How to arrange pictures on a wall

So, you’ve brought home your brand new art pieces along with some beautiful frames, and you’ve got your xHangs or traditional picture hanging hardware – now where exactly are you going to hang your art so that it looks it’s best?

Choosing the correct place for hanging art is crucial as it can easily become the focal point of the room or simply fade into the background, depending on the decisions you make.

If you are only hanging one piece, you can do pretty well just by going by eye and being sure to remember the 57 rule. Now, if you’re looking to hang multiple pictures on one wall, it can get a little more complicated, but luckily you’re in the right place.

After all, with xHang providing a low cost and easy to use museum-quality picture hanging system, you may well be tempted to use it to turn your house into an art gallery after getting to grips with how quick, easy and effective it is. To learn the best methods for how to arrange 3 pictures on a wall, for example, consider taking these pointers into account:

How to Arrange Pictures on a Wall in Groups

How to arrange pictures on a wall

The most important points to remember when planning how to arrange pictures on a wall are to plan the layout beforehand and to optimize your use of space as much as possible.

A common method of arranging multiple pictures is to hang 3 pictures on the wall next to the staircase so that each painting seems to “follow” you up the stairs, while still sticking to the 57 rule in relation to the floor.

If you’re wondering how to hang pictures of different sizes, this is when it gets slightly more complex! Ideally, you should assemble a pattern that has at least some element of symmetry or pattern to it, so that it doesn’t look like your pictures have just been scattered randomly along the wall. Here a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep at least some sort of visual theme going through all of the pictures – if your art pieces are completely different and clash somewhat, try using similarly styled frames, and vice versa.
  • No matter where you place a photograph or painting, keep symmetry in mind and try to use a similarly sized piece elsewhere to balance it out

Planning the Layout Beforehand

How to arrange pictures on a wall

While the above image is just an example and not necessarily how you should lay out your pictures, planning the layout is the most important step by far. You don’t want to hang several paintings and then realise you’ve made a mistake, then take them all down and start again. Even with how easy xHang is to use, that’s less than ideal. Try this, instead:

  • Lay your frames on an old blanket or several large sheets of paper, and draw around them to plan your layout, measuring the distance between each one to easily replicate this pattern on the wall
  • If you don’t have anything large enough for this, draw smaller but proportionate shapes on a regular piece of paper (e.g. 7 inches becomes 7mm).
  • You can then easily measure the distance between the hanging hook and the edge of your frame and transfer this information to your diagram, to ensure easy placement of your xHang, drilled holes or whatever other methods you might be using.

This is an easy and effective method of placing pictures in a pattern that ends up looking exactly how you want it to.

You can get as adventurous as you like with the layout as long as there is some level of symmetry and pattern to prevent it from looking random and accidental. You’ll find a picture frame layout guide with a few great examples at the bottom of the page to give you some further ideas. Another great tip is to:

Hang the Biggest Picture First

How to arrange pictures on a wall

The largest picture out of your selection deserves to take pride of place and the other pieces should fit around it. It’s also worth mentioning that this centrepiece might not be a picture at all – hanging smaller pictures around a large functional piece like a mirror can also work just as well.

Hang your largest piece centrally and at 57 inches high or higher, giving it a priority spot that looks great with or without the others. It’s also a good idea to keep it away from corners as this can make it seem cramped up and cause it to be less of a focal point for the room.

You can then place your other pieces around the central picture, creating a symmetrical pattern that allows each piece to work together. This works great if the smaller pictures aren’t too much smaller, but if they are, they may look a little lost next to the large piece. In this case, consider assembling them into a separate pattern on another wall.

Not all rooms or walls need a huge centrepiece and a group of small paintings can actually look great, especially in smaller spaces such as corridors and stairways.

Don’t Overcrowd It!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Pictures should never feel like they’re competing for space or making a room look more cluttered. Space is an essential part of home decor and can be used to draw attention to furniture, centrepieces, windows etc.

Hanging too many art pieces will just end up distracting attention from all of them, as visitors no longer have any idea where they should be looking. As long as you follow the basic tips listed above, planning your layout in advance and being as efficient with space as you can, you can surely create something beautiful that will stand the test of time!

We hope this guide has given you some ideas for picture placement and provided some useful pointers on how to hang multiple pictures on a wall in a way that will impress your visitors and make your home feel truly yours.

We will leave you with a diagram that shows a few ideas for different picture placements on walls, but don’t be scared to do something unique and different!

How to arrange photos on walls to get the look you want is a skill some of us have learned while others have not. Many think it is a creative gift that we just don’t have. This is not true, and this article will show you that. For instance, anyone can learn how to group pictures on a wall.

Table of Contents

Hanging Pictures and Creating a Look

The point of hanging pictures on a wall is to create a look that you enjoy. Many people want the way their pictures look to reflect something back about themselves. It is really not that difficult and this article will show you step by step how to do it. Make yourself an oasis with how you group your picture on the wall.

For instance, I’m moving soon into an apartment by myself for the first time in many, many years. It’s a little nerve-wracking but the one thing I am really looking forward to is hanging pictures on walls that express who I am. This is one of the biggest benefits of learning how to group pictures together on a wall. In this way, you can respect yourself while offering a pleasant environment to others.

How To Group Pictures On A Wall

So how do you go about knowing how to group pictures on a wall or how to organize them? Let’s look at a couple of ways of doing this and organizing them at the same time.

  1. First, you need to know how much wall space you have to work with. Even though you might want a coordinated room look, still, you can only work with one wall at a time.
  2. So choose your first wall and think about how to organize pictures on a wall. What do you need to do first? Measure the wall space of course.
  3. Now choose a theme for your wall and select some pictures to put on the wall.
  4. You will need some masking tape and layout and tape on the floor, the exact size, and the shape of the pictures you want to hang.
  5. You will now learn to group pictures on a wall by grouping them on the floor. So keep playing with the design until you are satisfied it is what you want.
  6. On the floor, you might ask. Will that really transfer to the wall? It will if you are precise in your drawings.
  7. Keep moving the pieces around until the group is satisfying to the eye.
  8. Measure this grouping.
  9. Hang your group pictures according to your floor layout.
  10. Step back and admire what you learned about how to arrange photos on walls.

Hanging Pictures Can be Fun!

Whether you are doing it by yourself or with your family or friends, hanging pictures can be fun. For instance, I mentioned I was moving. Well, one of my best memories is moving into the place I am in now and having a group of friends decorate the walls.

What a joy it was to see one person decide how to organize pictures on a wall versus the other friend’s vision of how to group pictures on a wall. They were very different but very creative visions. Therefore to my surprise when they were finished, the two visions came together pretty well.

My walls are still decorated with those hanging pictures. We all learned that day how to arrange phones on walls.

Additional Tips on How to Arrange Photos on Walls

Here are some additional tips and things to remember. There are some basic rules to follow.

  • For instance, if you have light-colored, or delicate photos, or black and whites, hang them higher than the darker, heavier picture.
  • Leave enough space around each of the pictures so that your walls don’t look too crowded or “busy”. On the other hand, if you leave too much space then the hanging pictures will appear not to be in a group, but isolated in themselves.
  • Compatible – You don’t have to hang light with light or red with red. They don’t have to match to make a great-looking wall of hanging pictures. For instance, they just have to be compatible.
  • Equipment – Use the right nails or fixtures to hang them the best and so they hang straight.
  • Variety – You might even intersperse some other items such as mirrors or sconces.
  • Methods – In addition, you can change up the way you hang the pictures. Use the methods of an art museum regarding how to hang them. Use a rod that is attached to the wall. Choose between a rod and a cable. Depending upon this choice, you then choose cables or clips to hold the photos.

Some Looks When Hanging Pictures

Here are just a few of the possible “looks” you can create in learning how to arrange photos on walls. This is only a small sampling and the most important “look” is the one that gives you the most satisfaction.

  • Black and White – One of the most popular answers to how to group pictures on a wall. Use only black and white pictures. Your first reaction might be that this would be stark. You’ll be surprised when you see it.
  • Minimalistic – This is a lifestyle trend at the moment, so it might be perfect for hanging pictures. This is not black and white but it does limit the number of colors on the wall to two to four. This look has lots of white space. This look will keep your walls from being too “busy”.
  • Galleries – If you haven’t been to an art gallery lately, go before you decide how to organize pictures on a wall.


So now you should have a good idea of how to arrange photos on walls. You should have a good idea of how to measure and lay our your group of pictures. You should know how to organize your pictures on a wall and create your own look. Therefore, it is time to pick your favorites and get started!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Whether you’re an artist or an art lover, visualizing a piece of art on a wall can be difficult. Sometimes you’re not sure how your art will translate in different styles of rooms, or you can’t figure out if the print you’re eyeing up has the right color scheme to tie your room together. Luckily it’s the 21 st century and there’s an app for that. That’s right, you can download a display art on wall app to see exactly how a piece of art will look in any room.

Of course, not all wall art visualizer apps are the same. We’ve sifted through all the apps and have created a list so that you can find the best display art on wall app for you.

1. WallApp

How to arrange pictures on a wall

WallApp is well-known for good reasons: it’s free and allows you to upload a photo of your room and a piece of artwork to display. While other apps will only let you add art pieces to existing photos of rooms, WallApp enables you to use your own walls. From there, you can move the art piece around and see exactly how it’ll look in your home.

WallApp works right in your browser, so you don’t even have to download an app to use it. If you’re looking for an easy wall art visualizer, this is the perfect place to start.

2. Wallary

How to arrange pictures on a wall

For a next-level wall art visualizer, Wallary is just that. It uses augmented reality to visualize the photo on your wall in real-time. You can upload your art and Wallary will prompt you to scan your room. And voila! You can move your camera around to see the art from different angles, and your phone screen will display your room as if it already has the art hanging on the wall.

The downside to Wallary is that it’s only available on the Apple app store. So Apple users can rejoice, but we have more preview art on wall app suggestions for those using other operating systems.

