Leaning Gallery Wall / Command Center

Stacy Davis
by Stacy Davis
“Be Patient. The Best Things Happen Unexpectedly. “ This was the case when Hometalk contacted me to see if I would be interested in doing a project that showcased Walls Republic wallpaper. A giant thank you to Hometalk and Walls Republic for allowing me to create this project. If you have any questions on the wallpaper, they would be the ones to ask. Here is their website…
I chose to do a leaning wall shelf… BUT, somewhere along the way, it morphed into a Magnetic Gallery Wall / Command Center. Since this project leans against the wall, it is renter-friendly. If you have small children, I would definitely talk to some experts on the best way to attach it to a wall so that it wouldn’t fall on them. Also, I use super strong neodymium magnets, which can be very dangerous if swallowed. For this reason, these magnets should be kept out of reach of small children and pets.
I was given 14 different styles/patterns to choose from and believe me, it was hard to choose just one.

Here are two of my favorites…

Serenity Sand (which is the pattern that I chose by Walls Republic). You can find it here on their site… http://www.wallsrepublic.com/R1373-p/r1373-parent.htm

This was my close second choice,


This was my first time working with wallpaper and I found that the Walls Republic wallpaper was very easy to use. It is also very durable. I had my shelf leaning against the garage and a large gust of wind blew it over. These shelves are very, VERY heavy and the force of the fall shattered the plastic clamps that I had attached to it. Plus, it fell on a bumpy asphalt driveway. When I lifted it up, I expected the wallpaper to be ruined. I was relieved to find there were just a few nicks that were easily smoothed back into place with a little wallpaper adhesive.
Here is one arrangement... almost everything on the top half of the shelf is held on by magnets. Below, I rearranged a few things...
It takes a gallery wall and adds an element of fun. Within minutes, you can have a whole new look and also change up your color scheme if you like. I like to spell out "momisms" (my quotes of the moment) in frames for my family to see. We had just moved into our house a few months ago and I had done very little with decorating until this project. My son came back from a weekend away and found the boring dining room had been changed into a creative craft studio. He smiled and said, "I have missed this so much." Previously, all the creative things and pictures were stored in the garage. We are renting and I didn't want to add any holes to the walls and command strips didn't appeal to me. One roll of wallpaper and the entire feel of this room changed. It was kind of like, If you give a mouse a cookie.... but it was if you give a

DIY'er a roll of wallpaper... she's gonna need to go to the home improvement store, craft store, and many more stores...
Items for the project – for 2 leaning gallery pieces


Wallpaper Adhesive



1 sheet of plywood will make 2 leaning shelves (23/32 by 4 ft by 8 ft, cut 24 inches wide and to your desired height- mine were 6 ft and 5 ft tall – I would make mine 7 ft and 6 ft tall, if I did this project again.) It needs to be thick enough that when leaning against the wall it doesn’t sway inward. If you want to go with a luan, which is lighter and much thinner, you could consult a professional on how to hang it safely instead of leaning it. It should cost around $30 depending on quality and type of wood. I think the one I selected was the cheapest and it worked fine for this project.

Sanding block or sandpaper

2 sheets galvanized metal 24 in by 36 in (If I did this project again I would double these sheets to cover the front of each piece.) This runs about $10 each. I already had some of these on hand.

E6000 Adhesive – I used an entire tube between the project and making magnetic accessories.

Gesso or Primer for wood and metal

Paint Brushes for priming and applying the wallpaper adhesive

Decorative Upholstery Tacks for the edges

Vinyl bumpers or felt pads to protect floor and walls

I began with a trip to get the wood.

Once you get your wood home, it is time to attach the metal sheet to the plywood. First, I just knocked off any sharp edges with a sanding block. I placed the metal sheet where I wanted it and drew around it with a pencil. After moving the metal sheet out of the way, I then filled the area in with E6000. I put the metal sheet on top and added various weights and clamps.

This is something that I would let dry overnight.
The next day, prime your surfaces that will be wallpapered and decide what you would like to do with the back. The wood only needs two good coats of gesso or primer but I put three coats on the metal sheet. I used gesso instead of primer because I had a huge bucket from years ago that I wanted to use up.

I would let this dry for several hours. This is the time to paint the sides and back. I chose to match the wall cover. I toyed with running wallpaper strips and upholstery nails down each side but didn’t in the end, I felt the sides looked fine as is. Now it is time to apply the wallpaper.
I cut my wallpaper to wrap an inch onto the back at the top and bottom of the shelf. I took the measurement of the face of the board and added about 4 inches to it. My wallpaper was 21 inches wide so if your shelf is 24 inches wide you will add some pieces to each side centering the main wallpaper sheet to the middle of the board. I would put a pencil mark on the middle of my board and the middle of my wallpaper. When these marks lined up, I knew both were centered correctly. Then I would place something heavy in the middle so it wouldn’t shift. I would flip half the wallpaper to one end and working from the middle to top or middle to the bottom, I would generously apply the wallpaper adhesive in a 6 inch section. I used a brayer to press the wallpaper firmly into the adhesive and then a damp sponge to remove excess adhesive. To hold the wallpaper firmly in place you can either clamp something against it while it dries or add your upholstery tacks at this time. I let this dry completely before adding wallpaper to each side.

On the bottom, I placed felt pads to protect the floor. On the top backside, I placed vinyl rubber bumpers to protect the wall. I painted the sides to match my wall color.

Now you can add magnets, shelves, hooks… anything you want.
Here are the backs of three picture frames so that you can see the magnets have been applied to each corner. I was lucky that I already had all these empty frames on hand.

I can see this gallery shelf in a variety of places. In a bedroom, add a mirror, pegs for storing jewelry, even holders for makeup, and it would make it a standing vanity. It could be great in a teen’s room to help organize all their personal items. They could change up colors and pictures anytime they wanted. This would be an awesome addition as a command center in a mudroom. You can also add hooks for hats, keys and sunglasses.


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  • Hannah V Hannah V on Apr 10, 2015
    Oh my goodness Stacy you knocked it out of the park and then some! I love this idea even more than the leaning shelf. You went with one of my absolute favorite wallpapers too. :) You're going to get such great use out of this- AND since it's renter-friendly I just may have to try making one of my own! :D Bravo to you. @Walls Republic check it out!

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Apr 10, 2015
      @Hannah V Thank you for your kind feedback! I had so much fun working on this project and I hope that others will find the tutorial useful. Thank you again for allowing me to participate in such a unique opportunity!

  • Walls Republic Walls Republic on Apr 14, 2015
    What a great project Stacy!! We love this idea and how versatile and adaptable it is to any space! Your video at the end is amazing and shows off your project so nicely! :)

    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Apr 14, 2015
      @Walls Republic Thank you very much! This project was so much fun to create and your wallpaper is wonderful! I see many more wallpaper projects down the line. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to create my feature wall in my craft studio.