My gallery wall reveal is FINALLY HERE! I feel like I’ve been teasing this for so long and I’m thrilled it finally came to fruition. I curated this to perfection and made sure that all my colors, frames, and prints were all cohesive and chic. After about 3 months of work, it’s finally finished! Today I’m going to share How to Make a Gallery Wall on a Budget.
In this post I wanted to share where I found prints, how I went about finding affordable frames for all of them, and how I went about setting it all up! If you’ve wanted a post about gallery walls 101, then this is the post for you! Keep reading to see how you can make your own gallery wall.
Where to Buy Frames for a Gallery Wall
Alright so let’s get started! I wanted to write this post in the same way that I went about planning out my own gallery wall. The first thing I did was find all the frames I wanted to use for this project. Frames are insanely costly a lot of the time, so I knew the main method I wanted to use in order to acquire frames was by thrifting them!
If you look in the photos below, my GORGEOUS gold frame with my Magic Kingdom print was from Goodwill and was literally less than $10! I knew I wanted that to be in the center of the gallery wall because the frame was such a statement piece. All of my gold frames, and a good amount of the white frames, are from Goodwill! Instead of spending HUNDREDS (or possibly thousands) on frames, I ended up spending no more than $150 total!
Possibly my favorite frame on the wall is my little floral beaded frame. I was browsing for 4×4 frames because I couple of the prints I found were that size! When I came across this vintage beauty, I knew it would be perfect. It was only $6.99 and was one of my thrift finds! I also found the other 4×4 frame from Goodwill and it was Nicole Miller and brand new.
Another place that I bought a few frames was the Target Dollar Spot! It just so happened that they had an entire print + frame section here as I was building out my gallery wall. The cacti print frame as well was the leopard frame were only $5! The leopard print + frame actually came together so in total that was literally just $5 spent on that section of the wall. I also found the fringe mirror and rattan plant shelf in the same section and both were only $5 as well!
How to Find Prints for a Gallery Wall
Now let’s move on to my favorite part, the gallery wall prints! I love looking on Etsy for art prints. The variety is amazing and you can buy physical prints/art from artists OR download digital prints for a fraction of the cost! It’s a great way to shop small. Almost all of my art came from Etsy and I highly recommend using them to find items for your wall too!
My biggest recommendation if you’re on a budget is to purchase prints from Etsy, and then print them using the Target Photo Center! I honestly didn’t know that this existed until I was trying to print art cheaply. They are online only, but often have 50% off sales making prints only a couple dollars! Generally it takes about 5-7 days to get to you, so make sure you have all the prints you need to order ready to go. That way you aren’t making multiple orders (like I did LOLZ).
Pro Tip: Not too savvy with finding random gallery wall prints that somehow match? Buy a gallery wall print set from Etsy!
The reason I suggest finding frames first, or at least buying a majority of your frames before prints, is because of space! I was able to lay out all my frames, make sure their sizes worked together, and THEN purchased my prints in the correct sizes. This saves you money + time because you’ll avoid having to re-print if you’ve realized you actually need something horizontally or vertically.
Another tip is to check out Home Goods or the Target Dollar Spot! Although I didn’t use Home Goods for my personal gallery wall, I’ve purchased prints from them before! Usually they come already matted in frames so for the print + frame you’re spending roughly $12.99-16.99. This ends up coming close to what you’d spend on a thrifted frame + a digital Etsy print + printing!
How to Set Up Your Gallery Wall
Now onto the most important part of the post…how to set up your gallery wall! This part I very much guessed on based of reading prior posts about gallery walls, as well as setting up a small version in my dorm a few years ago. There are a couple steps that made this process so much easier for me! The products you need for this section are (this) painters tape, (these) Command Strips with a level included, and (this) parchment paper!
Before you even put anything up on a wall, you need anything I lay out all your frames (with their prints in them) out on the floor! Then you’ll use (this) parchment paper and lay each frame down. You’ll trace every frame on the paper and cut the shapes out! I then laid the frames back into place with the parchment paper below them (just to hold it down).
Then you’ll use (this) painters tape and tape each parchment shape onto the wall! This doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s mostly so you get the spacing correctly. I quickly realized that I would need more space than I originally gave when I had everything laid out on the floor. Because of this, I ended up shifting some items and removing some as well!
Pro Tip: LABEL YOUR PARCHMENT SHAPES WITH THE NAME OF THE PRINT YOU’LL HAVE IN THAT PLACE! That way you don’t get confused once you have a dozen taped pieces of similarly shaped paper on your wall.
After you have all your parchment squares up on the wall, you’ll start adding your frames! I used 2 strips (top right and bottom left corner) for the smaller frames and 4 (on all sides) for the larger frames. It’s held up perfectly for me so far and it’s been a few weeks! My biggest tip here is to make sure you use the level that is provided!
It comes taped into the little command strips container and I kept one of the little sticker strips on it! This allowed me to lightly tape it to the top of each gallery wall item and make sure that it was placed in a leveled way on my wall! My photographer literally asked how I got everything so straight and this is 100% how. Using the level helped me keep them all straight while adding to my wall so I didn’t need to adjust on the back end!
• Parchment Paper – 1 Roll
• Command Strips – 3 Packs (12 Per Pack)
• Painter’s Tape – 1 Roll
• A Pencil (To Trace The Frames)
Shop The Post
I wanted to share all the products that I actually purchased for this DIY, but if you aren’t as savvy at finding random things and putting them together, I also added a few gallery wall set options for you too! These are from Amazon and Target and will allow you to build a gallery wall under $200.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post about How to Make a Gallery Wall on a Budget! I was so excited to finally add a gallery wall to my living room because it really ties the whole space together. The best part is that this gallery wall is 1) budget friendly and 2) renter friendly because everything is stuck on with command strips! If you’re renting an apartment or house, this is the gallery wall tutorial for you!
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Photos by Hannah Lozano