3. Artrooms

How to arrange pictures on a wall

If you don’t need to visualize the art on your own wall, then Artrooms is a great display art on wall app. This is ideal for artists to see how their pieces will look in different interiors, and the images you create can be used to promote your art. The best feature is that you can display multiple pieces of art on the wall at once. So if you have a multi-panel creation, you’ll be able to see how everything fits on the wall together.

To get the most out of Artrooms, you can upgrade with a subscription. The subscription enables you to upload a photo of your own room as well.

4. Voun

How to arrange pictures on a wall

For the artists out there, Voun has it all. This app’s main feature is framing. You can choose frames in different materials, finishes, and colors to see how they’ll complement your art. After choosing your frame, you can see what it will look like on different types of walls, like brick or concrete. The app has a built-in photo editor to toggle shadows, contrast, and more. An additional feature we love is that you can add your signature to your piece.

The downside to Voun is that you can only see the art on a small section of the wall. That means it’s not the type of wall art visualizer that will let you how the art looks with your sofa and other décor. However, this is a great tool for artists to keep the spotlight on their work.

5. Instagram

How to arrange pictures on a wall

We know what you’re thinking: you already have Instagram and it’s definitely not an app to visualize pictures on walls. But with a little direction, you can turn it into one!

Take a picture of the wall you want to hang your photo on. Then, find the piece of art you’re eyeing up and copy it. Open Instagram stories and, just as if you were going to post a story, select the photo you took of your room. Hold down on the screen until you see “paste” pop up, and paste your art photo. You can resize the art and move it around the wall as much as you want.

Honorable Mention

How to arrange pictures on a wall might not be exactly what you’re looking for in a free preview art on wall app, but it’s a great tool to help with the process. It works right in your browser to remove the background of your photos. For example, if you have a photo of your art but the background includes your messy workspace, you can upload the photo and automatically removes the background noise. You can then download a PNG that you can use anywhere.

Design Your Own Art for Your Wall

Hopefully this helped you find an app to visualize pictures on wall. Whether you’re an artist and need some fresh mock-ups, or you just need a new piece to spruce up the living room, these tools will help you on your way.

If you have a photo or design that you now know will look perfect on your wall, turn it into a premium poster, canvas, or a framed print.

Staircase wall galleries are one of the most popular and traditional things for everyone who lives in a house. I think everyone has it in his house and renovating it from time to time changes the picture. Don’t you let the stairs in your house plain. Make it a place to beautifully decorate your home with your photos to evoke positive emotions.

Start decorating your staircase gallery so that it becomes an eclectic, gorgeous, and stunning decoration. Do this easily by starting to create frames of various types, sizes, shapes, textures, and appearances. Feel free to mix everything you like and put a variety of snapshots, paintings, posters, and other artwork in it to create eye-catching diverse gallery walls.

Stairs are great because of the lots of open wall space they supply. You must be sure how you will decorate the stairs in your house. Yes, some frames remain blank, but that will be fixed soon. Another way to choose color is to choose a fabric that you have in the room or that you will use in it. Select the image you want to display. You have to choose your pictures from various places with different nuances so that they give a beautiful impression. And also you can combine various art decorations, lettering, and vintage photos that will look harmonious.

1 thing 1 ought to keep in mind is that, even though the stairway wall might have a different form or dimension, is the fact that it is only a wall. However, I guess it is all dependent on the mind of the individual watching it. One reason is due to its odd form and location. What a superb thing that would be. It will look as they will continue coming but they eventually stop. Something has to be carried out. I’m a little nervous, to tell the truth.

Here Are Awesome Arranging Pictures On A Stair Wall Ideas

This striking gallery wall catches an eye not only with cool frames that somehow look great together but also with amazing artworks.

Published by Carey Davalos

Lovely sharing any award-winning design from many ideas such as transformed spaces grand and small, from right here in Annapolis, north to Boston and New York, south from Virginia to Florida, out west from Montana to California and in the Caribbean and more. View all posts by Carey Davalos

For many of us, the road to a complete gallery wall is a long and tricky one. It often starts with a blank wall and comes to an abrupt stop with a pile of frameless art and photography.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Finding the perfect frame is often the point where many of us give up on designing a gallery wall. Our recommendation? Stick to something simple (like our Wood Gallery Frames) and let your art shine.

Once you’ve (finally) framed your art, it’s time to move on to the hard part: hanging it. I know, it sounds easy — just hammer a nail into the wall, right? — but prep and planning is key to a successful gallery wall. Once you start hammering away, there’s no turning back.

We’ve pulled together six of our favorite styles to setting up a gallery wall — from the simple grid to the step-by-step staircase style. Take a look at our detailed diagrams of each style, below, along with our favorite Pottery Barn examples.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Spiral: Start with a center frame, and spiral out the rest of your frames from there.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Don’t forget to maintain an even amount of space between each frame for consistency.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Centered: This simple layout requires minimal effort. Just choose one or two frames to center and align the left and right sides with one another.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

We think this works particularly well if you’re trying to highlight particular pieces of art.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Outer Align: You’ll want to make sure all of the outer frames are aligned for this layout.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Note that the center frames will meet slightly closer together at the right and left sides.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Reflection: Create order out of chaos with this arrangement!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Don’t worry about arranging by size — when everything’s matched up and aligned at the center, the display makes perfect sense.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Staircase: Staircase gallery walls require a slightly different approach.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Hang your frames following the same upward angle of the staircase.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Nine Square: Don’t dismiss the simple grid.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

It’s a basic arrangement, but it makes a big impact!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

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How to arrange pictures on a wall

The Spruce / Jorge Gamboa

No home is complete without a piece of art—or many! While mustering up the courage to hang things on those blank walls may feel a bit daunting, you’ll thank yourself when you finally get that gallery wall up and can admire your favorite photos and paintings each and every day. Before you get started, though, keep the following tips in mind. We spoke with designers to gather plenty of do’s and don’ts to consider when it comes to displaying artwork.

Don’t Rush

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Take your time planning out your desired arrangement. “It can be hard to visualize how a combination of art will look on the wall, so it helps to sketch out your plan on graph paper or use a computer program to lay out your art,” designer Adrienne Robideaux says. “Rearrange the pieces on your floor until you love how it looks, then cut out paper the size of each piece of art and hang those onto the wall. This will help you visualize the final result and provides an easy way to measure when you start hanging!”

Compile the Necessary Equipment

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Grab the right equipment—a hammer and nails alone may not cut it. “Two handy tools for hanging art are an electric level and stud finder for heavier pieces,” designer Daniella Hoffer notes. Additionally, she advises, “Make sure you are using the correct mounting hardware and don’t overdo it with heavy duty Sheetrock nails if it’s not necessary—you will end up with bigger holes which could be visible.”

Measure, Measure, Measure

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Space everything out properly. “Allow for at least four inches between frames; any closer and the art pieces can look overcrowded,” designer Stephanie Lindsey notes. “And when pieces are really close, every little imperfection stands out, so it makes it essential to hang everything perfectly level.”

Don’t Be Basic

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Think outside the box a bit when it comes to creating a display. “Blending art and artifacts along a wall, even turning the corner, provides a sense of movement throughout the space,” designer Lucinda Loya shares. “These unique placements and groupings help capture a client’s personality while adding another element to the art’s beauty that can elevate any space.”

Let Your Favorite Pieces Shine

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Go ahead and play favorites. “When arranging wall art, I find it’s always important to start with your favorite piece and build out from there,” designer Lauren Thorup says. “Pay attention to scale and proportion and what you want your eye to see first.”

Use a Variety of Frame Styles

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Vary your frame styles. “Don’t be afraid to mix and match frames,” Thorup adds. “Most homes have a variety of finishes, so I always encourage people to hang what they love and not worry about the rest. It all comes together in the end!”

Don’t Skimp on Size

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Don’t skimp on art size. “I aim for at least 50 percent of the width of whatever is below the piece of art, but in my opinion bigger is almost always better when it comes to art,” designer Lee Harmon Waters explains. “If a work of art is wider than the item, say a sofa, below it, that’s totally cool. Just layer some other objects on either side of the sofa to balance the width—maybe some end tables or a pedestal with a plant or sculpture.”

Don’t Break the Bank

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There’s no need to spend beyond your means to create a designer-worthy setup. “If you cannot find large pieces that you love or can afford, grouping pieces together, even when they don’t match, creates a mass of artwork that can also read as one solid focal point,” Waters says.

Consider Lighting

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Don’t forget about lighting in relation to the artwork you choose. “Think about highlighting the wall art with a picture light or some sconces,” designer Brenna Morgan says. “Make sure any larger ceiling fixture in the room does not obstruct the line of sight to the pictures.”

Hang Art Throughout the Home

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Don’t forget about less obvious rooms when hanging up frames. “I love arranging art in unusual places,” Waters notes. “One of my favorite pieces in my house sits between the toilet tank and a wall cabinet in my en-suite bathroom.” Even a space that only you will see is fair game. “Some fun forgotten places are in a walk-in closet and laundry room,” Hoffer adds. “Why shouldn’t these places be just as beautiful and add a smile to your day?”

Don’t Go Overboard

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Be judicious when it comes to art displays in your home. “When you’re choosing art for a room, it’s a good idea to let one wall take center stage and let the rest of the art in the room play a supporting role,” designer Stephanie Purzycki explains. “So, if you have a large, colorful statement piece above the sofa, you wouldn’t want to do a huge gallery wall on the opposite side of the room since they’d compete for attention.”

Think About Your Wall Color

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Imani James Interiors

Don’t forget about wall color. “Wall color is incredibly important in establishing a clean backdrop for a statement art piece,” designer Kristin Bartone notes. “Selecting a clean neutral color—it doesn’t have to be chalk white—that doesn’t have undertones will let the art be the focus.”

