Do you have a big wall that you just don’t know what to do with? Most of us have at least one wall in our homes like this. For me, it was the wall in my master bathroom. It was a giant blank space and I just didn’t own anything that would fill it. There are already two mirrors in the room over the vanities so another mirror was just redundant… As an unofficial student of interior design, I’ve always admired a beautiful gallery wall, especially the grid like walls that look so tailored and elegant. But often those are filled with expensive pieces of art that are definitely out of my reach.
And then one day, thanks to Emily A. Clark I found the solution to all my art problems – the New York Public Library Digital Collections website. Hello, gorgeous! This site is brimming with the most amazing collections of digital art and best of all you can download it, print it, and hang it – FOR FREE! How fabulous is that?!! After spending a couple of hours looking at several spectacular options, I decided to go with an equestrian theme in my bathroom and swooned when I found these vintage cigarette cards featuring Drum Horses. Oh yes, I was smitten!
Next, I found some low profile picture frames at Michaels Craft Store (bought with a coupon, yay!). I wanted the images to feel a bit more grand (they are on the small side) so I ordered some custom sized picture mattes on ebay and once I had all my supplies, I got ready to hang.
Make Some Layout Samples
First, I highly recommend cutting paper (newspaper, poster board, butcher paper, whatever you have on hand) to the EXACT same size as the frames you will be hanging. Make a small “x” on your paper where the hook mark is for your frame, you’ll reference it later.
Plan Your Layout
The first decision to make when preparing for a gallery wall is to determine your layout. You need to determine both your overall outside dimensions, as well as how much space you want in between your pictures.
Position the Papers on Your Wall
Use a little bit of painters tape – it’s easy to position/reposition again and again – and hang your papers on the wall. Play with them until your layout is just how you want it.
Prepare to Hang
While the papers are in place, hammer your nails into the wall over the “x” you made for the hook. Once the nail is in place, you will be able to simple tug the papers off the nails and your nails will all be perfectly in position.
Hang and Enjoy!
Once you fill your frame with your artwork and matte, all that’s left is to hang it on the wall, and step back and enjoy your masterpiece!
And there you have it! A fun, and oh-so-budget-friendly, gallery wall that you will enjoy for years to come (or at least until you find your next favorite piece of artwork). I hope you enjoy this resource for digital art too. I’d love to hear about some of your favorite finds over there… please share some links in the comments below so I can check them out!
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