Travel Photos Gallery Wall » Decor Adventures (2022)

I see London, I see France. Too bad there’s no underpants in this post, this is not that kind of blog! But it is the kind where I get to show you my newest favorite project, a gallery wall I put up in the dining room all of our travel photos. And I’m going to show you exactly how I printed, framed, planned and hung them all up.

If you are coming over here from Capturing Joy with Kristen, welcome. Today I’m showcasing a project in our dining room makeover, the last project that is – before I show you a whole room reveal, which has been forever in the making, but worth it I promise 🙂

If you’ve been on a bunch of trips like we have, then you know how fun it is to get those picture off your memory card and onto your walls. I decided to create a travel photo gallery wall in our dining room, come see.

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In four easy steps you can complete this project. Here are the supplies you need:

  • Digital photos – Or maybe you have some already printed you’d like framed
  • Picture frames – I picked up frames from thrift stores for about $3 each
  • Photo mats – I buy mat board and cut it myself. See how to cut photo mats here.
  • Glass cleaner and paper towels – To clean the frames
  • Software to plan a layout or grid paper to plan it
  • Hanging hardware – I used monkey hooks {more on those below}, command strips, screws and anchors or you can use nails if you are hanging in drywall {these walls are plaster}
  • Tools – Level, pencil, drill and drill bits, post its

Printing Pictures

When you have hundreds of pictures from a trip or a few trips, sometimes it’s hard to pick your favorites. I decided to print our photos in black and white and was specifically looking for some artistic architectural shots and some of us. We traveled to nine cities in total, so I selected some pictures to included three in one frame, two in others, and others to be printed larger.

I love printing my photos at Walgreens. This isn’t a sponsored post for them, but I find their online photo site to be easy to use and there’s always a discount code to use.

See look, London, France, plus Ireland in there too.

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Framing the Photos

The frames I used for these were all the same type. I go out thrifting a lot and started to see the same frames, so I picked them up here and there for no more than $4 each. They were all shades of silver metal and were exactly the modern look I was going for.

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First I took apart each frame, cleaned the glass and figured out how I was going to cut the mats for each. You can always buy already cut photo mats, which would make framing a lot quicker, but all of my frames were different sizes so cutting my own was going to be easier for me. See how to cut your own photo mats here. All you need is a simple cutter and tool they sell at craft stores. We cut all our own photo mats, it saves a ton of money in the long run.

Since I wanted a modern look for the matting, I placed the pictures off center height-wise. This was from my trip to England and Wales 10 years ago and was in Conwy, Wales where I saw my first castle.

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But I also matted them off center because I had a fun little addition to the project I wanted to use. Bookplates! Since the pictures were of all over, I thought it would be fun to add a little label onto the glass. I saw this idea at A Thoughtful Place. Perfect and pretty Courtney! They sell this kind that is adhesive, so it worked great on the outside of the glass.

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It takes me a while to cut the mats, because you need to be exact, but soon enough I had three {out of nine} done. That’s my trip to Ireland with my friend Cathleen in the middle {and more castles} and the Tower Bridge in London on the left. One of my favorite places!

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Planning a Gallery Wall

Now here is where you have to do a little thinking. To plan out this wall, first measure the space in which you’ll hang up the pics. We hung these in in our dining room and had 43.5″x 112″ of wall space. Now I know not everyone has a built in graphic designer {my husband} with fancy software to plan out a gallery wall like we did. But you can easily do this with grid paper and paper shapes to represent your frames.

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It’s actually very fun, like putting together a puzzle. The ones without labels we still have to select photos for and we left space for future trips. Be creative and select a pattern you love. There’s tons of options if you look them up online.

We measured out where each of the top left corners of the frames would be and put post its on the wall where the frames would go. Then we measured where the hook would go and started hanging.

Hanging the Frames

Usually when we hang up items in our old plaster walls I use this method, but you can probably just use regular old nails. Consider yourself lucky. Our anchor and drill-in-a-screw technique leaves large holes in the wall so I wanted to see if we could do something different. I did use command strips on the smaller, lighter ones, which I love.

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Travel Photos Gallery Wall » Decor Adventures (8)

My new idea for the wall were monkey hooks. They are funny sounding but work great. All you have to do is drill in a tiny hole and work the hook into the wall. They are made for drywall, which is not what we have in the dining room, so I was really happy they worked in plaster and lath walls. Success for old houses!

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Dan got up on the ladder and I was the assistant. He said “scalpel” and I handed him the drill or the level or whatever. We always have a little fun doing projects together. We started hanging them from the center out so in case we had to adjust or our measurements were off, we’d have room to correct things.

By the way, Dan wants me to tell you he is wearing a hat for these photos so you don’t have to be subjected to his “weekend hair” 🙂

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The hanging was actually the quickest part, so now I’ll stop chatting and let you see the results!

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You can see we didn’t yet hang all of the pictures we had planned on and framed actually. One of them needed some hanging hardware and others we still need to pick out pictures for. So our gallery wall will grow over time.

See that beer in my hand below? It’s a Guinness in Ireland, it really does taste better from the source! We did visit the factory on that trip, that was amazing.

Travel Photos Gallery Wall » Decor Adventures (12)

Travel Photos Gallery Wall » Decor Adventures (13)

The paint color is Driftwood Gray by Martha Stewart paint. See the rest of our house’s paint colors here and about the grass cloth wallpaper that’s on the lower walls.

These walls have been empty since we moved in three years ago, so I’m loving that there is some life on them now.

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Travel Photos Gallery Wall » Decor Adventures (15)

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Thanks for reading this super long post! I hope it helps you for when you decide to bring some of your memories off the camera and into your home!

See all of my projects here and see you later gators! And don’t forget to head back over to Capturing Joy to enter today’s giveaway and visit for the rest of the month for more decorating with pictures ideas and giveaways.

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