Is your home overflowing with family photos? Or your very own art prints?

Organizing your photos and displaying them is probably at the very bottom of your to-do list. Once you find the time to do it and want to create your own wall display or gallery, we rounded up the best inspiration from Pinterest to save you a bit of time and work.

The good news is that galleries are no longer identical size frames strategically placed in a prime spot in your living room.

They come in all shapes, sizes, colors,s and most importantly – they are not boring at all.

Get inspired and give your home something to be proud of! Let us know in the comments if you’re putting one of these ideas on your to-do list for the next project!

Mixed Sizes and Colors

Messy but very stylish. This display uses simple shelves with prints in different sizes and frame colors, giving you plenty of options to experiment. Best of all? No drilling required and you can change the look of your display anytime you want.

Art Gallery

This type of gallery needs a bit more careful planning to make everything fit in nicely. Best done on the floor and then transferred on your wall.

Family Treasures in Office

Add a bit of luxury touch to your office with these silver edge frames showing the best of your family photos. No boring do to lists to display here, just the faces of your favorite people.

Minimalist Style

The combination of gold and black with white as shown in this picture is a foolproof recipe for a very stylish home. Choose frames with a lot of white space to center your photos in the middle and create an art gallery-like feeling. A beautiful way to display your photos without making the wall look too busy.

With Moody Lights

If you kids prefer something less classic, they will fall in love with this idea! You can use polaroid photos or traditional photo prints.

Scandinavian Twist

Branch or driftwood makes a beautiful vessel to showcase some of your favorite photos. Inexpensive and super stylish.

Dark Prints

For an even gallery which will create a feature wall in your bedroom, these dark art prints with dark frames will work wonders.

Black & Grey

Very stylish way to add personality to a grey wall.

Small Collage

Quotes, images, and prints are mixed perfectly in this small display on the wall.

Building a Gallery Wall

For those who want to plan their gallery properly, this tutorial provides useful tips. Link under the image.

Mini Framed Gallery

Novelty way to display your favorite memories – a collection of photos framed in a massive picture frame, resting against the wall or you can also hang it in the house.

Stair Display

One of the most popular ways to display your home treasures – this one comes precisely measured with same style photos and frames.

Shelf Display

Another beautiful shelf dispaly which combines decorations, books, prints and your own photographs.

Picture Hanging Hack

Hack for those who are obsessed about having the photos hang perfectly alligned.

Work Space Display

Simple board makes a great place for display of your favorite quotes and images.

See Through Background

Frames with clean background are great for colored walls and blend in seamlessly with the background.


Traditional way to display your images that never gets out of style. Go for larger size images for a better effect.

Mix of Black & White with Color

Who says black and white doesn’t mix with color?

Canvas + Frames

Mixing canvas and photo prints on a shelf display.

Vibrant Display

Mix and match and you can’t get it wrong!

Fridge Display

Instead of covering your fridge door with reminders, choose your favorite family photos instead!

Mixed Shelf Display

Small but adorable. If you don’t want to display family photos in every room, you can choose simple art prints combined with a few plants and accessories, like in the photo.

Wall Art

Creat your own gallery without any frames. All you need is same size black and white photos and a nice feature wall.

Fridge Favorites

This may be over the top for someone, but why not? Share your travel memories, fun times with friends or anything else that makes you smile.

Personal Collage

The opposite of shelf display, this under-shelf collage is perfect for teenagers who want to add more of their style to a boring room.

Framed Polaroids

Simple display which can be done as a DIY at home. Change polaroid features as much as you like. Makes a great addition to kitche display.

Framed Mini Galleries

Mini selection of your favorite photos in big feature displays. You could group them by your travels, one display dedicated to each of the kids or any other way.

Unique Stairs Display

A little unconventional but original.

Moody & Symmetrical

Scandi touch with just a few cheap prints.

Have you picked your favorite display? Let us know in comments!

Many, many things have been written about how to create the perfect gallery wall. But we’re going to let you in on a little secret: There’s no such thing as the perfect gallery wall. Sure, there are general guidelines you can follow to help with the process, but don’t get too strung up on the rules. Consider these gentle suggestions instead. At the end of the day, you should love what’s on your walls, but these guidelines can help you build a gallery wall that’s beautiful, cohesive, and works well with your space. Here are all of the tools, tips, and advice you’ll need to create your dream gallery wall.

What You’ll Need:

  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Hardware (such as picture hangers, nails, or wall anchors if the piece is particularly heavy)
  • Hammer

How to Mat Artwork in a Gallery Wall

Choosing matting for the frames in your gallery wall is just as practical as it is aesthetic. To preserve your artwork, only add matting that’s acid-free, and while you’re at it, make sure you have a dust cover over the back of your art. Less is more when choosing a mat color—for most pieces, white will enhance the colors in a piece of artwork, or if you’d like some contrast, you can try a dark color like black. You always want to make sure that the matting complements rather than detracts from the artwork.

For a cohesive look that’s sure to work, choose the same color matting for every single piece in the gallery wall. Want to get more adventurous? Try matting in multiple colors, but stick to a limited palette (say, two coordinated colors) to keep the arrangement from looking too busy.

How to Choose Frames

How to arrange pictures on a wall

There are two directions you can go here: Either you find a set of matching frames or you can opt for the more eclectic look of mismatched frames. A matching set of frames, like this Pinnacle 7-Piece Wall Frame Set ($45,, helps to unify the look of your gallery wall. If the artwork you own doesn’t necessarily stick to a theme, or you want to avoid the extra step of finding a variety of frames, a coordinated set is an effortless way to guarantee your gallery wall will work.

If you choose to use mismatched frames, you’ll want to make sure there is some sort of unifying factor in the art. Maybe you use different prints from the same source, or you choose colors or shapes that repeat throughout the pieces. The eye likes repetition, so if your frames all vary, try to find some unity in the art or the matting.

At the end of the day, you need to love it, and the best way to be sure is trial and error. Before you hang anything on the wall, arrange all of the frames together in one spot, such as on the floor, so you’ll be able to tell if they work together. If you’re going for a more organized, geometric feel, keeping the frames the same size and shape will help. If you want a more collected-over-time look, play with the shapes and sizes of the frames.

How to Arrange a Gallery Wall

There are many schools of thought here. Some people trace the shape of their frames onto craft paper and arrange the paper cutouts on the walls, while others arrange on the floor and then put them up. It all depends on how much prep work you feel like doing. If you prefer to have technology work for you, you can try the app that lets you see different pieces of art on your wall before you even lift a hammer. Framebridge also offers similar design help through its site, and will even pair you with a designer who can make design suggestions.

For a freeform gallery wall: Start by hanging the most central or largest piece of artwork first, then build the gallery around it. As a general rule of thumb, you always want to keep the frames about two inches apart from one another. To make the overall display feel balanced, avoid placing some frames close together while others are more spread apart. The beauty of this design is that you can keep adding to it over time.

For a grid gallery wall: Begin by measuring out the space you’ll need for the entire display on your wall, being sure to factor in evenly spaced gaps between each frame. Trace the frame you’re using on a piece of paper to make a template, then mark the top center point of the template. Use the template to plot out where each frame will go on the wall, making a small pencil mark at the top center of each frame’s position. With each spot clearly marked, you can be confident when you go to pick up the hammer and nails.

Trust your gut and you’re sure to love your finished gallery wall!

So you’ve finally found the perfect piece of art for your space. Now what? Sure, you can take a hammer and nail to the wall and hope for the best. But achieving that gallery-worthy display will take a bit more effort. You’ll need to get it precisely level, mount it at the right height, and (perhaps most importantly) make sure it’s secured properly to the wall. With so many factors to consider, hanging large-scale artwork can be a tricky process, but with the right techniques, it’s easier than it looks. These tips for hanging art will have you mounting pictures with confidence.

Tips for Hanging Art

Before you start hanging artwork, you should know the weight of each item first to help you decide on the best strategy. Check the packaging on the nails, hanging hooks, or wall anchors you intend to use to ensure the hardware will be able to safely support the frame.

Gather Supplies for Hanging Art

Although the exact hanging technique to use will depend on the weight of your piece, here are some supplies you may need:

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Painter’s tape
  • Nails or picture-hanging hooks
  • Hammer
  • Stud finder
  • Wall anchors
  • Screwdriver or drill

Decide How High to Hang Art

To find the correct height for your artwork, refer to the golden rule of hanging art: The center of the piece should be about 57 inches off the floor. That’s roughly eye-level for the average adult and the height most art galleries and museums use when mounting artwork. For a gallery wall, the center of the arrangement should be at that height. To determine where to place your hardware, measure and mark 57 inches from the floor with a pencil. Then, measure the distance from where the nail will catch on the back of the art frame (a sawtooth hanger or metal loop, for example) to the middle of the piece. Mark that difference from your 57-inch mark on the wall; that’s where your nail or wall anchor should go.

Make Your Artwork Level

Ensuring your art display is level is also essential to a professional-looking display. First, measure and mark where the top of the frame will end up on the wall. Use a level to determine an even placement, and mark it with a line of painter’s tape to use as a guide when you hang the art.

How to Hang Art on Drywall

Hanging art on drywall is fairly straightforward. If you’re not sure whether your walls are drywall or plaster, try pushing a pin or thumbtack into the wall. If it goes through, you’re dealing with drywall. Because plaster is a much harder surface, you likely won’t be able to push the pin through.

For Artwork Weighing 5 Pounds or Less:

For relatively lightweight art, a simple nail should suffice. Adhesive picture-hanging strips (such as 3M Command strips) also work well, and metal picture-hanging hooks (which combine an angled nail and a hook) are another alternative that offers a stronger hold and easy installation. Hold the hanger by the hook and hammer the nail into the wall; then use the hook to hang the frame. A padded back prevents scrapes and scratches on your wall.

