I don’t know if you heard, but using ledges for your gallery wall is the new, updated version of gallery walls. The good news is that using the ledge is actually SO much better. Why? You don’t have to put a million holes in your walls, you can easily switch out your frames, you can create a more layered look, and all this flexibility makes it so it’s easier to get it looking good (especially if you aren’t a pro at hanging things on the wall). Here’s my how to create a ledge gallery wall! (note, affiliate links used)
First off, choose your ledge. I went with the Moosslanda Picture ledge from Ikea in the 45 1/4″ size in white for $9.99. I purchased two. I LOVE these new ledges- they are nice and deep so you can layer frames and have a tall lip and a ridge inside so things don’t fall off. I recently used this picture ledge from West Elm for a project for work ($55 for the 48″ length) and they were so narrow the Ribba frames would fall off unless I used Command Strips to secure them on the back. Go for the cheaper and easier to use version!
Find some inspiration. I know this is a step with every project I do, but use Pinterest and see what you can find. This was very helpful to me because I was contemplating using black frames (like in the rest of my house), but then I saw that all of my inspiration photos had white frames, so that totally changed my direction.
Start collecting items. I have known I would do this project for at least a month and I have slowly been gathering items. Even with that (and having a big hoard of items I could use at home), I didn’t have enough things and had to improvise and buy a few last minute frames. Gather frames, prints, pictures, and any cool sculptural items that may work. This is a great place to insert some personality. What do YOU love? What inspires you? What do you want more in your life? You can tell from mine that I love whimsical objects, travel, my family, I want more adventure. It’s personal and so I think it’s beautiful.
Here is a tip for how to get prints on a budget- use Etsy and search for “printable” or “downloadable.” You will find endless, gorgeous options for $5 or less and then you can print them off at home. Cheap and instant gratification? Yes please! I bought the Adventure print and the silhouette of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (the breed of my dog) that way.
Side note if you have a dog, that same Etsy shop has lots of silhouettes of dogs that are so adorable!
Another art budget tip is to use cards as prints. I bought a set of 8 Rifle Paper Co. city maps cards awhile ago off Amazon and framed one of each style for my ledges. I love that these go with my color scheme, are whimsical, and will remind us of our love for travel (and hopefully inspire us to go some new places)!
I then hung the lowest ledge. I hung it 4″ above the picture molding. Here’s a tip- put your art on the ledge before you hang the next one so you can visually see that your tallest art will fit on your ledge. There is 17″ between ledges. This allows for a 8×10 Ribba frame to sit on either shelf
Your last step is just layering in art, photos, and your sculptural items. I tried to make four different focal points that could stand on their own. My favorite is the top left- I think the scale and the different elements make it the most interesting. The gallery wall was looking a little too white so I painted a few canvases to add in a punch of color. Let’s be honest, the black framed photos of my baby from the hospital kind of sticks out. But I am too sentimental about those photos and don’t want to paint the frame. So it stays for now. I love that I have a lot of flexibility and can switch whatever I want when whenever I want.
Love sign– Down East Home
Faux Deer Head– Down East Home
Ribba Frames– Ikea
Adventure Print– Etsy
Dog Silhouette Print– Etsy
Hip Hip Hooray Print– Etsy
Rifle Paper Co City Map Cards– Amazon
Black and white “Pathless Woods” Print- Wildfield Paper Co
The “W” is from Michael’s (I painted it pink)
The canvases I already owned (they were hanging to the right of the sofa before) and just painted them coordinating colors.
The rest I already owned 🙂
I originally was going to hang my ledges to the the wall next to the sofa, but then I was worried that I was putting a focal point on an accent wall. So I changed my mind and hung them behind the sofa. I am so happy I did! It is a nice change of pace. And now we are one step closer to our living room updates being done! As a reminder of how far we’ve come:
We started here
We painted the living room white
We added chair molding
Next came the picture molding
Then I decorated for Christmas! Note, I purchased another Caitlin Wilson look alike pillow on my budget. This one was also $16 (as compared to the $60 normally)
I’m not sure what’s next. I am dreaming about adding a desk and some shelves where the Christmas Tree currently is. We desperately need a new sofa (ours is starting to get holes in the fabric). Baby boy is getting more mobile so I would like to switch the coffee table for something less dangerous. I also really need to do something about the toy storage. It has gotten out of control! So many choices! I’ll keep you in the loop 🙂