So I started seeing a lot of these things called "Gallery Walls" on the Pinterest a while ago, and I pretty much fell in love instantly. I loved the varied sizes and shapes, the really personal touches and funky pieces, and the eclectic feel.
The decor in our house I would describe as "classic eclectic" if that makes any sense. We have lots of dark wood, leather, and granite, a lot of classic pieces. But we also have some funky stuff, like vintage bakery signs, toys, and brightly colored details.
So I felt like a gallery wall with some pictures and some prints in different sizes, shapes, and colors (without going too crazy) would go well with the feel of our home.
I started gathering a few pieces we already had that I knew I wanted to feature, which was great because not only did I get to finally use some pictures that I had been wanting to hang for some time, it also cut down on the amount of money I had to spend, so a definite win-win!
For the prints and pictures that needed frames, I actually went to the dollar store and got everything I needed for less than $10! For the pictures that needed matting, I used scrapbooking paper I already had in different colors and patterns, and cut them to the size of the frames.
If you need to print some of your pictures, try Shutterfly. They are pretty reasonable, and they have special deals from time to time. They were running a special for a free calendar so I ordered the pictures I wanted in the calendar, cut them out of the calendar, and voila! Free prints. I just had to pay shipping!
So the moral of the story is that you don't have to spend a fortune to create a lovely and meaningful gallery wall.
Some tips I picked up:
1. Start out by deciding what look you are going for. Do you want a more eclectic feel with varied shapes, sizes, colors, and types of wall hangings? Or do you prefer a more uniform look?
2. Determine what you can use from what you already have around your home- pictures you've been wanting to hang, original artwork by you and/or your children, keepsakes and mementos, etc. There really is no "right" or "wrong" way to do it, it's whatever reflects your family and home best!
3. Supplement what you have with pieces you love, whether found online or in a store. There are tons of great free printables online, or you can find some varied and unique pieces in gift shops, antique shops, thrift stores, and more.
4. Don't be afraid to use frames you already have or buy cheap ones at the dollar store- typically in a gallery wall the frames aren't the focus, so they don't have to be super expensive to get the job done.
5. DO NOT start hammering nails into the wall until you figure out the layout you want! Take pieces of paper cut to the size and shape of each piece and tape them on the wall (with painter's tape) in different arrangements until you get the one you like. This will save you a bunch of extra holes in the wall!
Have you ever done a gallery wall? Do you have any tips to share?