gallery wall – tips and tricks

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I’ve been wanting to do a gallery wall for a long time.  And, when Kristy suggested it in my living room, I knew it needed to be done.

But, I was scared.

Yep… scared of putting together a gallery wall.  Lame isn’t it.

I put it off because I thought there were certain things I had to have in order for it to be done right.  But, one day when I decided to just start throwing it together with what I had I was pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what I learned along the way – tips and tricks.
No. 1 – You don’t have to have matching frames and mats.

I thought everything needed to perfectly match, or at the very least be the same color.  That was the biggest hurdle in getting started.  I didn’t want to shell out a lot of cash on frames.  So, I finally decided I would just go with what I had.  I pulled out every frame, old framed “art”, and hand-me-downs.
Check out this one passed down from my mom – lovely 80’s photo of my and my younger sister complete with mauve mat πŸ˜€
I decided the black frames would stay black, silver would stay silver, and the randoms would be spray painted white.

I also decided to get over some of the mats being white and others being cream. If it really bugs me later on I can change it, but for now it doesn’t.

No. 2 – Arrange your frames out on the floor and play with the layout

No. 3 – Once you’re happy with a layout, take a picture.  No matter how good you are, you WILL NOT remember how it was laid out, and you’ll end up driving yourself crazy trying to figure it all out again.  I took these with my phone so I could flip through them easily for reference.
No. 4 – Since almost all of my frames were different, I printed my photos out in black and white to keep some consistency.
No. 5 – Use adhesive backed velcro to keep frames level

Nothing is more annoying to me than wonky gallery wall frames.  The velcro is a LIFESAVER.  You can dust without having to bust out a level afterwards to readjust, and if a door slams too hard, it doesn’t matter.
The velcro I bought came in little squares.  I cut them in half to get more out of it.  Just stick the two pieces together and stick one of the adhesive sides to the bottom of your frame.  When you hang the frame press the bottom to the wall to get the other side to stick.
No more uneven photos!ο»Ώ

No. 6 – This one is just a good general design tip.

Your pet should ALWAYS blend in with your drapes, or at the very least, match your decor.
Sorry… I couldn’t help myself ;D

Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have been so afraid because I LOVE IT now!

Tutorial for the sunburst mirror found here, topiary tutorial here, and red rosette pillow here.
I’ll be linking up to these fab parties!


  1. Christina'Marie Avatar

    You have a BEAUTIFUL home! And I like the "W" you put up along with the frames… everything just fits so perfectly.
    New follower, hope you can stop by sometime =)

  2. Hyphen Interiors Avatar

    Those are great tips. Love the velcro tip! Love that W, too!

  3. Jami Graham Avatar

    These look amazing! I have been talking about doing a gallery wall but I'm terrified for some reason!

  4. Jacqueline Avatar

    I would be scared also! You did an amazing job!

  5. Suzy Avatar

    What great tips…especially the velcro. I think your mismatched, but matching frames all look great together and I actually prefer it over gallery walls where everything is exactly the same. I would love to have you join my linky party, Suzy's House Party Thursdays.

  6. Emreen Avatar

    Incredible work… Love the silhoutte painting…and the matching white frame..

  7. Shanthi Avatar

    Lovely wall. I am also planning to do one someday πŸ™‚

  8. Nayana Avatar

    This looks absolutely gorgeous…stunning…

  9. Orange it Lovely Avatar

    that looks FABULOUS!!! Im def going to use your tips when I do mine!!

  10. Chrissy Avatar

    Awesome!! I'm about to tackle putting up my wall agllery myself & I'm a little nervous. Ive never used adhesives for hanging, but I think that's the way I'm gonna go this time! Thank you for the tips!

    P.S. Love the black & white!

    Chrissy visiting from

  11. Simran Avatar

    Loved your gallery wall! And esp the tips about laying them on the floor and taking a pic πŸ™‚ that will help! Black and white pics are all time hits, great job! πŸ™‚

  12. Patricia Torres Avatar

    AWESOME.. AWESOME.. tips!! Would love for you to see my frame wall.. as well.. I always wanted to do this.. but was ever so nervous..

    Finally put frames together with pictures of our holiday.. Here you go.. have a look..

  13. Sarmistha Avatar

    Loved your gallery and the tips were super helpful. The window treatment sure do match your pet πŸ™‚

  14. The Accent Piece Avatar

    I've been wanting to do a gallery wall for a long time and i love how yours turned out! Thanks for the tips.
    I'm your newest follower!

