How to Create Your Own Gallery Wall

Gallery walls (sometimes called photo or picture walls) are a popular way of updating your space with some character and personality. They’re a more personal, and more exciting way of jazzing up a feature wall than just a brighter lick of paint or some patterned wallpaper. While they’ve become popular in the last few years, they’re a timeless style that are worth the bit of effort they take to create.

The idea of getting started might seem a bit daunting at first, but we’ve put together a handy guide to the whole process. Let’s get started!

Where do I start?

There are a few decisions you’ll have to make before you start, with the most important being what kind of theme you’d like for the wall and what images you would like to use. You could use prints and spare pieces of patterned wallpaper to create something stylish, or you might want to go for a more personal touch with family photos. You can work in both! But either way, you’ll want to plan this out before getting to work to make sure you have the right size frames, and that you’re happy with the colour scheme. You’ll also need to decide where it will go. Some great locations to show it off are empty wall space over the sofa, a mantelpiece, or along a wall space above the stairs.

How do I plan the layout?

There are two approaches to constructing your gallery wall. You can measure each frame, mark out each space on the wall, and make sure you’re using a level throughout to keep it neat. Or… you can just freestyle it. For bigger projects we’d advise a keener eye but depending on the size of the wall and shape of the frames you’re using, you can go by instinct for some of the work.

At the very least, it’s a good idea to lay your frames and pieces out on the floor before starting construction on the wall to help visualise where you’d like each one to go before committing. If you really want it to be as neat as possible, you could also make paper templates from each of your frames, so you can see exactly how much space you’ll be leaving between each one.

What frames should I choose?

Deciding on your frames is a huge part of curating the style of your gallery wall. For a more modern, Scandinavian style you’ll want plainer, square styles of frames. For a more varied, quirky look, you could go for similar frames in different colours, or the same colour frames in different sizes or shapes. For a colourful look, you could go for a mix of everything! To help you with the hard work, we’ve collected some of our favourite frames for you. Our frames don’t come with attached hooks for hanging, but hooks can be found at any DIY store and easily placed on the back.

Neutral Frames

Many of our frames are crafted from mango wood. A highly sustainable wood, it’s harvested from mango trees, a fast growing and renewable resource. The wood has a beautiful natural colour, with unique patterns through the grain. Take a look at our Natural Mango Wood Photo Frame for a plain style, or our Jaraja or Asali styles for something a little more decorative. If you’re a fan of the shabby chic style, we also have our Nirala, Iksu, and Leela styles finished with a distressed antique white paint.

Small Frames

Our Alia range of square, triangular, and hexagonal hanging frames are perfect for gallery walls as they’re easy to fill and even easier to hang. Each frame comes with a ribbon or cord matching the colour of the metal, so that it can be hung from a nail (or stuck with a non-permanent method if you need to protect your wall). What’s more, the range of shapes and sizes in each style add a more interesting look to your wall. And as always, they’re lovingly handmade by Fair Trade hands. These frames are crafted from recycled glass and metal, so your wall can be just as sustainable as it is stylish.

Colourful Frames

After something a bit more colourful? Our Dhari Multicoloured Frames are perfect for more eclectic styles. Each one is crafted from individual stripes of wood, each dyed with natural dyes and placed together to create the beautiful design. If you love that rainbow look, you could even go for one of our Recycled Newspaper Photo Frames, crafted from 100% recycled materials. Or take a look at our Vidya, Asin, Kajol, and Neela frames for something just as bright, but with just the one colour scheme in mind.

For a bit of extra flair, we love the look of our vibrant Recycled Sari Bunting. Available in two different sizes, it’s a great way of adding a pop of colour to a more neutral wall. The bright fabric is the salvaged offcuts of the sari material created especially for our sari journals and photo albums. A great way of reducing waste for us, and a beautiful addition to your home.

To hang the gallery wall, you’ve got a few different options. The usual option would be a standard hammer and nail job. You’ll just need to make sure to measure and mark exactly where each nail will need to go before getting to work to save yourself from a wonky wall!

That said, we all know how annoying it can be to have to fill, sand and paint all those tiny little nail holes when it comes to redecorating, or you might be living in a rented home where you’re not be able to make any marks at all. A great alternative is adhesive attachments, which will better protect your wall. You can find many different strips and hooks, so you’ve got it covered whatever the size or weight of your frames.

And now it’s time to stand back and enjoy your finished piece! The best thing about gallery walls is that if they’re in need of a refresh, you can just give your images a swap around or even change the patterns or prints you’ve used to match your seasonal decorations.

For more inspiration, head over to our Pinterest to see our Gallery Wall Inspiration board where we’ve collected images of some our favourite unique gallery walls. When you’ve made your masterpiece, tag us in your photos at @paperhighuk on Instagram so we can share your handywork!