I love being surrounded by art. I love visiting art museums or seeing public art while I’m walking through a city. As a Colorado dance and portrait photographer, it’s important to have art around my work-space, so I made sure I was fully immersed in art and never without inspiration.
My office space is covered from floor to ceiling with art I’ve collected for the past 6+ years. My laptop is covered in stickers. My camera bag is covered in pins. I even have a hat that is covered in pins and jingles as I walk.
Below, I’ll walk you through the steps to make your own inspiration wall. It’s super simple and it won’t cost you a penny!
How to make your own Inspiration Wall
What you’ll need:
- Blue painters tape
- Command strips
- A measuring tape
- Ample floor space for planning
- A tall, sturdy chair or ladder
- A large collection of posters, postcards, photos, prints, and small objects.
This step will definitely take the most time. Like I said, I’ve been collecting art for over 6 years, and I only started this wall a year ago. I also didn’t spend a single cent on any of it. (I do however spend money at art events and on other art pieces throughout my home, that I fell in love with.)
I get a lot of it from art shows and First Fridays. There are always business cards and postcards sitting out from the artists, and I grab all my favorites. Some of the pieces are my own work and some of them are from print trades with other artists. I also put up a lot of personal photos from my childhood or from my Instax camera. I got the posters for free from college events and guest lectures. I’ve ripped off the front of greeting cards and torn pages out of magazines for my art wall. Inspiration is everywhere!
My wall doesn’t have a lot of 3D art on it which is a shame, but don’t be afraid to incorporate all dimensions. You can include framed work or hanging objects, like dried flowers or records. This gives the wall a lot more texture and interest.
Once you have a sizable collection of art, you can start planning your wall. First you’ll want to measure your overall space. Then, if you are working around a piece of furniture (like my desk in this case), you’ll need to measure that. Make sure your measurements include where the furniture is, relative to the edges of your space. Also, don’t forget about outlets and other things you’ll have to work around.
Next you’re going to recreate that space on your floor. You can work in sections if you don’t have enough floor space. Don’t worry if you don’t have enough to fill the whole space. This is an ever-evolving project.
Once you have the space you’ll need to fill laid out on the floor, you can start filling it with art! This is definitely the hardest part but also the most fun. It’s like a giant puzzle without a reference picture. Feel free to trim things to size, so everything fits. I tried to keep about half an inch of space between each piece, to keep things consistent. You’ll want to make sure you mix small and large pieces, as well as 2D and 3D work. You don’t want a cluster of giant posters on one side and a bunch of tiny prints on the other. If you want, you can center everything around one prominent piece in the middle.
Now you’re ready to start hanging everything up!
Before you start, take a photo of your layout so you can reference it later. Starting with the center, take once section at a time, and flip all the pieces over. Next, put tape on the back of each piece. For the bigger posters, I used command strip in each corner. For the smaller, lighter works, put a painters tape roll in each corner. For the really small pieces, I just used one piece of painters tape. If you’re hanging 3D work, use nails and string or wire.
Now put them on the wall, starting with the center and working your way out in sections. Use a chair or ladder to reach higher up the wall. You can refer back to the photo you took earlier, if you need to.
Once you’re done, step back and bask in the glory of your art-filled wall! You did it! Give yourself a high five and a bowl of ice cream. You totally deserve it.
Wanna meet me and chat sometime? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.