The Easiest Fool Proof Way to Hang a DIY Gallery Wall

modern gallery wall with 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers

Creating a DIY gallery wall is a fantastic way to infuse personality and style into your own home. Whether you’re looking to spruce up an empty wall in your living room or add some flair to your dining room, a gallery wall is a great way to showcase your collection of artwork, family photos, and more. In this blog post, I will guide you through the easiest way to hang a gallery wall. We’ll make it look stylish and professional, even if it’s your first time hanging picture frames. We’ll cover everything from planning your gallery wall layout to the best hanging hardware to use. Let’s get started!

Before you start hammering nails into your entire wall, it’s essential to plan your gallery wall layout. This step ensures you achieve a cohesive look and avoid unnecessary nail holes. Begin by selecting the art pieces you want to display. Mix and match different frame styles and sizes to create visual interest. Combining large frames with smaller pieces can add depth to your gallery wall. Consider incorporating the following to your mix of artwork:

  • Large pieces of art to anchor the gallery wall
  • Smaller pieces and square frames, or oval frames. remember to mix up frame sizes
  • Dimensional pieces like sculptures or shadow boxes
  • Affordable frames from your local thrift store are always unique options to add
  • A mix of black frames, gold frames, and frames with white mats to add interest

A good rule of thumb is to start with a focal point, usually the largest piece of art or a standout piece. This piece will anchor your gallery wall and help you build around it.

Choose a Layout Style

There are various gallery wall ideas to consider, such as:

Frames are aligned in a grid pattern, creating a neat and orderly look. You could have three frames next to each other, for example.

Salon Wall

A more eclectic arrangement, with frames of different sizes and styles placed closely together.

Similar to the symmetrical gallery wall but with consistent spacing between frames and usually this fills up a large blank wall in a square or rectangle shape.

Determine the Layout on the Floor

Creating a Gallery Wall

Lay out your chosen frames on the floor to experiment with different arrangements. This floor layout allows you to visualize how the pieces will look together and helps you find the perfect spot for each piece. Move the frames around until you find an arrangement you love. I take a picture of the layout when I find the perfect grouping.

Create a Template

Gallery Wall Paper Template

Creating a template is the easiest way to ensure your gallery wall looks polished and professional. This method prevents the guesswork and reduces the chances of design mistakes. Trace each frame onto kraft paper or wrapping paper. Cut out these traced frames and label them so you know which piece of art they correspond to. This step helps you plan your wall without making a single hole.

Arrange the Paper Templates

Use painter’s tape or masking tape to adhere the paper templates to your wall. Start with your focal point and build around it. Adjust the placement of the templates until you’re satisfied with the overall layout. Make sure to account for:

  • Eye level: The middle frame should be at eye level for a more natural look.
  • Space between frames: Use a tape measure to ensure even spacing. I like a 2″ spacing for a grid like gallery photo wall. 

Now that your layout is planned and your paper template is in place, it’s time to hang all the different frames up.

Gather Your Tools

  • You’ll need the following tools for this step:
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill driver 
  • Monkey hook or picture hook (for larger pieces)
  • Command strips (an easy way to avoid nail holes)
  • Picture hangers
  • Picture wire (if your frames aren’t equipped with hanging hardware)
  • Painters tape

Mark the Nail Spots

Mark the Nail Spots for Gallery Wall

Using a pencil, mark the nail spots directly onto the wall through the paper templates. This step ensures your nail placement is accurate and reduces the need for additional nail holes.

Install the Hanging Hardware

Based on the size and weight of your frames, choose the appropriate hanging hardware:

  • Picture Hooks: Great for smaller pieces and lightweight frames.
  • Monkey Hooks: Perfect for larger frames and heavier pieces.
  • Command Strips: Ideal for a no-damage solution, especially for rental homes.
  • Picture Wire: Useful for frames without built-in hanging hardware.

