Wednesday, December 18, 2019

DIY: How to make a gallery wall with (or without) mismatched frames.

For the longest time my husband was behind me to put together a gallery wall.  As a quick back story, let me start by saying that I was never a fan of photographs.  I don't like them hanging on the walls or sitting on top of the furniture.  My husband on the other hand loves the idea of family photos all over the place.

We compromised with the idea of a gallery wall with mismatched frames in the hallway.  Then for Christmas, he gifted me a virtual picture frame, which totally went against the terms of our agreement!  He meant the violation as a nudge to get the project started.  Then for my birthday, he gifted me with two picture frames for the wall.  After the second nudge to get the project started, I finally gave in.

modern gallery wall; contemporary gallery wall; contemporary decor; gold gallery wall decor; gold and teal decor ideas

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How to make a gallery wall with mismatched frames.

What is a gallery wall?

A gallery wall is a collection of pictures, photographs, and/or decor tastefully displayed on a wall of a home.

How did you design yours?

The first thing I did was search online for some inspiration.  ...which I regret because it was inspiration overload that left me real confused!  That's when I decided to narrow my search with a wish list.

1.  I wanted a gallery wall with mismatched picture frames.
2.  I wanted a variety of sizes, shapes, and textures.
3.  I didn't want a photograph to be the focal point.
4.  I wanted it to match my decor.  That meant neutral colors with pops of teal and gold.
5.  It absolutely, 100% had to be symmetrical.

With my wish list and husband in tow, I headed off to Homegoods to finalize the design.  One of the first things I laid eyes on was that beautiful, gold, metal burst of loveliness.  The second my eyes stumbled upon it, I let out a silent "eep" and knew it was meant to be.  The rest of the gallery wall wasn't so easy.  I picked out my favorite 500 picture frames.  Then laid them out across the aisle until we were able to assemble a symmetrical design.  We made the finishing touches by replacing the frames until we reached perfection.

When we got home, we picked out an array of pictures that represented different aspects of our life.  Then we rearranged them until we were happy.  That's when it came time for the most daunting task, hanging the gallery wall with mismatched frames so that it remained symmetrical.  Each picture has to be measured, leveled, and evenly spaced.

What if I want a a gallery wall with matching frames?

Luckily, they've become popular enough that gallery wall sets are common enough to find.  If I was going to do a matching gallery wall, then I would have opted for this gorgeous gold frame set.  It has a nice variety of frames to accommodate different photo sizes without the set being too overwhelming.  A gallery wall should be tasteful, not overwhelming.

What if I want to do a focal point with matching frames?

That's easy enough to do too.  You should look around for wall decor that does well with the frames you chose.  There's a trick here.  You want it to look classy, not cheesy.  For example, I absolutely adore this gallery wall picture frame set.  It would go perfectly with this set of fun decorative mirrors.  These two sets give you variety of size and texture with everything still looking like it belongs together.  You're welcome.

I really suck at this.  Is there a way to cheat?

You would think that a set of picture frames would be easy enough, but it's not.  Hanging each picture perfectly even and symmetrical is the hardest part of the entire gallery wall.  If this is too much for you, try a wall collage.  This rustic wall collage is very pretty and has many of the same selling points as a gallery wall.  For something more three dimensional, try this wall collage.

Where do you get your pictures from?

I try to do a mix of things which could include anything from photos, wall sculptures, or even a framed quote.  To answer the question,  I get all of my pictures from SnapFish because they always deliver the highest quality products at the right price.  If you haven’t check out SnapFish yet, you should.  Like, right now..

What do you do with a gallery wall after it's finished?

This is my favorite part of a gallery wall.  A gallery wall with (or without) mismatched frames is something that can always change.  The photos can be swapped and it can grow from either side.  Assuming that it's still symmetrical.  It must remain symmetrical.  To answer the question, you can redesign so that it grows with your life or just look at it's state of perfection forever.

Do you have a gallery wall?


  1. I'm not liking the thing in the middle, looks like a threatening bunch of golden daggers or knives LOL Unless you were going for a GOT style....

    1. I am learning between my vampire pig, golden statue, and now this, that we have very different tastes! It’s like a burst of golden loveliness coming out of the wall. She’s so pretty... and she matches my golden mannequin head. :)

    2. She? I'm guessing you gave her a name too :)

    3. Of course I did, but then again, I name everything. We call her Sol and she's placed perfectly that it's typically within view every night as I go to sleep.

  2. lol not a fan of having your face up all over the house? Just rather put them on instagram for the whole world to see, right?

    Turned out great and all symmetrical too. He gifted you the two middle baby ones as the nudge?

    1. Hey now, I don't even put myself on Instagram. It's mostly my babies because they're a face that everyone wants to see, right??

      Nope! He gifted me the top right corner and bottom left corner. The only two that don't have matches throwing off my symmetry. Those will be coming down soon... once he forgets that he got them for me. lol

    2. lmao ah, I should have looked harder, that makes sense now.

      Yeah, dogs, cats, and kids are what people want to see. The adults lose out all the time.

    3. I was a little surprised that you didn't get it on the first guess!

  3. We unintentionally had a gallery wall at our last house. It was the wall along the stairs. Nothing matched and most of the frames were 8x10. By the time we moved, it had grown to fill up the entire wall. It looked junky to me. At this house, I have different size black collage frames that I have together on a wall in the family room above a sideboard. I don't change the photos, however. They hold family vacation and holiday pics and now I have one for my two grandbabies.

    1. I love that! So instead of changing up your pictures, you let it grow. :)

  4. Symmetrical is my secret fetish... Don't tell anyone.

    P.S. The Cat is so funny.... He does have a point, though hehehe
    My gallery wall is unabashedly huge. I kid you not. What I don't abot them is seeing your self getting younger all the time (in the pics, of course)....

    1. A darnit where are my glasses. Let me try that gain:
      My gallery wall is unabashedly huge. I kid you not. What I don't like about those picture frames is seeing yourself getting younger all the time (in the pics, of course)....

    2. This hasn't been my day, I swear it has not.... A=O.... Okay, I'm off...

    3. lol Blue, I wish I would get younger all the time. :) Can we just keep it the same!? Please?

  5. I don't put anything on the wall because I'm too lazy to find the studs.

    1. Eep! What does Daisy think about that?? lol

  6. I think my entire house has gallery walls. Some walls are covered with photos and some with artwork, some of it painted by my daughter.


  7. I am opposite and love having photos all over the house. I don't buy art for the walls. I'd rather look at my own personal photos of our travels and other family memories. They make me so happy. I do like your gallery wall!


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