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Everything You Need To Know About D-rings and Strap Hangers

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 5 min read
  • 10 Comments

 

New to picture hanging? Perhaps you are confused about which hangers to choose for your artwork or picture frame.

Most of the time, wood frames already come with d-rings or strap hangers, but when they don’t, how do you know which is the best type of hanger to use? 

This article will talk about a variety of wood frame hangers and the do’s and don’ts when installing them. 

What are the Different Types of D-Rings and Strap Hangers?

Our selection consists of nine different types of d-rings and strap hangers. You might think that the only differences are their size and number of holes, but those aren't the only characteristics that are different. 

We can also differentiate them by the weight they can support.

Weight capacity is an important factor when hanging frames securely. D-rings and strap hangers can be sorted into three types: light, medium, and heavy duty.

Here’s a rundown of the different types and weight ratings under each category.

 

Light duty d-rings from Picture Hang Solutions
Medium duty d-rings from Picture Hang Solutions
Heavy duty strap hanger from Picture Hang Solutions

 

So remember, light duty hangers are ideal for small wood frames, pictures, and artwork, while medium and heavy-duty hangers are the best choices for medium and large-sized frames that weigh 20 lbs or more. 

RELATED ARTICLE:  Everything You Need to Know About Wood Frame Hangers

 

Do’s and Don’ts You Should Keep in Mind 

D-rings and strap hangers aren’t difficult to use, but knowing a few do’s and don’ts won’t hurt.

We’ve been hanging pictures for quite some time now, and we’d love to share tips we’ve picked up. Here’s what you need to know: 

Dos

✓  Check frame material: is it a wood or metal frame?

Side by side photo of wood frame and metal frame
D-rings and strap hangers are for wood frames only. Not all picture hangers are compatible with all types of frames, so carefully choose the right ones. 
If you want to hang metal frames, too, check out our line of metal frame hangers.

 

 

✓  Weigh the frames first 

Make sure that your hangers can support the weight of your frames. The rule of thumb is to select a hook with a weight capacity of at least 1-3 times the weight of the item you are hanging.

For example, your artwork weighs 30 lbs. Based on the rundown above, your options are 2-Hole D-Rings and Large Strap Hangers which can support 40 lbs and 50 lbs, respectively.

⚒️ Pro tip: You can use a bathroom scale to weigh your frame.

✓  Hang them on wall hooks or use picture wire

There are two ways to hang a frame using d-rings or strap hangers. The first is to hang directly onto the wall hook(s). The second option is to tie the picture wire onto the hangers and use that to hang on the wall hook.

Not sure how to tie picture wire onto d-ringsand strap hangers? Here’s how:

Instructions on how to tie a picture wire on d-rings

 

✓  Use 2-hole d-rings for heavier frames

For heavier frames, use 2-hole d-rings instead of one. Two-hole d-rings generally have a heavier weight capacity of 40 lbs, thanks to the additional screw support.  

Light duty hangers can only support up to 20 lbs, and the wide 1-hole d-ring can support up to 25 lbs. 

Don’ts

✓ Don’t use just one d-ring or strap hanger

It's impossible to hang frames with just one hanger, and doing so will only lead to unevenly hung frames or a higher risk of it falling if you force it. 

We always recommend following instructions and using two d-ring hangers or two strap hangers for each frame. 

Here's how to install them the correctly:

1. Put the d-ring hangers on opposite sides of the frame, ⅓ of the way down
  • Insert one screw in each hole and tighten to secure.
  • If you’re using a picture wire, the D-ring hanger should be installed at an angle. This is so that the plane between the outer and inner wood screw holes intersect with the wire apex position.

2. If you’re hanging the frame on wall hooks, install the D-rings upright.

3. Hang the frame 

The D-Ring hanger should be angled so that the plane between the outer and inner wood screw holes intersect with the estimated wire apex position.

That's pretty much it. Doing it this way ensures that your pictures and art pieces on the wall are safe and level.

  Don’t skip the tape measure

Sometimes, it’s tempting to eyeball the frame and skip the tape measure. 

But the correct way to installd-rings and strap hangers is to use one on each opposite side, ⅓ of the way down the frame. It’s important to space out the hangers evenly to ensure secure and level hanging. 

 Don’t tighten the screws too much 

You might think that tighter means better. Not all the time, though.

In this case, tighten the screws only until you’re sure that the hanger is securely installed. Overdoing it might split the wood and destroy the frame.

Additional Hanging Tips and Reminders

The sharing of picture-hanging tips doesn’t stop there! We still have a few tricks up our sleeve that will make hanging your frames easier and better.

  • Painter’s tape is your best friend.

Use painter’s tape or masking tape to mark where the hangers are. This way, it's easier to transfer the measurements from the frame to the wall. 

Painter’s tape is a light adhesive masking tape used to cover areas you don’t want to paint on. They’re used in many projects other than painting because they’re easy to work with, and they don’t leave any residue on any surface.

 Check out this video to see how she used this tip and how she installed the d-rings and wall hooks.

