Master Bathroom

Grid Gallery Wall Using 25 Free Butterfly Illustrations

Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Kristi Linauer

While working on the master bathroom remodel, I have given quite a bit of thought to what I wanted to hang on the large wall in the water closet area of the bathroom. After considering different options, I decided that I wanted a butterfly gallery wall — a wall filled with loads of framed butterfly illustrations.

I got the butterfly gallery wall finished in the water closet area of the master bathroom yesterday, and I absolutely love how it turned out!

Butterfly illustrations gallery wall in the water closet area of a master bathroom

*This post contains affiliate links.

To find these butterfly illustrations, I headed to The Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr and spent a couple of hours looking through the various libraries and picking out the butterflies I wanted to use. Every one of the butterflies needed to be edited using my photo editing software for size and color since I wanted them on a white backgrounds. (Click here for step-by-step details on how I edit the images.)

After I narrowed down 30 butterfly images and got them all edited, this is what I wound up with…

Butterfly illustrations free download for gallery wall

I got my frames from Michael’s for a bargain (8 double mat frames for $48.64), and then had the butterflies printed at CVS. I had them printed as 8″ x 10″ prints with two butterflies per print. I also found an online coupon for 60% off, so I got all 30 butterflies printed for around $25.

It took way longer than I had anticipated to unwrap and take the frames apart, cut down the butterflies to fit the mats, clean all of the glass, tape the butterfly prints into place, and assemble everything. But once that was done, I was ready install the gallery wall.

I almost always hang frames (anything 11″ x 14″ and under) with Command Picture Hanging Strips (the two-piece strips that go together kind of like Velcro). So after attaching those strips to the backs of the frames, I was ready to stick the frames to the wall.

I had already determined the order in which I wanted to hang the butterfly illustrations, making sure that the colors were evenly disbursed. I didn’t want two blues hanging side-by-side, or all of the warm colors grouped together.

I started installing the gallery wall with the top center frame. After marking the middle of the wall, and the middle of the frame, I stuck the frame to the wall using the bubble level to make sure it was level.

How to install a grid gallery wall - the process made easy -- start with the top center picture

And then I worked out from there, using the bubble level along the top to make sure that row was level.

To get perfect spacing between the frames, I used a scrap piece of trim that was about 1.25″ wide (pictured below), and placed it next to the installed picture, and then placed the next frame up against that trim. That gave me perfect spacing between all of the framed without having to mark and measure for placement for each frame.

How to install a grid gallery wall - make the process easy by using a scrap piece of trim for spacing

After getting the top row in place, I then worked down on the center column. I worked in the same manner, but this time I used the bubble level on the sides of the frames to make sure they were plumb, and used the scrap piece of trim on the bottom/top of each frame to ensure proper spacing.

How to hang a grid gallery wall - start with the top row and center column

Of course, I used two hands for this process, but I held the next frame to be installed in one hand with the trim piece sitting on top…

Easy process -- grid gallery wall

…,and with the other hand, I held the bubble level vertically on the side to ensure it was going on level. And then I just pressed the frame to the wall.

DIY grid gallery wall made easy

Once I got the “T” in place with the top horizontal row and the middle vertical column, I worked on the rest of the rows, working from top to bottom.

Grid gallery wall progress

Since I knew the top row and middle column were level and plumb, I simply used two pieces of trim, one on the top and one on the side, to space everything else. It made the rest of the process go very quickly.

The easy way to hang a grid gallery wall

And here’s the finished wall. I didn’t reinstall the toilet yet because I think it will be much easier to build the cabinet without the toilet in the way. And once I get it installed, I may find that I need one more row of frames. But I’ll wait and see about that once it’s installed. For now, I have five rows of five frames.

Finished grid gallery wall with 25 butterfly illustrations

I really love how it turned out. It brings just enough color into this otherwise very white and sterile area.

Grid gallery wall -- colorful butterfly illustrations in white frames on white wall
Gallery wall in master bathroom -- colorful butterflies in white frames on a white wall

You do have to be inside the water closet to actually see all of the frames. Even standing just outside the area, right by the bathtub, I still can’t see all of them.

Butterfly gallery wall in the water closet area of a master bathroom

But I do love how these bring the nature feel of the mural into this area of the bathroom. I actually originally wanted to do birds, because y’all know how much I love birds. But I already have one bird wall in our house, and I thought another one might be too much. So a butterfly gallery wall was a close second since butterflies (and moths!) come in so many different colors. I think these are the perfect addition to this area.

Next up, I’ll start on building the cabinet that will go in this area. It’ll be a painted cabinet, and I’m still unsure about what color to paint it. I don’t want it to be too jarring since it will be seen from the main part of the room, but I’m also not sold on painting it white. That seems way too boring. Maybe a light gray from the mural? I don’t know. We’ll see.

Update 9-16-22:

This water closet area is finished, including the cabinet that I built to go in here. You can click here to see the finished water closet.

