to check out our Gallery Wall Layout board on Pinterest.

Step 4: Hang it up

Almost there! Now, for the grande finale: hanging it on the wall!

Our recommendation is, as mentioned earlier in this guide, for you to hang the largest piece first. But make sure to hang it slightly off-center. Otherwise, it might steal too much attention from the other pieces. If you don’t have a large print, you can group your two largest prints to create an illusion of a larger print. After this it’s just a matter of hanging the prints according to the layout that you did in step 3. Just make sure that the prints hang evenly! Nothing is as annoying to look at as art that don’t hang evenly. To hang the art evenly, use a spirit level or a pair of extra eyes from a friend or family. That’s all folks! Best of luck!

If you feel like it, please post the result of your gallery wall in a comment or tag it with #mapsery on social media! Should you have any questions, just fire away a comment below and we’ll answer it ASAP!

BONUS: What every gallery wall needs

Every gallery wall needs a custom map poster! Add a custom map poster of that special place of yours to give your gallery wall a personal touch. You can create a custom map poster of any place on earth! The town where you grew up, where you fell in love or perhaps the magical place you visited on that unforgettable trip two years ago.