Creating an Impactful Gallery Wall on a Shoestring Budget

When I got my first ever studio apartment, my first thought was decorating. I had never had a space all my own before and I was beyond excited to start making a special, motivating space that was all mine. My first order of business? Creating two impactful gallery walls. My problem? I had about $17 in my savings account and a freezer full of frozen burritos. The solution? I went to Goodwill on Labor Day so the whole store was half off (seriously is there anything cheaper than half-off a thrift store price?) and bought a jumble of mismatched frames. I was in my senior year of college at Academy of Art University at the time, so creating the art was the easy part. Once I had painted all my works I simply hung them in semi-aligned space over my dresser. I loved the final outcome of this and I found it surprisingly motivating and uplifting to have it be the first thing I saw every morning and the last thing I saw every night.

If you are not in art school or super into hanging your own artwork on the walls (chances are you are not) I attached the files below for what I painted for my most recent gallery wall! You can simply download them and cut them to your desired frame size.

My Top Tips for Creating a Cheap Gallery Wall:
1. I always, always purchase my frames from Goodwill or vintage stores because that way they are unique and eclectic as well as affordable! Be sure to clean the frames thoroughly and check before you buy them to make sure that they are hangable. (They might need additional equipment to be ready for wall hanging.)
2. I like to buy my frames before deciding the artwork because it makes it a lot easier for deciding what size your pictures should be. It also makes it easier for deciding how to space your wood and gold frames versus black and colored frames as well as arranging all your sizes in a aesthetically pleasing way. 
4. Be sure to check out Pinterest, Tumblr or interior design blogs for inspiration on layouts and themes! I always use this blog and this blog and pin my inspirations to this board.
4. If you use your own collection of artwork, try to get a good idea of the vibe and color scheme you want. You can get as specific as theme (ocean, city, text etc.) or keep it eclectic like I did with a mix of graphic text, abstract art and realism. 
5. And finally don’t be too afraid of all your frames not being perfectly spaced! I know, I have major OCD and I struggle with this, but in reality it looks so much better when it is eclectic and random. It looks much more organic and less contrived.
Here are the links if you’d care to download any of the images I created:

3 thoughts on “Creating an Impactful Gallery Wall on a Shoestring Budget

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