How to Hang a (perfectly Straight) Gallery Wall

2 Materials
1 Hour


Gallery walls have always drawn me in. Not so much the farmhouse, old-cheese-grater-on-the-wall type, but the more modern, subdued ones? Very much yes.

Luckily for me (and my drywall), I’ve since learned a trick to hanging a perfectly straight gallery wall that’s saved me so much time.

The secret? Make a template.

There are a couple of ways I’ve done this in the past, and I’ll get to that, but first let me give you a quick tip on lining everything up because it’ll make it so much quicker once you’re all set up.

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Use painters tape to space everything

I used 1.88-inch thick painters tape and used the width of the tape as spacers between my frames. So, I tore off a strip to mark horizontally where the very top of the gallery wall should be and made sure it was level (this is very important) and made sure the tape was the length of three frames plus 3.76 inches, which is two strips of the painters tape.

Next, I did the vertical rows of painters tape, starting with the very outer strips that would be the outer edges of the whole gallery wall, and the bottom horizontal row.

Once you’ve got a big rectangle on the wall and it looks like it’s the right height and size, etc., measure across from the left vertical piece of painters tape the width of your frame (my frames are 11×14, so I measured 11 inches to the right from the left inside edge) and add a vertical strip of painters tape the whole way down the box. Repeat again another frame width so you’ve got three vertical rows that should each be the width of your frames.

By now, I’m sure you’re getting the idea of why you’re doing this, but now do the same from the top down and add two horizontal lines of painters tape so the openings are the height of your frames (for us, 14 inches.)

Option 1: A cardboard template

Take a piece of cardboard from an old Amazon box, cereal box or something like that and cut it to the size of your frame.

Figure out the measurement of where your nail needs to go (for example, the hanger on your frame might be 1.5 inches from the top and 4.5 inches in from the left side).

Use a pen to make a mark on that exact point on your template piece of cardboard, pushing through the cardboard so there’s now a hole.

Next, hold the template up to the wall where your first frame will go and use your pen to mark through that hole in your template onto the wall.

Repeat for as many frames as you need, and now you know the exact spots to hammer in your nail to hang a perfectly straight gallery wall!

Option 2: Painters tape

Take some painters tape and hold it across the back of your frame, so it’s a straight horizontal line that goes over your hanger piece.

Make a mark on the painters tape in the center, where you’d want your nail to go, and then just take that piece of tape and stick it right onto the wall where you want your frame to go.

Now you’ve got a mark exactly where your nail should go!

Use a level to make sure it's aligned properly

Lastly, take a couple steps back and check everything looks straight and even. If you're unsure, use a level to double check.

So there you go, my tips for hanging a Pinterest-worthy gallery wall.

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