 

  • Make paper templates.

Use paper templates while figuring out where to hang your frames. It’s super easy! Here’s what you need to do:
  • Trace your frames on paper
  • Cut them to size
  • Layout your paper templates
  • Use painter’s tape to stick them to the wall 

 

The paper templates will make it easier to see how a layout will look before drilling. This tip is helpful when doing a gallery wall wherein you’re hanging a lot of frames.
  • Keep bumpers handy.

Use picture-hanging bumpers on the lower corners of the frame. They keep frames in place, disable tilting, and allow good airflow behind the frame.
 

If you didn’t know, there are different types of bumpers, and they differ in color, size, shape, and thickness.In the video above, the man used round and clear ones for his frame. 

Bumpers may be small and straightforward to use, but they are the picture-hanging heroes . If your frame is tilting forward, give bumpers a try and see for yourself.

READ MORE: Everything You Need to Know about Picture Hanging Bumpers

 

Everything You Need To Know About D-rings and Strap Hangers

Photo by Ann Nekr from Pexels

Recommended Wall Hardware You Can Use To Hang D-Rings

The very last step in hanging wood frames is to hang them up on the wall. To do this, you’d need wall hardware such as screws, hooks, or a wall hanging system.

Again, there are different types, but we recommend these three products:

These types of hardware are a few of the best and robust hangers we have in store. You can rely on them to hold whatever you want to hang using d-rings, strap hangers, and picture wire. Just make sure to follow instructions during installation, and you’re good to go!

RELATED ARTICLE: Wall Hooks Buyer Guide, Everything You Need to Know About Wall Hooks

Final Thoughts

There might be a lot of picture hanging hardware out there, but d-rings and strap hangers are the gold standard. With their different sizes, weight capacities, and easy installation they’re indeed some of the most reliable wood frame hangers available! 



10 Responses

Picture Hang Solutions

Picture Hang Solutions

July 16, 2023

Hi Mohammed,

We suggest that you attach your d-ring 1/3 the way down from the top, or closer to the top where the distance between the sides is shorter.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to let us know. We are happy to help.

Sincerely,
Picture Hang Solutions

Mohammed El-Gendy

Mohammed El-Gendy

July 16, 2023

I have a polygon mirror. Where would be the best location to attach my D rings? Closer to the top where the distance between them is shorter? Or closer to mid height?

Picture Hang Solutions

Picture Hang Solutions

March 14, 2023

Hi Jen,

I’m sure that frame looks lovely! Yes, you may attach the D-rings horizontally. Make sure that you use D-rings that can carry the weight of your frame.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to message us! We are happy to help!

Sincerely,
Picture Hang Solutions

Jen

Jen

March 14, 2023

I have a vintage wooden frame that I’d rather not change the structure of. Problem is the frame is quite thin … 1.5cm and the DLinks I can find can only be used in a horizontal manner. Vertically the metal is visible. The question: can horizontal DLinks be used in a gallery hang?

Picture Hang Solutions

Picture Hang Solutions

March 13, 2023

Hi Janet,

Before we can help you with your question, we need to know the weight of your mirrors, the material or the type of frame you have around the mirror, and the type of wall you have where you are hanging it. This will help us determine the best hardware we can use for your mirrors. We sent you a separate email regarding your concern to help you further. Thank you for your question! We are happy to assist you!

Sincerely,
Picture Hang Solutions

Janet Caldwell

Janet Caldwell

March 13, 2023

I have two 36" long mirrors that hang side by side in the bathroom. They both have D rings and straps on both sides of the frames. There are wall hooks that the rings attach to. Unfortunately the D rings stick out beyond the edge of the frame. The frames have a thin edge to screw the straps into. I am afraid that if I move the straps further inside of the frames, the screws will go through the frame. Do you have any suggestions on an alternate way to hang the mirrors using different hardware? Thanks for your help.

Picture Hang Solutions

Picture Hang Solutions

February 28, 2023

Hi Julie!

Yes! You may directly hang your d-ring to the wall hooks if you prefer not to use the hanging wire. Just make sure you take into account the weight capacity of your hooks and d-rings to avoid it from falling. We suggest for you to use 2 d-rings per frame, attached to each side, for more stability.

For more questions or concerns, please let us know! We are always happy to assist.

Sincerely,
Picture Hang Solutions

Julie francis

Julie francis

February 28, 2023

I have a heavy duty framed mirror & have decided im going to use two two hole d ring hooks but im wondering if i can just hang the d ring hooks directly onto brass drywall hooks without using braided wire ?

Picture Hang Solutions

Picture Hang Solutions

January 22, 2023

Hello Jai,

Thank you for your question. We sent you an email regarding your concern to help you further. We are happy to assist you!

Sincerely,
Picture Hang Solution

Jai

Jai

January 22, 2023

Hello,

I have a heavy duty mirror to hang, but there’s nothing on back of the mirror. What can I attach to the mirror , so I can hang it?

Thanks

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