Are you looking to create a gallery wall but you don’t know where to start? This might help…
I think creating a gallery wall at home is one of the most satisfying parts of decorating your home. When you’ve had blank walls staring at you for months it’s brilliant to actually put your own stamp on a place and let your personality really shine through. However, that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with it’s challenges. There aren’t a hundred gallery wall tutorials on Pinterest for no reason, right? Here are my tips for how you can create a stunning gallery wall on a small budget…
Before you start your gallery wall…
Research gallery wall layouts
There are hundreds of different ways to lay out a gallery wall, and so my first port of call would definitely be Pinterest. You’ll find a huge selection of gallery wall layouts to choose from. Consider whether you want everything quite ordered and all the same size or whether you’d like one statement piece with lots of smaller prints surrounding it? Maybe you’d like an eclectic gallery wall or perhaps you’d prefer a cleaner, simple gallery wall design? Whatever your gallery wall preference, you’ll be sure to find something that you like on Pinterest. Next, you can start planning how your gallery wall!
Plan your gallery wall layout
My biggest tip is to plan how your gallery wall is going to look – before you start! You can do this is two ways. You can either pick your gallery wall layout first or pick your art first. If you go with the first option you can just head to a site like Desenio, choose the gallery wall layout you like, and then choose the artwork you like to fit with that layout. You can have your gallery wall ready in no time at all!
However, for a lot of people the art inside the frames is probably quite meaningful to you, and it’s more a case of slowly gathering prints and mementos over time. Am I right? If you’re designing your gallery wall this way then I would recommend doing a test run of how your gallery wall is going to look.
The best way of doing that is to use old magazines, newspapers or wrapping paper to arrange how your prints will look. Measure out each print, cut a piece of paper to the equivalent size and then arrange it on the wall according to the gallery wall layout you’ve selected. You’ll quickly see whether you like your design or not or whether there’s anything you’d like to change. My advice would be to leave it on the wall for at least a few days to allow yourself to get used to it – just like you would do with paint samples.
Consider a theme for your gallery wall
You might want to pick a theme for your gallery wall. Perhaps you’d like it to just consist of black and white photographs, or maybe you want to include mementos from all the amazing trips on you’ve been on with your partner or family? Maybe you want to include all your favourite typography prints, or perhaps your gallery wall is in a particular room in the house and you’d like to create a particular mood. If your gallery wall is in the bedroom, for example, you might want to include a selection of prints that convey the idea of relaxation through either their choice of colours or textures. You may not want a really loud, bright print – instead you might choose something more muted and calming.
How to create an affordable gallery wall
1) Frame anything meaningful to you
Who says it has to be expensive prints that you’re framing in your gallery wall? Certainly not me. I frame everything – from tickets or flyers I’ve carefully preserved from events I’ve gone to, records, CD sleeves, tickets for museums on holiday – anything goes.
2) Create your own minimalist art
I LOVE the @thecrapflat over on Instagram – she’s always bemoaning how rubbish her flat is but from where I’m standing it looks gorgeous! Anyway, she created this minimalist art hersaelf, which I think looks amazing. I also reckon most of us could give it a good go, what do you think?
3) Use washi tape instead of frames
I can testify to the fact that framing everything in your gallery wall takes AGES because it’s so expensive. If you want to create a gallery wall on a budget I would try using washi tape for a cool, slightly more undone look, like you see from @nest_twenty_eight right here. It looks great, right?
4) Add an empty frame
Who says your frame actually has to have a print in it? An empty frame can actually look rather striking on its own. You could also try adding in a statement decorative object – like a faux stag’s head – if you like. Another ideais to add blackboard paint and then add in a handwritten message like in the example below. The added bonus is that you can change it anytime you get bored!
5) Buy second hand frames
A love a gallery wall that’s a mish-mash of different sized prints and frames, and so that’s why I recommend buying lots of second hand frames. I don’t really like the standardised look; lots of unique frames that you can pick up for pennies in charity shops or on eBay will look eclectic and way cooler.
6) Create your own boujie bugs
This is one of my favourite tips EVER – so much so that I’m in the middle of doing it myself! @jackdmarch bought a bag of cheap toy bugs from Amazon, painted them gold, and then added them to his gallery wall. Considering you’d pay around £40 for a ‘real’ gold bug it’s a total bargain.
7) Make your own mini living wall
It’s always nice to have a bit of greenery as part of any home decor and so I love this faux ivy mini living wall over on @making_mulgive_magical! I think you recreate the look yourself just by gluing some faux ivy on to a print sized panel. I might even give it a try! What do you think?
8) Get creative with your gallery wall
Your gallery wall doesn’t just have to consist of prints. I’ve already covered gold bugs and the mini living wall, but they don’t have to be only options. If you’ve recently tiled your kitchen a stand alone tile might be a nice addition to your gallery wall. Similarly, you could also arrange some plates on your wall, or a decorative object, or wireframe lettering. The possibilities really are endless!
Where to buy prints for your gallery wall
I actually wrote a whole blog on where to buy cool wall art right here. But if you’re short on time, here are my current favourite websites for buying wall art that’s stylish yet affordable.
Gayle Mansfield – clean typography pieces with on-point slogans
Desenio – you know it! Affordable, contemporary art prints in a mix of styles
Soo-uk – minimalist typography pieces with a Scandi vibe
King and McGaw – the place for THOSE Andy Warhol quote prints
Ross Muir – classic paintings reimagined with a Scottish twist #squaregogh