For Heavy Artwork:

Mount heavier pieces with specialty curved hooks that use the weight of the art to keep the hook in place. To install these hooks, simply use your hands to push the long end straight into the drywall, twisting upward until it rests against the other side of the wall and only the small hooked end is showing. Mount the art on the hook using the hanging hardware or wire on the back of the frame.

Framed art that’s heavier than 20 pounds may need additional reinforcement. Use a stud finder to locate a stud behind the wall and secure your hanging hardware of choice into it for a more secure hold. Drywall anchors are another easy-install option that can better support heavy wall art. Choose wall anchors that are heavy-duty enough to support the weight of your artwork. Press the anchor’s tip against the wall and use a screwdriver to screw it in until it’s flush with the surface. Place a screw inside the anchor and tighten with the screwdriver. The anchor will split and grip the back of the drywall to lock it in place. Use the screw head to hang the frame from its hook or hanger.

How to Hang Art on Plaster Walls

If you live in a home with plaster walls, hanging pictures and artwork gets a little trickier. You can’t just hammer a nail straight into the wall as with drywall. Plaster is a much harder surface, so trying to forcibly pound in a nail could cause the plaster to flake or crack—or simply bend the nail in half.

For Artwork Weighing 5 Pounds or Less:

The easiest method here is to use adhesive picture-hanging hooks. Check that the hook’s shape and size will accommodate the wire hanger or picture loop on the back of your frame, and choose a brand that’s designed to adhere to plaster walls. Before mounting the picture hanger, clean the wall’s surface with a nonabrasive cloth and a solution of warm water and mild dish soap to remove any dirt or oils. Once the surface is dry, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to attach the adhesive pad and hook to the wall, pressing firmly to secure. Hang the artwork from the hook using the hanger or loop on the back of the frame.

If you prefer to use nails, you’ll need to pre-drill a hole in the plaster wall before hanging. To help prevent plaster pieces from flaking off, place a small piece of masking tape or painters tape over the area you plan to drill through. Using a slightly smaller drill bit than the nail, drill into the wall at a downward angle so the nail can function as a hook. Picture-hanging nails, which include an angled nail and an attached hook, are another hanging option that can be used for frames weighing up to 30 pounds. For a more secure hold, drill into a stud and use a screw long enough to fasten into it for your hook.

For Heavy Artwork:

The heaviest art pieces will require sturdier support for proper hanging on plaster walls. Toggle bolts, the strongest variety of wall anchors, work well for hanging heavy pictures and art in spots where you can’t use a stud for support. For traditional wing-style toggle bolts, start by measuring its width with the wings folded up against the bolt. Use a drill bit with that diameter to pre-drill a hole. Place the bolt into the bracket and thread the toggle (the wing piece) onto its end. Fold the wings back and insert the toggle bolt through your drilled hole. The spring-loaded wings will open up on the other side of the wall and lock in place. Pull the bolt back until the wings catch the wall and screw the bolt into the bracket. Use the bracket to hang your art for the hanger or loop on the back.

How to Hang Art on Brick

Hanging artwork on brick poses an additional challenge. For a mess-free solution, use brick hangers that clip into the mortar joints (no tools needed). Most of these hangers can support framed art up to 30 pounds. You can also purchase plastic hangers that are designed for hard surfaces like brick and concrete, which feature three small nails that you can tap in with a hammer.

If you need to hang something heavier (or if your brick isn’t suitable for clip-on hangers or hooks), you’ll need to drill a hole into the mortar using a masonry bit. Place a wall anchor inside the drilled hole; then add a screw or picture hook to use for hanging the frame.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Wall decorating with artworks, photographs, and frames

Here is a helpful collection of layouts for hanging photographs, empty frames or artworks. Pictures, paintings, quilts, and mirrors are beautiful home decorations that look very impressive individually and in groups. Wall decorations enhance an interior design and personalize room decorating. These layout plans can help you decorate empty walls like a pro. They show how to arrange photographs or art pieces and create attractive displays by adding stylish accents to wall decoration.

Well designed layouts complement your home interiors and make your rooms look fascinating. Wall decorations can cover the entire wall while keeping a room light and spacious. Beautiful collections of photographs, crafts or artworks are excellent decorating ideas for empty walls. Empty picture frames create fabulous wall decor while helping declutter homes and design modern interiors.

Big wall surfaces can handle significant collections of photographs, large photos, frames, and art. Single small pictures on empty walls look unappealing. It is better to create impressive compositions by grouping small photos and arranging them in a creative and unusual way. The layout plans below provide inspirations and demonstrate how to hang photographs. Following one of the plans, you can decorate each of your empty walls like a professional decorator.

Wall decoration ideas and layout plans

Wisely arranged, a collection of photographs allows each item to be seen. Smart arrangements create interesting room decorating and give a character to empty walls. You can group photos by sizes, frame colors, shapes or themes. You can create a collection of happy or sad faces. The only thing is you have to hang the items at the eye level to get your beautiful pictures noticed.

Use the basic rules and elements of good composition, – the symmetry, axis, golden section, and golden ratio. Use an imaginary axis of symmetry to place your photographs and create a spectacular wall decoration in style. The axis can be either parallel or perpendicular to the floor, inclined roof, triangular shaped windows or stairs. Also, you can imagine a diagonal line if you do not have a structural reference and use it for creating symmetry.

How to arrange pictures on a wallLayout for hanging 15 photographs or artworks on the wall

Balanced compositions of pictures, frames, crafts and artworks complement interior decorating. These wall decorations bring rhythm and repetition into living spaces and harmonize them. They add engaging themes and enhancing accents to your home interiors.

Create an arrangement of your decorative items on the floor first and see if you like the layout plan. Make some changes or try a different composition before you start to decorate your wall. Be creative and blend unusual items, like mirrors or tapestries, with photographs, crafts, and art. It adds a whimsical feel to your beautiful displays and helps dress up your empty walls in modern style. How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wall How to arrange pictures on a wallHow to arrange pictures on a wall

When we first moved into our home years ago, I was afraid to hang pictures on the wall. I wasn’t sure how to arrange them, what height I should hang them, how many I should use to fill a space, etc… We had bare walls for a couple of years in some of our rooms. So boring!! Then I had an interior decorator friend come over and give me some tips. They were life changing for me people! I’ve taken baby steps, but I have finally reached a point where I am not afraid to decorate my own house.

Her #1 tip: Don’t worry about what the “experts” say. If you love a color, a piece of furniture or artwork, or a particular style, use it. Even if it isn’t the current trend. Go for it! It’s your home and you are the one who needs to love it and feel comfortable in it. So simple but so true.

She also taught me how to hang pictures on the walls without messing up a dozen times and leaving a bunch of nail holes. I’ve been using this picture hanging method ever since, and I love it!

Hanging Pictures on the Wall

(Without Leaving a Bunch of Nail Holes)

The first thing you need to do is trace all of the items you want to hang. I’ve traced pictures, shelves, sconces, and even the rough outline of flower arrangements that I would be putting on shelves.
This time I was hanging a grouping of 7 photos. All of them were 8×10 size, so I cut 7 pieces of scrap paper all the same size. Then I put small pieces of tape on the back and started trying different arrangements. I ended up with this one:
How to arrange pictures on a wallNow you need to mark the place for each of your nail holes. I like to take each piece of paper off one at a time and place it on the back of the picture, then make a pencil mark where the nail will go. That way if there are different types of picture hangers on the backs, you will have the nails matched up correctly. Hope that makes sense. After I mark the nail hole, I hang the paper back up.
How to arrange pictures on a wallThen take a nail and put it right through the pencil mark. Repeat for all the pictures you are hanging. Then take off the paper and hang up your photos.
How to arrange pictures on a wallSee how they are arranged perfectly, but that each frame is NOT perfectly straight? Here’s where the next tip comes in.

Take a piece of painter’s tape and place it on the back of each frame. Usually one piece in a corner works fine, but sometimes I have to use it on two corners.
How to arrange pictures on a wallTilt each picture till you get it straight. When it is where you want it, press it against the wall in the place you put the tape. Now it won’t swing back and forth on the nail anymore. This has been a lifesaver in my housefull of boys!!

Doesn’t this look much better?
How to arrange pictures on a wallAnd since I used the tape, I know it will stay put, even amidst door slams, wrestling matches, jumps to touch the ceiling, wall slaps, and laundry hamper basketball. 😉

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Arranging pictures on a wall is tricky at the best of times. Deciding how to group and where to place your artwork and photos next each other is a tricky decision, even when you have a large space to put them in. But when you’re working with a space that is more difficult to arrange it becomes even more testing.

I always find that I can spend way too much time procrastinating about the perfect way to arrange a photo wall. I end up on Pinterest for way too long and my pictures end up stacked up on the floor. I was determined not to let this happen with my new nursery poster prints from Mixbook! One because I had an awesome idea for DIY framing and two, because we’ve less than three months left until the big arrival now.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Sometimes just getting started can make a world of difference. Here are my tips for creating a photo wall next to a sloped roof. Now, once you’ve read these you’re ready to started! No excuses guys. Get those pictures off the floor and onto your wall!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Have plenty of options

Have more poster prints and photos than you think you’ll need. You can always use the others elsewhere and it’s much easier to swap something out which just isn’t working, than force something that doesn’t quite look right. But don’t go too far with your options otherwise you might never pin down exactly what you want.

Use different sizes

Have a range of different sized pictures and frames to hand. This will help you to build a more interesting wall visually and create combinations that sit together well. You don’t want to leave any unsightly gaps and when you’re working with the sloped roof it’s much harder to put together a picture wall which is evenly spaced with similar sized pictures.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Tie together with a theme

When you’re putting your images together think about using a common theme to give them a more cohesive look. I’ve used my collection of vegetable prints with some botanical images which go together nicely. The green accents complement the selection rather than standing out in the crowd.

Plan with paper first

It much easier to plan with paper pieces first. Just place your pictures onto wrapping/parcel/newspaper and cut around the frame. Use masking tape to position and move these into place. This can help you create a balanced look, but when you’re positioning the paper make sure you pay attention to the colours in the images. Keep these balanced too.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Use frames that are adjustable

I know you. You’re a perfectionist. Give yourself a break and factor in for mistakes. No matter how well you plan, something is bound to be just a little off. These DIY Half Round Hanging Frames give you the option of adjusting the height so rather than hammering in that extra unsightly hole in the wall, just alter the frame to perfection. You can also find frames that move a little to the left or right.

Start from the slope

When you’re planning the arrangement start off at the sloping wall. This will give you a clean line to work out from and it means you don’t have to squeeze any pictures into smaller than desirable spaces to get the balance right.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Keep it messy

When I talk about balance I don’t mean symmetry. Don’t get too consumed with making the picture wall look exactly the same either side. Just make sure if you have a larger picture one side that somewhere on the opposite side there is a similar sized print. You can see how I’ve done that with the leafy pictures on this wall. The general outline doesn’t need to line up exactly. In fact make a feature of the fact it doesn’t!

I hope these tips help you confidently create your picture walls. It really does help to get started so make time this weekend to try out a few paper arrangements. Before you know it you’ll be looking at your new, beautiful picture gallery wall!

Want to learn how to display photos like a pro? We have you covered with tips and tricks for curating the perfect gallery wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

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Looking for tips on how to display photos to update your room really quickly and easily? Well, you are in the right place because we just happen to be pros in displaying pictures, photos and curating the most beautiful gallery walls (we don’t mean to brag we have just had ALOT of practice).

So we are going to share our rather niche knowledge with you in this guide to how to basically just hang pictures on the wall but just in a very stylish way. Keep scrolling for loads of inspiring pics and ideas and head over to our design hub page for more ideas to bring character into your home.

1. Achieve a balanced display

When displaying pics, it’s best to hang the larger, more heavily framed or more imposing pieces to the left, which is where the eye will naturally look first, and the lighter, smaller pictures to the right.

Want to display your pictures as a gallery wall? Follow our step by step guide to hanging a gallery wall to get a perfect result.

Introduction: Gallery Wall Photo Ledges

How to arrange pictures on a wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

. dozens of photos just sitting in a box?

. picture frames of different colors shapes and sizes but you don’t know how to display them?

. wall space that could use a little pick me up?

That was me. guilty on all three counts. With four kids spanning from late teens into adulthood, I have probably thousands of photos. Great pictures of babies, toothless grins, first dances, graduations, pets. happiest of family memories just sitting in plastic tubs in the basement.

With three pieces of wood, a few of screws and a little paint, I was able to get those happy memories out of the box and onto the wall where I can enjoy them every day. (Well, actually, I duplicated the process three times, so technically it was nine pieces of wood.)

These photo ledges are verrrrryy simple. and if I can make them, you can too!

AND. if you like this Instructable, I’d be grateful for your vote in the shelving contest. 🙂

Step 1: Gallery Walls the Hard Way

This picture is what used to be my photo wall. pretty awkward. I hung a picture or two and worked my way out from there.

But even if I’d put my collection on floor, drew lines and made a nice arrangement, adding more pictures wouldn’t have been easy. frames had to coordinate and line up, space was finite, and the best I could hope to do is put a new photo over an old one to change them out. or worse, have to reconfigure the entire collection each time I added to it.

When I painted the wall, it was time for something new.

Step 2: Gallery Walls the Easy Way

I have a few of photo ledges from the swedish import store (can you say Ikea on Instructables?), but they max out at about three and a half feet long. (If this were simply an I’ble on easy gallery walls for a smaller space, I’d just point you in that direction. cheap, easy, done.)

BUT. if you have a long hallway or wall and want a continuous shelf, you’ll have to make your own. Still, no big deal. an average 8-foot shelf might only cost $10 to $15 to make.

Head to the lumber yard and pick out some wood. and when you do, consider this. (which I learned after the fact):

Our shelves line a hallway. I was originally concerned about the projection of the shelf from the wall because we have college students schlepping backpacks and gear through our hallway, and I didn’t want a floor full of broken frames. I did like layering my many photos, but some of the frames were pretty thick. A wider channel allows the pictures to lean a little more securely, so even though I like the projection better as it is, I may have opted for the extra width…especially with an occasionally slamming door to the garage sharing the same wall (that’s often closed via gravity, versus care).


Lumber – (all my wood cuts were done on site at the store)

IF THIS IS FOR A HALLWAY. you might not want the ledges to project out too far from the wall. I chose to use a 1″x 2″, a 1″x 3″ and a 1″ x 4″ . I prefer to use poplar wood for these types of projects. My hallway is pretty long so I selected 12′ boards, examining them carefully for knots and bows.

IF THIS IS FOR A WALL that doesn’t get a lot of traffic and projection isn’t an issue, I would swap out the 1″ x 3″ for a second 1″x 4″ .

Step 3: Assemble As Shown

I assembled the boards as shown in the diagram. For the back two pieces I used wood screws. For the front piece, the 1″ x 2″, I attached it with finishing nails. I spaced both nails and screws about 11″ apart along the length of the shelf.

I wanted to make sure everything was nice and smooth against the wall, i.e., the screw heads don’t protrude, so I decided to countersink them.

If you’re a novice like me, you may not know how to “countersink,” but this is what I did:

First, drill a pilot hole for the screw using a bit that’s slightly narrower and slightly shorter than the width of the screw shaft.

Next, select a drill bit that’s slightly wider than the screw head and use it to widen top of the pilot hole. Then add a dab of glue into the hole, insert your screw and fill the remaining space with wood filler (although it doesn’t show, so the wood filler is really optional).

(IF YOU’RE MAKING THESE FOR A WALL, remember to swap out the 1″x 3″ board for a 1″ x 4″.)

Step 4: Sand, Paint

Give the shelves a good sanding until they are smooth.

Paint as desired in the color/sheen of your choice.

When painting, I used a good brush and a product called Floetrol to minimize brush lines. However, I had to be careful because the paint liked to pool along the edges. In do-over world, I might try a good spray paint. I suspect it would offer fine results.

Step 5: Hang Your Ledges and Load ’em Up!

To hang mine, I located the wall studs, drilled a pilot hole through the wood and screwed the shelf to the wall studs so they would be very secure. I didn’t bother to countersink or fill the holes in the shelf, there are plenty of pictures to cover those.

As far as height, mine may be hung a tad high, but our big dog likes to hug the wall and I could see that happy tail knocking down many a photo… so a little high works for me.

THEN, get out those family photos and arrange as desired, stacking and layering frames on your shelves until you can’t fit another happy memory on them.

Hubs and I promise honest assessments of each other’s “home mades” so they don’t look too…. well, home made. His verdict: “more shelves please.” In our house, that’s pretty high praise!

Follow these tips for how to hang pictures on a wall, where to hang them and how to group them together.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Eclectic Dining Room With Gallery Wall

The frames’ mismatched shapes on this gallery wall look pulled together because they’re all black. And the crisp contrast with the white wall backdrop is a strong visual statement all on its own.

Photo by: Suzanne Childress

Related To:

You had a great picture framed and you’ve found the perfect place to display it. But how do you hang pictures for maximum effect and what picture hanging tools do you need to make sure your artwork stays put? Our picturing hanging tips can help.

Tips and Tools for Hanging Pictures 02:26

Laurie March shares tips on hanging pictures and the essential picture hanging tools you’ll need based on the type of photos or artwork you plan to display.

Tools + Supplies

  • framed artwork
  • measuring tape
  • kraft paper for making templates
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • sawtooth hangers (for light artwork)
  • hangers with nails (artwork up to about 15 lbs.)
  • drywall anchors or toggle bolts (for anchoring heavy artwork)
  • hammer
  • level
  • masking tape
  • painter’s tape

Look for a picture-hanging kit at the hardware or home store, or you can buy this one online. A kit should include everything you need. And keep in mind, the picture’s weight will determine what size hook to use. For large or heavy artwork, you may need two large hooks or anchors.

Simple sawtooth picture hangers can hold about 10 pounds of artwork on drywall. Conventional picture hooks nailed into the wall can hold about 15 pounds. To hang heavier art, or if you’re nervous about your artwork not staying put, you can use a drywall anchor that screws into the wall, or toggle bolts.

Also consider the many decorative eye screws available for hanging pictures. Screw them to the top of the frame and then dangle the frame from a wire attached to a screw in the wall. Instead of wire, consider using decorative French ribbon to hang the frame from the wall.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Assorted Picture Hanging Kit by hecho

Arranging Pictures on a Wall

Consider grouping four small same-size pictures together in a four-square, to give the illusion of a larger picture.

There doesn’t always have to be four in a group. Consider using a larger picture in the center. Then place two smaller pictures on either side of the large picture, spaced vertically to about equal the length of the larger frame. Or, in place of the larger picture, use a large mirror.

7 Tips for Creating the Perfect Gallery Wall

These tricks from HGTV Magazine will help you completely transform your walls.

Not all frames will always be matching sizes, so approximate and just try to balance the impact of the frames, not match them perfectly.

Always hang pictures at eye level — or about 57 to 58 inches above the floor.

If hanging a picture over a sofa, don’t leave a lot of wall space between the sofa and picture. Try for three to six inches. If you go any higher, the viewer’s eye will just go to the wall, not the picture.

Tips on Hanging Wall Art 01:03

Don’t put one little picture on a large wall. If there’s not enough artwork to fill up more space on a large wall, consider putting mirrors or a shadowbox in the grouping. Conversely, don’t overload a small wall with a large picture.

Consider resting pictures on shelving hammered directly on to a wall. Or, display them on a plate rack in place of plates.

For photos that will be displayed together, consider having all the photos framed compatibly. The frames can be in various patterns of the same color or material and should all have the same mat color. Mixing wood-framed pictures with metal-framed pictures works best in an eclectic home. For a more formal look, try to keep the same color for all the frames. Arrange the frame variety on the wall to form a gallery-style display.

