If you have a ton of family photos and the wall space for all your pictures, you should try putting up a gallery wall in your home. Gallery walls are incredibly gorgeous, but have so much potential to look off or go wrong with all the items and photos you’re trying to get up on the wall. I had a wall in my house that was just begging for the gallery look, but I had always been too intimidated to actually try it out. I finally got the courage to do it and learned some really valuable lessons along the way. There’s no need for you to go through the trial and error that I did; just follow this step-by-step tutorial for how to hang a gallery wall in your home the right way. Not only will it look great, this tutorial is super easy, too.

All the frames you plan to hang
Kraft or tissue paper
Painter’s tape


Step 1: Get inspiration. 

First up is to determine your personal gallery wall style. Do you like randomness or a grid? Matching artwork or varied? Matching or mismatched frames? Objets d’art? The sky’s the limit.

Step 2: Lay it out.

Lay out the pieces of your gallery wall on the floor. Start with a large centerpiece and build out. Use inspiration images from step 1 to help. If you’re having a hard time deciding on a composition, try this: When you have something you like, snap a picture on your phone. Then make another arrangement. Do this a few times, and then flip through the snapshots. This “editorial view” can help you decide which you like best.

Step 3: Mock it up.

Next, to be sure that your composition looks good on the wall and that the height of it feels right, mock it up on the wall with paper. Trace each frame onto a piece of kraft or tissue paper, trim to size, and tape to the wall in your desired order. Ask yourself, is it grouped around nearby furniture appropriately? Is it a comfortable height? Does it fill the space appropriately? For our example, we wanted the composition to extend a few inches lower than the dining chairs that will sit at the dining table in front of it, and our measurements checked out perfectly. Note that this step is optional, but it helps alleviate error (i.e., unwanted nail holes)!

Step 4: Frame.

If you haven’t already, now’s the time to frame all your art. In the example shown, we had enough frames and art pieces that we could be flexible with the composition and switch them out as needed, so inserting art in frames was our last step before hanging.

Step 5: Hammer and hang.

One perk of using paper mock-ups is they make nail placement easy. You can mark each paper with the spot where the frame’s nail should be placed, and when the paper is on the wall, hammer it directly into the mark on the paper, tearing it away after. Then comes our favorite part—hanging those glorious frames on that glorious wall.

And if you’re looking for a bit more inspiration, check out these great ideas for your gallery wall.
Let a hanging plant dictate your gallery wall by skewing the angles and orientation of your artwork.

Create a neutral gallery wall with lots of shapes, objects, sizes, and variety.

Mix art prints with thrift store and flea market finds of all different shapes and sizes for an art-centric gallery wall.

A gallery wall doesn’t have to be a puzzle. Accentuate your favorite photos in an evenly spaced, uniform display.

We love the black & white theme of this gallery wall, accented with one colorful splash in the center.

Throw a little bit of everything in your gallery wall—framed photos, sculptures, or even wall lights!

Vintage finds, oversized letters, and quotes can make great accents to your gallery wall.

Let your gallery wall spill over onto either side of a stairwell for a look that pulls the whole room together.

Keep the colors complementary for a clean, coordinated look.

Choose a thematic color for your frames and accessories that can really pop out against the wall color. Incorporating ribbons and 3D objects is cool too!

Utilize the space above your bed or headboard by turning it into a cozy, homey gallery wall.