What Not To Do When Creating A Gallery Wall

 I didn't realize some of these frames were crooked until I was editing. The perfectionist in me is literally twitching, haha

I didn't realize some of these frames were crooked until I was editing. The perfectionist in me is literally twitching, haha

 

     I had every intention when we started this gallery wall that I was going to write this fabulous "How-To" for big gallery walls. Um, three days and roughly eight collective hours later, I realized I was so naive. So just like How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, I'm reverse how-to(ing) this. 

    I started this process quite awhile before we purchased anything for it. I'd like to think I did the first few steps correctly. I picked a frame that was simple and would be uniform across the entire wall. I picked a few big pieces that we would work around. Finally, waited for wedding photos before beginning because I knew I wanted it to be all about us. 

    Then, Michaels had a HUGE sale on the frames I wanted. We went to two separate stores and still ended up with two different colored frames. A dark wood and a white. I decided to come to terms with this, even though I knew I will eventually want all the same shade. Luckily, the Belmont frame from Michael's doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. 

    So, now that we've cleaned out both of the Michael's of their remaining white and dark wood frames, we headed home happy. Ok, I was happy. Alvin was agitated that he went to decor stores after a work day. As soon as we got home, the high of the deals had me instantly moving our coffee table to make room on the floor to start creating the layout. 

 

 Creating the layour was messy work. 

Creating the layour was messy work. 

 

    After creating a beautiful layout that I adored while it was on the floor, I measured the width and height to give us some parameters on the wall. We used painters tape to mark the height parameters but I decided pretty quickly that I wanted the gallery to be a bit wider than it was on the floor. In my excitement/Friday night exhaustion, I didn't think through the problems widening it might cause. This is mistake #1

 

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    So we put them all up, roughly where they were on the floor. I say roughly because mistake #2: we didn't measure between the frames as they were on the floor. Not that it would have mattered since I widened the space anyway. Are you following this domino effect of mistakes?  

 

 All the frames at the bottom were driving me nuts! 

All the frames at the bottom were driving me nuts! 

 

    Frustrated and tired, we call it a night. In the morning, it becomes obvious that there are weird gaps that weren't there before. That afternoon, I try rearranging it a bit. Just moving frames a bit to the left here, a bit to the right there. But overall keeping the same design as had been on the floor. Mistake #3. I should have realized that the shape on the floor only looked that good because of the width parameters. The only thing we accomplished on day two was creating lots and lots of little holes in our wall. Seriously, it looks like someone took a machine nail gun to it.  

 

 End of day 2, contemplating my life decisions. JK, I was trying to solve the puzzle.

End of day 2, contemplating my life decisions. JK, I was trying to solve the puzzle.

 

    So on day three, I decided I still loved the height. And I picked two edge frames that I wanted to be the furthest points. Then we moved nearly everything else around. We ended up with two fewer frames than originally intended because once it was on the wall, I liked having the negative space. Here's the final product! 

 

 

 

So what can you learn from this post? 

1) Don't take shortcuts. We were so tired we thought we'd just hang them up "roughly" where they were on the floors (Actually this was Alvin but he was doing the hanging so I didn't want to fight him on it). Taking this "shortcut" ended up costing hours in rearranging times.

2) Use tape to mark parameters or even the shapes of each individual frame. It would have taken quite a bit of time to use tape to mark each individual frame (we have sixteen on this wall) but it's also going to take quite a bit of time to fill in all those holes from us moving the frames around.

3) Do your style research. I had a hard time finding a similar gallery wall to mine, in that we used clean modern style frames but did a large asymmetrical layout. However, if you're interested in a mismatched farmhouse wall or a super clean uniform wall, there are a lot of examples out there that you can browse through. Find what you do and don't like before starting to hang things. 

4) Don't be afraid to rearrange it. Sure, you may end up with a few holes. But those can be patched up! Accept that you made a mistake the first (or fourth) time around and just tweak it until you're satisfied. 

5) Know when to stop. This is especially tricky for perfectionists like me working on an asymmetrical gallery wall. Just know, that it's probably never going to be "perfect". But once it looks pretty to you, stop. Then just enjoy your beautiful work and photos! 

 

Shoutout to our wedding photographer Erin, of Luxe & Pine! We adore our photos so much we spent hours working on a gallery wall because we couldn't narrow down any further which ones we wanted framed and up on the wall!