8.11.2011

How To Make A No Template Gallery Wall

While cleaning out closets for the garage last week, I pulled together a group of frames I had collected - mostly from thrifting. Although some of the frames and pictures I sold during the sale, there were some I had been meaning to put up. I've been wanting to make another gallery wall in the dining room, so Monday I dove in and just did it...



Without running out to buy anything new and using what I already had, here is how I made this gallery wall...


Use what you've got.
I've gathered a collection of frames through thrift & free ones being discarded at my old job. I cleared the space in front of wall and start configuring layouts. After I got the configuration I wanted, I took pictures of the layouts and did a little editing. I didn't want the wall completely filled, so I didn't use some of the frames / mirrors. 


Measure twice - Nail once.
I usually like to use the top of windows or doors as a "water mark" or guide for a starting point. My windows are 12" from the ceiling, so that's where I wanted the top of the frame to line up. I measured from picture wire to the top of the frame to know distance for nail hole. For the side-by-side pictures, I used a level. Since my wall is dark, I used chalk to make my markings, which wiped off easily afterwards with a damp sponge.


No template needed.
I had stacked the frames to the side to clear space, brought in the ladder, and started working the wall from the center - top - down to fill it.


As I worked my way out from the center, I brought over the two plant stands, to help line-up the best place for the frame to hang above it. Since I wanted them to be at the same height, after nailing one on the left, I measured the distance between the nail and the ceiling, and just used that centered with the stand on the right.




After the frames were hung, I removed & replaced each, one by one, to clean & replace pictures. I didn't want to use B&W photos - I was looking to add some print to the dining room for Fall, so I used animal print fabric, and scrapbook paper. You could also use calendar images cards, shopping bags or printed wrapping paper.


I found this great frame found while thrifting last year, (for only $7) but I didn't care for the painting - so I removed it and covered it with some faux leopard (great print for fall - and it's just a small dose). Since I ran out of staples for the gun, I had to improvise: I used a desk top stapler for the straight edges, and thumb tacks to secure the corners. Then I nailed the canvas back into the frame and hung it on the wall - LOVE it!


Clearing space, creating layout and hanging frames = 1 hour.
Cleaning frames & re-framing images plus cleaning up = 2 hours.
A simple afternoon project =)


I usually used this cluster of discarded fitting room frames as a quad (in group of four). This time, I singled them out and used only two.

I always liked the distressed finish of this thrifted frame 
I picked up last year at Faith Farm for only $3. 


More thrifted items: The pair of sconces I found earlier this year  at a church thrift shop for $5 for the pair. Both bamboo gold frames were found at Faith Farm in Ft. Lauderdale - but at different times. When I opened the lower right frame, someones personal photo (and address) was still inside. I'd like to post on FB to try to get it back to its owner. It was $7 and the top right frame was $5.


Here is the break-down of the gallery wall frame collection.






So if you've been thinking about doing a gallery wall - JUST DO IT!!
Whether you reuse frames you already have, or collected a
few new ones while thrifting, it's an easy afternoon project.
Maybe try it this weekend =)

Thanks for stopping by!


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29 comments:

  1. That's awesome. I really need to get some more frames to finish my gallery wall. It looks great!

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  2. just did a gallery wall in my own home. but boy do i love yours. i love that your frames stretch the length of the wall. brilliant. well done and thanks for posting.
    happy friday, friend.

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  3. Hi Lynda!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. I love your gallery wall post! I'm always so nervous about putting stuff on my walls that I never do it! So I'm taking your advice and going for it :D

    Can't wait to read more of your posts :D

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  4. I'm still working on a gallery wall I started about 3 months ago using frames and items I already had when we moved. I love what you've done here. So much inspiration to get me motivated again.

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  5. Looks great Lynda! I cannot resist a good thrifty frame either :)

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  6. Thank you!!! xo I was nervous too (even scared at first) to do the first one I did about 2 years ago... After that I did one for my mom, and I did a smaller one in our bedroom last Christmas.

