For the longest time, I have wanted to display a gallery wall in the hallway of my home. I love the idea of displaying a little piece of my family’s story for all of our guests to see. Unfortunately, I knew the cost of frames and prints would add up quickly, considering a single frame can cost up to $50. Not to mention, the thought of a project requiring so many measurements and precision overwhelmed me. Well folks, I finally tackled the project and have assembled a beginner’s guide to creating a beautiful gallery wall that won’t break the bank.
In fact, the entire cost of this project was around $100 and it took about an hour to accomplish. Let me show you how I did it.
For your convenience, I have included some affiliate links. That simply means if you click on one of the links and buy something, I receive a small commission, but don’t worry… you won’t pay a dime more.*
Determine the Desired Shape and Size of Your Gallery Wall
I personally prefer clean lines so I knew I wanted to stick with frames that were identical in shape and size. I also knew I wanted it to take up a large amount of wall space. I decided on a 3 column, 3 row wall.
Finding Budget Friendly Frames and Prints
We all know frames and matting can be quite costly. Heck, just one matted frame from Pottery Barn can cost $100. Not to fear, I was able to find classy looking, 11×14 frames for only $9/piece at Hobby Lobby. Looking at other gallery walls for inspiration, I decided I wanted to find 9 11×14 frames. Unfortunately the frames I purchased did not come with matting, so I purchased 11×14 matting with a 5×7 opening for $2/piece. After the fact, I found these 11×14 frames with built in matting.
In my opinion, matting is the key to giving your gallery wall an upscale look. And because the opening in the mat is for a 5×7, prints are much cheaper (given it is a smaller size). In fact, I printed off my 5×7 s from Shutterfly, at only $1 /per print.
9 Frames at $9/frame = $81 (you can buy ones with mats included here)
9 photo mats $2/mat = $18
9 5×7 photo prints .99/print = $9
Total Cost= $108
How to Hang Your Frames
I really suck at measurments and being precise, so I let my husband handle this step. But basically, I knew I liked the look of the frames being realtively close to one another while still taking up a large amount of space. Although I only went with 9 frames, I considered going with 12 to expand the gallery further down (vertically). But with a toddler and baby, I really didn’t want the frames to be within their reach. Therefore I stuck with 9.
This is how my husband calculated the nail spacing.
Horizontal/Row Nail Spacing:
1/2 width of frame (plus) desired spacing between frames (plus ) 1/2 width of frame
***Because I like the frames closer together, we spaced frames in each row 1.5” apart.***
Vertical/Column Nail Spacing:
full length of frame (plus) desired spacing
***Because I wanted to take up more vertical space, we spaced frames in each column 2” apart.**
After we completed our first row of nails, I hung the frames up to preview how I liked the spacing. After determining that it was properly spaced, we went ahead and nailed in the entire gallery wall.
I am so happy with how it turned out.
Not only do I love viewing sweet family memories, I love what an impact such a large display of art has on our foyer.
Even better, the wall cost only around $100.
Please be sure to spread the love and Pin…..
Now get out there and design some good vibes!