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Readers' Choice, Volume 6: Gallery Wall How-To!

You, our lovely readers, have spoken once again!

Quick refresher - we asked you, “What are you dying to learn about from us? Tell us anything and everything!”

It’s a question we officially ask you once per year, but it’s something we are always eager to know! We LOVE teaching you the things you actually want to learn. And man oh man, did you hit it out of the park this time! You asked us to teach you about … Interior Design!

For anyone new around here, Uncommon started from a love of interiors and creativity. Katie and Sal met in college while studying interior design and business administration. We LOVE all things home décor, and we find such joy in using our gifts and talents to style vignettes in our own homes. So this month’s blog post is bringing us back to our roots in a major way!

When we talk about impactful interior design, one of our favorite décor elements is the gallery wall! We love the eclectic feel a gallery wall can bring to a home and how it can help tell stories in your space. We have helped several friends and family members create gallery walls in their own homes, and we are here to share some of the tips and secrets we use to make them a success!

Let’s get to it!

1. Source various materials & elements.

The most successful gallery walls come with several different types of elements! So think wood, metal, soft textiles, figurines, etc.! The key to the eclectic feel is to make sure each element is saying a similar thing. Think of it this way - each element you source has a heartbeat, and each element’s heartbeat needs to be in sync.

2. Use Kraft Paper.

This is an absolute MUST! Go to the closest dollar store and grab yourself some Kraft Paper - it’s the brown mat paper you can get in a roll, about 30”x10’. This is what you’ll use to create a foolproof backdrop. Here’s how!

  1. Map out the general size of your gallery grouping on the wall. This will help give you some parameters as you design where your elements will be placed!

  2. Then, tape several pieces of your Kraft paper together to create a surface to work on. Lay this flat on the floor.

  3. Measure the space you marked out on the wall and transfer that to your Kraft Paper. Trust us on this - it will make hanging all these items that much easier!

3. Arrange away!

Now that you have your Kraft Paper backdrop, it’s time to arrange your pieces within the boundaries you just marked. This step should be fun, not stressful! The good news is that you haven’t put any nails into the wall yet, so you can experiment before you commit to your placement. You can move things around a million times if you want!

4. Trace it out.

Once you have settled on an arrangement you love, it’s time to trace each element onto the Kraft Paper. In addition to tracing the outline of the item, make sure to also mark on the Kraft Paper where the nail holes need to go!

  1. Here’s a quick tip! If the element needs two nails, if the hardware is inset into the element, or if it’s difficult to mark the holes for any reason, do this! First, trace around the item. Second, grab toothpaste - yes, toothpaste! Place a very small amount of toothpaste onto the brackets or hardware where the nail hole needs to go. Then line the item up with the outline you drew and gently press the piece onto the Kraft Paper. Lift the item straight up off the paper. This will reveal marks where you need to place the holes!

  2. One last quick tip - remember to take a photo of the arrangement before you take the elements off the Kraft Paper! That way, you’ll have a handy guide for matching the items to the hardware once you nail them into the wall!

5. Hang your Kraft Paper on the wall.

You are almost there, friends! Once you know the Kraft Paper is in the right place, tape it completely to the wall using painter’s tape. Be sure to use levels throughout this process so you can check that your elements are leveled and squared.

6. Nail it in place.

The benefit of using Kraft Paper as your guide is that you can nail right through it into the wall! Once you have all of your nails in place, just tear the Kraft Paper away to reveal all the hardware necessary to hang your gallery wall!

7. Match it up!

Using the photo you took earlier, match each of your elements with the nails on your wall! Ta-daaa! You have a perfectly spaced & placed gallery wall with the exact number of holes necessary to hang all your elements!

We want to thank you SO much for submitting your questions to us! Our biggest hope is to serve you while helping to make your creative lives easier. If you have another burning question, you can fill out this survey at any time and tell us what you want to learn!

Until next time, enjoy the beauty you just created in your home!


The Uncommon Team

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