09 February 2012

The nifty frame-hanger trick

Recently, a friend blogged about her efforts to create a gallery wall in her bedroom – using, if I may say, the funny but totally clever strategy of holding the frames on the wall and using the timer on her camera to “see” it from a distance. Her efforts reminded me of when I created the gallery wall in our guest bedroom (which is still missing some good art... we’ll see if I can get to that before the great move):

Like my friend, I also didn’t go to the trouble of creating “placeholder” paper and moving it around on the wall... I just laid it out on the floor until it looked right. I knew I wanted a straight horizontal line across the bottom to keep it from looking too haphazard, but otherwise I just shuffled them around until they looked right on the floor, then started in the corner and transferred them to the wall.

Except... easier said than done, right? Especially when all the frames are different brands (i.e. whichever was on sale at the time) with hooks in different places on the back? So you don’t really know where to hammer the nail into the wall to keep the frame aligned with the others? Yes, I am nodding with you.

Well then! I have the perfect tip for you: put a screw halfway through a paint stick! Mine happens to be a heavy-duty paint stick and a medium-gauge screw, but you can use whatever you have lying around.

Yeah, so... what does that have to do with hanging frames on the wall? Well, hear me out, because this is life-changing if you happen to be someone, like me, who wastes time and swear words trying to hang things in just the right place on the wall.

See, alls you gotta do is hang the frame (or whatever) on the screw:

Then, while holding the stick, position the frame (or whatever) on the wall, so the pointy end of the screw is against the wall:

Yeah, I know the photo’s zoomed in too much, but I didn’t think to utilize my camera’s timer like my more clever friend. And if you’re wondering, yes, that is a framed photo of the oculus of the Pantheon in Rome, because lately I see to mention our Italian honeymoon every other day. Sorry about that. But I digress!

Then you just give the frame a little push into the wall, so the pointy tip of the screw leaves an indentation in the drywall. That indentation tells you where to put the real nail or screw to hang the frame, and the frame will be hung exactly where you want it! Genius!

That’s how I got all the frames in our gallery wall to be (approximately) flush along the bottom – I didn’t have to do any measuring from the bottom of each frame to the hanger, or anything tedious like that. If I remember correctly, I got all of those frames hung in under a half hour, and I didn’t have to move a nail once!

I used my nifty picture hanging contraption when I hung the grid of mirrors in our office, too:

Even for something relatively straightforward like that (they are identical squares) I find it’s easier to use my hanger trick and eyeball it than to try to create a perfectly level grid of nails. Inevitably, the hangers on the back will be in slightly different places and which makes all the measuring for naught. This is way better!

I really wish I could remember exactly where I found this tip so I could cite it properly, but I think it’s been around the web a few times and I don’t know who the original source is by now. If I could, though, I’d give them a HUGE thanks, because this simple and free idea saves so much time hanging frames exactly where you want them on the first try.

So grab a paint stick and a screw and make yourself a gallery wall!


Christal said...

OMG. My life is officially changed.

Rachel said...

I'm going to have to do this to hang all of my other photos.

Rachel C said...

This is so smart! I always cut out paper templates for my frames and arrange them on the walls, but I still manage to end up with extra/wrong nail holes. Combining the template method with this will be a surefire way to get my pictures exactly where I want them with a single nail hole!