Venus Trapped in Mars

21 September 2015

How To Design, Print, Build and Hang a Gallery Wall in Just One Day

We've been in the house for nearly 3 months now. I SHOULD be starting this post by saying....

We've been in the house almost 3 months now and we've made so many updates and done so much decorating, it is really starting to feel like our home. Heart eyed emojis everywhere.

Here is the truth though...

We've been in the house almost 3 months and we've gone and played golf, watched football, watched baseball, had friends over on the weekends, had lazy Sundays where we spent 75% of it in bed hiding under the covers, taken a few trips.... and the house, walls, floors... haven't really been touched. 

That's ok, right? I certainly think it's ok. We have an infinite amount of time to decorate and turn this place into exactly what we want. We didn't select the house with the money tree in the backyard, so this will take time. 

All that aside, the two of us sound like a broken record gushing to each other about how much we love the house. I love love love loveeeeeee living with this kid so much, that it really didn't take any stuff to make this house feel like OUR house. It felt like our home the day we walked in the front door. 

I for sure want to get some nice furniture, decorate the walls, lay down cool rugs and maybe even get wild and crazy and paint some accent walls.... but that will all take time. Until then, I've decided to tackle small projects that only take a day, like our new gallery wall. From start to finish, this whole gallery wall project took one day, and cost less than a hundred dollars. 

8am: Select Your Layout 
I started by searching Pinterest for sample gallery wall layouts. There are about a billion layout options on Pinterest, but the problem with most of them was that they didn't include the size of the frames. Just like with cooking, I need specific directions or I'll get frustrated and give up. 

I found this site that offered a variety of layouts, each included the proper frame sizes.  I decided to go with this layout. 

9am: Select Images, Design Prints
I knew I wanted to do a Dallas theme, so I opted for a mix of images from my Instagram, as well as a few prints I designed in photoshop. I also used the same color scheme in each print I designed, so the design flowed from frame to frame. Be sure to design at 300dpi and print from the original photo, not your Instagram photo, so you have the highest resolution possible. 

Here are some of the prints and images I decided to use. 

11am: Send your images for printing
I use Staples for all of my oversized prints, they are the cheapest I've found. You can upload prints right from your computer, so you won't need to bring a flash drive or wait in-store. I've also used Costco print center in the past, and they are great too. Anywhere else though, and you're going to end up waiting days to receive your prints, or paying too much. Trust me, I've tried printing at a ton of different places. 

I also recommend calling right after you send your prints in, to confirm pickup time. Doing this, they might even be able to move yours up in line if you are in a time crunch. Personally, I'm always in a time crunch, due to a high level of impatience. 

4pm: Buy Your Frames
I went to Michaels to buy my frames because I had seen earlier in the week that they were having a killer sale. I got the 11x14 frames for only $4.00/each and the 18x24 frames for just $12.99/each. They always seem to have a sale going on frames, but also check the clearance aisle, which is where I found the 11x14 frames. Be sure to check for coupons too.

5pm: Pick Up Your Prints 
I had already submitted and paid online, so I popped in and out of Staples in less than 3 minutes.

7pm: Time to Hang
I asked CB to help me because he has a better attention to detail. Plus, his mom gave him a new drill for his birthday that he is forever eager to use. Boys and their tool box, I'll never understand it. 

I put together a mockup which showed him EXACTLY how I wanted everything hung, so there would be no confusion on what went where. 

He then got to hanging while I had a beer. Hey, my part of this project was already finished, I earned it! 

Voila! The whole project is finished in about 12 hours, and less than a hundred bucks for 6 frames and 6 oversized prints.... $82 to be exact. 
I probably could've taken these photos during the day with natural light, so they looked nicer, but that would involve me developing patience. Nahhhhh

What DIY decorating projects have you done around your house? Anything relatively inexpensive  and quick that I should try out? 


  1. brilliant. i def gotta do this soon to our new home. I think it's brilliant to decorate with some of your own photos.

  2. We've been in our house for over a year, and we're still trying to decorate! We're in the mindset that we want to make sure that we love something before we spend all of the money to decorate. But this gallery wall seems super easy, that we could even do it! I'll definitely need to give this a try, but it might have to wait until after football season is over...

  3. Love it! I really want to do a gallery wall in our bedroom...but I'm refusing to hang up anything else until we paint the walls. Don't feel bad, because we've been in our house for over two hours and haven't painted a thing (all walls are white...and there are splotches where the builder came back after a year to fix the nail pops and such), and we've only bought one light fixture--one! All of our rooms, except for the kitchen and bathrooms, are lit by a single lamp (a single lamp because, like light fixtures, I've been too cheap to buy more).

  4. So you understand that you live in the Batcave, right? So jealous you're dating Batman.

  5. oh my god sarah!! this looks incredible. i love the prints too. LOVE them. pinning duh.

  6. That looks so great!

    It's possible that I occasionally mentally create a gallery wall for Chris's house. Along with a few other DIY/redecorating projects I would love to tackle...

  7. I love it. I've lived in my house a little over a year and I am still working on projects because its just me and I'm slow. I may need to redo my gallery way because its kinda just a mess. I literally didn't plan and just threw it all up on the wall.

  8. Absolutely gorgeous prints! I love it! I tackled a gallery wall too...Michaels has the best frames!

  9. This is a great post! I have been looking for a large picture to go above my new couch, but doing something like this would be so much more unique, lower cost and much more personal anyway!

  10. I had kept putting off getting my gallery wall together due to "it will take too long" I guess this post showed me. Maybe this weekend I'll finally attempt it.

  11. We bought some floating shelves at Lowes we used in our half bath. They we cheap and gave it me something cool to decorate with things I had. You can get creative with them.

  12. This is perfect and just the right amount of motivation to help me hang my gallery wall. Thanks for sharing this!

    Morgan |

  13. Looks great! If it makes you feel any better I've lived in my apartment for a year before I ever decorated anything. Blogger fail, whatever ;)

  14. I love this! It turned out so great! I will have to follow this next time I create a gallery wall. I did one of our wedding pictures in our bedroom but I didn't exactly follow a layout and I changed it up several times before I finally liked it.

  15. Things like this always look better in my head then in real life.......just saying
    You are much better at this then I am

  16. These are gorgeous! I can't drill holes into my walls, but we're allowed hanging nails, so I'm still trying to figure out how to go about a gallery wall..

    This is as far as I've gotten decorating wise (been in the apartment four months).

  17. I found this site incridible. It offers a variety of layouts,prints, images etc. I decided to go with this site. can anyone suggest me the best online dissertation writing service UK.

  18. I love this! I'm totally stealing this idea and using it to create and Austin wall! (Nice Deep Ellum can btw!;)


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