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3 Ways to Hang Pictures From the Ceiling

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 5 min read

For all products mentioned in this article please find links to each below

Everyone knows that one way to bring life to a room is to hang exciting art or pictures of you and your family and friends on the wall. It’s the simplest way to make it look more inviting, lived-in, and even tell your guests about yourself. But what if, for any reason, you can’t use the wall? The room might be too small, or it may simply be full of other hanging objects.

To that, we say: look up! If you can’t do it on the wall, your ceiling is free real estate! There’s no reason to give up allotting some space for your curated selection of artworks or framed pictures of your loved ones.

However, some aesthetic goals can come with a lot of practical challenges. If you have no idea how to start hanging pictures from the ceiling, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve come up with the four handiest ways to create a unique and dynamic environment by hanging pictures from the ceiling.

What You Need to Know Before Hanging Art From the Ceiling

Before we start, we need you to remember two things when planning a ceiling mount picture hanging system.


Unlike the wall, where most of the space is free, you’ll need to be much more careful with the ceiling. Before preparing your materials, walk around the room and see where a hanging piece will look best. 

Once you’ve decided, check if that spot in the ceiling is clear. This means avoiding heating ducts or wires. If the object weighs more than 25 lbs, it should be anchored to a framing stud. 

If you have one, a stud finder will help find the nearest framing studs in the ceiling by locating the nails holding them together. Ceilings are commonly made of drywall anchored to wooden rafters and joists, so attaching the artwork to them will lessen the possibility of damage or accidents.

Hardware Compatibility

This one might be obvious, but you’d be surprised how common a mistake it is! It’s crucial to ensure that the object's weight and the hardware's weight rating match. This will help prevent any accidents and any consequential damage to the ceiling.

To do this, determine the weight of the frame and how many anchor points it has. An anchor point refers to the area or surface you can attach hardware to hang or support an artwork.

Divide the weight by the number of anchor points. Refer to that number when selecting your hardware. 

RELATED: Why Weight Ratings are Essential in Picture Hanging

How to Hang Art From the Ceiling

With that out of the way, here’s how to hang a picture from the ceiling.

Drop Ceiling Hooks

If you have a drop or suspended ceiling, you’re in luck! That means you get to skip any additional drilling. You only need a pair of drop ceiling hooks to hang your pictures from the ceiling. 

Drop ceiling hooks are used to hang banners, decorations, plants, and lighting installations. They’re also popular among galleries and museums for immersive art installations where they need to hang 3D art and sculptures from the ceiling. 

Since they’re pretty versatile, you can also use them for your gallery! Here’s how to set up these hooks on drop ceilings.

1. Lift the ceiling tile to access the ceiling grid and clip the base of the drop ceiling hook onto the frame.

2. Clip the other hook on and push them towards each other. If you clip the other hook on from the same direction, you can get a sturdy double hook. If you clip it on from the other side, you’ll end up with an interlocking mechanism.

3. Use a picture hanging wire to connect the hook and the picture frame.

Bullet Hangers

What if you wanted to hang your pictures like a gallery system but didn’t have enough space for a wall track? In that case, we have a nifty product for you: a bullet hanger.

A bullet hanger is a stand-alone gallery system that removes the need for long wall tracks and rails. The product is designed with a unique swivel cover that can be mounted on ceilings and sloped walls while holding the cord straight down. Picture Hang Solutions’ bullet hanger can hold up to 25 lbs of combined weight from multiple frames.

Doesn’t that seem efficient? Find out how to install a bullet hanger below.

1. Decide where to install the gallery cable on your ceiling and mark it with a pencil. 

2. Use a drill to mount the anchor on the ceiling. 

3. Unscrew and remove the brass insert from the stand-alone hanger.

4. Insert the #8 x 1.5 screw into the brass insert.

5. Install the brass insert into the anchor on the ceiling.

6. Place the brass insert back on the bullet hanger with the cord.

Gallery Tracks

Technically, a gallery track is only used specifically for areas where moldings, or the transitions between the wall and ceiling surfaces, are present. However, we believe that hanging pictures that are pretty high up on the wall achieves a similar effect. The difference is that the pictures won’t be suspended from the ceiling; instead, they will hang flush against the wall.

Make no mistake in thinking that gallery tracks can be installed on the ceiling! This one’s a little bit of a cheat, but read ahead and see if you want to try it out.

Our Track 100 Kits look clean and classy if you want the hardware to be more understated and out of sight. Here’s how you can set them up at home:

1. Install the locators on the wall using the screws with the kit. Make it so that the track will be placed on a spot that edges up towards the ceiling or molding.

2. Snap the track onto the locators by hooking the upper part of the track on top of the locator and pressing down the lower half to secure it.

3. Insert the hanging cord from the kit onto the channel and affix the adjustable picture hooks. 

4. Hang your frames.

Final Thoughts

Creative picture hanging is all about looking for your home or work space’s more unarticulated areas that could always use more vibrancy. If you simply can’t use your wall, your ceiling is your next best option! With efficient hanging hardware like bullet hangers and drop ceiling hooks  to hold your pieces, you can quickly transform an ordinary room into a dynamic display of your curated selection.

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