Spruce Up Your Space With a DIY Budget-Friendly Gallery Wall

JUL 24, 2019 updated May 14, 2021
Spruce Up Your Space With a DIY Budget-Friendly Gallery Wall | Spoonflower Blog
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Want the “wow” factor of a gallery wall? We’re here to help! Buying art can add up fast, so think outside the frame with easy and inexpensive handmade canvases. With Spoonflower’s vast collection of designs to choose from and a few craft tools, you will be looking like a master curator in no time.

Become a Master Curator

Start by finding a design you love and echo elements of that piece into coordinating designs. Spoonflower makes it easy to visualize how designs will look together with the Add to Collection tool. “When I find a design that catches my eye, I begin to build a collection around it,” says Tara Reed, merchandising and Marketplace manager at Spoonflower. “Sometimes I’m inspired to create a collection around one designer; other times, it’s a colorway or design theme that inspires me.” 

Spruce Up Your Space With a DIY Budget-Friendly Gallery Wall | Spoonflower Blog
Select the + symbol to add a design to a collection.

How to Choose the Right Wall Art Design

Here’s a trick to help your gallery wall look more like an artistic statement and less like a fabric stash cleanout: “Think big when it comes to design scale,” says Tara. “The larger the repeat on a pattern, the more natural it looks as art.” Search for designs with the word “jumbo” or “oversized” in the title to narrow down the results. If you find a design you love that seems too small, don’t be afraid to message a designer to ask if they’ll create a larger scale for you.

How to Choose the Right Fabric

Once you have your designs picked out it’s time to order them. We like the look of Lightweight Cotton Twill or Linen Cotton Canvas. A fat quarter can be trimmed into a small canvas, or use a yard to create a statement piece. Skip pre-washing the fabric to retain its crisp, professional-canvas quality.

Whether you get stretcher bars or simply re-cover a blank canvas from an art supply store, all you really need is a staple gun and a little bit of elbow grease. Keep reading to see how to make wall art with stretcher bars.

How to Make Wall Art with Fabric

Materials

  • 1 fat quarter – 1 yard of fabric, we suggest Lightweight Cotton Twill or Linen Cotton Canvas
  • Staple gun
  • Fabric scissors
  • Canvas stretcher bars , we’re using a 24″ x 16″ frame with a fat quarter of Linen Cotton Canvas

Step 1. Assemble the Frame

We’ll start out by assembling the stretcher bars. Sand down any rough edges to get the joints to slide together. Next, with your fabric laying print side down, lay the frame on top of your fabric. Position the bars centrally on your design and pull the fabric over the top edge and staple in the center. Make sure to keep an even amount of fabric around all four sides of the canvas.

Use the leverage from the top staple to make sure that the fabric is pulled tight across the bottom and staple the fabric in place. Repeat this process for the left and right sides, as well.

The first four staples on each of the sides are the most important part of the project to ensure even tension on your finished project!

Step 2. Staple the Sides

Start stapling around the sides, alternating one staple per side in a clockwise pattern. The number of staples needed depends on the size of your frame. Generally, one staple every 2-3 inches works fine.

Spruce Up Your Space With a DIY Budget-Friendly Gallery Wall | Spoonflower Blog
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Step 3. Finish the Corners

Once you’ve made your way around the entire frame, it’s time to do the corners. For a more polished look, we suggest having the fold of the fabric lie along the bottom edge of the frame. Fold the outside edge over towards the inside of the frame and staple. Repeat this for all four corners and trim away any excess fabric on the back when you’re finished flip it over and admire your handiwork.

Step 4. Hang your Wall Art

Once you’ve created the canvases, place them in a grid on the floor to figure out the spacing that works for your wall. Measure out the distances between the pieces, and start hanging them on the wall. Now all that’s left is to step back and admire your handiwork.

Spruce Up Your Space With a DIY Budget-Friendly Gallery Wall | Spoonflower Blog
Featured Designs

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  • I love doing this with family photos too – the price of the yard of canvas and a couple stretcher bars & premade art canvases is at least half as expensive as one of the “professional” photo canvases and you end up with 3+ pieces (I did one yard with a 16×20, 20×24 & a few 6x6s an still had leftover space on the canvas)