There are plenty of ways to enhance how pictures are displayed with picture nails and various knobs.

How to Hang Pictures on a Wall (Evenly)

If your display plans include just one centered picture, then use a measuring tape and pencil to mark the center of the wall space at roughly eye level (use that rule of 57 inches from the floor). When positioning a frame vertically on the wall, remember to factor in the distance from the top of the frame to where the hook will fall.

If the space includes a large wall and a lot of floor space, make some decisions by arranging the artwork on the floor first. Measure how far they need to be from one another. Then put them on the wall one at a time.

Another option for arranging pictures on a wall evenly is to make a template of each piece to be hung. Trace around the outside of each frame on kraft paper, cut out the shape and then label it. Draw an arrow on the template to indicate whether the art is vertical or horizontal. Secure the kraft paper templates to the wall with reusable adhesive, which looks a bit like putty or chewing gum. It won’t tear pieces from the wall or the paper patterns.

Hanging Mirrors or Large Artwork

For large or heavy mirrors or artwork, you’ll need to use several anchors or hooks to support the weight of the framed piece. Here’s how to hang large artwork.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family portrait by Lori Andrews (via designcrushblog)

We all have family photos that we love. Most of them live well in photo albums but the best of them could and should be displayed throughout the house. It’s one of those things that add a personal touch of coziness to any interior decor. Besides, nowadays there are so many cool ways to display them that your family photos could even become a real design element. Some time ago we’ve already shown you a bunch of cool ideas how you can hang your photos and art in creative ways. Today is the day when we’re going to specify and show you amazing ideas to organize family photos on your walls.

Displaying pictures could be challenging but we can and will make the process more easy for you. We will share the most creative and interesting ways to do that We think placing family photos on walls is always a great idea. They bring up memories and make these walls less boring. Don’t hesitate to try that out.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

mixed and matched family photos

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos on a working desk (via mialinnman)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photo heart display

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photo ladder

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photo tree

How to arrange pictures on a wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos above your sofa

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photo clocks

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos around tv

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos on wires

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Modern family photo tree

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos on the whole wall (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Travel Photos Display (via apartmenttherapy)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Instagram Photos Display (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

B/W Family photo display (via skonahem)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A large family photo covering the whole wall (via poppytalk)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

LOVE family photo display on clothspins (via bios)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos on clothspins (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos on a wood wall (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Simple but cool family photo display (via tarawhitney)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Historical family photo display (via skonahem)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Colorful family photo display (via marthastewart)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos in bottles (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

DIY Vintage Clothespin Frame (via lookbetweenthelines)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

String lights family photo display (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photos in vintage frames (via thefrenchmousehouse)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Family photo wreath (via downtoearthstyle)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Modern family photo display (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

DIY Natural Wood Photo Display (via pinterest)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Fancy DIY Instagram Display (via daffodildesign)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

DIY Photo TIles (via shelterness)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Square contemporary photo on canvases display (via myhomespiration)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Modern and creative kids photo display (via flickr)

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Interchangeable family photos for every wall (via pinterest)

Accordingly, do you center a picture over a couch or wall?

Artwork should be centered over the furniture such as a sofa, bed or mantel. Artwork placed above a main piece of furniture in the room should be placed no more than six inches above the piece of furniture in order to make them appear cohesive.

Likewise, how do I center my wall art? We find it’s best to hang single artwork at eye level, and 60 inches from center to the floor is the magic number. If you’re hanging your art above furniture, it can be 4-6 inches above the piece. If the art is going above a sofa or console, the piece should be approximately 2/3 width of the furniture.

Considering this, do you center a picture on the wall?

Positioning your artwork so the center point of the picture hangs approximately 57” from the floor will help create a consistently harmonious look throughout your house. When hanging several pictures together, the 57” rule still applies, but should be slightly modified.

How do you center a picture on a door with a wall?

When a wall, doorway, or window separates multiple pieces of artwork, level the centre of the artworks rather than the top or bottom of the frames. If hanging art next to a door, level the frames to be parallel to the side of the door.

How Big Are the Large Wall Art Pieces?

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Wall Art Sizes Chart

48×24, 48×36, 48×48, 50×40, 54×36, 60×30, 60×40, 71×19

Living Room, Dining Room, Bedroom

In a collage, mix in non-art pieces, such as a clock, tapestry or mirror.

14×11, 16×12, 24×12, 18×14, 16×16, 20×16, 20×20, 22×18

How Do I Measure My Space for a Large Wall Art Gallery?

Whether you are styling for wall art or a new sofa, measuring (not estimating!) your space is essential to knowing which pieces will work best for you.

  1. If you are just itching to dress up any unused wall space in your home with chic wall art – but are unsure exactly which size will work best – then measure it. With a measuring tape, carefully take down the dimensions of the height of your wall, from floor to ceiling.
  2. Next, if there is a sofa, chair or other piece of furniture arranged against the wall, measure the distance from the floor to the top of the furniture, and subtract the measurement from the wall’s height. This will give you a general idea of how tall the collage can be.

To get a sense of how wide the collage can be, measure the entire width of the wall, from corner to corner.
Remember, too, that a general rule of thumb is to arrange art no closer than ten inches from the ceiling, corners or tops of furniture. This will help to keep a breezy feel and prevent an overcrowded appearance.

Which Large Wall Art Subject Type Is Best for My Space?


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Here’s the latest trend in photo wall collage layout – designing a creative shape with just photographs, without frames, and with some fun and unexpected results. Here we’ve gathered 17 best DIY ideas for your inspiration. The photos attached to the wall directly in most cases or sometimes placed on a sheet of hard paper or a canvas or hanged on wire. In any case, this is the most inexpensive way to create a photo wall, all it takes is some work and imagination. Great for Instagram photos especially or for college dorm decor. And you could print photos for the collage in the same size or in different sizes, depending on your idea.

Heart Photo Collage is the Trendiest

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Making a heart-shaped display of Instagram photos is the latest craze, via.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Have an empty corner? Turn it into a corner heart photo display. Postalpix.

Wall Clock Photo Collage is a Neat Idea

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A photo wall arranged in a clock shape, with no frames. Photojojo.

Unusual Photo Layout Can Spark Conversation

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A deer head decor has been a popular item lately – why not to improvise it with your photos, via.

Decorate Your Wall with Photo Art

How to arrange pictures on a wall

What an awesome idea for a children’s art project, to decorate their own rooms with photos.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Use strings to create a geometric wall art piece.

Hang Your Photos on a String

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Square photo print set from Artifact Uprising, some string and small wood stumps were used to create this beautiful display.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A DIY photo hanging system for a very modern look, via.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

The simplest DIY string photo wall display – see the step-by-step tutorial.

Go with Free-form Photo Collages for Eclectic Wall Decorations

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A cloud-shaped collage makes this room a showstopper, a without frames idea from a Paris loft – learn more about it at Remodelista.

Straight Forward Rectangular Layout Can Be Best

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A rectangular photo wall collage layout with pictures neatly arranged in the same pattern throughout, via

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Have a big wall? Build a giant Instagram collage over time, with photos arranged by color, via.

Make a Family Tree Photo Collage Without Frames

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A family tree photo wall decal – the faux frames are actually stickers.

Fill the Entire Wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

An entire wall as a photo collage, via.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Instead of framing pictures, try a removable photo wallpaper.

Black and White Never Gets Old

How to arrange pictures on a wall

A collage that kept expanding …

How to arrange pictures on a wall

… and ended up as a perfect black and white photo wall. Via.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Everything is more beautiful in black and white, they say, via.

One of the biggest wall art trends we’ve seen over the last few years isn’t even technically “wall art” at all. More and more, both our clients and the interior designers we work with are opting to display wall “collections” instead. Whether it’s a large set of vintage bottles, a collection of road signs, or an assortment of straw hats, the category of what constitutes wall art is ever-expanding.

Because of the increasing popularity of this unconventional art type, we’ve quickly become experts in hanging objects of all shapes and sizes in a way that’s safe, secure, and beautiful. Here are a few of our best tips for arranging a collection on a wall.

1. Choose a hanging strategy. Objects with finite shapes — square road signs, round records that can be broken into even rows–lend themselves to a symmetrical or grid-style arrangement. A mixed collection of objects, or items with an abstract shape should be arranged in a looser, more fluid fashion like the arrangement of antlers, above.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

2. Lay it out first. To ensure you are satisfied with your end results BEFORE you secure them to the wall, create your arrangement on the floor first, moving things around until you have a layout that feels balanced. Then, take a picture of your final arrangement, and hang the pieces one at a time from the floor. For an abstract arrangement, eyeballing the distance between each item will work, but for a grid layout, you’ll want to measure both the perimeter of the grid, and the distance between each piece.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

3. Choose the proper hanging solution. For certain items, like the plaque-mounted antlers we hung in the photos above, or something flat and lightweight like a road sign, traditional picture handing hardware will suffice. However, if your objects are three-dimensional, it might take some creative problem solving to hang them securely. One of our favorite solutions is to showcase 3-D pieces (especially pottery, glass bottles, and books) on display wedges. For items you want to mount directly to the wall, think outside of the box and consider specialized hardware, like plate hangers, guitar hangers, or a contemporary cable system.

How to arrange pictures on a wallHow to arrange pictures on a wallHow to arrange pictures on a wall

It sounds so simple and self-explanatory: a bookshelf is, ostensibly, a shelf for books. Yet, arranging objects on a shelf so that each item is both seen and appreciated can be trickier than expected. That is, until now. Below, we’re sharing six tips on how to arrange books, photos, tchotchkes, and any other keepsakes you might wish to display.

1) Organize Items in Groups.

Organizing objects in small groups is a great way to signify a transition between certain subjects on a shelf, as pictured above.