Hang Your Frames

Installing a Gallery Wall in Your Home

Begin with the largest piece or your focal point and work your way outwards. Make sure each frame is level before moving to the next one. If you’re using picture wire, ensure it’s taut and the frame hangs flat against the wall.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

modern gallery wall with 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers

Even with careful planning, you might encounter a few hiccups along the way. Here are some common issues and how to fix them:

Uneven Frames

If a frame isn’t hanging level, use a small piece of tape or stick a piece of museum putty on the back to adjust its position.

Nail Holes

If you’ve made a mistake with nail placement, fill the holes with spackling paste and touch up with paint.

High Ceilings

For walls with high ceilings, ensure the top row of frames doesn’t feel too high. You might need to adjust the layout to fill the vertical space effectively. I usually avoid hanging gallery pieces too high up. Unless you’re trying to fill a large wall with artwork, stick to hanging most artwork at eye level. 

Creating a gallery wall in your living room or dining room is a fantastic way to personalize your space. By following this foolproof method, you’ll have a beautiful, cohesive gallery wall that enhances your home decor.

Remember, the key to a successful gallery wall is planning, patience, and a bit of creativity. Don’t be afraid to mix and match different sizes, styles, and types of photos to create a unique and personal display. My biggest piece of advice would be to not be afraid of making holes in the wall! It’s okay to make mistakes and you should have fun with creating a gallery wall you love. 

By following these steps and using the right tools, you’ll have a stunning gallery wall that looks professionally installed. Enjoy the process and the beautiful transformation it brings to your home! Now that you know the basics of arranging a gallery wall, let me tell you more about a hanging tool I use and love. For my staircase gallery wall I used a method completely new to me for hanging artwork and decor. I am so excited to share it all with you!

Hanging Art with 3M Claw Drywall Picture Hangers

modern gallery wall with 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers

The 3M Claw Drywall Picture Hangers are the ultimate trusted solution for hanging heavy home decor items or heavy artwork. This newest innovation allows you to hang heavy pieces, up to 45lbs without using a stud or an anchor! The engineered hardened steel claws lock securely into the drywall with the push of your thumbs and you’re done! No tools needed other than the optional spot marker which is provided in the kit. The 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers are available in three different weight capacities: 15lb, 25lb, and 45lb. For my gallery wall, I mostly used the 15lb hangers as well as the 45lb hanger for my mirror.

modern gallery wall with 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers

How to use the spot marker

The Spot Marker allows you to mark the exact position of where the 3M Claw Drywall Picture Hanger will go into the wall. Simply peel the adhesive liner off the Spot Marker and attach to the hanging hardware on your frame or mirror. Remove the adhesive liner on the side that goes onto the wall. Position the frame where you want it on the wall, press, and pull back. The Spot Marker is now attached onto the wall and you can mark a dot underneath to indicate where your 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hanger will go.

Now that you’ve marked your hardware position using the Spot Marker, take the 3M Claw Drywall Picture Hanger and align it with the dot. Simply push into the drywall until flush with the wall. Hang artwork and repeat with all other pieces! I like the visually see the positioning of frames and mirrors by laying everything on the floor first and then taking a picture. For an organic, free flowing gallery wall I do not take measurements or use precise spacing between pieces. This method of eye-balling artwork placement gives the gallery wall a looser, less structured look which is what I was aiming for.

Hanging heavy objects

modern gallery wall with 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers

The mirror I had purchased for this wall was roughly 35 lbs and I was nervous about drilling into a stud or making a hole for an anchor. Since this wall is very centrally located in our home, and the fact that I keep moving things around, I did not want to deal with covering up a large hole. This is where the 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hanger shines! With the 45lb version I was able to, single-handedly, hang the heavy mirror without having to worry about studs or anchors or any other tools. Friends, this right here is a total game-changer! Think of all the times you want to hang something heavy in a rental home even, the 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hanger makes the tiniest little holes in the wall and guarantees up to 45 lb of trusted strength!

I am so happy with how this modern gallery wall turned out and it was a breeze to put up with the 3M CLAW Heavyweight Hanging Solution. I highly recommend you try it out for your next home decor project and let me know what you think!

modern gallery wall with 3M CLAW Drywall Picture Hangers
This post contains affiliate links to products that I used or recommend. If you purchase something through an affiliate link, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. I really appreciate your support!
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