How to create a gallery wall, that tells a story

August 6th, 2017
Location  •   Dallas, TX

How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4202Vintage Pennants found on Ebay || Connecticut Pennants made by Oxford Pennant

Our TCC Crew decided to dedicate August to home inspiration. We made a very easy executive decision to focus Monday posts, during the month of August, towards ‘home’ topics. 

From styling decor to finding the perfect mattress; our crew is covering it all while sharing our best tips, tricks, and easy homes styles. I would never call myself an interior designer, and I honestly dread the thought of having to help someone style their home; however, I really enjoy the process of making my home my own, and I wanted to share that process with you all.

Like always, I’m running a tight home decor ship and inherently know exactly what I want, at all times. & while Matt and I may get in little tiffs about my ‘vision’, in the end, he’s always trying to take credit for the work, which must means he likes it. 


Anyway, we are by no means experts, in fact, our execution is sometimes way off. Oh, and Matt and I still don’t know how to use about half of the tools in our tool box, so don’t feel like any of these projects are out of your league. 

Just stick to your mission. Mine is always aiming to find new ways to bring New England into our home. This was something I initially struggled with when looking at dorm rooms, apartment units, and even homes. 

Everything initially looks cold, so by bringing color and personality into a space, you can easily transform it. 

How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4082

How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4002
How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-3963
How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4098

Personally, I’m not one to hang photos, let’s face it I have millions of photos of myself and Matt, on my blog, Instagram and social media accounts; that’s the last thing I want to do after a day of photo editing. 

Just being honest here. Instead, I like to find unique ways to bring our story and personal touches into the home. 

So I had this idea…

I’ve wanted to create a pennant themed gallery wall for the longest time, but I just kept pushing it off; until we dedicated our August month to home decor, once that happened, I knew it was time to bite the bullet. 

My idea was to buy sports pennants from every place Matt & I have ever lived

Personal, unique and so us. 

I was really proud of this idea, and to be honest, Matt was initially hesitant, but he just let me do my thing. 

So I hunted for pennants of different shapes, colors, sizes, and textures; and was delighted with all the options I found.

First, I took to eBay and searched vintage sports pennants. I searched and searched for the best pennants, and I’d say they each cost anywhere from $15.00 – $38.00. 

Picking a pennant for Dallas was hard, as we were between this Houston Astros pennant or this Texas Ranger pennant until I saw this Cotton Bowl pennant, it was like the heavens opened up. 

Without hesitating I purchased it and just like that we had our first location down, Dallas.

Next came New York, this pennant was for Matt to showcase the time he spent living in NYC and working on Wall Street, and finally, I nailed down this Los Angeles Angles pennant, to symbolize the time I spent in California for college. 

They always say to create gallery walls in odd numbers so either three, five or seven objects. While we only lived in four locations between the two of us, we felt so connected to the Red Sox team and Fenway stadium that we had to purchase this mini pennant from the 1960’s, as our fourth item.How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4123

How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4100
How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-3961-2

By far the biggest issue I had was finding a pennant for Connecticut. Both Matt and I knew the gallery wall wouldn’t be complete without our true home, so we reached out to a company I love and admire, Oxford Pennant

I wasn’t able to find any vintage CT pennants that met my standards, so I reached out to their team to see if they’d be interested in collaborating. 

I was over the moon, when they emailed me back, saying they would love to make a Connecticut pennant for our gallery wall and readers! You guys can check out their site, here and purchase a Connecticut pennant of your own, right here (available by the end of the week)! 

The great thing about pennants is they tell a story, and this wall was really about capturing the ‘rolling stones’ lifestyle Matt and I have lived thus far. 

Anyways, now that I had all five pennants, let’s break down how to create the perfect gallery wall. 

How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4230

How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-3967
How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4224
How to create a gallery wall for your dorm room-4188

1) Purchase Frames & Photo Backing: 

I purchased these simple black frames from Walmart, they were pretty inexpensive and you can find similar ones here, on Amazon. 

Anyway, since they were on the cheap side, I had to purchase the proper photo backing. So I walked my little tush into Michaels and purchased large photo backing boards, they kind of looked like large poster boards. 

The staff at Micheals, in the photo framing section, were kind enough to cut the photo backing boards to fit all five of my frames for an additional $5.00, totally worth the cost! 


2) Steam Pennants and Frame: 

Once I got home, I steamed the pennants with my steamer and just simply centered the pennants within the frame. 

I know some people suggest back taping the pennants to the photo backing, but I decided to forgo the tape. Either way, it works, and I think it depends on what you are hanging. 


3) Lay Frames Out & Trace:

This step is really important, especially if you are unsure of how you want to hang your frames. While at Michaels I purchased craft paper to trace my frames on. 

I traced the frames and cut out the paper. This allowed me to tape the tracings on to my wall to center, arrange and deliberate how to organize the overall look.

Here are a few tips I learned:

a) I would highly recommend using different size frames to really give dimension to your wall and don’t worry too much about everything being perfect. 

b) I would space photos closer together, between 3-6 inches; this makes your gallery wall look like one large statement piece rather than individual pieces. 

c) Make sure to use painters tape or a tape brand that won’t damage your walls, Matt and I spend about thirty minutes moving around our tracings, which could cause serious damage to your walls if using the wrong tape. 


4) Nailed It:

Once you are green light go, on placement, it’s important to spend the time to nail your photos properly. 

I just removed the tape and marked dots on each corner of, where the tracing once was. Next, I got out a level and made sure that the frame I was hanging, was aligning with its fellow frames. 

Oh and if you are in college, don’t worry, good old fashion Command Strips will do the task just fine. 


5) Instagram It: 

Once you’re done hanging your gallery wall, make sure to snap a picture and tag me in the comments! Gallery walls are really aesthetically pleasing and so fun to post on Instagram. 

From sports pennants to sheet music, I’ve seen some amazing gallery wall designs. 

My advice; make it original, make it you and you can’t go wrong. 

Anyway, I’d like to say an additional thanks to the Oxford Pennant team for making TCC readers this Connecticut Pennant, for their little New England dorm rooms and apartments. 

Let me know if you order one, and catch you next Monday for some more home inspiration. xx Aubrey 

Shop This Post: