How To Create A Picture Wall / Gallery Wall – Step By Step


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Let’s look at exactly how to create a stunning feature gallery wall with pictures (and other things!) so that you get a completely unique art collection for you and your home.

Picture wall - Gallery wall - How to - Step by Step

I love picture walls – they create a really personal and one-off look for your home and can be changed as many times as you like – but I often get asked how to make them so they look great and not a mess on the wall.

Here’s the definitive guide to how I created my most recent picture wall in my own home, with loads of tips and tricks as well so that you can try it yourself – enjoy!

Step By Step – How To Create A Picture Wall

#1 – Where Will You Put The Picture Wall?

You can’t just get straight to putting the pictures on the wall – unfortunately – but it’s definitely worth it in the end!

To start with, you want to think about the following things: –

  • Is it a large enough space to create a feature wall with lots of pictures on? – the best walls to create a picture wall are those that have space all around so that you can really enjoy the wall without distraction.
  • Is the background plain and not patterned (so it doesn’t look too busy when finished)?
  • What room is it in? Will the pictures be appropriate for that room? (Home offices work well with motivational word art, family rooms work well with childrens art and family photos, etc….)

#2 – Decide On Your Style

What type of house do you have? What style is your decor? What room are you in?

These questions are important to ask as you will want to complement the style you have rather than create something that doesn’t fit in at all.

There are so many ways you can create a picture wall – here are a few examples to get you thinking!: –

The Home office picture wall below is a lovely one to start with, with lots of similar coloured items creating a really brilliant focal point above the desk.

Picture Wall Example

The next one is how you can use different sized frames in similar colour tones to create an interesting gallery wall design (then you can add the pictures as you find them!).

Picture Wall Example

Lovely example of a way to create a family wall picture wall – with lots of different frames, types of photos etc… – all coming together to form a gorgeous whole piece of art.

Much more impactful than a few on each wall…

Picture Wall Example

Why not use the same colour frames to create unity?

Picture Wall Example

Or go for loads of different colours and styles for a more unique and informal look…

Picture Wall Example

This last option is a very artistic way to bring a lot of photos together.

Print them all in black and white, and frame in black (or white) frames. Contemporary and very smart!

Picture Wall Example

And this is my own home – the “after” picture (you can see how it came about later in the post).

I have used the corner of the room and the pictures wrap around it which makes the room feel bigger (especially with the dark walls).

I have also used other things on the wall such as a clock, some scrabble letters, and a light box!

Picture wall - Gallery wall - Ideas and Inspiration

TIP – You may want to display things other than just framed pictures – why not think about clipboards with art on them, other artwork, clocks etc… and mix things up a little…

Now you’re in a great position to get started and create your wall. You know where it’s going and what type of frames/pictures you want – so you can now start collecting together what you need.

Ready to do this?

#3 –  Gather Everything You Need

It’s a lot easier to create a picture wall when you have access to all the pictures/frames/art etc…. up front.

Now is the time to start looking around the house, or shopping, for the things you will need.

You know roughly what size you will be filling, and the types of frames you are going for, but along with these you will need extra items to do this project: –

  • Frames – gather as many as you can, because you may need more than you think, or not use some of them if they don’t work (TIP – you can always buy them and leave them in their packaging – then you can take them back if you don’t use…). I love TKMaxx/ Homesense for unusual frames at a good price, and you can usually pick up some great finds at Dunelm Mill, Next and John Lewis as well.
  • Pictures (to fill the frames you have). This isn’t crucial at this stage, as you can fill the frames after you have finished – but I find that it’s easier to just get it all done in one go.
  • Any other items you want to display – Think about using other items to create a more individual look. Within my own picture wall you saw I used a clock, some large scrabble style wooden tiles, and a light box – so you can be very creative if you want!
  • Hanging tools – A tape measure and level are crucial to ensuring you get everything in the right place, but there are various ways to create your wall (which I will go through later in this post), as such you may either want to use nails and a hammer, or you could use the 3M Command hanging strips as these make it easier to hang things in the right place and don’t leave marks on the wall. Lastly – some large pieces of paper (newspaper would be fine), masking tape, and a pencil will help you get everything in the right place on the wall (and this will be talked about later also).

#4 – Measure The Space On the Wall That You Want To Fill

I like to create an overall shape on the wall so that visually every frames I put into that shape means that it all works together really well and looks like one piece of art when finished.

I like rectangles or squares for this – but you could go completely random or use a circle/oval style as well – it’s whatever you prefer really!

Once you work out what shape you want on the wall – measure it out and write that down.

#5 – Start To Play With The Items So That Everything Fits

This is the fun bit!

Try out lots of different placements for each frame on the floor (as the floor is easiest to move things around), until you get something that looks right.

You will want to look at the following ideas: –

  • If you use different styles of frame, make sure they are spread out evenly over the entire wall
  • If you use different sized frames, make sure they are spread out evenly over the entire wall
  • Think about the pictures themselves – if you have some colour and some black and white, or some childrens art etc.. – then also look to balance these around the entire wall

So, now you’re ready – you have the tools you need to hang everything, and the design is laid out on the floor – next step – and often where people stumble – is how to successfully transfer the pictures from the floor to the wall and keep them looking amazing…

#6 – Fix The Pictures To the Wall

There are a few great ways to do this – so I’ll tell you a little about each and you pick what works best for you.


I start by turning over all the pictures on the floor so that I can clearly see where the fixings are. This then helps me to measure as I go between each picture.

I start on the top left of the wall and work from there. I use my eye and a little measuring mostly as I have done this a few times (and yes, I do get it wrong a few times, but those holes get hidden in the end ;o) )

I have created a little video of my own picture wall being put up – just so you can see the order it was done – hope this gives a little inspiration!: –

Picture wall creation video - Gallery wall

But if you prefer to be a little more accurate – you may like this next idea instead: –


This YOUTUBE video is a great example of this method – hope it helps!

and lastly – you may want to use: –


As aready said – I really like the 3M Command range of picture hanging items – and use these as well.

They are specifically useful for items without hanging abilities (such as frames meant for standing on a surface rather than wall hung, or other items such as my scrabble tiles that were just blocks of wood).

They also make it really easy as you don’t need to be totally accurate with what you do – and you can make sure the pictures are all exactly in the right place without too much hassle.

Lastly – they don’t leave a hole in the wall – which is great if you are renting or if you are likely to make a few mistakes with your nails and don’t like the idea of lots of extra holes!

And That’s It!

Actually pretty simple once you get your head around it, and it’s always a great talking point once it’s done.

You can have so many smaller pictures that mean lots to you, and the best thing is that it’s easy to update the pictures as you add new experiences and events into your life etc…

I really hope you love the idea of a picture wall somewhere in your home, and I’d love to know how you get on if you decide to try it!.

For now – let’s recap on the most important tips: –

  • Choose a plain wall with lots of space around it so that the pictures become a real feature of the room
  • Get the style and look right in terms of frames and pictures that you choose and the overall shape of the picture wall
  • Make the picture wall suit the rooms purpose (home office, bedroom, family room etc…)
  • Balance different frames/pictures/styles around the picture wall so there isn’t a lot of any one type in any area
  • You don’t have to stick to just pictures in frames – think outside the box. I like the idea of using clipboards as well, as these are really easy to display kids artwork and it’s quick to change as they grow up.
Creating a picture wall - gallery wall. Step by step guide with lots of ideas of how to get the best result. Inspirational photos as well. Display art on wall easily with these tricks

Hope you have fun creating your very own picture wall.

If you’ve got any thoughts or ideas to share on this article, then please leave a comment below and we can chat!

Also worth mentioning here is that I’ve created a stunning collection of word art that would make a fantastic addition to any gallery wall.

Take a look at it HERE.

…and in the meantime, if you’d like even more inspiration for covering your walls – then why not look at the map wallpaper – a really funky talking point that’s a little unusual – CLICK HERE to read more.


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This article was written by Chrissy

Hi - I'm Chrissy... Having run my own business for 12 years as a Professional Organiser and Interior Designer, I know what works (and what doesn't!) when it comes to setting up a home that works both functionally and aesthetically. Now you can mostly find me in a coffee shop or at home, working full time on (which I setup back in 2011) sharing all my tips and ideas. My mission is to help you create a home that you love to live in every day...


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