Who doesn’t love a killer gallery wall? My client tasked me with designing a modern kids gallery wall, and to say how much I love how this turned out is an understatement. The three children behind these vibrant pieces are quite the arteests (all under 10!) and know how to rock a crayon sumthin’ fierce.
This contemporary home features a vast and welcoming vestibule, replete with ample storage, display cases and tons of wallspace. The goal here was to add a sentimental statement filled with pops of color as well as ease in swapping out new pieces as these come in.
If you’ve got drawers of childrens’ artwork piling up and an empty wallspace looking for life, here’s five quick tips on how to design (and install!) a modern kids gallery wall.
How Many (or How Little?) Artwork
This entirely depends on the wallspace available. Review the artwork pile and pick your finalists. Make groups of imagery style, artwork size and color palettes for consistency and continuity.
Take measurements of the soon-to-be gallery wall. Now it’s time to decide on a frame style to determine how many you’ll be able to fit (next tip!).
For this gallery, I sifted through a collection of at least 150 artworks! The final selection was diligently narrowed down to 48 framed pieces to fill a 7-ft. x 16-ft. and 7-ft. x 12-ft. wallspace.
Frame + Gallery Style
Children’s artworks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Utilizing an affordable, online and USA-based custom framing option is a great way to showcase these sprightly works that’s easy on the wallet.
For a modern look, stick to a singular frame style. For a more eclectic look, vary your frame style to your liking.
For a superbly streamlined look, choose artworks with the same size and orientation (portrait or landscape) for even stacking. If same-size isn’t an option, a staggered look with a square outer edge works just fine (as seen here).
Put a Mat on It
Adding a mat to your frames naturally creates an authentic art gallery feel. This critical step makes it très chic. All of the mats in this kids gallery wall have a one-inch thick surround.
Note: If the final selection of artwork was smaller, I would have upped the mat thickness to two- or three-inches. That being said, don’t shy away from adding a nice, big, fat mat. The fatter the mat, the fancier the feel.
Laying it Out
There’s two ways I like to lay out a gallery: digitally or IRL. If creating a digital layout is right out, the next best thing is to template the design right on the floor! Mark your wall measurements with painter’s tape, and have at it until you land on just the right design. Additional resources on this linked below!
The “Finger Marks the Spot” Method
When hanging artwork, my finger-marks-the-spot method is a no-brainer. With the assistance of a level to ensure square edges and artworks lined up just right, brace each consecutive artwork against the wall with your finger centered to the hook; remove artwork with your finger remaining on the wall; mark the spot with a pencil; and hammer ‘er right on in.
Not to mention, a handy dandy tool belt and a helper works wonders.