Organizing objects into small groups is a great way to break down the long, repetitive lengths of shelves into more easily digestible displays.

For example, consider laying a small stack of books on its side to create a barrier between groupings. This not only will visually distinguish between two arrangements, but it also can signify a transition between certain subjects on a shelf.

2) Think Beyond the Books.

Your shelves should be another reflection of your interests and hobbies, so don’t feel constrained to display solely books.

From vases and candles, to plants, artwork, and photographs, there are so many different objects you can showcase on a shelf—beyond books—to create a compelling, dynamic display. Your shelves should be a reflection of your design preferences, so don’t be afraid to go bold and let your interests shine.

3) Aim High With Height.

Whether it’s a tall book, vase, or frame, it is important to include larger items so that they can act as the anchor to a specific grouping.

Once you’re ready to start arranging objects, begin your vignette with the tallest item. Remember, this can be anything from a tall vase to a stack of large books; the choices are endless. This item will ultimately act as the anchor to a specific grouping, and will also establish a contrast for additional elements to work against.

4) Embrace Texture and Tones.

After your tallest item is in place, look for other objects that will balance it in terms of color or shape. Whether it’s organizing books in a similar shade, or adding in a sculptural picture frame or paperweight, it is important to incorporate a variety of textures and tones to any display.

5) Play With Odd Numbers.

To make a display feel more balanced, divide items around a central piece and opt for odd numbers, instead of even.

Because of the way our eyes tend to wander towards the center of a group of items, arrangements of objects in odd numbers work better than even numbers. It’s a trick many photographers use, as a composition feels more balanced if items can be divided around a central piece. That said, consider a group of three trinket boxes or a single frame, rather than two or four.

6) Don’t Nix Negative Space.

The final step is to evaluate the amount of negative space you want on your shelves, and then fill in accordingly. Oftentimes, the more smaller items on a shelf, the more cluttered the display can appear. Yet, in the right space, this can bring a sense of warmth and familiarity.

On the contrary, in modern, minimalist spaces, fewer items are emphasized by more negative space. You can also go one step further by using a monochrome color palette for all images, books, and other items.

Wall collages are a great interior design idea to pull together your wall art and digital photography, especially if you have a lot of different pieces. You can even hang framed and unframed art together in a wall collage to cut down on the expense of framing. These decorating ideas will show you how to make an aesthetic wall collage using framed and unframed pieces, from digital photography and canvas prints to paintings and travel mementos.

1. Choose a unifier. Almost all of the photos you use should have at least one thing in common; if you’re creating a large wall collage, you can get away with a few pieces that don’t fit the main theme. Things you can use as a unifier include:

Theme, or subject

Similar framed and unframed size

Similar frame style for all framed pieces

2. If you want to use two different themes in the same wall collage, order by subject matter. If your wall collage will be circular, put one theme in the middle and the second theme on the outside. For a rectangular collage, you might have one theme merge into the next from left to right.

3. Add visual interest with 3 dimensional objects, like clocks, ceramics, deep canvas prints, travel mementos, or anything else that fits your base theme or color.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

4. Think about mixed mediums. If you’re using both paintings and digital photography in your wall collage, think about including a piece or two of mixed media that use painting and photography in the same piece.

5. Consider using an anchor piece. If one of your pieces is much larger than the others, you can still use it; it just needs to be an anchor, or center piece, since no matter where you hang it, it will draw attention. It’s best to put these in the center of any wall collage.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

6. Clear a space on the floor to lay out your pieces and think about how to arrange your art on the wall. This will allow you to get a preview and make any swaps before you start hanging your art.

7. When you hang framed and unframed art on the wall, leave the same amount of space between all pieces, even if the pieces are different sizes. Most designers recommend 1.5″ to 2.5″ of space between all sides, though the width of the space is not as important as keeping the same space between all artwork.

8. Mimic the space around the collage. If there are a lot of circles in the room, use a circular outline for your collage. If the collage is alongside a staircase, be sure to mimic the staircase flow by laddering the pieces you use.

9. Start with the middle piece. With newspaper, cut out the shapes and sizes of each piece that you want to use from their position on the floor, then align the cutouts on the wall. Measure the space between each, and when you are certain of placement, start hanging. Always start with the middle piece in both steps to make sure that you have enough space and still like the layout.

10. Integrate the collage with your decor. Place the collage above a table set with travel souvenirs and smaller art or around a picture rail to add depth and further visual interest.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Using a wall collage will help you hang your framed and unframed art, including digital photography, canvas prints, and other artwork in the same room together without breaking the flow of your interior design ideas. We hope that these tips on how to hang framed and unframed art will help you arrange it on the wall in a beautiful way.

Art hung the wrong way on a wall is like a character in a movie wearing a really bad wig. It’s just kinda hard NOT to see it, and you wish so bad you could just rip it off, knowing that everything would be so much better without it. It doesn’t ruin your experience, but it’s just terribly distracting.

Whenever I walk into a persons home, whom I don’t know too well, they always ask me, nervously, ‘Do you instantly start analyzing the design and pick it apart?’ I typically say some sort of generic, ‘Oh no! I just shut it off – when I’m not at work I’m not at work!’ The truth is, yeah, I totally do. It’s like a chef noticing how food tastes at a neighborhood bbq, or a fashion designer noticing a good dress on a stranger. You just do whether you want to or not. Do I stare and judge and care? Not at all. But I am aware and often I see the same easy mistakes over and over and over again. So often that I’m just dying to give unsolicited advise to fix them – which is why we started this series.

Growing up our art was always crazy high – it always took up the top 1/4 of the wall and you practically had to crane your neck to see it. This trend is still happening. Here are some general tips:

1. Yes, it should be ‘eye level’, but not if your ceilings are really low (typical is 8 – 9 feet) and not if you are really tall. If the wall were cut up vertically into four sections (going from bottom to top) then think of the art being in the third quadrant (counting from the floor).

2. If it’s a collection of art then you need to treat the whole collection as one piece, and start and stop it where it makes the most sense, as if it were one.

3. Engage as much as the wall as possible and orient the collection in the shape of the wall. The two photos above could be fine if you just tweaked them. The one one on the left just needs a piece added underneath it, and the one on the right needs those pieces to be in a grid that forms the shape of a square, properly proportioned to the wall. Those pieces are far too small to be hanging out on their own up there in a tiny little line.

It hurts my soul to see these things. I mean, the room on the right doesn’t really have a chance, but the room on the left (above) could be fine/cute if they just moved that whole collection down 6″. Although they are suffering from the ‘rug too small‘ disease as well.

Speaking of too small, the second thing that I notice constantly is art that is just too small for the space.

Both of these are cute photos with good art, but the space that the art is trying to fill is just way bigger than the pieces can handle. Generally the piece of art or the collection should be in the same shape and orientation of the wall that it is trying to fill. I get it, big art can be expensive, but you have more options these days – check out my epic online art roundup post here.

You know these people. Now let’s save them from themselves.

While the situation is rather nuanced we tried to come up with some general rules for how high or how big the art should be. Remember, if your walls are really tall then you can go higher and if your piece of furniture is really low then consider going lower to help engage that whole space. But generally try to fill as much space on the wall as you can, allowing for a space around the pieces so they aren’t crammed towards the furniture, wall or moulding.

I like art to be around 8″ above a piece of furniture, give or take. I’ve done it closer (like in Orlando’s place below/right), and that one did always look a bit crammed to me. You don’t want it to hit your head so typically 6 – 10″ gives you enough clearance to do that.

Everyone’s ‘eye level’ is different because we are all different heights, so that rule doesn’t really apply too much anymore. I’m sure that galleries have a rule about the middle of the piece being at eye level or something and often that does work, but if there is no piece of furniture below it then it might need to come down. Don’t be afraid of going lower. Consider the space you need to fill (from above a credenza to the ceiling) then place it 6 – 8″ above the piece of furniture (if its big enough) and see how it looks. The artwork and the piece of furniture should relate to each other and live near enough to each other that they collectively engage the whole wall together as a unit. Often, if there is a huge gap in between it will look disjointed.

I think these two photos (above) could have their collection or that piece of art start a bit higher, but scale-wise its awesome.

Slightly too big art is always better than too small. So if you have to choose, go bigger.

Here are a collection of spaces that I’ve styled with art – showing a variety of what works.

To see some of my favorite projects where we incorporated art, check out these different spaces: Oh Joy’s Studio, Mid-Century Eclectic Artist, LA Bungalow Makeover, Oprah Weekend Makeover. And if you are looking for good/affordable art check out my roundup of Best Online Art Resources.

I know its kinda a complicated situation (for instance, I put the big photo of the face at least 12″ above the piece, breaking my own rule). Here’s a good trick I do ALL THE TIME: Put up the piece of art then stand back and take a photo of it. Pretend its not your house and that you have no emotional connection to it. Look at that photo and ask yourself ‘if I passed this picture in a magazine would I think that art it too low or high?’

