your 6-step guide to creating that perfect gallery wall (headache-free!)

Finally gearing up to put together the gallery wall you’ve always dreamed of, but you’re not quite sure where to start? The task can seem a little daunting – especially if you’re aiming for a collage with different sizes and types of media. The good news is (even if you’re like me and you measure with your heart instead of a ruler) there’s an easy way to get your layout right before a single piece of hardware makes it onto the wall, saving you plenty of headaches from a trial-and-error approach. Follow the steps below and you're on the road to enjoying your latest gallery wall design!



Step 1: Figure out where on your wall magic will be happening. Picture the space you want to fill and think about what you want it to include. For me, it’s all about mixing things up. I used a combination photos and paintings on my wall, but you can also add in shelves, mirrors, and/or other objects and wall art you might have.


Step 2: Figure out what frames are going to help you display all that beautiful artwork! For a consistent look you’ll want to find a big box store where you can source a variety of frames from a single collection to get a cohesive look and feel. Personally, I went for variety over perfection and thrifted the majority of my frames.

Lining up your Layout

Step 3: Playtime! Start designing your layout on the floor next to your open wall where you eventually plan to hang your artwork. Lay out your pieces, mirroring how you want it to look on your wall. This will allow you to easily play around, shifting shapes and sizes until it feels just right. Remember: balance is key! Spread around bigger vs smaller pieces, paintings vs photos, and any pops of color you might have from your frames to keep the eye moving through your layout and creating that visual harmony.


Step 4: You might have certain photos you’ve already assigned to certain frames due to size and/or color – this is totally fine. Those few pieces aside, I find it easier to first get your gallery wall layout and then decide which photos to print for which frames. This allows you to make sure you’re spreading out any variety you might have in black-and-white vs. color, close-up detail images vs. wider landscapes, etc.

craft paper ftw

Step 5: Grab some craft paper and trace your frames. Cut them out and label each sheet with a keyword for the artwork and/or frame that you plan to use. Tape them to the wall by rolling painter’s tape to the back of your sheet so you can visualize your collage while easily moving things around if you need to (without needing to move around your hardware!)

nailing it in

Step 6: The big move! Once your layout is perfected on your wall, you’re ready to mark each craft paper sheet with your hanging point. Gonna be honest – there’s probably a more scientific way to do this (like using a ruler – but have I mentioned I measure with my heart?). With painter’s tape already at the ready, I find it easiest just to measure a piece of tape from the top of the frame to its hanging point. You can then transfer that piece of tape onto your craft paper, and nail with confidence. Especially when you have various sizes and styles of frames, this method helps to avoid any unexpected imbalances in the final layout.

Once you've transferred your (measured-out) tape onto the paper on your wall, you're ready to nail it in! (I love these nails that hold up to 20 pounds each but don't require the extra hardware or effort of a traditional drywall anchor.) Hammer that nail in halfway, remove the paper, and finish pounding it in. Make sure to hang the photo right away so you don't lose track of where it goes!


Voila! Once everything is hung, stand back and admire your gallery wall masterpiece. Jump in to make any minor adjustments if they’re needed, but hopefully this method will have saved you from a lot of trial and error in shuffling frames due to trying to eyeball it directly on your wall (or attempting to measure and getting the numbers wrong).

Real quick - I can’t leave this post without a quick note about sourcing your photos. You can absolutely print your favorite cell phone snaps - but note that they don’t usually look that great when printed, especially if you haven’t done anything to punch up the contrast before you print. To get those timeless, wall-worthy moments of your family that you can leave up for years and years, professional photos are the way to go.

your daily dose of joy

Having a gallery wall isn’t just about aesthetics. It’s about joy, memories, and displaying your family’s connection front-and-center in your home. Your kids will love seeing themselves in those moments on the wall, and displaying their photos can actually have an impact on their sense of security and attachment within the family.

Here’s hoping this helps you create the gallery wall of your dreams! And hey – if you’re in need of those wall-worthy photos to fill it up, let’s chat. I’d love to capture those memorable, frame-able moments for you and your crew! Displaying the artwork of you is what makes your gallery wall - and your home - meaningful and unique.



A photo of Miranda appears "taped" next to her contact information