Image of full gallery wall
Gallery walls can be an expression of your personality

Creating a gallery wall: 3 step guide for beginners.

Let’s face it, a quick scroll through Instagram or Pinterest and you’ll come across some picture perfect gallery walls. I’ll be the first to admit that back in the day, I was intimidated at the prospect of starting one. But just like any other form of DIY it’s all a learning curve and we don’t always get it right first time.

So if you’re a beginner and not sure how to get going, I’ll share with you three main areas to focus on; layout, choosing prints and installation.

Let me start with the why; creating a gallery wall is an opportunity to not only express your creativity, but to also showcase your personal style. They can transform a bland wall into a design feature in its own right. For me, wall art adds a level of depth and interest to a room.

If you follow me on Instagram you will often see my living room gallery wall featured. It started with around four pieces and has since blossomed and grown into its current form. It’s now an integral part of the room that adds a heap of personality, providing a fantastic backdrop for my mustard sofa.

Image of full gallery wall in a living room

1. Decide on a layout

There is no right or wrong way to hang wall art, it’s your wall so do whatever feels good to you! But if you do prefer a structured layout then check out the Desenio website for useful templates such as this…

Example of a gallery wall layout
Image credit: Densio

Filling a whole wall with artwork can make a real wow statement in a room but sometimes less is more. But smaller and simpler layouts such as the one in my green and pink living room, can be just as effective.

An image of a small and simple gallery wall layout
Example of a simple layout above my green sofa

I find it useful to choose one larger print as a starting point in the middle of the display and then work my way outwards. I also lay the chosen prints out on the floor to visualise how the formation will look on the wall.

Hanging a set of ‘themed’ prints in a horizontal line also works well. I have a collection of fun Dachshund prints above my hallway radiator. When entering the home they act as a line, drawing the eye down along the passageway.

Image of a collection of themed prints in a horizontal line
Hanging a set of prints in a horizontal line can lead the eye through a space

2. Choose your art work 

A well curated gallery wall can be a real talking point so take your time when choosing prints. Think about the overall ‘mood or feel’ you want to create. Do you want it to be fun, elegant, a collection of photographic memories?

You can opt for one colour scheme and choose prints in the same tones or go for a mix of contrasting colours, sizes and themes for a more eclectic vibe. Try a mix of different size pieces as well as different shapes. I’ve added a vertical typography framed canvas just off centre of the wall and a large clock. For me, they both add a unexpected little pizzazz.

When I started my main gallery I chose to use black frames as a contrast against the pale grey wall colour. From there it grew organically and I found myself adding more colour over time. As sofa’s and chairs are large blocks of one colour, a gallery wall backdrop can make the space feel more unified. This is especially true if there are pops of the same colour in prints and soft furnishings.

Gallery wall used as a backdrop to a mustard velvet sofa
My main gallery wall with black frames as a contrast against the pale grey wall colour

The majority of my prints have been found via small businesses on Instagram. I have a wall art highlight on my Instagram grid which details all my favourites – go check it out!

My main piece of advice is to choose prints that you feel immediately drawn to. If something stops you in your tracks, makes you smile or evokes a feeling, then just go with it.

You can replicate the colours in your decor schemes or go for a complete contrast. Mix and match too – add in a mirror, instruments, textural pieces, even sporting equipment. Basically, no gallery wall is the same and you can get as creative as you like. If you love it, hang it!

3. Install away…

First things first, spacing. The general advice is to keep it even, as this apparently stops it looking disjointed. But hey, I’m generally no perfectionist so my more organic displays aren’t measured within an inch of their lives! I’ve found using my eye as a guide works best for me, stepping back periodically to check. However, exact spacing is required if your layout is more uniformed, as in the image below.

A gallery wall prints in a uniformed layout
Image credit: Desenio

If you want added reassurance before installing your art work you can map out your gallery wall in advance. Use pieces of paper as templates for each picture, this is particularly useful if you’re hanging frames of different sizes at different heights.

What to use

Two things to take into account before hanging decorative items; the wall surface and weight of object. There will be varying methods dependent on surface type, plaster, drywall, brick etc. For heavier items you’ll want to have extra confidence in the fixing. Whichever method you use, always have a spirit level to hand as nobody like a wonky picture right!

Examples of wall decor hanging methods
1. Takker picture hanging kit. 2. Adhesive hanging strips. 3.Hammer and nail/masonry hanging

My ultimate tip for hanging wall art

My walls are all plaster so for me the hands down winning method is the Takker kit. I could wax lyrical all day about this snazzy little tool. It has taken away any potential stress, full stop! It’s simple and easy to use, leaves no mess on the walls and takes up to 10kg in weight. The full kit comes with a variety of hooks and 48 pins – more than enough to have you creating your picture perfect gallery wall. It’s available from Amazon and a selection of other home retail stores.

Till next time


You might also enjoy:


    1. Hi there
      The Fancy artwork is from a small husband and wife company called Jacks and Stripes. You can find them on Instagram or via their website.

      This one is customised so you can pretty much request any word you want.

      Best wishes

  1. Many thanks Jo. I love your inspiration and stunning wall gallery. You are a star 🌟 🤩
    I’m truly inspired by your posts .

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *