Home Office Gallery Wall {Decorating Ideas}

A momentous thing happened this weekend.  I completed the gallery wall in my home office.  It’s a small miracle seeing as I’ve been working on this room for well over a year.

gallery wall with white frames

I used three different types of Ikea frames (Ribba, Sondrum, and Virserum).  Seriously you guys, if Ikea is a drive for you, stock up on frames when you go.  It took me months to collect enough frames because I didn’t buy enough the first and second times I went.   Now I’m sitting pretty with a large surplus of Ikea frames.

gallery wall

The gallery wall contains photos, one of my favorite Katie Daisy prints, a Kate Spade card/print, my glitterfied Indiana artwork, and random things I framed like my admission tickets to the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, a card from my best friend, and a dove Christmas ornament my late aunt gave me.   I also framed the cover of our wedding program with two photos of us after being pronounced husband and wife.

white gallery wall

gallery wall with ikea picture frames

The wall was fairly easy to assemble.  Arranging frames for a gallery wall is a lot like Tetris.  So if you’re a Tetris pro creating a gallery wall shouldn’t be too difficult for you.  But I found it was best for my sanity to do it over time– as in multiple days.  Sometimes it’s best to walk away, regain your marbles, and then get back to work.

First, I put the things I wanted to frame into the frames.  Then, I traced the frames onto craft paper, cut out the shapes, and started working on the layout of the frames by using the actual frames.

how to arrange a gallery wall

But then I deviated and used the craft paper frames on the wall to create the layout I desired.  The kicker was making sure I was properly hanging the paper frames– whether the content in the frame was horizontal or vertical in nature.  I found it helpful to arrange the frames accordingly on the floor as I assembled the paper frames on the wall.  Still following me?

how to make a gallery wall

Once I was happy with the paper frame arrangement I started hanging the frames.  I’m pretty good at eyeballing where to put nails in regards to picture frame hooks so I went with the ‘eyeballing method’.  It worked out well.  Out of 20 frames I only had to redo 2 nails.  I think 90% accuracy is pretty good for wingin’ it.

how to create a gallery wall

Now, if you’ve ever attempted to hang an Ikea ribba frame you know how pesky they are.  I don’t know whose idea it was to make a frame with an inch of space between the nail hook and where the frame meets the wall.  When I asked an Ikea sales associate about it he said, “I guess you’ll have to use a long nail”.  I may or may not have replied, “well that’s just silly”.  But do not fear, my friends, do not fear.  I developed a cutting edge way to hang these irksome frames.  Make a loop with picture hanging wire.  But don’t make your loop too large or you’ll be able to see the loop when you hang it on the nail.  If it’s too big, simply twist the loop to make it a little smaller.

how to hang an ikea ribba frame

So there you have it.  One more home office/craft room item knocked off my to-do list.  If everything goes as planned, I’ll be able to reveal the entire room makeover next week.
Get excited.

home office gallery wall

how to create a gallery wall 2

Have you tackled a gallery wall in your home?  How’d it go?
Has a room makeover taken you well over a year to complete?  Don’t be ashamed, you’re not alone.

Stalk away!



  1. JaimeR says

    Looks great! I have been collecting prints and pics for a gallery above my make up table. Waiting to get the frames until I have all the prints and sizes I know I want. Luckily, I have an IKEA about a 1/2 hour away. I also have the exact Kate Spade card sitting on the floor with the prints and pics I’ve collected so far. :)

  2. Kimberly says

    I’ve created a similar gallery in one of our guest rooms before, but I wasn’t enough of a perfectionist to use paper to outline it first! It’s a great idea. I just laid mine out on the bed then eyeballed each frame as I hung on the wall. Admittedly, it didn’t turn out perfect but I’m probably the only one who can tell.

    Right now I’m procrastinating hanging white frames in my office space. I want to hang a few white frames over my new desk but haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m only going on a month, though I can see how a year comes up quickly!

  3. says

    Beautiful! You did an awesome job, and I’m amazed that this is the result of nail-hole eyeballing. If I had done that . . . well, I can only laugh at the possibilities. You do a great job with color. I’m generally kind of scared of color and stick to just one or two in each spot of my house, but you seem to have a great sense of what will go together and combining them in an awesome way. Two thumbs up.
    Rachel recently posted..Living Room Tour + Gallery Wall TipsMy Profile

  4. Reilly says

    Looks great!
    I am working on a gallery wall right now. I have the layout all worked out, I just need to find some a few more pictures and I am short a couple frames.

  5. says

    How funny a momentous thing just happened in my home last week too bc I also just finished my gallery wall that took me almost 8 months!! Phew.. glad to know I’m not the only who took it at a snail’s pace. Your wall turned out great….worth the wait! I adore the glittery Indiana state print (I was born and raised there!)
    jennifer recently posted..Quickest Project Ever: DIY Jewelry TrayMy Profile

  6. says

    I’m stopping by from the Young House Love forums…absolutely IN LOVE with your gallery wall! I recently did an all-white gallery wall and it was SO much work! I only have about 8 frames but am hoping to add more soon. I have SOOO many frames but not enough art to fill them.

    Danielle at Framed Frosting
    Danielle recently posted..“Treat Yo Self” GiveawayMy Profile

  7. Elyse says

    I love your gallery wall. Ikea is a drive for me so every time I go I have to convince my husband that I’m not crazy for buying all those frames. Same thing when we go to Pottery Barn Outlet!

  8. says

    I hear you about the IKEA picture frames! They are fully functional and the cheapest I have been able to find – EVER! I recently did a picture frame ledge that was Pottery Barn inspired – I used all IKEA frames.

    Your wall is awesome and tells such a lovely story.

  9. says

    Great job! The step-by-step is super helpful and I appreciate the Ikea frame tip too. I just stumbled upon your blog and love all your DIY projects. They’re Inspirational!

  10. Kate says

    Love your gallery wall! Great job.
    Random question, but did you swap out or paint the mats that come with the Ikea frames? The mats you used appear to be stark white whereas I know some of the Ikea frames (Ribba in particular) are usually an off-white color. Just wondering how you got them all to appear the same shade of white. I’m working on a gallery wall for my office and the different shade of white on the mats vs. the frames just drives me bonkers.

    • says

      Thanks, Kate! Nope, I was lazy and just left the mattes in the frames. I know exactly what you mean though. The off-white color bothered me at first but I learned to live with it. It’s really not that noticeable with all of the frames on the wall– especially because some of the frames are stark white and some are off-white and some of the mattes are stark white or off-white.

      However, I will say if you’re using the matte on something that is very important to you or sentimental I HIGHLY recommend going to a craft store or framing place and getting an acid free matte. I made sure to do this with my wedding guest book tree (http://www.twotwentyone.net/2013/01/picture-ledge/).

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