How To Create A Gallery Wall

Your home is the heart of everything you do, so it’s no wonder you want to decorate it in a way that reflects the inner you. Do you want to make a personal gallery wall at home but you’re struggling with the specifics? Not sure what to put up or how to properly display your favourite wall art or family photos? Here are some easy ways to make your home into the personal art gallery you always dreamed of, thanks to Artiss.

A colourful, eye-catching gallery wall can fill a blank wall and tie together your living space.

What is a gallery wall?

A gallery wall, also known as a photo wall, is a feature wall that is filled with art pieces, trinkets or family photos instead of relying on paints or wallpaper. A full gallery wall can feature in any given room in your home but they are prevalent in living rooms and hallways.

This gallery wall uses pictures of green plants to highlight the room's accent colour.

Gallery walls are excellent additions to small homes as they take advantage of the vertical space on the wall instead of floor space. They are a very simple way to switch things up and add personality to your home without completely rearranging your life. When you’re finished, you will have your own living room gallery wall. The downside - you’ll probably be installing some picture hooks or shelves into your walls to accommodate for the wall art, so renters should proceed with caution! 

Hanging frames and mounting shelves

Putting extra holes in your walls can be anxiety-inducing, especially if it’s your first time installing frames or shelves in your home. Luckily, the Artiss range of photo frames and shelving comes with easy-to-follow instructions, but we’ve included some additional tips here to help you start hanging.

Photo frames, shelves, mirrors and hanging pot plants can all be used for a unique gallery wall.

What are you hanging?

For the most part, pictures and photos are easy to install as they don’t weigh much, but you still need to consider the weight of your artwork whether it’s going on a shelf or in a frame. Do you have the right fittings to hold it? Heavier pieces will likely require larger hooks, wall anchors, or clamps. Are you trying to mount something on brick, plaster or wood? You may need specialist drilling tools and fittings for different surfaces. Do you need to install mounts, or will some sticky hooks do the trick for your small pieces? These are the perfect solution for renters who want to install art without leaving a mark on their walls.

It's important to use the correct tools when mounting frames, such as a marking pencil and a spirit level.

If you’re not sure what mounting hardware you will need for a picture frame, a good rule is to turn it around and see what’s on the back - you’ll likely find a sawtooth hanger, some picture wire, an anchor piece or rings. If you’re still unsure, you can check with the artist, frame manufacturer, or a professional before you start hanging.

An assortment of fixings used for hanging frames, including nails, screws, picture wire, hooks and rings.

Your tools

While a hammer, nails and picture hooks are the most obvious tools you’ll need, here are some other things you might want to have on hand:

  • A drill

  • Picture hanging screws

  • A stud finder (you may want to choose one that can also detect electrical wires)

  • Spackling paste (in case of mistakes!)

  • A screwdriver

  • Wall plug anchors

  • A handheld vacuum (to clear up any dust)

  • A pencil (for marking the wall)

  • Painters tape (to mark out where you want pieces to go)

    A picture frame and hanging tools, including a hammer, drill, drill bits, plastic anchors, screws, hooks and nails.

So, with the formalities out of the way, how do you start building your own gallery wall?

Start collecting

If you don’t already have an established art collection, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to get one going, and you don’t have to burn through your wallet to do it.

You don't need to use matching frames for a gallery wall - this wall uses mismatched frames for a visually interesting display.

Embrace thrifting

You don’t need hundreds of dollars to find cool pieces of art and different art styles. Check out your local op-shop, vintage market or garage sale that really screams YOU! If you’re feeling very creative, you can upcycle a painting by adding your own style to it or updating the frame. Alternatively you can also opt for different coloured frames to update the look of any art piece. Check out some of these great ideas from Curbly for inspiration.

A table full of antique porcelain trinkets.

Shop online

You don’t just have to buy art from galleries and auctions. Sites like Etsy, Society6 and Redbubble work with independent artists to bring you delightful, unique and one-of-a-kind prints at an affordable price, while sites like and Direct Art Australia can net you affordable reproductions of famous pieces.

You can find the Etsy app on your phone or desktop and use it to find unique pieces for your gallery wall.

Visit local galleries and studios

You never know what you’ll find when you go walkabout. While you might not be able to afford National Gallery prices, you’ll be surprised what treasures you might find in your local neighbourhood gallery or studio. Cornerstones of the community like the Delahenty Art Studio in Olinda, Melbourne not only offer great pieces from local legends, but they also offer art classes so you can create some art pieces of your own.

