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How to Make a Photo Gallery Wall

If you’re looking to add style and sentiment to your home, consider making a gallery wall to give your space the personal feel you’ve been wanting. You can use your favorite photos to tell your favorite stories, whether it’s your wedding or a recent vacation with friends. Gallery wall ideas can come from your social media profile, a quote you’ve held onto your entire life, or your children’s very own artwork. Gallery walls typically feature a variety of photos that you love and with a bit of help, you can turn a project into the focal point of your home.

Our gallery wall tutorials are full of easy tips and stylish ideas for planning out your gallery wall project. You can find tips on how to hang your gallery wall, along with ideas for mixing and matching different textures and materials. When it comes to inspiration, you’ll find simple and stylish ideas for enhancing everything from your office to your living room with wall art designs that suit you best. View our video series on how to make a gallery wall below and begin your journey to making beautiful and custom wall art today.

Step 1: Find Inspiration for Your Gallery Wall Story

When it comes to finding ideas for your gallery wall, you can look to a variety of places for unique inspiration. Begin with the photos on your phone first. The special photos you’ve shared on social media and across phone conversations can become the focal point of your room in a few steps. Consider mixing and matching family and friend photos, vacation moments, and your favorite quotes to create an eclectic gallery wall. You can also opt for one specific theme across your photos, such as scenic or family-oriented. You may want an eclectic and varied gallery wall in your office space, whereas a cohesive gallery of newborn photos may work better for baby’s nursery.

You can also find inspiration for your gallery wall using color palettes. If you want a bold gallery wall, consider using more colorful photos in your selection. If you want an elegant feel, gather your favorite professional photos, especially portraits, to give your gallery wall a timeless look.

Step 2: Consider Design and Placement

Once you have an idea of your photo collection, you can focus on designing your gallery wall. This is the part where you pair your favorite photographs with materials and textures that reflect your personal style and freshen up your space. Consider using wood or metal frames for your photo prints, or customizing a canvas or acrylic print if you don’t want to use frames.

You can also choose a design based on the context of your photos. For scenic photos, try a wooden frame to create a natural feel. For colorful photos, try a metal frame to give your gallery wall a bold and modern look. If you want an artsy feel, try printing some of your photos onto canvas prints for a look that’s crafty and easy to manage.

When it comes to sizing, you should decide if you want all of your wall art pieces to be the same size, or if you prefer mixing and matching different sizes. Keep in mind that using a variety of sizes for your frames or prints can add more interest to your wall and make your space pop.

Step 3: Hanging Your Wall Art

The final step in completing your photo gallery wall is hanging your wall art. Spacing between frames, making sure your wall art is leveled, and marking where to drill holes are all important factors. Hanging your template onto the desired gallery wall area can make this project easier than you imagined. Shutterfly offers an easy template called Design-a-Wall, which helps you visualize how your gallery wall will look. With over 45 different templates to choose from, you can find the perfect arrangement for your story.

Don’t feel pressured though to create your gallery wall all at once. You can start with one photograph in the center of a room and build out from there. Whether you add pieces over time or plan out your entire wall, you can make a unique space with the moments and messages you value the most.

If you’re looking for more ideas, visit our detailed guide on gallery wall ideas to find more inspiration.


Video Transcription:

Hi, I’m Sonja, Shutterfly tastemaker. At Shutterfly, we love gallery walls because they are so individual, modern and a focal point for the entire room. A gallery wall lets you freshen up your space to tell your story or express yourself through color and texture and your favorite moments. It’s whatever you want to say to the world or a message that you want to have communicated to you every time you walk into a room. With a little planning and some fits and tricks it is easy to make a picture perfect display. Throughout this video I’ll show you how to make a gallery wall you’ll love.

If you’re looking for inspiration, why not check out your phone. I mean, the photos on your phone are a pretty true expression of who you are and what you like whether that’s photos of scenery, pictures of food or you having fun with your friends. And your photos do not have to be from the same day or the same trip or the same meal. You’re building your story however you want. And remember, you can also incorporate other elements into your wall. You can skip the frames all together for one look or go the opposite direction, keep them fully cohesive for another. What about a single color or a color scheme that matches the vibe of the room? Think about the furniture in the room and how that’s going to work with the artwork on your wall. Experiment. This is really your chance to get creative. Remember, you are building your story however you want it.

One of the things you will quickly realize when you put together your gallery wall is how much fun you can have mixing and matching the different materials to bring some texture into your room. Shutterfly offers six different materials for your wall such as canvas, wood and metal. Think about this: try pairing the photograph to the right materials. So if you have something scenic and outdoorsy, something organic; use wood. And if it’s bold and graphic with lots of color; maybe try metal. And think about your frame options enhancing your artwork as well. With a big, bold gallery wall, spacing is key. And have fun. Adding different elements create an eclectic style.

Shutterfly has 45 different arrangements for your photos through Design-A-Wall. So you are sure to find the gallery wall template that’s perfect for you. And one thing to keep in mind, you don’t have to do the whole gallery wall at once. Here’s what you do. Just start from the center and you can build out over time. Tie your walls together with things like the color palette or photography; whether it’s all bold colors or all black and white. Or the typography or the theme: beaches or blue hues or anything else you can dream up. You’ll want to integrate the text sparingly for impact as opposed to having it on every photo. You know, one or two pieces with big, bold words can really make a statement. And, if you need some ideas, check out our art library. You’ll find inspired elements that can complement your story.

Now comes what some might call the hardest part; hanging your gallery wall. Don’t worry, Shutterfly makes this easy. Each of our Design-A-Walls comes with a simple hanging template. When you’re ready to hang your art, just tack it on the wall to show where your art will hang and everything is mapped out on it. Be sure to use the level that’s included in your kit, grab your drill and start hanging. Let’s make this space yours.

I hope we have inspired you today. As you’ve seen, your options are endless. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your photos and make a unique space that brings your story home. For more tips and to start designing your gallery wall visit shutterfly.com/wall art. And most of all, have fun. It’s your story after all.