hanging pictures directions

Are you the ‘hand me the hammer’ or the ‘let’s map this out’ type of picture hanger?  I have a very good eye and can usually wing it, but when it comes to hanging a group of pictures I’m hopeless.

Tools:  You’ll need a tape measure, level, pencil, hammer and hooks. For small pictures one hook will do, for larger pictures use two hooks. They will help keep the picture straight.  Make sure you buy hooks that are right for your artwork’s weight.

Height and spacing:  Experts recommend that the center of a picture be 59” from the floor, an average eye-level.  If you are hanging a group, it’s recommended that 2” should be the spacing between them.  If the pieces are smaller 1” is fine.

Procedure:

  • Mark center of wall
  • Mark picture height
  • Mark where the top of the frame rests against the wall when held at proper height
  • Measure distance from the top of frame to the hanging wire.  Then measure down the same distance from the mark of the top of the frame on the wall
  • Pinpoint the place where your nail will go and mark with an x
  • Place the nail on top of a piece of Scotch tape (prevents paint chipping)
  • Hammer nail at a slight angle
  • Place frame on the nail and adjust
  • Rest a level on top of the frame and adjust for straightness

Hanging groups of pictures:

  • I personally like mixing different sizes to keep it interesting, but I use the same mats and frames so as to not distract from the pictures themselves.  Using the same frames and mats helps to unify the group and gives a ‘clean’ and uncluttered look to the grouping.
  • Smaller art looks better in pairs or in a group.
  • Some designers recommend using an odd number of pictures, others recommend using an even number.  You’ll get a sense of what you like when you lay them all out on the floor.
  • If you are hanging a group, it’s recommended that 2” should be the spacing between them.  If the pieces are smaller 1” is fine.
  • Talk about groups!  Check out this photo of a Chicago staircase from Metropolitan Home!hanging groups of pictures
  • To get the placing correct, either lay the pictures out on the floor or cut out brown paper in the exact shapes and tape them to your wall.
  • Consider unusual places for pictures.  I like to hang some running down the front dividers on a bookcase, or the side of an armoire, or the back of a door.

The best advice I’ve read is not to be afraid to hang your artwork.  The nails with picture hooks won’t do any damage so if you need to move the piece, don’t sweat it!

p.s. If you’re a visual learner, here’s a video:  https://youtu.be/YSavjobleSo