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Fail-Proof Gallery Wall (and my favorite sources for affordable art)

fail proof gallery wall

I am calling this “fail-proof” because I’ve now attempted it twice and have yet to fail. I did manage to hammer my thumb twice, but twice is less than when I created my gallery wall in my living room.

Also, did you notice I have dining room furniture? I had a plastic folding table and chairs up until about two weeks ago.

Anyway, I have a lot of blank walls in my condo and not enough art covering it. I decided to create another gallery wall for my dining room. One of the most frustrating things I’ve found about creating a gallery wall is the cost of prints and frames (aren’t frames insanely over-priced??). Since I’ve attempted a gallery wall twice now, I decided to put together a blog post with some tips.

1. Buy cheap frames when you find them, and look for sales

I started this gallery wall with frames vs. art. I was at Michaels and found some Studio Decor ones. Michaels usually has a sale and coupons, making the frames somewhat cheaper. At one point they were doing a buy one get one half off (or free?) and at another they were all 40% off. I’ve learned that when I see frames I like on sale, I’ll buy a couple to have on hand. Not worth paying full price.

2. Make a plan for your wall

This was my step two. The first time I created a gallery wall, I found all the art first, then frames, then made the plan. This time, I had the frames and knew the space I would be using, so I played around in Photoshop and created a couple of options…

gallery wall option 1 gallery wall plan3

Once I decided on a layout, I started playing around with different art options. I found some prints online that I liked and combined them with my own photos (and a DIY painted ampersand).

gallery wall option 3 with art

If you already have the frames/art, you can also do this by playing around with the frames on the floor.

IMG_4696_2

3. Find art

Find art. Easier said than done. Three of my favorite sources for prints are Minted, Society6 and Art.com. I put together some round-ups of prints from each at the bottom of the post.

gallery wall images

one. Pining for Pineapple from Minted // two. The eye of a Zebra from Artist Rising (a division of Art.com) // three. “Sailboat Regatta” from Art.com // four. Vintage Camera from Society6 // five. The Grand Canal, Venice from Art.com

4. Plan everything on the wall

I like to trace the frames and cut out contact or construction paper. One important step here: make sure to mark where the nail goes. You can move around everything on the wall and make sure it is centered and at the right height. Use a level for this step to make sure everything is lines up straight. I leave these up until I swap the paper out for pictures.

IMG_4700

This is how my dining room gallery wall turned out. So far, I’m very happy with it!

IMG_4707 IMG_4712 IMG_4716

As promised, here are some of my favorite sources for affordable art. I rounded up some prints from each to share.

Minted

minted

one. Flora in Peach 1 by Yao Cheng – $24 for an 8×10 // two. Hello Zebra! by Gaucho Works – $24 for an 8×10 // three. Mid-Century Moments by That Girl Studio – $22 for an 8×8 // four. Apertures No. 2 by Genna Cowsert – $24 for an 8×10 // five. California Dreams by Alexandra Nazari – $24 for an 8×10 // six. Opus by Katie Craig – $22 for an 8×8

Society6

society6

one. The ocean, the sea, the wave by Budi Satria Kwan – $19.97 for a 7×10 // two. Palm trees by Bree Madden – $18 for a 10×7 // three. Voyages over Edinburgh by David Fleck – $18 for an 8×10 // four. Up by Derek Temple – $15.50 for an 8×10 // five. PIVOT! by Lee Thomas – $13.52 for an 8×10 // six. Pineapple by Sibling & Co. – $18 for an 8×10

Had to include the PIVOT! print because Friends was the greatest show on television.

Art.com

Art.com

one. Pot Plant and Vividly Painted Facade, Burano – $29.99 for a 12×16 // two. Rorschach Art Print by Andy Warhol – $14.99 for an 11×14 // three. Bicycle Display at Swiss Transport Museum – $29.99 for a 12×16 // four. Style is Timeless Midcentury Chairs – $24.99 for a 12×16 // five. Loyalty – $17.99 for an 18×20 // six. The Cafe Terrace on the Place Du Forum by Vincent Van Gogh – $19.99 for a 24×32

For more inspiration, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Pinterest.

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2 Comments

  • Reply In search of the perfect credenza - Design Evolving

    […] love mid-century credenzas. My dining room needs one. Possibly under my gallery wall. Possibly on another wall. Either way, I need […]

    February 5, 2015 at 6:28 pm
  • Reply Hanging a Gallery Wall Around a TV 2.0 - Design Evolving

    […] used my go-to gallery wall process: see it here. I always forget how long it takes. It’s always worth it […]

    November 1, 2015 at 6:49 pm
  • Leave a Reply