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How to display your photos: Gallery Wall Shelves


Owatonna family photographer, little girl jumping on couch with gallery wall of photos behind her

I recently decided that my living room wall was very "flat" and needed some more dimension. I already had a wall of photo frames hanging along that wall, filled with pictures of my girls. I knew I wanted to keep displaying photos of my kiddos on that big wall, but just needed something different. I decided to build my own gallery wall shelves that would allow me to layer my framed photos, and perhaps use photo frames of different sizes and colors for some more pop.


Below is a shot of my first gallery wall attempt. It was okay, but it was definitely missing something. Don't mind the mess.

Wall of photos in home

I searched and searched online for the perfect shelves that would allow me to create a more dimensional gallery wall. I wanted to be able to layer the photos on top of each other a bit to create more visual interest. I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for in length and depth (not to mention the options I did find were veeeery spendy $$$$). So in the end I decided to make my own.


But first I painted the dark wood-paneled wall a bright creamy white. Again, please ignore the mess.


I found a great, easy to follow tutorial on making shelves here: https://www.hgtv.com/design/make-and-celebrate/handmade/diy-picture-ledge

shelves being painted and constructed for gallery wall shelving

I bought my lumber 8 feet long and didn't need to cut a thing! Super easy and the whole project probably cost around $10. I used the same paint I had painted the wall with to paint the shelves. I love the look of stained shelves, but we already have so much wood in our living room, I decided to let the shelves blend right into the wall.

Little girl jumping on couch in front of gallery wall display
Violet having the time of her life. Oh to be a kid.

The finished product! I went with photo frames of different sizes and colors to add some more interest.

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