How to Make a Fabric Gallery Wall


Whenever I go to a fabric store I feel like I want to buy a yard of every beautiful fabric that catches my eye (hint: that’s a lot). Not being an avid sewer (or quilter), I usually have no use for buying them (a girl can only get away with so many pillows in the house…says my husband).
However, when thrift store shopping with my mom on her annual visit we came upon a designer’s collection of sample fabrics. They were the gorgeous, expensive fabric samples used for high-end clients; you could tell. There were so many beautiful ones we spent at least an hour digging through them and putting together a collection of our favorites.
These favorites are now beautifully displayed in my home in the form of a gallery wall. Hurray! I finally have an excuse to buy all the beautiful fabric I love. I can easily switch out fabrics on the wall, keeping the gallery fresh and satisfying my fabric buying urge (plus, I only need a little but so I don’t have to buy much fabric). Win!
Read on to see how I did it!
Here is how I made my fabric gallery wall from fabric scraps and samples!
With the crazy patterned duvet cover, I have been trying to keep things sort of tame throughout the rest of the room – like my white chevron curtains. However, with the duvet being the focal point for an otherwise pretty neutral room, that’s the only place my eye landed when looking at the room. I needed to make my eyes travel throughout the room. That meant bringing focus up the wall. Hence the solution of flanking gallery walls!
I first combed through the house finding all the old frames I had that weren’t in use (it was surprisingly a lot).
To fill in the rest of the space I went to the dollar store and bought the rest. I focused more on shapes and size, not color, because I knew I was going to spray paint them all a nice, glittery silver.
After they were all painted and gorgeous, I began working on the layout. I knew I wanted to balance the two sides of the wall, so I decided to try to keep an equal number of frames with equivalent sizes.
After I hit upon something I liked on the bed, I transferred it to the wall using a paper cutout of the frame. This allowed me to get a better visual and play around a bit more without committing a million holes to the wall.
Finally I got my galleries right. Now knowing where my frames were going to go, I needed to put in the fabric. I wanted to wait until I had the frame arrangement so I could make sure the fabrics looked good in their position on the wall too.
I started with the bolder pops of color. Since I went a bit neutral on most of the fabrics (again, that duvet is crazy) I wanted to make sure I had pops of color on both sides of the wall. I picked those out and placed them first. Then I just played around with the other ones until I hit upon something I liked.
I then traced the glass of the frame onto the back of the fabric and cut out the fabric. Then into the frame they went!
To hang them on the wall I just took down one placeholder paper on the wall, starting at the bottom of the gallery wall. I would then hold up the frame in the position I liked and make a small pencil line at the top middle. Then I would measure from the top of the frame to the top of the nail holder. I would mark that measurement to the wall and put a nail in it. This was a really easy way to get the wall exactly how I wanted it to look. I think there was only one time I had to do two holes for a picture. One mess up in hanging pictures is HUGE for me. If you take off some of my pictures from the wall it can be quite the embarrassing amount of holes.
I love how these look but I also love that if I change my mind I can easily replace the fabric for a new look!
This is such a happy room for guests now!

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Megan Aubrey

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Kjarvie
    on Mar 3, 2017

    Where did you find all the varying fabrics in such small quantities.

    • Megan Aubrey
      on Mar 6, 2017

      They are fabric samples. I found them at a consignment store, but you may be able to go to an upholstery shop or fabric store and ask to buy their samples. Or you can order samples online I believe.

Join the conversation

4 of 58 comments
  • Kris
    on Aug 17, 2016

    This has been around for the last 55-60 years that I know of. When I was a kid growing up in Tucson, Az my parents had a friend who was always doing something new to the house. One year she framed some material and hung it on the walls. Back in those days our parents were "poor" teachers in a rather large school district. There wasn't much money in their budgets for frivolous things like decorating their homes so Opal came up with this idea. We always said she was ahead of her time.

  • Chris
    on Mar 3, 2017

    Your room is so comforting.

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