Easy Modern Stairwell Gallery Wall

If you want an easy, inexpensive way to give your stairwell a quick modern update, consider installing a mixed gallery wall. It may seem tricky since stairwells are not as straightforward as a living room wall for example, but hopefully this tutorial will show you that this isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

For our stairwell gallery wall, we went for a more organic layout instead of a structured, symmetric layout since we are using different types of frames, shapes, textures and wall art pieces. This also allows us to change and switch out pieces easily over time. Also since our staircase is more narrow, we chose smaller photos and frames since they will be viewed up close.




  • Drill and/or hammer
  • Nails (and nail anchors if you have heavy pieces)
  • Level
  • Measuring Tape



Step 1 – Curate the Gallery Wall

We’d suggest to start this project with a theme or “feel” in mind for your stairwell gallery wall. Whether you would like to match all of your frames, choose mix mediums and wall art, or use all black and white photos, etc, make sure your gallery is following the same theme and the pieces flow together.


We started by laying all of the pieces on the floor at roughly a 45 degree angle (to mimic the angle of the stairwell. We started by choosing the middle frames first, then working our way out. We also put the larger pieces staggered evenly up the stairwell.

organize frames

Step 2 – Measure Stairwell Wall

A standard measurement to start each frame or picture from above each step could be about 60 inches. You can mark this with a pencil and/or a piece of painter’s tape. It’s also important to mark the very center of the gallery wall space, so you know where the focal point will be, as well as the beginning and ending point.

Step 3 – Plan with Paper Templates

Cut out paper templates roughly the size of each piece using a kraft paper, or something similiar. If you have a lot of frames, you may want to label the templates so you don’t lose track of what you have. Also be sure to mark where the picture hanging hooks (or sawtooth hanger) are on these templates.

cut template on frame

Using painter’s tape, you can arrange the templates on the wall easily to arrange placement for each frame before nailing or drilling holes in the wall.

frame gallery wall templates

Step 4 – Hang Pieces on Stairwell

Using the mark you drew for the picture hanging hooks, hammer or drill the nail through the paper. You can then easily tear off the template and hang your piece! You may need a level to ensure the frames are hanging exactly how you’d like.

level for template gallery wall

Hopefully these tips are helpful in designing and creating your own DIY stairwell gallery wall. Let us see your gallery wall by tagging us on Instagram @hammerandhandsaw!

stairwell gallery wall

finish gallery wall from bottom

Also if you are looking for another way to give your home a quick refresh, consider replacing those old door hinges (btw: you don’t even have to remove the door!)

Hammer & Handsaw

Hammer & Handsaw

Hey, we’re Joshua and Dejené. We’ve completed several home renovations and decided to share what we’ve learned in the process. Here you’ll find our favorite DIY projects, tutorials and home renovation stories.

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