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How to Plan and Install a Front Entry Gallery Wall

Family photos provide a big impact in the foyer with this front entry gallery wall! Get step-by-step instructions to simply install one in your home below.

I’m a professional photographer.

And a mom.

So like AnnMarie, photos are the thing I love to use most to decorate my home.

There is nothing else I’d rather see on my walls than the faces of my loved ones!

So when it came time to give my front entry a face lift, one of the first projects on my list was a new gallery wall at the foot of the stairs.

This post is sponsored by Canvas on Demand. We received products in exchange for our review. All reviews and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal experience.

Planning the Front Entry Gallery Wall

I knew that I wanted to use black picture frames in my front entry gallery wall.

There are two other family photo walls in this area, and they both had black picture frames.

Using the same color for all the walls helps the three walls to flow.

Soon after beginning to plan this project, we were contacted by Canvas On Demand to see if we’d be interested in using some of their products for the project.

I thought mixing canvases with the frames would be a great way to add some variety!

I also made the decision to not incorporate other types of wall decor in this gallery wall. Instead, I opted to add visual variety with different styles and shapes of frames.

To get started, I began searching for black photo frames. I found some in HomeGoods, some in Hobby Lobby, and some from Amazon.

I followed AnnMarie’s tip to trace the frames on brown paper to figure out how to arrange them.

brown paper cutouts of frames attached to wall

AnnMarie actually came over to help me lay out the wall.

After all, she is truly an expert at this!

Have you SEEN her gallery ROOM?!

We began arranging the shapes I had and then figured out what I needed to fill the holes. Those were the perfect spots for the canvases!

Order Prints and Supplies

Once I had everything laid out, I made a list of the photo size and orientation (portrait or landscape) for each frame.

Then it was time to pick out some of my favorite photos!

Since I was mixing canvases in with the framed photos, I made a few decisions:

  1. All of the canvas prints would be from the same photo session to give them a feeling of cohesiveness
  2. Instead of wrapping the image around the edge of the canvases, I chose to use one of the features offered by Canvas on Demand and selected a black border around the outer edge.
stack of four gallery wrapped canvas prints with black borders

I decided to use 3M Command Strips to hang my gallery wall. This area is a high traffic area and I love that the command strips keep my photos hanging firmly in place. No more constant straightening!

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Hanging the Photos in the Front Entry

Once everything arrived, it was time to start getting everything hung!

I couldn’t wait to get this project finished!

You see, I was a little indecisive about which photos to use, so those paper frames had been hanging for over two months.

inside of a photo frame with photo attached to a gallery mat with acid free tape

I started by attaching the photos to the mats inside the frame. A few words of caution when putting photos in a frame:

  1. If the frame includes a photo mat, be sure to use pH-neutral artists tape to attach your photo! If you use regular tape, the acid will cause your photo to become discolored.
  2. ALWAYS remove any cardboard inserts or sample photo inserts! These also contain acid which will ruin your photos!

Follow the instructions on the Command Strip packaging to attach the strips.

I opted to use 4 strips on each photo to make sure they held firmly.

Was that overkill?

Maybe! But there’s a lot of activity in our front entryway!

woman installing a gallery wall using a level

I removed the paper blocks one at a time to make sure I put the frames in the right spots.

Use a level for every frame to make sure it’s straight!

woman installing a gallery wall using a level

A small level is also great to help you get two adjoining frames on the same line!

front entry gallery wall of family photos in a variety of black frames mixed with gallery-wrapped canvas prints with black borders

I absolutely love how it turned out!

This front entry gallery wall is exactly what the space needed.

The black edges around the canvases really help to tie them into the overall design.

If you look closely, you can see I also chose images for the canvases that had a lot of white around the edges. That actually gives a visual effect similar to a photo mat.

front entry gallery wall of family photos in a variety of black frames mixed with gallery-wrapped canvas prints with black borders

Canvas on Demand

The canvases from Canvas on Demand are decent quality for the price.

Full disclosure: they are not of the same quality as the ones I purchase from my professional lab. But I wouldn’t expect that based on their low price point.

I was very pleased with the color quality: the colors were true to what I see on my calibrated computer monitor. I chose to not have them do any color correcting.

front entry gallery wall of family photos in a variety of black frames mixed with gallery-wrapped canvas prints with black borders

The folks from Canvas on Demand have given us a discount code to share with our readers! Use the code: 2MOMS when you check out and receive unlimited 16×20 Premium canvases for just $19.99 and also get up to 85% off most of the other popular sizes!

Resources to Make Your Own Photo Wall

To make it easy for you to create a similar wall in your home, here are the supplies I used. I’ve sourced some comparable frames if you don’t want to shop for them in other stores.

Have you hung any gallery walls in your home? Tell me about them in the comments section! Or better yet, email us pictures of your walls!

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