Photo Walls are one of the most stylish ways to incorporate family photos into your homes decor scheme. It’s the perfect way to organize and showcase the most intimate and memorable moments and the loved ones that you treasure most. Gallery-style photo walls have become increasingly popular, as they are aesthetically pleasing adding character and personality to a room, hallway or staircase.
I recently created a gallery style memory collage on the inside wall of my staircase and wanted to share a step by step tutorial for how to create a photo wall, as well as gallery-style layouts and arrangements to help you come up with the perfect design for your very own photo memory wall whether it’s up a staircase, in a hallway or on your living room wall.
I swear the hardest part of creating a gallery style photo wall is coming up with a layout, so to get started I wanted to share a few charts that show you a number of arrangement ideas before we get started with the tutorial!!
Are you inspired yet??? Alright, time to get started
Step 1: Measure the height and width of the wall, you want to make sure you use these measurements when deciding on your layout and the spacing of your picture frames. If you’re creating a photo wall that goes up a stairway, you need to follow the angle of your stairs. The first photo should start about 2 feet up from the bottom of the step and should go up with every step keeping the distance to from the bottom of the picture frame to the step the same.
Step 2: Decide what photos you want to display, do you want to create a theme (wedding, baby, etc), do you want all black & white, color or a mix of both.
Step 3: Select the frames you want to use. Make sure that your picture frames compliment each other and are in the same color group. You can mix metal with plastic or wood as long as the colors are similar. You should also make sure that the matte for your frames are similar, either select one color or “like” colors. I used a collection of Ikea Picture Frames that were black with white and off white mattes (I wish I had all white mattes but I couldn’t find them in the correct size).
Step 4: Once you have selected all of the frames you want to use you need to make paper templates for each frame by tracing the outline of the picture frames onto kraft paper (if you don’t have brown kraft paper lying around you can always use an old roll of wrapping paper which is what I used, I even used a piece of scrapbook paper). After tracing each frame make a mark or punch a hole where the nail or hook will go. Put a piece of tape on each frame with a letter or number and then write that letter/number on the corresponding template.
Step 5: Get all of your frames together and lay them out on the floor. This is the best way to find the design layout for your wall. You can move the picture frames around re-arrange them as many times as you’d like without putting holes in the wall.
Step 6: Once you’ve decided on the layout for your photo wall take the paper templates and begin taping them onto the wall. It’s best to start with the template that goes at the bottom of the first step. Once I got the first template on the wall I visually added the remaining templates ensuring they followed the natural angle of the stairway. I re-arranged my templates several times and actually decided to hang two pictures at the end instead of one large picture. That’s the best part of using templates, you don’t have to worry about changing the layout after you’ve nailed a hole in the wall!!
Step 7: Once you are happy with the look of the templates nail a hole through the marked line on your template. After you have your nail in the wall tear the paper off and hang your pictures (Sorry I forgot to take a picture of this step)!
Now you can step back and admire your photo wall!!
Here is the view from the top of the steps looking down
Here is the view from the bottom of the steps looking up