How To Hang A Gallery Wall

Ever wonder how people get their gallery walls to look so good? Megan has some tips so you can get a professional look but do it yourself! I’m currently doing this on several of my own walls! — Meg

how to hang a gallery wall

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably done a number on your walls at some point.  I remember back to one wall in particular that suffered from the Swiss cheese effect – a result of hammering hundreds of little nail holes to hang a collection of art.

It took this experience an a little creative planning to realize I didn’t have to punish my walls in such a way and that I could actually successfully hang a group of artworks.


So here are the supplies and the steps you need accomplish this task:

1. Long Roll of Butcher Paper (if you want to be festive — birthday wrapping paper works too)
2. Pencil
3. Painter’s Tape/Masking Tape
4. Hammer
5. Nails (the type of nails can depend on the type of walls and frames you have)
6. A collection of art

When you are hanging a collection of works together, you want to think of the collection as one entire composition. Roll out your butcher paper on the floor and begin arranging your art on this surface. Remember, a collection doesn’t need to be hung in a grid to be balanced, but you want to make sure that you account for the size and color of the art and try to distribute works evenly. Sometimes it’s easiest to choose one of your larger works as a focal point and then place other works around the first. Sound confusing? Try a bunch of different configurations – the beauty of laying your composition on the floor first is that you can change it up a bunch of times before you nail anything into the wall.

Once you’ve found an arrangement you like, trace around the pictures with your pencil, or mark out the outline with tape if you want a bold visual. Also mark where the wire from the frame hangs on the butcher paper so you know where to hammer your nail. After you trace all the art you are hanging in the collection you should have a blueprint for your wall.

Tape up the blueprint and if everything looks the way you want — begin hammering your nails into the places you noted. Once everything is nailed into place, tear the paper down … You did it! And your walls are spared. Now you can hang your collection.

Looking for inspiration for a statement collection? I like to tie works together with some sort of unifying element whether it be color, mood, or theme, though I also love a gallery wall that grows organically as you acquire works over time.

gallery wall

Works included above:

1. DENNIS PERRIN, Peonies & Eucalyptus, 2012
2. ANNA WILLIAMS, Delicate, 2011
3. KIP DECKE, Meadow Creek, 2012
4. CHELSEA FISHER, Nut Love, 2010
5. ETIENNE ROUDAUT, Lapland in Pink, 2010
6. THOMAS RIZZO, Five Balls and Four Pyramids, 2012
7. SAVINA GOST, In Motion, 2011
8. ETIENNE ROUDAUT, La Vague, 2008

Megan Peter