How to make a gallery wall – a step-by-step guide

I designed a wall planner earlier this year, and while it's been a great tool to help me keep organised, it looks a bit out of place by itself on my living room wall. So, I've decided to create a gallery wall and I thought you might like to know how I did it and follow along!


Here's my lonely wall planner on a stretch of blank wall in my living room:

My wall planner on a blank wall

Gather everything you want in your gallery

First things first, have a think about what you have as well as what you want on your wall. If you have prints or artwork that's been hidden in the back of your drawers, it's time to get them out!

Don't limit yourself to just prints you've bought – think about magazine cuttings, beautiful cards you've received as well as physical tactile things like dried flowers or fabric samples to add some texture.

Also, remember to think about how you want to display them. For example, prints don't always have to be in frames – I wrote a blog post about it here if you want some inspiration.

It's now time to evaluate – have a look at everything, is there a theme appearing? Maybe it's floral, or monochrome... if there's anything jarring, take it out – you can always use it somewhere else in your home. Don't worry if you have too many things, you can always edit once you start figuring out what layout you want.

Here's what I collected:

(& print, magazine cut out, postcard, 2 hanging ornaments, A and P letter coasters, Know Your Typographic Pieces print, botanical wallpaper, M moose print, heptagon print)

Trace and cut everything

Now that you've got everything that you want, it's time to trace and cut. I've used a roll of brown paper, but you can use anything – old wrapping paper, printer paper, basically any scraps of paper you can draw and cut.

For each piece, lay it on your paper, trace it, then cut it out. Make sure you measure the whole piece (i.e. if a print is going in a frame, trace the frame, not the print!) It doesn't have to be super precise, but accuracy will help when it comes to visualising the gallery wall. Oh and remember to label each piece of paper so you know what it is.

Play around with the layout

It's time for the fun bit now! Stick up the pieces of paper on the wall and rearrange to your heart's content. I would use white tack or washi tape to do it so that there's no danger of marking the wall.

Try different combinations, have everything in rows, or use a big piece as the feature then add things around it. The options are endless – the important thing is to step back and look at it as a whole once you think you've got a combination that you like. I would even walk away for an hour or two and glance at it from time to time. This way, you can see if anything is out of proportion or weighted too heavily on one side.

Here are the combinations that I tried: 

Get everything on the wall!

Once you're happy with the layout, it's time to put everything up! I chose layout option 2 for my wall. It was the most balanced out of the three (Did you notice that I've left out the clipboard? It was just too crowded to incorporate it, but not to worry, I've found another home for it already!)

Put up one piece at a time, and replace the paper with your items. To keep things in the right position, I marked out the corners of each piece of paper. Make sure you take your time here – you don't want to make a mistake after you've put so much time and effort into planning!


And here's what it looks like now! I'm so happy with how it turned out – the wall planner doesn't look out of place anymore, and my living room looks so much more complete!