Grid Gallery Wall DIY

Hello and Happy Sunday West Main Followers!

In today’s post I am sharing a step by step tutorial for creating a grid gallery wall at home.  The gallery wall trend has been popular for some time now and for good reason– it’s a great way to give you home personality and character without cluttering your coffee table and mantle with picture frames!

The variety and style of gallery wall options is endless, but in today’s tutorial I am focusing on the grid style.  At first glance the grid gallery wall looks super intimidating– how in the heck am I going to get 12 picture frames perfectly aligned and spaced evenly?!  The trick is in the prep work– as you will see in the tutorial below, there are several steps to complete before hanging the first photo.  But I promise, all that prep work cut my time in half when it came to installing this wall of photos!

Before we hop into the step by step process, a couple of tips and recommendations for creating a well curated gallery wall:

  • Choose a frame size and amount that is proportional with the wall space you plan to fill.  I centered my gallery on the wall so that as people take a look they are not stretching to see the top photos, but also don’t have to bend down to see the bottom row.
  • Decide on a theme or specific event to plan the wall around.  This will help give your wall a cohesive well collected look.  In my case, we just returned from a trip to Patagonia and I wanted a place to share all the beautiful photos we captured while there.
  • Be sure all the photos are in the same layout– I went with a landscape layout because we did not have enough vertical photos to fill the wall space.
  • This wall is a place to highlight your photos or artwork so choose a simple frame.  I went with this Ribba frame from Ikea because it came pre-matted, and the white really allows the color photos to pop.  Also these frames are only $5 which means I completed this entire project for less than $100!

Now that you have a space chosen and a theme for your wall, it’s time to learn how to hang it!  Below are your 11 simple steps to creating your own grid gallery wall!


1.  Trace the frame size onto a piece of poster board.  This will be your master template.  Make templates for the number of frames you plan to use, then cut them all out.  This will allow you to get a really good visual for what the finished product will look like.


2.  Measure the placement of the picture hanger on the back of the picture frame.  Take that measurement, then mark it with a small dot on each of your templates.  This detali will save you lots of time in future steps.


3.  Before hanging templates, decide where the gallery wall will start.  Make a couple of small dots on the wall to mark the starting spot.  An extra set of hands on this step is super helpful!  My husband held the level to make sure my dots were straight, then I used painter’s tape to mark my line.  (For reference, the bottom edge of the tape is my starting point for hanging the frames).


4.  Time to start taping up the templates.  Once again, you will need to establish your starting point for the first template.  Next, decide the space you want between each frame.  Be sure to measure at top and bottom, ensuring everything is level and evenly spaced.


5.  As you start adding rows, you will need to measure the spacing between each frame, as well as between each row.  For reference, I used 1″ spacing between the frames and each row to keep it uniform.


6.  Remember those nail holes we marked earlier on the templates?  These will serve as a way to double-check that all your measurements and spacing are level.


Once the first row is up, grab your level and double-check that things are lining up.


7.  Take a step back and check out your work!  This is the time to ensure you like the spacing and layout of your grid wall.  It is much easier to make changes now with the poster board, rather than removing nails and frames later on.


8.  Once you are happy with your layout, grab a hammer and a nail.  Hammer your nail into that marking hole we made on each template.  Once you have made a small hole, pull the nail out.

Once each nail hole has been made, pull off all of the templates and starting tape line.


9.  Instead of hanging my frames with basic nails, I chose these picture hangers from Monkey Hook.  If you have never used these before, run out to Home Depot right now! My husband discovered these when we started hanging pictures in our home, and not only are they super easy, but they secure your frames much better than a single nail.


10.  Insert your Monkey Hook into the pre-made nail hole.  Push straight in until only the hook portion is exposed.



11.  Final step is to hang your frames and admire your work!

Below are a couple of Before & After shots where I placed our gallery wall.  It is the main hall that leads from our front door and as you can see in the photo, it is not a very wide space.  The gallery wall provides color and visual interest without taking away any space for foot traffic in the narrow hall.



So that’s it!  Around $70 for all my supplies and about 3 hours of work to get this project up and complete.  I would love to hear your thoughts on the tutorial– please share in the comments below!


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