An art gallery or studio can give you professional advice and inspiration for your gallery at home.

Experiment at home

If you can’t find anything you like, make it yourself! There are hundreds of Youtube tutorials, online classes, and plenty of other resources to start your own craft journey in any medium, whether you’re in the mood for beginner's watercolour, polaroid photography, or full-coverage cross stitch. Make your own artwork and experience creativity without limits!

Experiment with your own arts and crafts for a unique personalised gallery wall.

Find the perfect lighting

The perfect lighting will make or break any mood, so make sure you’re putting your pieces in the spotlight! Use lamps or downlights to really highlight the art: for best results, point your light at a 30° angle towards the centre of the work so that it shines in the centre and beams across the piece. Just make sure you choose bulbs that won’t damage it over time, like LED or UV filter bulbs. Be careful when placing pieces near a window – natural light is a great lighting tool, but some artworks may fade over time from sun-bleaching, so keep them away from the UV rays.

Downlights can help show your artworks in the best possible light.

Plan it out

If you have floor space, one of the easiest ways to plan out your gallery wall is to measure the wall space and then lay your pieces on the floor. Arrange them how you want them to look, then take a step back. If anything looks out of place, you can easily rearrange it before committing to the wall placement. When you’re ready to transfer your pieces to the wall, you can measure them and use pencil or painter's tape to clearly mark their silhouettes, making it easier to figure out where your hooks will go.

You can arrange your pieces however you like, even by mixing up the placement with some on the wall and some on a lower shelf.

Start large

Start with your largest piece and place it somewhere it captures attention. It doesn’t need to be in the centre, but it will command attention. Next, add your second largest piece, but place it further away from the largest to keep the wall balanced. Continue down your collection, trying to keep the small and large pieces evenly distributed.

Put your largest piece somewhere that captures attention, such as in this living room where the largest and most colourful painting is placed over a chair.

Use your space creatively

Be careful not to crowd your pieces. You don’t want them all pooled into a single corner, they need space to breathe! Evenly space out your pieces and be conscious of visual clutter. Don’t just hang your photos at eye level either - be sure to make use of the whole wall from top to bottom.

Pictures of all different sizes have been displayed both on and off the wall to create an uncluttered display.

Mix horizontal and vertical

Don’t just stick to a single orientation. Create visual interest by turning your frames on their axis and mix horizontal and vertical orientations together.

Picture frames have been placed both horizontally and vertically to show off different picture styles and create visual interest.

Embrace the white wall

White is not just minimalistic but it gives you a real sense of space. A white wall is the perfect empty canvas. It will make your room look larger and allow your pieces to really pop, especially if they’re brightly coloured.

White frames on a white wall give the room a real sense of space and give the artwork inside a chance to shine.

Use zones

Display your art in specific zones to give your collection a sense of cohesion. Order however you like, whether it’s by colour, feelings evoked, year purchased or ‘just vibes’. You can match pieces to existing zones in your home, such as keeping tranquil pictures in your meditation corner, or you can use the gallery wall to create a zone of your own. Find out more about creating zones with your furniture and decor in our blog How to Create Dedicated Zones in the Home.

These pieces are placed in a single area above a sofa, pulling together a unique retro styled zone in the living area.

Incorporate the furniture 

Art is not just on a canvas or in a sculpture. Talk to any interior designer and they’ll tell you furniture is as much an art form as it is practical. Perhaps it uses a unique colour combination or features a unique design, but there are plenty of ways to add art to your home through your furniture. This might be as simple as adding an interesting wall shelf, or you might choose to anchor your gallery wall above a sofa, TV unit or console table.

Here the gallery wall is hung above the sofa, which is dressed as the focal point of the living area.

Host a gallery viewing

Now that the hard parts are over, it’s time to have fun! Once you’ve finished decorating, flaunt your home as it deserves. Throw a gallery viewing and make a lovely soiree out of it with your family and friends. Go all out in your fanciest dresses and your most decadent canapes. You never know, you might learn a thing or two about your friend’s artistic tastes!

Get started on your own home gallery wall today with Artiss. No matter the art form, we have picture frames and display shelves that are perfect for your new gallery wall. Industrial-style homes may enjoy our tastefully crafted pipe shelves, while you’ll find a frame for every occasion with our 30-piece black and white sets of simple photo frames. Check out the wide range of display pieces today and make your home an artwork to remember. 

Two sets of Artiss 11pc picture frames in white and black.A collection of Artiss industrial style pipe shelves in 1- and 3-tier styles.