We recently updated our basement living room area and I decided it would be a nice touch to create a gallery wall over the table.
- A variety of items for the gallery wall
- Painter's tape
- tape measurer
- Drill or screwdriver
- nails and screws
Step 1: Gather possible items to use in a gallery wall.
We had several items I wanted to use. Some were old family keepsakes. Before the recent pandemic, I went shopping at Hobby Lobby searching for additional items to accomplish the following variables.
Important things to consider:
- have items that vary in shape (some round, some square, some rectangular, some odd-shaped).
- have items that vary in texture (some galvanized and/or corrugated metal, some wood, cotton, plants, etc.)
- have items that vary in tone (light and dark brown, white and brown, or white and black, etc.)
- have items with different dimensions (half-bucket with cotton, dogwood wreath on the window, tractor seat, flower, etc.)
You should stay with the same theme. I had considered doing a lake theme because we live a the lake but then decided to create a farmhouse theme. I realize farmhouse style is trendy, but I grew up on a farm and thus this was reminiscent of my childhood.
The tractor seat and hay bale lifting tongs were my father's. The embroidery farm scene was made by my grandmother. The old keys are a collection from my parents and Neal's parents. The old frame (with the tractor) came from my father's house. I made the tractor on burlap. The old window is from a 1930s house we renovated several years ago. I purchased the other items (galvanized half pail, cow painting, gather sign, tin cow, and flower) from Hobby Lobby and the cotton from Walmart.
Step 2: Arrange the items on the floor.
I measured the space above the table and then used painter's tape to mark off the same size space on the floor. (Our basement floor was concrete at the time. We have recently added vinyl plank flooring. If you have nice flooring and don't want to use tape on your floor, you can mark off the same space using string.
I allocated about 10 inches of space between the tabletop and the bottom of where the gallery wall starts. This space will enable me to add some vases or table decor without interfering with the gallery wall.
Below is a time-lapse video that shows a little of the layout process.
I knew I wanted the window in the middle of the gallery wall. From there, I just started laying out items and then moving them around until I had a nice balance of shape, color, texture, and dimension. I tried several different arrangements and studied each option. I also sent my good friend Britney pictures and got her suggestions, which helped too!
Below is the final layout on the floor (before we installed vinyl plank flooring). The bottom section taped off is the space above the table that I wanted to leave open.
Step 3: Hang each item on the wall.
I measured and found the middle of the wall and marked it lightly with a pencil. I also marked each side (the "frame" of the gallery wall) with a pencil. This gave me reference points as I hung each item.
I started with the top item in the middle row.
First, I determined exactly where the middle item (window with wreath) would be hung and marked this with a pencil. Then, I hung the top item in the middle row. Because I had laid this out on the floor, I was able to measure exactly how far apart each item would be from one to another and then transferred this to the wall as I hung each item.
I then hung the items on the right side from top to bottom.
Finally, I hung the items on the left side from top to bottom.
Below is a time-lapse video of the process:
I used screws with anchors for the window (with wreath) and the tractor seat because of their weight. I used small nails to hang the other items. I used hangITstrips to pinpoint the exact location for each nail/screw. This enabled me to hang the items exactly where I wanted it and perfectly level without having to do complicated math. hangITstrips are a BIG time saver!
I touched up the screw head holding the tractor seat and the keys with brown acrylic paint so they would blend in. I then erased my pencil marks and Viola!
I am SOOO happy with how this turned out! It is the perfect complement to our updated basement den.
And one more picture (after we installed vinyl plank flooring)!
Don't forget to check out how I made the tractor on the burlap in the wooden frame. Since writing this post, I added some things on each side of the gallery wall! One of these projects involves vintage doorknobs. I can't wait to share it with you!