How to create a gallery wall of your photos
If you’ve read my blog before, I’m sure you already know how passionate I am about getting your photos off your computer and out in your home so you can enjoy them every day. (See this blog post I wrote about creating digital family albums.)
I love looking at interior and photo presentation ideas on Pinterest (here I am on Pinterest) and have noticed that gallery walls have become increasingly popular.
They are the perfect way to show lots of different photos of your family and also show a bit of your favourite things and personality as well.
I’ve been wanting to create a gallery wall in our new home that we moved to just over a year ago, but as with many things when you’re a busy mum, it just gets pushed down the to-do list!
When we first moved into our house I just put the frames I had on random hooks that were around the house and that’s where they stayed for over a year!
I have finally just finished two new gallery walls in our home and I wanted to share with you the things I learnt in the process.
It can be quite overwhelming when you first start looking at examples of gallery walls; there are so many different styles and it’s challenging to decide on the look you want to go for.
There seemed to be two main styles of gallery walls; orderly and tidy or colourful and chaotic.
I couldn’t decide between them so I decided to do both!
Here is the more tidy gallery wall using black & white images in white frames…
Which do you prefer? At the moment I just love the chaotic one above but I’ll probably change my mind in a few months!
My mind is definitely more like the colourful chaotic one so maybe that’s why it appeals to me more! 😉
I was quite overwhelmed about creating the colourful gallery wall and didn’t really know where to start. It took quite a bit of research and planning but I got there in the end.
But to make the whole process easier for you, I thought I would share with you the things I learnt in the process. I’ve broken it down into 7 simple steps to help you create your own gallery wall using some of your own family photos….
I started with the close up of my youngest in the shabby-chic style white frame as it was already up on another wall.
2. Use different styles of frames
This is what I found tricky as the ordered part of me wanted to use all of the same colour and style of frames, but your gallery wall will look much more interesting if you use different styles.
You could use all white frames in a few different styles which would look lovely. I decided to use a variety of white, grey and teal frames, some plain and some more vintage in style. Until I put them together I really wasn’t sure if it was going to work but I’m really happy with how they go together.
To make it more affordable, you can mix expensive frames in with cheaper, basic frames like I have done here. So the large photo of my son is in a high end vintage frame and mount from my framers, but the other white plain frames are from a cheaper supplier on Amazon.
If you do decide to use some different colour frames, make sure they are in the same tones; so all light/pastel shades or all dark. For example, if I’d have used just one black frame within this gallery, it would have jarred with the others.
3. Choose the colours for the images
Choose a colour palette for the artwork and photos. I have seen lots of gallery walls where they only use black & white photos and artwork, maybe with just one colour to pop, and it’s buy amoxicillin drops really effective. I decided to use a scheme of teals/greens/golds as they are the colours that I currently have in the living room and it goes well with the cushions on the sofa.
You don’t have to stick too rigidly to your colour scheme otherwise you lose that ‘thrown together’ feel. Choose a 2-4 colour palette and then select artwork and photos that largely have these colours in, but I think it works well to have other colours in there as well.
4. Choose your photos
Now the fun part, choosing the family photos you want to include. You might want to include only photos in your gallery wall and that can work well. I decided to add in other bits of artwork that worked well with the photos and made it feel more like a gallery wall.
I chose photos that made me happy to look at and also worked well with the colour palette I had chosen.
I also included a few iPhone photos that I love in the small frames. Iphone photos aren’t great to print really large, but they were perfect to add to the gallery in these small vintage frames.
5. Choose your artwork
If you have artwork that you already own that would fit well within your gallery wall then that’s perfect. Or of course you could use it as the perfect excuse to go rummaging around shops and art galleries!
I wanted to finish mine quickly, so I searched for digital downloads in my chosen colour palette on Etsy, Pinterest & Google. There are a lot of free digital downloads that are available if you look for them.
The most I paid for an individual digital download on Etsy was around £3 so the whole gallery was very inexpensive. Then I just got them printed as photographic prints at the size I wanted to fit the frames.
I did this over a few days as whenever I came back to it there was always something small I wanted to change. It’s always good to come back to it with fresh eyes a few times before you hang it on the wall.
I also took a quick iPhone snap of it like this so that I could show it to other people as they sometimes see something that you don’t.
7. Hanging your gallery on the wall
This was the bit I was really intimidated by! I’ve tried gallery walls in the past and always messed up the hanging part and ended up with lots of unnecessary holes in the wall!
But then I saw this genius way to avoid that on Pinterest. It’s a bit of a faff but saves lots of time and holes in the wall in the long run! You simply trace around the frames onto some cheap kraft paper (or newspaper would work just as well), and mark where the hook is on the paper.
I didn’t get a chance to photograph the other gallery wall with the kraft paper up, but here is the black & white wall half done so you can see what I mean.
Then you stick the bits of paper to the wall in the layout that you’ve designed on the floor. You can put the nails in the wall directly through the paper and then voila, you just tear the paper away and you’re ready to hang your frames!
I really hope my tips help you to create a gallery wall of your family photos in your home.
PS. If you’d love to learn how to take gorgeous photos of your family so you can display them in a gallery like this, why not take my easy-to-follow online photography course. There are nearly 3 hours of videos showing you the secrets to taking great photos, and you get lifetime access so you can go back to the content at any time. I’m offering 35% off until midnight on 17/9/17, just enter the code ‘BACKTOSCHOOL’.
PS. If you’re in the Surrey area, you can see the dates for my in-person workshops here.
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Vicki Knights is one of the leading family photographers in the UK and started running her popular 'Photography for Parents' workshops in 2010 (the first of its kind in the UK!)