How to Hang a Cheap, Easy & Symmetrical Gallery Wall

Hope you had a great weekend! Today, I wanted to show you how I hung the gallery wall in my living room. 

To make my gallery wall affordable, I took pictures of my kids and our dog, Bocce, and had them developed in black and white at Costco.  I don't remember now exactly how much they cost, but it was about a dollar something per picture.

I got each of the frames at Michael's with a 40% off coupon so they were about $11.00 apiece.  They're 16 x 20 inch frames and they hold an 8 x 10 picture.  I wanted large frames because the ceilings on this wall in my living room are probably around 20 feet tall, and I needed to fill in the space. I love frames with large mats, but I didn't want to have to spend a fortune on them so I was happy when I found these at Michael's.  

Here's a comparable frame, from Pottery Barn, that's 16 x 20 inches and holds a 5 x 7 inch picture.  It's currently on sale at Pottery Barn for $55.00, and regularly goes for $69.00.  Unlike my $11.00 frames from Michael's, this one is wood, but I think my Michael's frames pretty much give the same effect for a  fraction of the cost. The total cost of my gallery wall was less than $80.00.  Even if I had gotten the frames on sale at Pottery Barn they would have cost over $300.00, not including shipping.
Pottery Barn
I was kind of dreading hanging the gallery wall because I knew that since I wanted it to be symmetrical,  that  if it wasn't even, it would be very apparent. I had seen other bloggers use newspaper stencils to hang gallery walls so I decided to give that a try.

1.  Make templates of your frames from newspapers.
2.  Put the newspaper onto the frame and make a small hole where you will hang the frame.
3.  I hung the newspaper templates on the bottom row first and just eyeballed them to make sure they were level, and that they had approximately the same distance in between the frames.
4.  After I hung up the bottom row of newspaper templates, I hammered the nails into the holes of the newspapers that I had made earlier.
5.  Then, I hung up the pictures on the bottom row before I removed the templates, just in case they weren't level and I need to readjust any of them.

6.  After I got my bottom row up, I put the newspaper templates on the top row, and hung the pictures the same way. The top row was a little trickier and I did get down several times to look at it and make sure it was lining up.  I hung up the middle top picture first to make sure it lines up and then I put the other two side pictures up.
7.  After I had the pictures up and positioned evenly, I went back and took them off so that I could remove the templates behind them.

And that is how I got a beautiful gallery wall on the cheap.
Now, I just need to find some pretty things to go on top of the dresser.

I'm glad you stopped by.  Hope you have a happy Monday.


  1. This turned out beautifully, Sharon! I love the black and white prints and that method seems so easy. Definitely trying that!

  2. What a great idea to use newspaper as templates! I'll have to remember this when I have a home of my own to decorate. Thanks for the tip!


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