Any of you have a phobia of hanging things on your walls? I did for a long time! It’s tough to choose; it feels permanent in a way, doesn’t it? Well, I think you’ll really enjoy today’s DIY project! If you look around my house, you can find one of a few things on my walls: photos, mirrors, shelves, quotes, or a painting. I’m starting to lean into my desire to only put things on my walls that are meaningful to us; that tells our story in some way (okay, or maybe I just like it 😉 )!
Since we moved in, it’s been a challenge to find a direction for our dining room. It is full of hand-me-downs (you all know I love), but none quite felt inspiring. So in January, I resolved to focus on this room! This is what it looked like a few months ago:
Since then, we’ve painted the walls Crushed Ice (my new favorite color), moved out a piece of furniture, moved in and painted another to create a pantry, added in a new washable rug (an awesome Christmas gift), hung some DIY shelves, and added a few accessories! We LOVE this refreshed space and it feels like Mike and I have tripled the amount of time we spend in our dining room!
This wall can be viewed from our family room, so we felt like it was calling out for some sort of feature! I’ve been loving the gallery wall look, so I debated between this set from Amazon in black or white.
And then I found THIS photo! A gorgeous gallery wall created by Jenna Sue Design and the inspiration for ours!
Choosing Your Frames
I love gallery walls, especially the grid look that’s ever-so-popular right now! They are a beautiful addition to any room: dining room, bedroom, family room, or office.
First, you want to measure the wall where you envision your gallery wall and how many frames you want in your grid. Your measurements will determine the size of your frames. Before you put your frames up, you’ll want to measure the actual “outside” of the frame – not just what size photo it fits.
I love IKEA picture frames because they have great lines, always come with their own mat, and are super affordable. Plus, we have a store 20 minutes from our house! Wooho! I’ve used RIBBA frames in the past, but was looking for thinner frame for this gallery wall. And then I found this one while I was shopping: the KNOPPÄNG! $3 more expensive than the RIBBA, but worth it for style.
Here’s Mike testing the frame on our wall! I love the look!
Hanging Your Frames with Command Strips
Y’all, Command Strips are my new best friend. There are so many different varieties, but we used the Picture Frame Hangers since they were the perfect match for this project. Do you know what this means? NO NAIL HOLES!
Each strip comes with two “sides” that are stuck together with velcro. So once you’ve hung it on the wall, you can remove the photo and reattached it with no issues – brilliant!
Leave the piece velcro-ed together until you’re read to hang it on the wall. With a thin frame, it’s best to apply the Command Strips on the backing instead of the actual frame (as long as it will be flush with the wall)! If it’s applied to the frame, it might block the backing and you won’t be able to switch out your photo!
Measure the outside of the frame to ensure you have the exact measurement. I taped up a level line for reference before I started hanging.
Start hanging! Like I mentioned above, keep both pieces of the Command Strip velcro-ed together on the back of the frame. Take the protective part of the “wall side” of the strip and stick to the wall. Use a level to ensure your first frame is level and then apply to the remainder of the frames. My frames have a 2-inch space between each frame.
And they’re up! If you don’t get them “quite right” it’s no problem – that’s the beauty of Command Strips! You can tweak them as much as you need to. We hung up the frames back in January and just added the prints March 1st!
Adding Your Prints
Whether they are photos of your family or your travels, something you’ve ordered, or a map of your city, the impact of a gallery wall is REAL. I mean, how can you go wrong!?!?
I love the IKEA frames since they come with mats. Such a good deal! You can add photos using the mat or something like the map we created to take up the entire frame.
The frames come with plexiglass that’s covered with a protective film. Be sure to remove that film from both sides before you add your photos! Hate those metal tabs on the back that secure the backing? Save your fingers and use a flathead screwdriver to lift and put back down the tabs!
Stick those gorgeous frames back on the wall and admire your work! We’re absolutely loving our gallery wall and hope this post has encouraged you to create your own!
Cost of Gallery Wall without Map Prints:
- $12.99 x 6 – 16″x20″ IKEA KNOPPÄNG Frames: They come with a mat!
- $9.99 – Command 3M Picture Frame Hangers (12 pack): 2 strips per frame
- Other items needed: a basic level, measuring tape, painter’s tape, pencil (as a left-hander, this is my favorite basic style!)
Cost of Map Prints:
- 6 x 16″x20″ map prints ordered from a local printer (created by Mike)
- Mike designed the map of our city with a border around the entire composition – inspired by Jenna Sue Design!
- Our frames came with a mat to fit a 12″x16″ print, so you could order that size or fill the entire 16″x20″ space. We kept the mat in case we want to use it in the future!
TOTAL PROJECT COST: $159.30
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