    I think what might have been so un-nerving was the thought of it being permanent or the thought of making a mistake - but you can still always change it and you can't make a mistake!! All you can do is try. This one actually was done the quickest.

    Have a vision. Make a plan... and HAVE FUN making it happen! Thanks for stopping by!

    xo Lynda

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  7. Lynda, that looks so beautiful! I love that you added the fabric and things to the frame. It makes such an impact! I started a gallery wall of family photos upstairs and I just add to it every so often. I started in the middle with no plan or idea and have just worked my way around! I love it!!! I love the soft browns in your dining room. I can just see it transitioning into a fall spectacular!!!

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  8. Do you think this would work out on a stair wall? That's about the only place I have where there is a lot of wall space. Yours looks wonderful, and I really like the animal prints in the frames.

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  9. WOW!

    I'd love for you to share your EXTRAORDINARY wall on my link party... I hope to see you there! Pinning right now!

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  10. Beautifully done Lynda!

    I love changing my gallery wall. While there are some design "rules" to follow, what makes your heart go pitter patter is the best design choice.

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  11. This is stunning! Thanks for the tips! I need to do this in my hallway.

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  12. Your gallery wall looks great! And I love the slipcovered chairs. Did I ever tell you that your home on RateMySpace is what first inspired me to blog? I just love how resourceful you are! :)

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  13. Your wall looks amazing! I could not have one because I would go nuts all day long making sure they are level.

    BTW - I am your newest follower.

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  14. WOW!! Thanks so much!! xo Your sweet comments just made me smile ;-) YES Scribler!! You can most certainly accomplish this look in a stairway - I posted some inspirational pics the post before this one - or you can also use slim floating shelves at the stair landing wall to create a rotating gallery.

    I'm honored Lovely Little Nest xo Thanks for the invite Desiree!! And to help frames stay straight, Toni - just use doubl-stick foam tape on frame backs.

    :D Lynda

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  15. I have been dying to try a frame gallery wall and you just inspired me to do it! Your wall is gorgeous and literally looks like it stepped out of a design or home decor catalog. I love your use of animal print too - so fun! I am a new follower! xo Meggan

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  16. I love it Lynda, and I really like the new color to the dining room wall... did I miss the post when you changed it?

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  17. This is totally incredible. I love it. Hugs, Marty

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  18. OMGosh, it looks great! I ♥ how that turned out Ü

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  19. It's stunning! You've created a gorgeous gallery. I love that you did this using what you had! Great job, Lynda! :)

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  20. Looks terrific. This onces going in my favourites for future reference

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  21. Wow your gallery wall really looks amazing..great job! Julie

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  22. The gallery of frames is wonderful without a doubt ... but I can't get over the wall behind them! Would you PLEASE advise how you got that color and texture?

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  23. Whenever I think of gallery walls, I think expense for the frames and "artwork". This is such great inspiration for using odds and ends and making something wonderful. It makes me sad that I got rid of a few frames recently.

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  24. I love everything about this room! I want to move into it and live there forever hahaha! Thanks for sharing your tips :)

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  25. You're phenomenal! Congrats on the feature from Under the Table Dreaming!

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  26. this is one of the best gallery walls I have seen..they are my thing for sure. have been doing them in my home forever..way before they were cool..yours is wonderful...pinned it to my boards on Pinterest..http://pinterest.com/mlgabriel/

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  27. That is simply one of the most beautiful gallery walls I have ever seen! It looks like it came straight out of the pages of a magazine. I love how you reused what you had and came up with such a stunning display! Pat yourself on the back lady:)

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  28. Bravo! I absolutely love your practical writing and tips. I too and embarking in a rental in the next 72 hours. I am dreaming, pinning, and scanning over tons of ideas to make it "home". Your site has been a wealth of knowledge. Thank you!! By the way I live in Palm Beach. Love hearing about your finds in our neck of the woods. :)

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