Happy Monday to you! I hope you all are having a beautiful October so far and are getting out to enjoy all that the fall season has to offer. It truly is a special time of year.
Today I am excited to share my dining room gallery wall with you!
I thought I would share my process on building a gallery wall and give you some ideas on how to approach this project if this is something you are wanting to create in your own home.
Now, the collage on my dining room wall was not this large to start with. I decided to expand it a few weeks back as I was sitting at the table eating breakfast. Here is what the collage used to look like.
As you can see, it did not cover the whole wall, and left quite a large gap towards the left side. I don’t know why I originally placed it that way, as the table never seemed centered with it. You can’t see in the picture, but I had the two large farm prints (seen in my final collage) on the smaller adjacent wall. Anyway, as I was eating breakfast one morning I just sat there and studied the two walls and thought, “I don’t like this at all!” The two walls just weren’t cohesive and this really started to bug me. The thought had popped into my mind before, but I kind of pushed it away because I really didn’t know how I wanted to change things or how to go about changing things. However, that one day a few weeks ago I decided right then and there that I was going to expand my small collage and actually have it wrap around to the adjacent wall. Sometimes I hate when I get these urges because I just can’t stop until I am satisfied! Let’s just say I spent a lot of money on more frames those next couple weeks and put lots of nail holes in the wall! BUT I did have fun with it and it really wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.
I just LOVE the way it turned out! It is exactly what I was hoping for, as my dining room walls are now a grand, cohesive work of art. And now I feel at peace as I eat my breakfast! Let me talk a little bit about the steps I used to build my gallery wall. Hopefully this will help you get started!
1. How big do you want your collage to be? And what shape?
I decided to go BIG, but you can always go smaller, especially if you have only a small space to fill. When I made the first, smaller collage several years ago, I marked out the four corners of the collage with a little painters tape. You don’t have to be precise here, just give yourself some borders to work within. As you can see from my pictures, the collage on my long wall makes somewhat of a rectangle, and on the smaller wall, it makes a square. You might want to make an oval or roundish collage also. As with the rectangle or square, you can still mark out four corners, but as you place the frames you are going to stagger them in a way that gives a more rounded shape. Also keep in mind that with a rectangle or square collage, your “sides” are not going to be a perfect straight line. This particular project is not at all about precision! Your frames are going to be both inside and outside of those invisible “sides.” That’s what will give your gallery wall character and make it visually appealing.
2. Start by arranging your frames on the floor.
Once I had my corners marked out with tape on the wall, I simply measured the length and height of that space and then also made those same measurements on my floor and marked them with tape. This is the ONLY time I used a measuring tape for this project–seriously! Just allow yourself to be creative and play around with the frames on the floor. They do not have to be spaced perfectly! Honestly, I just arranged my frames until they looked pleasing to my eye. Once you are happy with the pattern you have created, snap a picture of it, and use the picture as a guide as you transfer the collage to your wall.
3. More about choosing frames…
Choose frame styles and colors that work well together and complement each other. For my collage, I chose white, natural wood tones, black, and even a few robin’s egg blue ones to echo the color of our new front door. I even threw in a few patterned frames that still followed my color palette, just for fun!
Whatever frame styles and colors you decide upon, be sure you also choose a variety of sizes. Your collage will not make much of a statement if the frames you use are all about the same size.
4. Use your largest frames as “anchor frames.”
As you can see from my gallery wall, I used my four largest pieces as anchors, or starting points, to build the rest of my collage around. The two large canvas family photos and two farmhouse prints are my anchor pieces, and I placed them at about the same height on the wall. I also spaced them about the same distance apart, but, again, I didn’t actually measure. Just eyeball it! Once those big pieces are in place, you can work your way out to your “borders,” placing the frames around them in whatever ways you find interesting. Again, you can start by arranging the remainder of your frames around your large frame on the floor first to make this process a little easier and save your wall from unnecessary nail holes.
5. Place your frames in a randomized fashion.
By randomized, I mean try to vary the sizes and colors as much as possible as you place the frames next to each other. For example, try to place a white frame next to a black frame, or a wood toned frame next to a white frame. Try to keep this sort of “randomness” throughout your whole collage. Obviously, depending upon how many frames you have of which color, this can be difficult, but just try to vary colors and styles as much as possible.
In keeping with the whole idea of “randomness,” also vary the direction of the frames as well. By “direction,” I mean try hanging a horizontal frame next to a vertical one, and vice versa, as much as possible.
Usually the hangers on most frames allow you to hang them in either position.
6. Add some extra, fun elements to your collage that aren’t necessarily family photos.
Large letters that represent your family name, plaques, signs, art prints and typography that contribute to the “theme” of your collage are all fun elements to add to your gallery wall.
As you can see, I added a large Q to represent our last name “Quiles,” as well as smaller letters to represent the names of each person in our family. I also added small plaques with sweet sayings, farmhouse style prints, and words and phrases that are important to our family. I love arrows, so I also placed an arrow above one of my favorite old signs.
7. Fill in any awkward gaps with mini frames.
Any large spaces or gaps in my collage I simply filled with mini frames. Mini frames are fun, and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Michaels has a large variety of really cute mini frames at great prices, so I purchased most of mine there. Again, the tiny frames really add variety to your collage, especially if you already have several larger frames. Again, it’s visually pleasing to look at a collage that contains a wide array of frame sizes, from very large, all the way down to very small.
One thing I should mention about mini frames and other small “tabletop” frames is that they usually don’t come with hangers. That’s okay though, because you can easily add your own. Most frames shops, craft and hardware stores sell picture hangers in a variety of sizes. I added the little saw tooth hangers on several of my frames. Bottom line: Don’t pass up a frame you really love just because it doesn’t have a hanger!
Well, I hope that sharing my gallery wall “process” with you has been helpful, and hopefully you will consider creating your own. It really will make a huge statement in your home–it’s usually one of the first things guests notice, and they will enjoy looking at it! It’s a great conversation starter! If a large wall collage seems daunting, just simply start smaller until you get the hang of it. The process isn’t without a little trial and error (and a few extra nail holes!) but it is truly a fun project and so worth the time and effort. You probably noticed that a lot of my new frames still need photos, and I will get to that soon. Like I said, this type of project is a process–don’t rush it, enjoy every step, be creative and have fun!!
Thanks so much for hanging out with me today. If you have any comments or questions, I would love to hear from you. Blessings to you!