How to create a gallery wall – Plus a $200 giveaway with Minted!

Pencil Shavings Studio and Minted have partnered up to give away a $200 giftcard to create your very own gallery wall.

Today’s post is a how-to guide on the ever-elusive conumdrum of gallery walls. Sometimes it can be very overwhelming to figure out what exactly you should hang on your walls. Art? Posters? Photographs? And then where do you find all of that? People get really nervous about doing the wrong thing, whether it be in the way they hang art (how high?!), committing to nailing holes in their walls, or not knowing what kind of art to commit to. More often than not, I see people hang maybe 1 or 2 teeny tiny frames on a gigantic wall (extra points for if you have them hung in a stairstep design with maybe some kind of tiny corbel shelf next to it – EWWW) which is almost worse than having nothing there at all.

Scale and proportion is everything and I understand all too well the anxiety of not knowing what to do with big empty walls. With several large wall spaces in our house,  I’ve wrestled over and over again with them and I’ve finally landed on a few tricks that work well for us.



Click through for my top tips as well as a seriously fab giveaway from Minted!

In our formal living room, the main focal point is undeniably the large wall behind the sofa.    It’s a huge space, and while the aqua walls continue to delight me, I realized that I couldn’t stare at a blank wall any longer. In the past I’ve put a single (giant) canvas there, but it still felt undesigned, like it was just floating in the middle of the great big wall. The answer for this particular problem was to do a gallery  of  framed art prints, photographs, and things that inspired us. And Minted was gracious enough to help us out with some of their fantastic pieces.

Step 1.  Look for art that inspires you. I love everything from photography to abstract paintings, and I want to find images that will continue to inspire me as time goes on. I think art needs to have an emotional connection to you in some way – you need to have a personal response to it.  Depending on the style of the gallery wall you’re doing, you might want to go a more eclectic route (this is what we ended up doing) with a mix-and-match of paintings, photographs, and drawings. Others may prefer to have a set of 4 similar photographs or art prints. The sky is the limit.

Step 2.  Measure your wall space and have a rough idea of what it is that you want to do. Repetition is the key to filling large wall areas. Gallery walls can be done in a variety of different ways – a casual mishmash of different sizes (love this) or a dramatic and more formal set of frames all in the same size (see this colorful version or this one).

Step 3. Determine the statement you want to make with your frames. All black for drama? White to make the art pop? An eclectic variety of frames for visual interest?

Step 4. Now get to hangin’. For this step to be as painless as possible (erm, emotionally and physically – no more holes in walls or busted thumbs from hammers!), I highly recommend going with Command Strips. I promise you will love them. Plus with all our random Oklahoma earthquakes, I’m not worrying anymore about the frames toppling off the wall. BONUS.

For us, I wanted the “formal” living room to feel more laid back and approachable. We’re not overly formal people, after all. And the best way to accomplish that in my mind was through a casual collection of photographs, watercolors, and drawings.  I explored around the Minted’s art selections and came up with some art print options that fell within the aqua/navy/yellow colorscheme I’ve been going for. Simon and I sat down and chose the ones that we both loved the most – photos that reminded us of time spent in Paris, some pretty seascapes, and a gorgeous shot of Venice. We then added in some fun drawings and graphic prints to even it all out.  I did a rendering in Illustrator to get an idea of what the various sizes would end up looking like so there wouldn’t be any big surprises when it all arrived in the mail.



The end result turned out really beautiful – I love the white frames against the aqua walls. Everything feels fresh and casual but still pulled together. And the gigantic wall finally doesn’t feel so empty and intimidating. I also added in a random watercolor drawing I’d done a few years ago that had been languishing in a corner. It fit in perfectly with all the other blues of the Minted pieces.


Plus I love that we were able to do a custom photo print starring one of our family photos from Shannon Ho.  It makes me ridiculously happy to see that sweet picture every day.



So are you ready for a really amazingly generous giveaway? Minted wants to help you create your own gorgeous gallery wall too! Enter to win a $200 gift card to Minted – and you don’t necessarily have to use it on art. They have a ton of really beautiful things! And they’re also doing a stellar bridal sale right now too —  ENDS MONDAY | SPRING WEDDING EVENT: ENJOY 15% OFF ALL WEDDING ORDERS. CODE: SPRINGWED15

a Rafflecopter giveaway
For further inspiration, check out my Pinterest board with some of my favorite art — Follow Pencil Shavings Studio’s board HOME: Artwork on Pinterest.

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  • Dale

    Love gallery walls, thanks for the excellent tips!

  • Joy | Frock Files

    Rachel, I love it! I’m struggling with filling up two big blank walls right now (mirrors? artwork? something architectual?) and I also just took down and re-hung a gallery wall that just wasn’t working for me – so your timing is impeccable. 🙂 Your wall looks fabulous and I love everything you chose from Minted!

