Step-by-Step Staircase Picture Wall

I created this picture gallery wall in our upstairs hallway the year we moved into our house. Since then, I’ve switched out some photos – more specifically, I’ve added some photos from our wedding – but I still need to add in Alivia and Emerson. Ugh, who else is always behind in updating photos in your house!?

Anyways, a picture wall when done right, takes a LOT of planning! Here is the step-by-step process on how I did mine:

Step 1 – Buy Frames

All of my frames are from Ikea Canada. I bought one large feature frame to go in the centre, one 8.5”x11”, two sets of three 5”x7”, a bunch of individual 5”x7” and 4”x6”, two 9″x9” shadow boxes, as well as two 9”x9” framed mirrors for interest.

Step 2 – Order Wall Decals (Optional)

Second, I bought a “Family is…” wall decal set similar to these ones from Amazon. For those of you that don’t know what wall decals are, they are a cheaper, easier, and cleaner way of doing wall paper. I have wall decals in all four of the bedrooms in our house. You just peal the back of the decal like a sticker, and stick it to the wall. You can remove and replace them too if needed, and they won’t ruin your paint. How awesome is that!!

Step 3 – Measure, Measure, Measure

Next, I measured my desired height of the picture wall from the trim of my stairs. My picture wall is approximately 4 feet up from my trim. I measured the 4 feet increments up my entire trim and then lined it with a strip of painters tape, so the edges of each photo frame were exactly the same distance up the wall. See photo for reference. This measurement will vary depending on your wall.

Step 4 – Map It Out!

Fourth, I bought a large roll of craft paper and cut out the size of my frames so that I could stick the craft paper cutouts to my wall with painters tape to get the desired layout of the picture wall. The decals were also taped to get the look I wanted to achieve. I left everything taped to the wall so my husband knew where to hang which frames.

Step 5 – Balance Your Photos 

Next, this was the hard part. I used all the craft paper cut outs to figure out what pictures I would put in what frames. The reason why it is so hard is because you need a balance of sizes, colours, family members, etc. For instance, I wanted an equal share of photos from Dan’s side of the family, and my family; balance of nieces and nephews; and so on. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that I wrote with pencil what pictures were going where in what frames on the wall. I then printed all my photos to the correct size.

Step 6 – Easy Peasy, Hang Them!

Lastly, hang the frames. This was the easy part, because I didn’t have to do it. Haha. My husband did it for me :).

And ta-da! It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it to get a beautifully balanced and straight picture wall.

Love Always,



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