4 Creative Picture Hanging Ideas to Display Small Frames and Art

Are you one of those people who leave their small pictures and art lying around? Have you always wanted to hang them but didn’t know how, or thought it'd take too much work?

Yeah, we get that.

A lot of folks come to us and say that hanging things on the wall can be pretty intimidating. But what if we told you that it only takes about 5 minutes and that it’s easier than baking a cake?

Setting up your own wall display at home is actually super simple. It even makes for an exciting DIY project that doesn’t eat up too much of your time. If you don’t know where to start, here are 4 clever picture hanging ideas that you can try at home:

Triptych Style


 

A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three, or is presented in 3 parts. The art is hung close together so that it reads as a group. If you have created a Triptych, hang it up as shown below. If not, you can choose 3 of your own small pictures or art that look good together and display them as a set.

Abstract Neutrals by Melanie Viola

 

Abstract Neutrals by Melanie Viola 
Photo from American Flat


Three is a great number when it comes to design. According to Apartment Therapy, things arranged in odd numbers like three are more intriguing and memorable than their even-numbered counterparts. Three also happens to be the smallest number that can be used to make a pattern in our heads. Just seeing an odd number of things just makes a more fun visual experience, don’t you think?
 

Hanging Frames  

For a more modern take on wall displays, you can try using unusual frames that veer away from the way our grandmas used to display family photos. Using non-traditional frames like this can really bring out your artsy side. 
 
Hanging frames literally bring out the “hang” inhanging picture frames. Instead of hiding the wire behind the frame, these frames allow you to show it and make a statement. Another great thing about unusual frames is that they already come with their own hangers. All that’s left for you to do is put a nail on the wall and hang it up.



Gold rim frames by Anthropologie

Unusual frames make an eye catching statement piece.
Photo from Anthropologie

Designer’s tip: mix and match different frame sizes for a playful look. When arranged beautifully, having variety is pretty exciting to look at.
 

Let it Lean

 Another way to showcase your small framed art is by letting it lean using picture ledges, also known as ledge wall shelves. This laid-back style of displaying photos and art doesn’t involve a lot of measuring, drilling, and complicatedpicture hangers.

 

Frames on wall shelves

Let your frames lean on picture ledges for a laid-back look on your wall.
Photo: Bryan Gardner via Real Simple

This idea is perfect for people who like changing things up every now and then. Using the ledges gives you the freedom to play around with your art display as much as you’d like.  

 

Gallery Wall

gallery wall
This gallery wall follows a trendy salon style layout.
Photo: Sun Ngo via  Chatelaine
 
A gallery wall is a collection of framed artwork, photographs, and other personal keepsakes that is hung together as a group. It’s one of the best ways to liven up an empty space. 
 
Here’s a quick guide to creating your own gallery wall.
  1. Pick a spot for your gallery wall.
  2. Pick a color scheme and vibe.
  3. Curate the artwork.
  4. Select the frames and mat size.
  5. Layout and hang the frames.

 
Check out these gallery wall layouts you can choose from:

gallery wall - pair layout gallery wall - trio layout

gallery wall - grid layout gallery wall - centerpiece grid

gallery wall - axis layout gallery wall - spiral layout

gallery wall - modern layout gallery wall - vintage layout

 

Designer’s Tips to Get That Aesthetic Gallery Wall



 
There is no right or wrong way to do it, but we’ve listed down some useful tips and fun ideas that you can follow to achieve a Pinterest-worthy gallery wall.
 

Less is More

The less you have on the wall, the more captivating it is. It elevates your space and makes your art look expensive. More than that, it doesn’t overwhelm whoever is looking at your wall display. You can follow the Triptych style mentioned earlier, which is all about hanging frames in a group of three.

  
Create a Juxtaposition

You’ve probably heard of the saying, “opposites attract.” This idea follows more or less the same concept. It’s about grouping together contrasting ideas that actually stir up an interesting conversation.


vintage style gallery wall

Juxtaposition means putting two things together with a contrasting effect.
Photo by  Olga Krakowska  via Posh Pennies

Combine old with the new for an interesting contrast. Mix vintage and modern or happy and sad. You’d be surprised how good they look together despite being on opposite sides of the scale.

Mix Media

A  gallery wall doesn’t have to be strictly uniform or symmetrical. Try mixing different materials together.  Doing this will make your gallery wall look more fun and eclectic. Plus, it’s a great way to inject your personality into it.

 

Mixed media used in gallery wall
Mixing different media can add texture to your gallery wall, giving off a fun vibe.
 
Photography by  Emily Johnston  via  Rue Mag
Interior Design by Caroline Z Hurley

 

An example of a mixed media gallery wall would have an oil painting, a photograph, or even a shadow box with your travel souvenirs.


Tell a Story

Create a dramatic effect  on your wall by selecting photos that tell a story. Stick to a theme and curate your gallery wall based on that.  


Gallery wall by A Mix of Min

Mindy, a lifestyle content creator, used personal photos that show special moments with her husband.
Photo from A Mix of Min

 

Matting it Down

For a more modern and contemporary take on things, try matting down your art.    

Matting refers to adding a thin, flat piece of paper-based material to your photo or artwork inside a frame. It serves as an additional decoration and a partition that separates the art from the glass.
 
You can do it yourself or you can visit your local craft store or go online for custom-made mats. 
 
 
 
Artist’s Tip: When matting your artwork, it’s better to use acid-free tape. Acidic tapes will cause your painting to yellow over time. Tape the corner and the sides to help secure and control warping.

Be Different

Do what others are not doing. Use a bunch of clipboards in place of picture frames. Or use washi tapes as frames. This gives a fresh perspective on gallery walls that is both striking and fun. This idea works perfectly for art pieces that you don’t want to frame. 


Gallery wall using washi tapes as frames  
Dare to be different with this quirky idea for your gallery wall.
 Photo by Andrea Posadas via Honestly WTF)

We know you’re excited, but all thesepicture hanging ideas can be made possible only if you use the rightpicture hangers

Since we’re talking about small framed pictures and art, there are two ways to hang them. You can use either a sawtooth or a gallery system. Here’s how:
 

How to Hang a Picture Frame in 2 Different Ways

1. Use a Sawtooth 

     

     
    A sawtooth is a small metal strip used to hangsmall pictures and lightweight art. All you have to do is attach it to the upper rail of the back of your frame.
     
    There are different types of sawtooth hangers. The most common ones include Sawtooth Hangers with Screws, Nailess Sawtooth Hangers, and Plastic Sawtooth Adhesive tohang pictures without nails.


     2. Use a Gallery System

     
    A gallery system is a unique way of hanging pictures or art on the wall. It’s composed of a discreet wall-mounted track, wire cables, and adjustable hooks. Even though a gallery system is bigger than a sawtooth, installing it is equally simple. Here's how.
     

    Gallery wall using gallery systems
    A gallery system allows you to expand your gallery with adjustable hooks and cables.
    Photo from Architectural Digest


    This setup is ideal for galleries and commercial applications where frequent changes are made and greater capacity is required. However, it can be used at home too, especially if you have a bigger space.

     

    Final Thoughts

    So there you have it: four creative ideas to hang yoursmall pictures and arttriptych style, using hanging frames, letting it lean on shelves, and a gallery wall. All ideas are fun and easy to do, especially when you have the rightpicture hanging hardware.


    So, what idea are you going to do on your wall? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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