How To – Gallery Walls

I finally finished my gallery wall last week. It has taken months of planning and preparation to get it just right. I didn’t want to rush it, I wanted to be really pleased with the final result and I’m pleased that I’ve done it this way. It’s been worth the wait.

I thought I would give you a little insight in to how this wall of art has come together.

I have been making the pieces for quite a few months now. Nothing was planned purposely for this wall, it’s all kind of come together.

I picked up this canvas from a local good will store for $5. It’s huge 25×25 inches and really deep too. It had already been painted which I didn’t mind as I knew I wanted to use it to create something myself.

Lots of paints, old book pages, gesso and some very large old MM foam stamps and I have this canvas made.

My next pieces to show you are 3 mini canvases and a framed 6×4” pic. These were made with an addon and some of the main kit in October. I love how these turned out. They match the foxy cushion that sits on the sofa under this gallery. (my hubby has a thing for foxes. He has regular meetings with them on the late night dog walks).

I have just one photo on this wall. This was a last minute addition when we were piecing everything together. I wasn’t going to add one at all, but I had picked up this 5×7” frame for $5 last year and wanted to use it.   I edited my photo to get this fun colour effect in It’s free and very easy to use. There wasn’t anything to hang this frame up with though. It just had a stand on the back. So I removed the backing and stuck down a small piece of trimming. The backing was replaced which also helps hold the trimming in place securely. I love that extra bit of colour it adds.

Next up is my map. I picked up a really old atlas in the Goodwill store last Fall. This was such a find. Just $7, it’s big and the colours were perfect. I then wanted to find a frame to match and happened to find this one which again was perfect and cost just $4. The old ladies in the goodwill store were admiring the old ship picture that was inside as I was paying and I went on to explain what my actual intentions were for this frame. They looked rather horrified and I even offered to open up the frame and give them the lovely print of the ship, but they obviously didn’t like it that much as they declined, still not looking convinced with my idea though.

I do need to cut down the mount slightly though as the top of the map is slightly hidden. Incase you are wondering why the US when we live in sunny England??? Well we both love the US. My hubby has worked for a very big US company since he left school and is very proud to work for them, he also lived/worked in Cali for a few months before we were together. My Dad has lived in Indiana for the past 20 years. I have spent the past 20 years falling in love with the country and have been fortunate to visit lots of cities and States and then in 2007 we got married in Orlando and are about to go back as family for our 4th visit. So the US means alot to us.

Which brings me nicely in to the letters L & A.

Not meaning LA, but these are our initials. Lisa and Ade. I bought these mdf letters from Ebay and covered them in maps of Orlando and gave them to hubby as an anniversary gift of our first date last August. Thinking about it I think they should really be covered in maps of LA as we had the most amazing week there last year. Just the two of us…..and the crazy Cocoa Dasiy girls : )

Above the letters are 3 6×4” frames. I bought these in a department store here as a set for $10. Two have a Cocoa Daisy wordpress card inside and one a Day in the Life Kit card. Each card is backed on to bazzill.

Below the letters are wooden scrabble letters that I bought off ebay for under $5 for all the tiles incl postage.

I have another Day in the Life Card framed here.

I attached a piece of garden string to hang this one. I bought some wooden hearts off Ebay years ago and still had some left, so I used a Tim Holzt Distress Stain (Picket Fence) to stain it white.

Then there is a deep framed piece here. I made this when I was on the Fancy Pants team.

I used the same piece of paper to cut the same size heart out 3 times. I’ve folden it down the centre and stitched it to the card down the centre and added a rubon.

Above that is an old frame that I was already using in the house. It was a matt gold colour and didn’t really fit anymore. I mixed up some paints so it matched the wording on the big canvas and very roughly painted the frame, rubbing it in to the grooves with kitchen paper. I didn’t want a perfect look. I wanted parts of the old frame to show through. I removed the back and hung just the frame.

I picked up some wooden embroidery hoops from a goodwill store  for a dollar each a couple of years ago with the idea of hanging them with frabric.

The vintage fabric was purchased on Ebay as a piece of sample fabric and the other I made myself.

It came from one of the kids old cotton school shirts. I used this litle stamp set and some Prima Chalk Inks. Very quick, easy and cheap.

For Christmas I made my hubby this next framed piece.

I got given his Grandad’s old typewriter for my birthday last March. I typed up the definition of the word ‘Soulmate’ and framed for him.

And finally this one.

This was a birthday gift for hubby last year and the most expensive piece on this wall. I bought the frame from a shop for just about $15 and had the mount made which was another $8. The lady was so kind in the local frame store and I discussed how I would hang my mdf letters and she gave me the little hooks to match. She didn’t even sell them, but had them to hand. I printed off a map of Orlando to go inside.

So as you can see it’s something that’s taken many months to make.

As far as the putting together goes, this wasn’t something that was rushed either. We measured the space of the wall that we wanted to use. Made that same space on the floor and laid all the pieces down as they were about to be hung. This took lots of rearranging until we were happy. We took some mini post its marking off the bounderies on the wall of where the edges of the gallery were to be.

The little paper pocket at the top, hubby made that and stuck it to the wall each time he drilled so it caught most of the dust as it fell.

We are so pleased with the end result and every piece has a special meaning, reason or story.

Now before I close off here today I have a final piece of this room to share with you. It’s a mini gallery wall that has been here for a good couple of years now. I added the final piece just last week.

Between the window and the fireplace we have this small alcove. A have a couple of my canvases here and a set of wooden drawers. My Orlando 2012 mini book that I made with  Cocoa Daisy Kit back in 2012 sits here and the glass tea light holders that I made during last years Fall Crop here at CD. Here is the link to the class if you are interested. And some other bits and pieces that I’ve made. Have you spotted the final piece from this new March Kit yet?

Here is a closer look.

It’s the exclusive wood veneer piece stuck on with a little blutack. I think it finishes off that wall beautifully.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the stories behind my gallery wall. It really is a good feeling to have something so personal in your home.

Thanks for staying with me during this very long blog post.


  1. Laura

    Lisa, both of your walls look amazing! You have inspired me to start a collection for my very own wall 🙂

  2. LauraC - Michigan

    WOW – amazing lisa! LOVE what you have done with your walls and space

  3. Lisa Flaherty (jjflair)

    I love this so much, Lisa! That every piece has such special meaning is just lovely. Your home seems so rich in warmth and love. <3

  4. emily pitts

    This is the most lovely description and how to I’ve ever seen. I love it! Thank you for taking the time to share so much of you and your family here.

  5. Patricia

    Okay, this has pushed me to re-do A LOT IN MY HOUSE! This is amazing!

  6. Ashley

    Lisa, your home is so lovely! I love how homemade and beautiful it is.


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