Creating a gallery wall can be really intimidating. I know it was for me. The first time I made an attempt was a few years ago, and can only be described as comically sad. I tried to do it freeform, without a plan. Just nailing and hanging as I went. The wall I used wasn’t big enough, or a good location. Just all wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
A few months ago I was chatting with my friend Natasha, who works with Minted. It just so happened that they were planning on releasing their first ever limited edition and custom print art collection and we decided to collaborate on this little how-to guide. Several of the pieces I used are from Minted, as well as a few from other sponsors, and quite a few I previously owned. I’ll share where everything came from and where you can get it at the end.
A large central wall works best for a gallery wall. You want it to be a focal point, not a side thought. I chose the space over my couch. You’ll want to visually divide your wall into quadrants. Your art can then either be built off of the horizontal line, the vertical line, or both. I went with the last option.
After choosing the artwork from Minted, I went about filling in the spaces. I knew that wanted a variety of sizes and mediums. Illustration, painting, photography, etc. I was so excited to pull out pieces that I’d never found the perfect spot for before! Next I nerded out and hopped on my laptop to lay it all out. You can do the same, or print out thumbnails and play with arranging the pieces that way. Whatever works for you, just remember the goal is to have a plan.
I didn’t want the end result to feel flat, so I chose frames of varying depths. The majority are from Plywerk and are 3/4″ bamboo platform frames that I adhered my art to. One is a printed canvas from Thumbtack Press. Everything else I framed in simple glass frames or adhered to the wall with black and white striped washi tape.
I used contractor’s paper (you can get it at any hardware store) to lay things out on the wall. This step is a little time consuming, but you’ll thank me later. Measure all of the frames you plan on using, then cut out paper accordingly. It also helps to label each piece of paper as you go with the art it’s representing. Then working off of your axis (vertical, horizontal, or both) to begin laying out your gallery wall. Try and keep the margins between pieces the same, I went with an inch. Once your paper is taped up you’re going to go ahead and hammer in your nails. Go back to your frames, measure horizontally and vertically where it hits to hang from the nail. Mark it with a pen or pencil on the paper you’ve hung and hammer away, right through the paper. Fun, right?
You’re so close! Rip off the paper and hang your frames. Fine tune anything that’s acting up, but remember that the point is not for things to be perfect. Things are going to adjust themselves according to how your home sits, etc. And tada, you’re done! Not so difficult, right?
1 painting by Erin Cooper/Pippin & Pearl
4 After the Heist by Patrick Leger from Thumbtack Press (Sponsor)
Thumbtack Press is like a nebulous cloud of rapidly changing art matter. Picture trillions of creatively charged particles smashing into each other, exploding, fusing together, spinning – everything moving, moving, moving. TTP exists to foster that nebulous cloud. They help it grow by injecting new particles and catalysts, always dedicated towards the creation of something that’ll push the cloud of art matter forwards. Of course, they’re also an online store where open edition prints by top illustration, lowbrow, and character artists from all over the world are sold.
8 vintage Pittsburgh map
20 Be Nice Or Leave letterpress by Louella Press (no longer sold)
Disclaimer: All Minted prints, Plywerk frames, and Thumbtack Press canvas provided in kind.