  15. Brantonians Avatar

    I never would have thought of the velcro tip! Nice!

  16. Kala Avatar

    Absolutely gorgeous! Love that velcro tip also:):)

  17. HammBone Avatar

    i tried to comment earlier but apparently my work computer doesn't like me not working…in response to your comment…you have the disciplined measure twice cut once gene. I lack that. You have the good aesthetic gene. I am hodge podge. You have the good sewing gene…well we know I do not have that…You have good hair. Nuff said.

  18. Lehman's Avatar

    The wall looks great! I'm inspired to do one in my Master bedroom now. May I ask where you bought your sofa?

  19. Aubrey {All Things Bright and Beautiful} Avatar

    It looks so awesome…and perfect for that wall! I am loving the mix of pictures and frames…for me, the more eclectic the better (c: Great tips and tricks, my hubby is always telling me that my pictures on our gallery wall are crooked…I hate it when he's right! )c:

  20. Korrie@RedHenHome Avatar

    I definitely need to take your advice on the sticky velcro! I put up a "wall of frames" a couple of weeks ago, and they're always wonky!
    Thanks for your kind comment on my baby canvas!

  21. andi Avatar

    what a beautiful home you have! i love the gallery walls you did and that you basically used stuff you already had. thanks for the inspiration!

  22. amaranthineaesthetic Avatar

    Great gallery walls! I love that you kept everything B&W; simple is always the way to go! Love the dog photo (my dog is my sidekick too!)

    I'm also a new follower; check me out if you have a free second!

  23. Brooke Avatar

    Gorgeous! I need to do a gallery wall as well and am so scared πŸ™‚ This looks great and I love the velco idea!! I found you on Not Just a Housewife. I am a new blogger and a new follower.

  24. Danielle Avatar

    It turned out wonderfully!

  25. SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime Avatar

    This post made me smile. Thanks for inspiring me and many others to even attempt this feat. Really appreciate that you linked up at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop.

  26. Megan Avatar

    I just came over from another blog (DIY Show-off I think (I click too many windows and then close them out before I remember how I got to places, sorry!). After checking out your wonderful gallery walls, I had to check out the rest of your blog before commenting and I love your whole blog! Your daughter is adorable, your dog is super cute (glad to hear its still healthy after the cancer scare!) and your home is beautiful. I always admire the families who can have beautiful homes AND toddlers. I need to steal your secrets (and the super adorable basket to hold toys) to help organize my house.

  27. Jaimee Avatar

    I just hung my first gallery wall today! The velcro is a GREAT tip!! I think I will be adding those. I, too, laid mine out on the floor first and took a photo once the layout was adjusted. Your living room is FAB. The gallery walls came out soo great! Good work : )
    Jaimee @

  28. Helena Davey Avatar

    This is really great! I am working on a gallery wall myself and am envious of yours. I simply don't have enough frames right now. Goodwill, here I come! You have inspired me πŸ™‚

  29. Mimi Avatar

    You did such a great job! I admit some projects are scary – so good for you for forging ahead! It turned out wonderful! Thanks for the velcro tip, too. And I love your precious pup – too cute that he matches the decor πŸ™‚

  30. Kim @ Savvy Southern Style Avatar

    That turned out so good and I love your family room. I think it is great that your dog matches the room.

  31. Ginger@gingersnapcrafts Avatar

    So pretty. Love the velcro tip. So smart. πŸ™‚

  32. Lucy May Avatar

    Love the look! Well done!

  33. Karen Avatar

    It looks beautiful. I love how you made a gallery on each side of the fireplace. I'm love symmetry. LOL

  34. Avatar

    I've had a pile of family photos on my floor for a year. Thanks for the inspiration. If you have a minute, I love for you to link up at my party.

  35. Neha @ All things beautiful... Avatar

    Hi Shelly, your blog is lovely! Totally loved your Gallery wall and thanks for the velcro tip!

  36. Stephanie Avatar

    Looks amazing and I love that your dog matches. πŸ˜‰ Also, the Velcro = GENIUS! New follower from

  37. Jen-CraftOManiac Avatar

    WOW LOVE YOUR SPACE. AND COLORS. THE Gallery walls look so fab. well done. winks-jen

    sharing this on COM-FB.

  38. Jodie Avatar

    Still loving that mirror over the fireplace. That's been on my "to-do" list for awhile not. That's a good inside project. I think I'll do that while it's so hot outside.

