Friday, September 20, 2013

5 Tips For Creating A Gallery Wall With Purpose

I wanted to take the gallery wall idea and give it a twist...make it meaningful...make it us. Neither Sam nor I grew up in Minnesota. Our families live hundreds of miles away. It has always been important to us that our kids know our family. This was especially important when we brought three new family members home and wanted them to know how much they are loved. There is nothing quite like talking about Auntie Roo Roo and seeing her smiling right back at us. :-)

Sam and I both have three siblings each. We might not be able to share everyday life moments together but they are still close to our hearts.

A meaningful gallery wall full of love

They always will be.

Once everything came together and was hung on the wall I just loved all of the different dimensions that each piece brought to the space.

a gallery wall with lots of sizes

To start off the gallery wall I found 5x7 frames at Target. I like the clean, bright, modern look of the white frames and thought it would be fun to add in just a few teal ones for a pop of color. 

When planning the wall my must haves were 8 empty frames (that I could put pictures of our siblings and parents in) that would be displayed in a mix of both vertical and horizontal directions. This way I can update the pictures in the future with ease without having to have just vertical...or just horizontal pictures. While we are at it...facebook is great for snagging pictures of your family too! :-)

What I love most about my home is who i share it with

I showed you how I chose to move my color outside the lines board to a different spot on the wall to cover up holes left by a previous idea. And while I miss having my mini chalkboard display to hand write favorite quotes on, I did add a few 11x14 frames from Ikea that I can easily switch out quotes that I love.

you won't ever influence the world by trying to be like it

I found the white canvas with black words at HomeGoods. It couldn't have been more perfect with another small pop of teal.

One of my favorite finds was this plaque from Target. It is so the the black & the phrase.

love lives here

Finally, I chose something that would bring in a slight vintage look, texture and meaning without changing up the original vision that I had for the space. 

Dream Big license plate

This license plate was from my very first car. I bought it right after college and it ran faithfully for ten wonderful years. In Virginia you can customize your plates on the cheap and I knew exactly what I wanted on mine. A lot of people confused it to say, Drum Big. That wasn't quite what I was going for. Can you guess what it is suppose to say?

The coolest part is that the tag on it, '04 is also the year that we got married and I headed out west on a new adventure!

I love that this is a collection of my taste and style but with so much meaning and purpose. It's a great reminder when working at this little desk and eating meals as a family in the dining room that we always want love to live here.

A Gallery wall and diy desk

I love sharing what I learned as I discovered things along the way. 

I've even narrowed it down to my top five tips!

1) Don't rush the creative process in creating a gallery wall. You want every piece to be simply you and take as much time as you need to do so. Maybe you are still searching for the perfect final piece or maybe you already know exactly what you would use. Don't squeeze in pieces that you don't love just to make "the look" come together. Make sure every piece makes you smile.

2) Use newspaper, paper bags, or your kid's used coloring pages :-) to create life size cutouts of each piece for your wall. This is a great visual way to play around with your pieces and design the best layout that you enjoy and that fits in your space without ever picking up a hammer. Even if the papers stay taped up on your walls for weeks (I know from personal experience) make sure that it is the right display for you.

3) Test your layout on the floor or a table to see if it works. You might not realize from your paper cutouts that you put all of the black pieces together, etc. This will allow you to have a sneak preview and make any changes if needed.

4) Begin with one center piece and work your way out piece by piece. This is where a measuring tape, pencil, nails and a hammer will become your best friend. Always measure each frame individually and don't assume that they are all centered on the back...check each and every hanger. And don't worry...after you've hung your frame a piece of scotch tape under one corner of the frame does the trick to help keep things looking straight.

5) There are no wrong ways to do a gallery should simply be something that brings joy to your heart. Choose lots of pieces or few pieces, colored pieces or dark pieces, pictures or phrases, objects or license plates. 

*I'll be posting inspirational quotes that I love onto this Pinterest page. The possibilities are endless!

Do you have a favorite quote that you would display in a gallery wall?

Want to stay connected? Check out these great ways!


  1. I love your new gallery wall. I am currently in the same situation and waiting for the full vision of my gallery wall to come together. Where did you get your gray hanging wall file by your desk?

    1. Thanks Kendra! The hanging wall file is from Target. A place that also has some great inspiration for gallery walls. :-)


  2. I love the meaning and the look of your gallery wall. I love it because you've got a great mix of beautiful photos and words. I'm visiting from Link Party Palooza (35 Six Dollar Fall Decor)

  3. Beautiful job! I love all of the meaningful touches you added and I LOVE the Color Outside The Lines picture! I have had my eye on that for a while :)

    1. Thanks Taryn! That picture has always been one of my favorites. :-)


  4. I love your gallery wall! The pops of color are really great. You might want to checkout our #1 Days series this month. We're offering a free wall art download-of-the-day throughout October.

    1. Allyson,

      Fun! I'll check it out. :-)


  5. Hi Sarah-

    I just stumbled upon your blog while looking at pinterest the other night. Love all your decorating ides. Where did you purchase your Color Outside the lines? I adore that one! I am also getting ready to create my craft space. I feel so humbled to have find your blog as my hubby and I are also having some pregnancy issues/ thoughts of adoption. It almost seems as if God wanted us to meet on this blog :)

    1. Erica,

      I am so glad that you are here! It truly is a privilege to "meet you." :-) To answer your question, I bought the sign at a local furniture store. It was only a temporary item that they sold. However I just did a quick search on Amazon and it looks like the same one is available on there for right around the same price I paid.


  6. Looks great!!!!! I love the colored frames mixed in with the white ones....


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