Hanging A Gallery Wall
At my wedding, 24 years ago, I asked my older sister, Jennifer, to be my matron-of-honor. Jenny has a great sense of humor and delivered a very funny speech at the reception. At the time I was pretty clueless as to what she was talking about, but I soon came to realize that she spoke the truth.
Jenny held up a small gold hammer, the kind that has screw drivers of multiple sizes hidden inside the handle. She went on to say that this was for me, because as I would soon find out, all wives need their own tools!
That little tool went with me to our first home where one day when my husband was out of the house, I decided I needed to hang a gallery wall of family wedding photos. I didn’t think to measure or use a level, no, I just eyeballed it and started hammering a nail into the drywall. The first one came out ok, but when I went to hang a few more, I realized things could get off kilter in a hurry. I was glad that when I finally got it right, the pictures hid all the mistake holes I had made on that wall.
I’ve learned a few things since then, like someday you’ll want to change what’s hanging on the wall and you’ll have to fill all those nail holes! So I’ve come up with a pretty simple way to hang things and get it right the first time. My sister, Jenny, happened to call just the other day after seeing a picture of my family room makeover and asked how I hung the gallery wall. I offered her this advice and thought you might find it useful too.
First I take the pictures, clock, mirror or whatever I want to hang and lay them on the floor and play with the arrangement. You don’t have to have matching frames, but it’s good to stick to one color for the frames so there is a cohesive look. Here I used two colors, gold and black, but I wouldn’t use more than two. My goldendoodle, Bentley found this whole process very amusing.
Once I have the layout the way I want it, I take paper and trace the outline of each frame. I found that packing paper works well for this or I have also used wrapping paper that was spending too much time hanging out in my storage area. It’s easiest to lay the print on the paper, trace, then cut along the line. At this point it’s a really good idea to turn the print over on the floor and with the paper placed on the back of the print find the center point where you will want the nail to go and mark it with your pen.
Now I tape the papers to the wall with painter’s tape, making sure I like the placement of each piece. I had to play with this arrangement a little because I was hanging a mirror and I wanted to make sure I got the height right. Now is the time to move things around to avoid those unnecessary holes in the drywall.
Once everything is where you want it, just hammer the nail into the mark you made on the paper.
For heavier pieces, like a mirror, you will probably need to put an anchor and screw in. To do this I drill a small hole at the mark on the paper. Then take the paper down and finish drilling the hole which should be a little smaller that the plastic anchor. I prefer the anchors that I can screw into the wall with my cordless power screwdriver. My husband added one of these screwdriver/drill sets to my tool collection this year for Christmas. When I opened it, I smiled as my mind went to Jenny’s words, “men don’t like to share their tools!” Hmm…so true.
I might not have truly appreciated it at the time, but now I think it’s one of my favorite gifts from last year.
Once you have all the nails and screws in place, comes the fun part. Take all of the paper down and hang everything up right where it belongs. That’s all there is to it!
Hope this helps you out – if you have any questions just leave a comment.