  39. Jodie Avatar

    Oops. "Now"

  40. Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) Avatar

    Love this! The walls look beautiful! I'm also glad you mentioned the velcro….I'm a Home Stager and swear by those things!

    I'm your newest Follower!

  41. Suzy Avatar

    Thanks for linking to my party! I love these tips.

  42. Yvonne @ StoneGable Avatar

    This wall is fabulous! I am thrilled to know how to do this. I have so many frames kicking around my home and would love to have a gallery wall in my family room! I have bookmarked this and am going to use it as a reference! I am you newest follower!
    Thanks so much!!! I love your mix of frames,images, and other decor elements~

  43. Toni Avatar

    Your wall turned out great! Awesome tips. I have been wanting to do this also, but did not want to be straighing pictures all the time. The mixed frames look great. I am a new follower.

  44. Jordan McCollum Avatar

    Oh, thank you so much for sharing this! I saw it on Sew Woodsy and had to click through since I'm scared of gallery walls, too! Now to tackle my lingering hurdles: not owning enough frames [I think?] and not knowing what pictures to print to put in them.)

  45. Becca Avatar

    LOVE your gallery walls! The different frames look awesome … love the silhouette and initial, too. Your matching pooch is too cute. Becca (newest follower by way of WUW)

  46. The Fancy Pants Avatar

    Gallery Wall looks great. I totally get the scared part… haha. Sometimes things that are REAL projects are intimidating because they take serious time and effort. End result was fantastic! Makes it all worth it, right!

  47. Colleen Avatar

    Wow, I love it!! I have a thing for gallery walls. I must have pinned so many on pinterest! I love your velcro idea too – crooked photos drive me insane!!! I am going to try this.

  48. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage Avatar

    Looks so fantastic~ really great job! I love a good gallery wall! πŸ™‚

  49. Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions Avatar

    The wall looks great filled in with the gallery wall, Shelley! What a difference! I am looking forward to unpacking my family photos once we downsize so I can do a gallery wall, too. I've been collecting inspiration pictures.

  50. Desiree Avatar

    Looks great! I must start my gallery wall. I'm glad to know I don't have to have all the matting or frames matching.

  51. Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek Avatar

    Love your living room, and holy cow! That's one heck of a party list!!! I'm going to pin your blog just so I can find that again!

  52. The DIY Show Off Avatar

    Shelley – gorgeous! I love the statement it makes and the collection of personalized art. Great job! I'm including a link back in tomorrow's highlights! πŸ˜‰ Thanks so much for sharing in the DIY Project Parade!


  53. rama Avatar

    Loved your ideas very much. And sure the after pictures look good. Even i have lot of pictures which are totally different, colors schemes are different, the themes are different, and the frames too are different, and even I am afraid to put them all together. Also I can't keep changing pictures like some would suggest, for we must then have similar size for frames to do that. I really don't know what to do.
    Your drapes are really pretty and the dog is real cute. The B&W theme too is great. Loved the house, would keep coming to learn more.
    Have a great weekend!

  54. Avatar

    I love gallery walls! Have a couple myself. You did a great job organizing all the pics, love the tip about the velcro and, of course, matching your dog with your decor ;)))

  55. Carrie @ Hazardous Design Avatar

    Awesome! Your black and white room feels really fresh and current, and the gallery wall is the perfect touch. I'm with you, gallery walls have intimidated me. Thanks for your tips…maybe I won't be so afraid to attempt it myself!

  56. Andrea @ Decorating Cents Avatar

    Visiting from Just a Girl. I love the gallery wall. I am a huge fan of them. I also like the curtains and mirror over the fireplace.

  57. To The Moon and Back Avatar

    Absolutely LOVE what you did here. And your pup is adorable. Now I need to finish the gallery wall I've been working on for 3 months now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  58. The mum of all trades Avatar

    Wow! I am in awe of what you have done in this room. It looks so classy and elegant. You have me looking at my room now thinking what I could do!

  59. Anonymous Avatar

    Your gallery wall turned out great! Your living room is beautiful! Love it! Instead of the velcro, I use sticky tack behind my pictures to keep them level. It works well & I don't have to worry about damaging the paint if I decide to take down the frame.

  60. Si Avatar

    love your wall. I did one last January, but have not heard about the velcro tip, Ill be running to the store to buy some NOW. thanks!