  • Meg Collins

    I really love this method – I’m living in an apartment right now so ‘I fear commitment’ – knowing I’m going to have to cover it all up! lol

  • ajt

    love minted. I’ve ordered their cards several times and they are always beautiful…a step up from other sites!

  • Kayla

    Love this, so great! My husband and I are working on saving up for a house, and since I’m a gift card hoarder I’d save this until we get one (fingers crossed by August)! Love your blog, love your style, love that you’re a fellow OKCer! 🙂

  • Emily R.

    I’d love to do some custom photo art of my husband and me, plus our two cats.

  • Rebecca Haskell Colgate

    We are moving to Denver and our new space has two large walls and I would use the minted gift card to decorate that space!

  • Wholovesyababy

    I’d use the gift card to buy some of minted’s gorgeous art prints so I can start building my own gallery wall. The only art I’ve got that isn’t made by my kids is your gemstone gold foil print, which I LOVE!

  • Brittney Orr

    Your house is so dreamy. I am in love with all of your design choices! The navy/yellow/aqua is just stunning! I always enjoy your home decor posts! & I will have to browse those minted prints! So fab!

    • Brittney Orr

      Oh and I would use the gift card on prints for my navy & white guest room!

  • Linzy

    Love this! I’d totally use this in my bedroom!

  • Yes this is amazing!! Building a new house with tons of blank walls! Needs some color and pattern. Thanks for this giveaway!

  • Cheryl

    Great giveaway! We could use some new art in our upstairs hallway.

  • Rachel Figueroa

    What a great giveaway! I just love your home and can’t get enough of all your pictures. I’d use the giftcard to spruce up our walls with pretty prints. We just celebrated our 3-year anniversary as home owners and are walls are still empty. 🙁

  • We moved two years ago to a MUCH bigger house than our last one, and our walls are totally bare. So depressing! My husband says it looks like we’re in a cult or something. LOL. I would love to have some art to hang! Thanks for the great tips!

  • haley

    I love minted!

  • Melissa ‘Cauthron’ Tribuzi

    I would use it to add some pretty things to my walls! Maybe my son’s room or my master bedroom.

  • This giveaway is amaze balls!! After moving to a new place, I’m still trying to nest and perfect our gallery walls. Some artwork from Minted would make that easy:)

  • Kandice Shiell

    I too am working on a gallery wall for a big wall in our house. I’d love to win to be able to choose some great artwork for our home! Thanks for such an incredible give away!

  • Madison Finley

    I have the perfect space for a gallery wall right behind my couch in my studio apartment. Plus I’m a huge fan of Minted!!

  • Bethany Zarinelli

    I must admit, as an apartment dweller I’m always hesitant to put up artwork. After seeing your post, I’m encouraged to take the plunge–especially with command strips instead of nails.

  • Marita

    I have some blank walls in my new home that are waiting for a beautiful print from Minted!

  • thecreativeporcupine

    I just moved into a new space and would love to be able to put up an inspiring gallery wall in my small office! It would definitely be inspiring!

  • Tasha

    Thank you notes and a cake stand for my upcoming wedding!

  • Laura Anne

    I desperately need to buy thank you notes for my wedding!

  • Kira

    I always wanted to do a gallery wall at my old OKC home, and never did. 🙁 Now that we are starting to design our home in Manhattan (hoping to break ground this summer), maybe I will finally get my chance! Your home looks amazing!!

  • lauren

    Can’t wait to create a gallery wall, just posted about my inspiration last week, wish I’d had this to add to it!

  • silverliningdecor

    I would use the gift card for wall art! Crossing my fingers!

  • Kate3290

    Great gallery wall! Also love the bowl on the coffee table!

  • Artsy_Smartsy

    My poor walls our so bare… I would love to brighten them with some art if I won!

  • Erin

    I’m dreaming up all the possibilities for the new CL house! I think I could put this gift card to good use 🙂

  • D Schmidt

    I would purchase some of their beautiful art work, I particularly like
    Greatest Adventure
    by Alethea and Ruth

  • Dani Ross

    I have been dreaming of creating a wall such as yours! I would use that money to make that happen!! Great giveaway and love your wall!

  • Lesley Johnston

    i like to send snail mail so some new thank you cards and stationery would be cool

  • I would create a beautiful gallery wall just like yours.

  • Probably some of their amazing wall art!

  • Sarah

    First off, I love your blog. Thank your for giving us some inspiration on gallery walls. Second, what brand are your picture frames? Like you, I have a very large walls behind my sofa. I can’t seem to find the 16×16 frames in white though. Please help. =)

  • caitlin t

    Hi! i love the blue bowl on your coffee table! Where did you get it from?