DIY Beachy Gallery Wall

Hey guys! Today I’ve got a little bit of a different post for you, but after I posted a photo of my gallery wall on Instagram I had a ton of people asking me how I did it, so I figured I’d show everyone exactly how in a quick blog post!

I’m not gonna lie, this is quite a big project. I’ve actually had all my photos and frames and everything else I’ve been planning to hang ready since the summer, but I kept putting it off because I was so overwhelmed. But, alas I tackled this project once and for all one Sunday afternoon and it only took me two hours!

The most important thing to remember when creating your gallery wall is to plan. If you just try to randomly stick a bunch of frames on the wall it’s not going to work out very well and you’re just going to find yourself frustrated. However, if you wake time to plan and map out the wall you’ll save yourself a lot of stress!

To give yourself some direction, I would also recommend having a theme in mind. I decided to make my gallery wall “beach themed” so I’ve featured photos from my trips to Hawaii as well as professionally shot tropical photos from some of my favourite photographers. I also included a few other beachy décor items to spice up the wall a bit.

If you want to know exactly where I got everything I used to create my wall, check out the bottom of this post for links!


Here’s what you’ll need before you start…

  • measuring tape
  • nails
  • hammer
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • tape
  • pencil
  • photo frames (Don’t be afraid to mix up the colours and sizes! Just try to limit yourself to 2 or 3 colours so it doesn’t become too hectic!)
  • photos
  • any other items you wish to hang on your wall


Steps to creating your perfect gallery wall:

  1. Measure the wall.
    You should start off by measuring the space in which you want your gallery wall to go. For mine, I measured the area right above my bed because I knew I didn’t want the gallery wall to go any further than that.
  2. Pick your photos and their sizes
    Once you know how much space you’ve got to work with you can start decided which photos you want to go on your wall. Be sure to consider how big you want each photo to be and whether or not you want them horizontal or vertical.
  3. Measure your frames and the distance between each frame
    This is where it gets kind of tricky. You’re going to need to take the measurements of each frame, decide how much space you want in between the frames (I did 3 inches in between each) and make sure it all fits within the original parameters of the wall you measured.
  4. Envision it
    Once you’ve got all your photos in your frames and decided how far you want them to be from each other, lay them all out. I laid out all my frames on the floor and rearranged them about a million times until I found a layout I liked. This is that crucial planning step I talked about in the beginning. Laying out the frames on the floor will help you create a map for you to follow when hanging up your frames on the wall.
  5. Create an outline
    Once you’ve done all the math and created your map it’s time to outline that map. This is the part where your gallery wall starts to come to life. I laid out my frames on top of construction paper and traced around them to cut out sheets of paper the same size as the frames. Once you have all your paper frames cut out you can tape them onto your wall following the map you made in the previous step. Now you’ll be able to envision how things will look once they’re actually up on the wall.
  6. Start hanging your frames
    Once you’re satisfied with your outline it’s time to start hanging your gallery wall! Going one frame at a time, you’re going to want to measure the distance from the top and the sides of the frame to the hook for the nail. This is incredibly important because I messed this up and ended up with a couple crooked frames at the beginning. Once you’ve mapped out the proper nail placement mark it on your construction paper outline. You can then hammer the nail into your marked spot just a enough to make a mark on the wall. Then remove the construction paper, nail the nail in all the way and hang your frame up!
  7. Make sure everything is level
    I thought my wall was looking amazing until I stepped back to look at the finished product and realized half the frames were crooked! For the final step you’re going to want to take a level and make sure all of your frames are sitting straight on the wall.

Voila! Now sit back, stare, and take in your new masterpiece! If you guys recreate your own gallery wall be sure to tag me on Instagram @airplanesandavocados and Twitter @airplaneavocado


1. IKEA Frames 

2. Starfish from North Shore Trading Company in Haleiwa

3. Salty Pineapple Prints 

4. “If you’re lucky enough to be at the beach sign” from North Shore Trading Company in Haleiwa

5. Clark Little Honu Kiss Print 

6. Walmart Poster Frame

7. Walmart Frame 

8. Honu sign from North Shore Trading Company in Haleiwa 

9. Walmart Frame (SIMILAR)

10. Hawaii frame from Honolulu airport 

11. Sign board from Nassau, Bahamas 

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