  61. the cape on the corner Avatar

    great sunburst mirror, and i love those gallery walls! so fun and lighthearted now. wonderful tips, too! i'm thinking of doing one in my living room, and i'm not sure what color to paint the frames, so this was a big help!

  62. Sarah @ Cozy.Cottage.Cute. Avatar

    Wow, what an impact your gallery wall makes in your living room. It looks fabulous!!

  63. Chrissy Avatar

    Great tips!! Love the black & white!!
    I'm hosting a link party today over @ For Mamas. I'd love it if you stopped by & linked up!


  64. At The Picket Fence Avatar

    Shelley that is seriously one of the most gorgeous gallery wall(s) I have ever seen! You did such a fantastic job and showed that you don't have to break the bank to accomplish something so stunning. Thank you so much for sharing this at Inspiration Friday this week!

  65. Shelby Avatar

    Thanks for stopping at my blog and checking out my gallery photo ledges! Yours is so beautiful! Great job! Love it!

  66. Jessa Smith Avatar

    Thanks for the tips! I'm planning on doing a gallery of sorts in my guest bedroom. Hopefully it comes out half as pretty as yours!


  67. WhyCuzICan Avatar

    Very elegant and nice tips too πŸ™‚ Thanks!

    Visiting from ShabbyNest Linky Party today πŸ˜€
    ~Suzanne in Illinois

  68. Michelle Paige Avatar
    Michelle Paige

    Truly beautiful! If only I could get over my fear and just do it! Thanks for the inspiration. Your home looks gorgeous and I love how your dog matches the decor!

  69. Katie Avatar

    Found you on Home Stories A2Z. Your gallery wall looks fabulous! I did a similar thing last year – spray painted all my random colored frames black. I love how it turned out and it cost a lot less than buying new ones, that's for sure!

  70. amber wallace Avatar

    Great job! Love the velcro!

  71. little miss maison Avatar

    they look great iv done that with some rococo style frames xxx

  72. Laurie@The Baking Bookworm Avatar

    You've inspired me. I have a teetering pile of old frames/pictures in my living room. I've been wanting to do a gallery wall for some time now but have been afraid. Thanks for the tips!!

  73. Sarah, Three Boys Avatar

    It looks amazing! I am petrified of putting one together but your is stunning. It gives me hope:)

  74. lindsay Avatar

    Your gallery wall looks AMAZING. You have truly inspired me to get over my fear (not sure of what..but I am afraid) and actually start mine. Your living room is beautiful and I really want your dog.

  75. Tammy@InStitches Avatar

    Your room looks so good, love the matching pup ! Come enter my Imperial trellis pillow giveaway, it would look amazing in there !

  76. Carli Avatar

    I love it! I, too have been frightened about creating a gallery wall, thanks so much for this post and sharring your amazing room! New follower here!

  77. Courtney ~ French Country Cottage Avatar

    Hi there- just stopping back by to say thanks for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday! πŸ™‚

  78. Susan Avatar

    Oh fabulous gallery wall Shelley! And thank you for the great tutorial with some helpful tips. It's a great idea to use whatever frame you've already got & transform them if need be. Someday I'll try this on our staircase wall…
    Thanks also for your recent visit to my blog. I have to comment on your fireplace brick. It looks slightly aged or white-washed. I'm dying to do that to our brick (it's too dark!) and was wondering if yours was already that way or if you aged it a bit?
    Thanks, Susan

  79. Jami Avatar

    Love your wall & living room! Thanks for linking to the Tuesday To Do Party!

  80. Eva IA Avatar

    Just found your blog in the blog world and I'm loving everything you do!
    Great job on the gallery wall!!!!!

  81. B Avatar

    I've been wanting to do a stairway photo gallery for a few years and now. This is a kick in the pants for me! πŸ™‚ Velcro…genius! Thanks for sharing.

  82. Jenny Avatar

    love!!! ps I am your newest follower

  83. Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) Avatar

    Your gallery walls look great! I'm still struggling with one for our living room but it is getting there. The velcro is a great idea. And your dog is too cute. Funny enough I love brown leather and our one year old lab is chocolate.

  84. Lindsay Avatar

    This is absolutely gorgeous! I love your entire room!

    I would love to have you link this up to my first link party–

  85. Matthaeus Avatar

    I pulled out every frame, old framed "art", and hand-me-downs. …

Meet Shelley

Hi, I’m Shelley! My belief is that with a little creativity and elbow grease, you can make your home look like a million bucks without spending it.

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