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10 Helpful Hacks For a Fun Picture Hanging

  • by Arthur Harrison
  • 5 min read

Hanging pictures on the wall seems like a fairly simple task — until you actually do it.

Suddenly you find yourself frozen, unable to take the next step. You wonder how to hang pictures, check how they look, and mark the right spot all at once. How do you get the spacing right? Is there a way to organize pictures at different heights while sparing your wall from too many holes? Why is it so hard to deal with picture hanging wire?

Woman hanging a picture on a  wall

First, breathe.

We get it. Often, no one really looks forward to the hanging part and we just want to skip to the good part. The good news is there are tried and tested ways to make the picture hanging process much less painful!

Some of these tips and tricks are popular picture hanging hacks, and some may be a little hard to approach. But they all aim to make picture hanging a more effortless and even fun endeavor.

10 Picture Hanging Hacks, Tips, and Tricks

Illustration: level pictures with an app

Let’s start simple. Take your smartphone and download a virtual bubble level via the app store. Now you have a quick mini level. Use your phone like any other leveling tool to hang your pictures straight. You might even have the app built into your phone already.

Illustration: gallery wall with paper templates

You will need: A roll of paper (like unused wrapping paper) and low-adhesive tape

If you plan on creating a gallery wall, this hack is especially helpful.

First, trace each frame or art piece onto the paper and cut out the shapes to make paper templates. Press each template to the back of their matching frame and mark the positions of the picture hangers. Label each paper template so you know which matches which artwork or frame.

Tape each template to the wall and create your gallery wall layout using the templates.

PRO TIP: Depending on your desired layout, you can hang the templates 1.5″-3″ apart to keep the spacing consistent.

Hammer picture hanging nails, screws, or picture hooks into the spots you marked. Then remove the paper templates, and voila! You can now hang pictures on your gallery wall perfectly in one go.

Ruler and screw DIY hanging tool

You will need: A wooden ruler or flat wooden stick and a screw

This hack is perfect for effectively testing a picture’s position and marking the spot you want it simultaneously.

Simply screw in a screw through one end of the wood at about two inches from the edge. Hang your picture on the screw head and, holding it up by the stick or ruler, mount it on the wall. Once you’re satisfied with the placement, press firmly on the picture to make an indentation on the wall for your picture hanger’s exact position.

Illustration: Hang shelves

We all wonder this probably more often than we think: Is there a no-nails, no-drill, no-holes picture hanging hack that works for most pictures?

Well, yes. Floating shelves are a great way of hanging pictures without nails. Not only do you not have to drill on the wall and screw hangers, but you also don’t have to worry about off-center pictures. Redecorating and switching things up becomes so much easier and much more convenient.

Illustration: lay it out with painter

No time for paper templates? Painter’s tape is your friend if you want an even simpler and faster way to hang your pictures without sweating it.

Before hanging your pictures, outline the frame directly on your wall using painter’s tape. The tape is easily removable and won’t leave any damage.

You can outline each frame or the entire layout you’d like. Just use a level to ensure the tape is straight and guides your pictures to be centered.

Illustration: toothpaste does the trick

No, you didn’t read that wrong. You may have even heard of this unusual hack at some point.

On the back of your picture frame or art, mark the exact position where your picture hanging hardware will go using a pea-sized bit of toothpaste. Position the frame as desired and press it against the wall. The toothpaste marks will serve as your guide for installing picture hanging nails and screws on the wall.

Illustration: slide picture wire down a fork

When you’re ready to hang your pictures, it can be a bit of a slippery struggle with picture hanging wire. But this handy trick resolves that quickly and you have all you need in your kitchen.

Slide a fork over your nail or screw in the wall. It should stand securely with the screw between two prongs and the fork handle sticking out. Then, hang your picture by sliding the hanging wire down the handle onto the nail or screw. Remove the fork and ta-da! No more wonky pictures on picture hanging wire.

Illustration: stick on putty to keep pictures straight

To keep pictures from tilting after you’ve hung them perfectly level, attach a pinch of mounting putty to the corners of a piece and press them onto the wall. This is a foolproof and damage-free way to avoid crooked pictures. Read more about how to keep your pictures straight in this article: How to Keep Frames Level with Picture Hangers

Illustration: mark the spot with pushpins

If you’re looking for a speedy and practical way to mark your hanging spots and are iffy about using toothpaste, grab a couple of pushpins from your study. Glue the pins’ heads together, and stick one pointed tip into your frame where your hanger would go.

Then, direct your picture to your ideal hanging spot and press the other pushpin into the wall. Now you can pinpoint the precise spot to hammer in a nail and hang your picture without a hiccup. 

Illustration: Avoid a dusty drilling mess with a DIY dust catcher

You will need: Painter’s tape, sticky notes, or an envelope

As we all know, drilling is not the tidiest part of picture hanging. But with this tip, you won’t have to deal with the usual mess drilling comes with.

Using painter’s tape, create a makeshift dustbin on the wall to catch the dust from all the holes you drill. Directly below your drilling spot, tape several strips loosely so the painter’s tape forms a small pouch.

If you don’t have painter’s tape, you can also press a sticky note to the wall and fold it in half. Angle it so it forms an L shape and easily catches dust. Another quick alternative is to take a small envelope and tape it to the wall.

No matter which method you choose, make sure to position your DIY dust pouch not too far from your drilling spot so it can catch as much dust as possible and keep your work area less messy.

Skip to 2:47 in the video below for a guide on this hack.

Final thoughts

Now that you’re armed with these excellent tips and tricks, you can make picture hanging a much more enjoyable experience.

As for us, we’re here to give you a hand if you need one. Just leave us a comment below, along with which hack you’re most interested in trying!

Happy hanging!

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