Why and how to create a gallery wall as part of your speech room decor.
Who spends the most time in your therapy office? You!
A gallery wall is a curated collection of art that includes a variety of textures and shapes. In this article you’ll learn why you should create a gallery wall as part of your speech room decor, and how to do it.
Why include a gallery wall in your speech room decor?
- Your room should be inspiring to you. You’ll be looking at it for hours every day.
- You can make an oasis for yourself and your students, within the school. Mixing textures and shapes in your speech room decor leads to a less institutional feel and can create a calm environment.
- Creating a cluster of artwork on one wall, while leaving the other walls in the room mostly untouched, can allow you to achieve a balance of color and negative space (wall space that is free of decorations). This way, you can avoid having a visually overstimulating room.
- A fresh and inviting space makes a great first impression when people come to your room for meetings.
How to create a gallery wall in your speech room.
1. Pick a wall.
Ideally, it should be the one with the most space to work with.
2. Figure out what your wall is made of and what restrictions you need to follow.
Your speech room decor will most likely need to removable without damaging the wall, and you might have fire code rules about how many inches below the ceiling you can put stuff.
My wall was a cinder block wall and I used command strips and hooks. These instructions are the steps I followed for my wall. The objects on my wall have been up for more than a year, and I haven’t had any issues with things falling down.
3. Collect objects to display on the wall.
This is the fun part! Your speech room decor should reflect your style, and the objects should be different shapes and sizes. Include a large anchor piece of art that you can put in the middle. Search the web for “gallery wall” examples to get ideas.
If you’re looking for “speechie” posters to frame, check out my “Speech spot” poster and my “Save the drama for your llama” poster. They’re both free.
Include a mirror as one of your objects, and make sure you hang it at a height where you can see yourself. You’ll appreciate being able to check for lettuce in your teeth after lunch.
4. Arrange your objects to get a general idea of what should go where.
I suggest doing this on the floor so you can easily move things around.
You might want to take pictures of a few different arrangements and decide which one you like best.
5. Clean the wall.
This is probably a good idea no matter what, but it is especially important if you’ll be attaching your stuff to the wall with command strips (like I did). Your wall is likely covered with a thin layer of dust and gunk (yuck!), and your command strips will fall off if you don’t clean the wall first.
I used rubbing alcohol. Your custodian could suggest something safe for your wall. Make sure the cleaning product doesn’t leave any residue, or your command strips won’t stick.
6. Optional: Do a mock-up.
Use butcher paper (a.k.a. the colorful paper that comes on the big rolls, that people use to cover bulletin boards) to trace your objects, cut out the shapes, and then arrange the paper outlines of the objects on the wall (tape them up using painter’s tape or some other tape that won’t harm your wall).
This is an extra step, but allows you to get an idea of how much space each object will occupy on the wall. You can then take down the paper outlines one at a time and replace them with the real objects.
7. Attach objects to the wall.
Follow instructions on the package for the command strips and hooks if you’re using them. Use painter’s tape that is safe for your wall to mark approximately where your frames will go.
Use a level to hang up your pictures, if you want them precise. I also found that a step ladder really helped me, as did wearing knee pads. I did a lot of kneeling on the counter.
When you’re all finished, step back and enjoy!