How to Create a Vintage Gallery Wall on a Budget

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Creating a vintage gallery wall is a stunning way to infuse character and charm into your home. However, it can become quite expensive. Here are some budget friendly options to try!

How to Create a Vintage Gallery Wall on a Budget

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How do I make a vintage gallery wall?

There are so many different vintage gallery wall ideas scattered across the internet. If you’ve ever searched for ideas before, it’s likely you’ve come across some of my gallery wall ideas!

One of my all-time favorite projects was the creation of this vintage photo wall in my mom’s bedroom.

Vintage photo wall

We hand made over 70 frames to create one of the most unique antique gallery walls you’ve ever seen. You can learn more about this project in this article.

The basic premise to any gallery wall styled with vintage items is:

  1. Use vintage or antique artwork, prints or unique items like textiles or memorabilia
  2. Choose one of three main options for framing:
    • Mix and match shape and size frames in one color
    • All the same frame type and size
    • An eclectic mix of frames
  3. Placement of items depends on the look you’re going for

Is a gallery wall out of style?

Now, before we go any further, the question should be asked, “Is a gallery wall out of style?”

Gallery walls are simply a collection of your favorite things. They have been a staple in many homes for centuries. Perhaps they were once only used in art galleries or to display regal family portraits.

However, now they can be anything from a collection of candid family photos to a curated display of expensive artwork.

In short, gallery walls will never go out of style. The style simply changes as trends come and go!

Note: One thing to remember when decorating your home: Don’t decorate for a trend. Create a space you love and the trends will pass with time without your home feeling left behind.

How do you make a timeless gallery wall?

In my opinion, the easiest way to make a timeless gallery wall is to keep it classic with a black and white frame.

Black and white frame vintage gallery wall

This tends to modernize your gallery wall very quickly, so keep that in mind if you are looking to create something more antiqued. I’ll show you some ways to get that look as you keep reading.

In my living room above, I created this classic and simple vintage gallery wall using oversized frames and vintage art prints. You can get a free download of these prints if you’d like to make your own as well!

Timeless gallery walls tend to be less chaotic and more streamlined. So stick with a smaller grouping of frames so it doesn’t become overwhelming.

How do I make my gallery wall interesting?

On the other hand, interesting and unique gallery walls have more movement. They are more free flowing, less symmetrical, and more eclectic.

Pinterest pin graphic

To create more unique gallery walls, try adding in items beyond artwork:

  • Framed or unframed textile fragments
  • Shadow box of vintage tchotchkes
  • Handwritten letters
  • Postcards
  • Mix and match expensive artwork with thrifted finds
  • Add framed and unframed paintings
  • Include sculptural items
  • Hang hooks or peg racks to dangle items from

Budget Friendly Gallery Wall Ideas

One of the most expensive ways to build a gallery wall is: all at once.

In our society, we’ve grown impatient for a home to come together. We want it to be completed all at one time. However, the joy of creating a gallery wall is that it is a slow collection of your favorite things.

Vintage gallery walls, especially, take time to collect and curate.

Vintage gallery wall with a mirror.

I’ve spent years collecting art prints, vintage oil paintings, etchings, and block prints before they all come together into a gallery wall.

This slow collection helps keep the creation of a gallery wall more affordable since it spreads out the investment over time.

However, there are some other ways, besides time, to make this fun look in your home more affordable.

Thrift Vintage and New Frames

Frames are often a big investment if you are creating a large wall of art.

At $15-$20 a piece (for the small ones!), frames can add up quickly.

So, instead of buying new frames for each piece, head to the thrift store.

Gallery wall in an entryway.

In my entryway gallery wall, 5 of these frames were thrifted for under $3 a piece. Some of them I left as they were. Others I spray painted or applied rub n buff to get the look I wanted.

This takes time, but is a huge money saver!

Mix Authentic Vintage Art with Art Prints

The next option for saving some money as you create a vintage gallery wall is to go faux.

Obviously, there is a level of excitement over finding an affordable piece of vintage art. Vintage or antique artwork are becoming more and more rare to find in good condition. So, their price continues to go up.

Vintage art prints

That means that authentic vintage art to include in a gallery wall can become pricey very fast.

To keep it more budget-friendly, try mixing in some vintage art prints.

In my entryway, I have one antique etching, a vintage oil painting and the rest are just prints!

Vintage art prints are very easy to come by these days. They are so much more affordable than true vintage art, but give a very similar look. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite shops that sell vintage prints below!

At the end of the day, mixing in authentic vintage or antique art elevates your basic reproductions quite easily.

Vintage gallery wall in an entryway.

You’ll Also enjoy…

I hope this article on how to create a vintage gallery wall on a budget was helpful!

Time, creativity, thinking outside the box, thrifting and repurposing, and reproductions can go a long way to keeping a large gallery wall affordable.

If you’re looking for more decorating ideas, check out the articles below next!

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  1. I really need to do this – it’s so pretty and welcoming! I’m starting to collect with a goal of creating a gallery wall after I repaint the room! Is there a neutral that looks best as a backdrop for a vintage art inspired gallery wall? Right now I have Sherwin Williams Loggia on the upper half and BM Decorators White on the old tongue and groove wainscotting. I have vintage maps in rich toned wood frames now, but its time for a change.

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