Why I Never Wanted to Do a Gallery Wall — Until I Tried This

published Jul 5, 2024
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Patterned carpet in colorful living room interior with red armchair and navy blue settee.
Credit: Ground Picture/Shutterstock

I’ll be honest: I despise gallery walls. As much as I love a collection — and displaying said collection — there’s something about an entire wall of framed photos and prints that makes me feel so claustrophobic. But a couple of months ago, while on my weekly stroll through JOANN, I came across an endcap sale on miniature picture frames, and according to my girl math, that meant they were free. 

I don’t know if it was the rush of a good deal (these frames were like $2.50 a pop!) or weaving in and out of aisles stocked with craft supplies, but I felt instantly inspired to create a miniature gallery wall and thought: My dog could use something fun to look at while eating dinner. Truthfully, I had seen something similar on TikTok, but the video was long lost in my browsing history by the time I began to rethink my stance on gallery walls. 

I got started on the miniature gallery wall by cross-stitching a cute little butterfly design I saw on Pinterest. Next, I painted a whimsical flower using acrylic and a piece of cardstock. For my last piece, I had my dog do her thing and create some colorful paintings, and then I cut them into different shapes and pieced together a desert scene to depict our shared love of Palm Springs. (As a serial crafter, I have my dog paint her own masterpieces by putting paint and paper in a zip-top bag, sealing it, and spreading peanut butter on top. When she licks the peanut butter off, the paint spreads across the page and creates a fun abstract marbled painting. Of course, if you try this, you want to make sure the bag is sealed tight and keep an eye on your pup to make sure no paint gets out.)   

After staging all of the pieces together on my kitchen table with their appointed discount frames, it felt like something was missing. My mom just so happened to gift me this adorable black pug spoon rest (I have a black pug) that was too cute not to hang up above my dog’s food station. I attached an adhesive plate hanger to the back, and once it set I grabbed my hammer and hung everything up. 

Credit: Jessie Quinn

Maybe it’s because it isn’t at my eye level, or perhaps I’ve changed my tune on gallery walls, but I was surprised I didn’t immediately hate the look of the miniature gallery wall. It feels a lot more intentional as opposed to cluttered and adds a playful touch to my kitchen. Plus, my dog now gets to experience the joy of kitschy home decor. I love it so much that I might even add a few more works of art. I really have changed!