Take these tips from illustrations to your own home.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Take these decorator-sourced tips from illustrations to your own home.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

According to interior designer T. Keller Donovan, it is important to keep your “hang” from looking static. Try encircling a central item, like a sunburst mirror in this illustration, with a set of prints. One big gesture is all it takes.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

In this Bahamian home designed by Amanda Lindroth, a collection of rattan animals, found at F.S. Henemader Antiques, is arranged on brackets above the sofa — all centered around a horse shoe-hat collection.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Try leaning a mirror off-center, but give it a sculptural companion to keep things in harmony. Top it with a small picture, or two, to lift the eye, and repeat over doorways or tall chests.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Designer Chris Barrett brings airy sophistication to this living room mantel, where a miniature Van Eyke mirror echoes the profile of the larger, carved looking glass. Big blooms add some refreshing greenery.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Go for the full-wall effect. If you have a portfolio of 18 monkey prints (or a stack of photos of your favorite pooch), frame and hang them all uniformly — even if some wind up below eye level or behind the furniture.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Designer Susan Zises Green used this series of 19th-century prints of hunting dogs in lieu of a larger piece — but it still makes a statement.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Consider grouping of dainty silhouettes to bulk up the profile of a skinny bedside lamp. Then add a statement-making mirror over the headboard.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Designer Peter Dunham used artwork to add drama and scope to his small-space bedroom, creating a bold, busy wall that draws the eye away from the romantically draped bed.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Run with a theme. Here, it starts with a chinoiserie mirror and a collection of ginger jars. Bamboo brackets — with lots of “air” in between — give each jar individual attention, and make the collection more important.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

An arrangement of porcelain on a British Colonial-style table creates a blue-and-white theme beneath a boldy framed art piece in this Palm Beach getaway.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Buy four related prints and stretch them out along the wall. This is much more arresting than a skimpy pair, or the predictable block-of-four.

by C. Giles / in Home

Many houses have sloped or angled walls on the top floor, where the walls meet the roof. Having a sloped wall in your house doesn’t mean you can’t hang framed pictures on it. All it takes is a little more preparation and effort. The key is to secure the bottom of the frame — as well as the top — so that gravity will not cause it to swing down. Some home improvement shops sell hangers specially designed to hang pictures on angled walls, but you can pick up regular L-brackets and screws that will do the job just as well.

  • Many houses have sloped or angled walls on the top floor, where the walls meet the roof.
  • Some home improvement shops sell hangers specially designed to hang pictures on angled walls, but you can pick up regular L-brackets and screws that will do the job just as well.

Tear off a large piece of tracing paper and place it on the floor. Lay your framed pictures on top of the paper and experiment with different arrangements until you find the one you are happy with. Trace carefully around the frames with pencil.

Attach the tracing paper to the sloped wall with sticky tape. Stand back from the wall and check that your pictures will be in the right place.

Turn your first picture frame over. Position the short side of an L-bracket along the top right edge of the frame. Insert a 6 mm to 1.2 cm (1/4 inch to 1/2 inch) screw, depending on the thickness of the frame, through the holes in the bracket to attach it to the frame. Repeat the process with another L-bracket along the bottom left edge of the frame.

  • Attach the tracing paper to the sloped wall with sticky tape.
  • Repeat the process with another L-bracket along the bottom left edge of the frame.

Hold the frame up against the paper tracing with the brackets facing the wall. Make pencil marks on the paper where the long sides of the brackets need to be attached to the wall.

Put the frame to one side. Insert a 6 mm (1/4 inch) drill bit into your drill. Drill a hole at each of the pencil markings until you have drilled through the surface of the wall. Push a plastic wall anchor into each hole, tapping each one carefully with a hammer to secure it.

Hold the frame against the wall and align the screw holes in each L-bracket with the wall anchors. Use a screwdriver to insert a 2.5 cm (1 inch) long screw into each of the bracket holes. Tighten the screws until they won’t turn anymore.

  • Put the frame to one side.
  • Use a screwdriver to insert a 2.5 cm (1 inch) long screw into each of the bracket holes.

Repeat the process with your other picture frames.

Artwork or Photo Gallery Ideas for Stairs

Making a photo display in your stairway is a great way to show off your pride and joy! And it’s not just a great idea for family photos, it’s also great for pet lovers, world travellers or just exceptional photographers.

Placing “like” items in a grouping enhances their impact.

Here are some of the frames you will need…

1. 3-5 Dominant FramesHow to arrange pictures on a wall

Large/stairwell displays use more dominant pieces whereas a standard wall display uses 2 at the most. These dominant pieces are the pictures that are usually the largest and most striking. For most of my displays, I use I kea’s Ribba 20×20 frame as my dominant piece.

2. 1-3 Bridging Frames

These are the frames that will be used to link your dominant pieces on a standard wall display. A bridge piece is usually a frame that accommodates 2-3 photos (approx 4×6 or 5×7’s) in a horizontal row. For a stair display, you may substitute a few filler pieces for a bridge piece if you aren’t familiar with making displays.How to arrange pictures on a wallAnother great Ikea option is something like this (if you just take their image out and replace it with yours) Olunda Picture Frame.

3. Filler pieces

These frames are the ones that fill in the space around your dominant and bridge pieces. Make sure you have a nice mix of 8×10’s/4×6’s/5×7’s/etc…You’ll want to leave approximately 3-4″ between each picture.

  • Generally, it’s better if the majority of the frames look similar to one another. For example, 95% of my frames are black frames with white mats. I threw in a few different ones just for shits and giggles.
  • You can choose to have all of your photos in black and white which is a striking and cohesive look. However, don’t be afraid to mix it up with colour photos here and there.

Remember this is YOUR wall, make sure it’s pictures that you love to look. And these are just some ideas to get you started, feel free to throw in a bit of your own creativity!

Also, you will find the process a LOT less painful if you make paper templates of each frame and hang them on the wall BEFORE you get the hammer and nails out, this way you can get a general feel for the flow and layout.

Step 1 Place your dominant pieces staggered evenly up the stairwell

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Whatever angle your stairs are, you’ll want your pictures to rise on the exact same angle.

Now here’s where it gets fiddle-farty. The bottom right corner of each frame should be approx 40″ from the step it’s related to. If it crosses 2 steps then relate it to the higher of the 2 steps. (Relating to means the stair that it is positioned above)

Step 2 Add 1-3 Bridge Frames

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Depending on your layout (and your comfort zone) “multi-frames” can look great to really enhance the stepped-up look. They are also a great grounding element to your dominants and will slow down the busy-ness of too many filler pieces as they combine 2-3 photos in one frame.

Step 3 Fill in the blanks with Filler Frames

You can use a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Go horizontal, vertical – mix it up. Again, keep the distance between frames no less than 2″ and no more than 4″ apart if you can help it.

Want to know how to hang plates on the wall? I’m sharing my tips & tricks and the plate hangers that I used to get the job done right!

For months I kept my beautiful new plates sitting in a cabinet where they weren’t used or seen. And the big bare wall in my dining room? It stayed bare. Because honestly the whole idea of designing and hanging a decorative plate wall intimidated me. But last month I finally did it – I hauled my plates out of the cabinet and hung them up on our dining room wall:

How to arrange pictures on a wallThe trickiest part was figuring out the how-tos of hanging the plates so I thought I’d share what worked best for me, what’s worked for others, and why you may want to choose one method of hanging plates over the other (post includes affiliate links – see my full disclosure statement ):

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Step 1: Figure Out How You Want to Arrange Your Plates

Take all the plates that you’re thinking about using in your plate wall and lay them out on the floor. If you space constraints for the wall that they’ll be hanging on, it helps to put some painter’s tape on the floor to mark the max width and height that you have to work with. Arrange and rearrange until you figure out a design that you love!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Step 2: Trace Each Plate on Paper

I wanted to see the arrangement up on the wall before nailing in 20+ hangers and realizing that I should have shifted it up or down or changed some plates around so I traced the plates on kraft paper and cut each of them out. Once each plate was cut out, I drew both a horizontal and vertical line through the center of each paper plate, which helped me line them up evenly on the wall using a level (I wish I was a girl who could just wing it and not worry if things don’t line up quite right but I know myself enough to know that it would bug me if the arrangement was visibly “off”…).

Step 3: Tape Your Templates to the Wall

Once I had my plate templates arranged and level on the wall, I taped them to the wall with LOTS of tape to make sure they wouldn’t fall down overnight (I was doing my hanging the next day). And then when I was getting my girls their breakfast the next morning, I heard a rustling in the dining room and found them in a heap on the floor. Nooo! I had used Delicate Surfaces painter’s tape and it didn’t hold. Ugh. Lesson learned. I redid the arrangement but this time used regular painter’s tape and put a tiny nail through the center of each plate just to be extra sure we didn’t have a repeat incident.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Step 4: Figure Out the Best Plate Hangers for You and Hang Them Up!

My original plan was to hang my plates using Disc Hangers, which are adhesive discs that you adhere to the back of your plates. The advantages of the Disc Hangers are that they allow your plates to hang flat against the wall and they are invisible once you hang them. Unfortunately, I realized that most of my plates have a raised pattern on the back – definitely not a good surface for adhering a flat Disc Hanger.

The other disadvantages of the Disc Hangers are that you can’t easily remove them to use the plates – I wanted to be able to take some of the platters off of my wall if needed to use them for serving food at parties every now and then and the Disc Hangers wouldn’t allow me to do them. Also, according to the reviews some people have had issues with their plates fall off the wall when using them. But there are others who have used them with beautiful results (and no broken plates!) such as Emily of Timeless Paper who used them to hang this gorgeous plate wall over her bed (don’t you love it?!):

How to arrange pictures on a wallSince the Disc Hangers weren’t going to work for me, I ended up hanging my plates using Tripar’s white vinyl coated plate hangers found . Beware that they do “run small” – my 9″ plates did not fit the 7″-9″ hanger size – I had to use the 10″-14″ size.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Since they are vinyl coated, they won’t scratch the plates like plain wire hangers can and I love that when you use this type of plate hanger, you can easily remove the plates from the wall and use them. The key to working with these hangers is to bend the top of the hanger so that your plate will lay flat on the wall once hung. The best way to do this is to first attach the plate hanger to the plate and lie the plate on a flat surface. The top of the hanger should (barely) touch the flat surface that your plate is lying on. If it doesn’t, take the hanger off the plate, bend it, and place it back on to see if it’s where you need it to be.

How to arrange pictures on a wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

Then remove the template from the wall, put the nail through the OOK hook, and hammer it in at the same spot that you tapped it into moments ago. Now hang your plate!

How to arrange pictures on a wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

How to arrange pictures on a wall

It’s definitely my favorite thing about our dining room – you can take a tour to check the entire space out including a bunch of fun “before” and “after” pics (it wasn’t too pretty when we moved in!) !