Even if you weren’t a passionate shutterbug in your pre-parenting days, family life will have changed that for sure.
If you’re anything like me then you can’t help snapping every special moment with your kids. And a good thing too – because family photos aren’t just great memories in themselves, you can use them for exciting DIY decor projects too. For example, a family-themed gallery wall!
What is a Gallery Wall?
A gallery wall (or salon wall) is a collection of items: framed artwork, photographs and personal treasures hung in a grouping. The great thing about gallery walls is that there’s no set requirement and each person’s idea will be unique to them.
Using photos of various sizes, themes, colors, textures, and more, you can complete your own gallery wall with gorgeous family photos. In addition to family photos, you can use items like empty frames, kid’s artwork, maps, or quotes to give your gallery wall a distinctive touch.
How to Make a Gallery Wall with Family Photos
Creating a gallery wall with family photos is a great way to give your favorite images a whole new life.
To help you get started, I’ve prepared this simple 5-step tutorial.
#1. Choose the Right Wall Space
One of the biggest myths about gallery walls is that you need literally a whole wall to work with, and that it has to be bare from floor to ceiling. You definitely don’t need an entire wall and in fact, finding the right spot for your gallery wall is easier than you might think.
Gallery walls can work really well in long corridors, on staircases, around large pieces of furniture and even above headboards. But if you want to add to your gallery wall as time goes on, make sure you find a spot that has some free space around it for future additions.
#2. Choose a Particular Theme
You already know that your gallery wall will feature family photos, and that’s a great start – but your gallery wall will work best if you stick to a consistent theme. Failsafe choices include:
- Photos from your family travels
- Photos capturing what your family members love doing the most
- Photos from family gatherings and important events (think weddings, graduations, birthdays, anniversaries…)
If you want to expand your gallery wall over time, it’s better to mix up photos from a range of events and time periods. This approach allows for greater creative freedom, and means that if you add new elements in the future you won’t risk spoiling the theme.
For example, if you’re only including photos from your family this year, in two years it may seem strange to have two separate ages of your family. However, if you include photos from when your children were babies through childhood, it won’t seem strange to continue adding new photos as time goes on.
#3. Pick the Right Decor Items
This is perhaps the most exciting and creative stage of the whole process – feel free to follow your instincts and don’t limit yourself to photos.
Postcards, maps, your children’s drawings, and knick-knacks of all kinds can find a place in your gallery wall – just make sure that your theme runs consistently through the whole collection.
As for the photos: these days most images only exist in a digital format, so you’ll probably need to print your photos before proceeding to the next step. MPix makes it easy to choose which digital photos you’d like to print and deliver them right to your door step.
My MPix prints came out beautiful and I’m proud to hang them in my gallery wall.
Custom printing companies like MPix.com offer a wide range of photo products, available at family-friendly prices.
#4. Design the Layout
There are no strict rules for designing a gallery wall – you can display your items in a neat grid or go for a daring non-symmetrical layout.
One important thing to note is to leave a gap of the same distance between all items. I typically recommend about three inches between items – this will provide enough room to let the individual pieces breathe without losing the sense of a unified whole.
#5. Hang Your Wall Art
To transfer the layout to the wall you’ll need: a spirit level, some nails, a hammer and a drill. You can also use double-sided tape or adhesive strips for lighter items such as postcards, posters, foam-based photo tiles etc.
Make sure you triple-check that everything’s perfectly in position before getting the drill out – and if you aren’t an experienced DIY-er, consider using the services of a professional.
Create a Gallery Wall on a Budget
If you want your photo gallery wall to be a real showstopper, you’ll need more than just a couple of prints – and for many families that’s just not affordable if they have to pay full price.
I hope you’ve now discovered how to make a gallery wall with all your family photos and can stop just staring at them on your cell phone anymore. Get printing and show off some of those beautiful photos in your home!