If you’d like to see all of the posts about this master bathroom remodel project, you can find those here: Master Bathroom Remodel — From Start To Present (Still In Progress)

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28 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Deb
    July 12, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Of your many art projects you have done this is one of my absolute favorites.
    All of the editing and searching for the
    right priced frames has paid off in a
    wonderful wall treatment.
    I love butterflies and could see this grouping on one of my bedroom walls.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris Q
    July 12, 2022 at 11:20 am

    For any of your followers, I just noticed yesterday @Five Below they have a butterfly poster almost like your lay out. So if someone wants to save money, you could cut the poster up for individual prints. Also its a beautiful wall arrangement!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda S
    July 12, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Kristi:

    The wall gallery looks great! I LOVE the butterflies and the color that they add. It’s really coming along well!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    July 12, 2022 at 11:27 am

    I love it! Wonderful!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    July 12, 2022 at 11:33 am

    Simply gorgeous.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marla
    July 12, 2022 at 11:33 am

    Your creativity, sparks my grey cells for things to do for a few of my own blank walls. Love it !

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nikki
    July 12, 2022 at 11:36 am

    For the cabinet color, what do you think of a very, very light shade of the wall color?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    July 12, 2022 at 11:48 am

    Butterflies! Perfect! Picks up an element in the mural and repeats it. Great eye, Kristi.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jenw
    July 12, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Oh, I like it! Once the toilet is in, what about carrying the frames to the ground? For the cabinet, how about deeper/richer version of the wall color? Enough to pop and not seem matchy matchy but not different enough to say “hey!!! come see the toilet room!!!!”

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CathyR
    July 12, 2022 at 12:29 pm

    These are beautiful, and I’m glad the pink wall is gone

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris
    July 12, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    This came out so pretty. I wasn’t really understanding how you could put that many frames on a small wall but now that I see it, I really like the look.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jill
    July 12, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    Kristi, beautiful as always. Your butterfly’s are the perfect accent for your home!! I have a thought for you, I’ve had issues with too much moisture, steam in the bathroom and my art prints warping. I’ve learned that drymounting my art first was easier than repurchasing and drymounting the second time around. Let me know what you think. Jill

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri Hepworth
    July 12, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    Lovely!! Great job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marieza
    July 12, 2022 at 3:30 pm

    This is an amazing idea and it looks absolutely gorgeous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jennifer
    July 12, 2022 at 4:40 pm

    You should put a mirror on the opposite wall so you can look at the butterflies while you’re…. concentrating.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Janet
    July 12, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    I love seeing how your methodical work leads to such beautiful results.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    July 12, 2022 at 9:53 pm

    Love it!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andy
    July 13, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Perfect.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SheilaG
    July 13, 2022 at 4:02 am

    I love the butterfly wall- I may have to steal this idea! What about staining the cabinet to coordinate with your future vanity project? It would bring some warmth into that area, and give you a practice run for the vanities.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lori Riggs
    July 13, 2022 at 7:36 am

    I love the butterfly wall…beautiful. How about painting your W/C cabinet the blue color of the walls outside the W/C? That blue is also in the mural. Gray is too boring.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gail
    July 13, 2022 at 9:01 am

    Stunning. Once again, your eye and brilliance shine through.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    jerri
    July 13, 2022 at 10:47 am

    LOVEE LOVE LOVEEE!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    JJ
    July 13, 2022 at 2:34 pm

    That looks so fantastic! Really love it.
    I also like the idea someone suggested above to stain your cabinet the same color your vanities will be. Very nice way to have opposite ends of the area say ‘hello’ to each other. You can always paint over the stained piece if you grow tired of it, but I think you’d find it a rich look.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Juanita
    July 13, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    I sincerely appreciate how you break down your project for us. You have a vision, this is what you’re willing to get there, and how you get there. Time. Sizes. Cost.

    Your first post regarding the white frames (sizes, packs, cost) and where you got them, I couldn’t see the why.

    It was yesterday’s post regarding the Etsy downloads before you went to the Biodiversity Heritage Library where I grasped your vision.

    Today’s post just blew me away! I *should* have recognized your direction with the other artwork throughout your home.

    SO creative and fun!

    Not only do you make it look easy, but you show that it’s an affordable piece of creativity. The hard work is GETTING the right pieces for the right price, before taking the time to put it all together.

    This bathroom, already beautiful even incomplete, is just going to be a STUNNER!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Chris L
    July 13, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    This is absolutely perfect! And easily replicated on any scale by anyone wanting to do something similar. Bravo!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Julie
    July 14, 2022 at 11:06 am

    These are beautiful. Great accent.

    Also thanks for gas check reminder. See comment on your gas post but getting a new LP gas tank. All is now well. Grateful

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joyce Prescott
    July 14, 2022 at 7:37 pm

    Looks beautiful!!