How to Build a Free Little Art Gallery

Building Instructions for a FLAG

Ready to build your own Free Little Art Gallery? You’ll probably want to use a tutorial for building an LFL, or Little Free Library, as there are more of those out there.

I’m more of a step-by-step photo tutorial person than a video person, so here’s a terrific tutorial on how to build an LFL from plywood. It’s a relatively simple build, and very clearly explained.

Tutorial on how to build a Little Free Library; can be applied to building a Free Little Art Gallery.

Another great source for tips, ideas and inspiration for building your FLAG is the official Little Free Library site.

Most of the tutorials out there to date have been for Little Free Libraries, but now, FLAG host Gabriele Teich has published instructions, with measurements and drawings, for her to build a FLAG! There’s even an option to download the free pdf. It’s here:

If you’re not up to building your FLAG yourself, there are a few sellers on Etsy who sell kits or completely built LFLs. Prices range from about $189.00 to 360.00 to over $500.00 for a two story unit.

Roofing Options for your FLAG

While most LFLs and FLAGs have classic tar paper and asphalt shingles, those are the only options. I’ve also seen a copper roof, made of copper sheet, folded around the edges of the wood roof.

The Free Little Art Gallery of Northern Hollywood, CA has an amazing clear acrylic roof, supported by wood timbers. This is so stylish, while also letting in plenty of light. I wonder if this would work in a northern climate?

How to Display Art in Your Free Little Art Gallery

Many Free Little Art Galleries use a railing system to display art. These can be actual Scrabble game tile trays, or moulding. Miniature easels are also popular. I suggest using Devon 5-minute 2-part epoxy to glue the easels (and tiny patrons) to the floor of the FLAG.

I’ve also seen many FLAGs add a wire or string across the back wall, or all the walls, and tiny clothespins, to provide more hanging space for art in the gallery.

One gallery I saw on Instagram has metal strips on the back wall, and a collection of small magnets, for hanging art. Good solution!

Lighting your Free Little Art Gallery

Many FLAGs are daylight only, while others stress that they are open 24/7. Solar powered LEDs are a popular option. While the Little Free Library website shows a very cool and simple way to take a garden variety solar light (the kind you’d normally stick into the ground) and install it in your LFL, the problem with that method is that the scale is wrong. The light is too large for a FLAG.

Some folks use LED fairy or string lights, and connect them to a solar panel that’s outside the gallery. Others use a motion sensor light.

Take a look at the Free Little Art Gallery OPRF at night, with their solar powered fairy lights:

How to Build an Indoor Micro Gallery

On the off-chance that you want to build an indoor micro gallery (which could also serve as an indoor FLAG, in a public space, such as a library or not for profit community center type space), on my artist website, I have a blog post that shows my no-tools method for building micro galleries. (A micro gallery is a display-only dollhouse scale gallery, and then are generally indoors.) Here’s that post:

Where to Find Dollhouse People for your Free Little Art Gallery

Lakeshore Learning carries the Lakeshore Block Play People. Here’s a link to the complete set, in a wonderfully diverse array of choices:

And here’s a set with people in their work uniforms:

By the way, those are not affiliate links, there are no affiliate links on this site. I’m just sharing information to be helpful and save you time.

Published by Elaine Luther

Artist and writer blogging at I make art about loving pockets, that I hate housework. I curate a series of micro galleries (1:12 scale) called the Angelica Kauffman Galleries.

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