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How to Hang a Gallery Wall

November 21, 2011
by thenestinggame

I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. I am really bad at measuring. I can really only interpret a measuring tape at the inch, half-inch and quarter-inch marks. Anything else is “two lines after 34 and a half,” for example. I’m sure one of you reading this is like, “you mean 34 and nine-fifteenths?”

Anyway, because measuring is not my strong suit, hanging a gallery wall of multiple frames is pretty tricky. Add the fact that the hooks/wires on the back of frames are rarely in the same locations as each other (therefore complicating the measuring) and you’ve got a downright boondoggle.

The interwebs offer many different ways of doing this, but I have found this the best method for actually HANGING the artwork. This is a good way to visualize your arrangement, but I’ve found you can get the same effect by doing it on the floor and you don’t have to cut out every single frame.

First. Start with a piece of paper big enough to cover the portions of the frames where the hanging gizmo is. In my case we had this TJ Maxx-style free tissue paper lying around. I taped two pieces together. It’s smart to keep at least the top edge level, that way you can gauge the overall levelness a little better.

Then, layout your arrangement until you are happy with it.

It’s not the worst idea to snap pictures just in case you decide to try some different arrangements but can’t remember your favorite. When you’re happy, trace around the frames.

Now here’s where the measuring comes in. What a drag. But all you have to do is measure from the top of the frame down to the top of the hook or apex of the wire.

See? 2 and three-quarters and 2 more lines. Then mark a dot on the paper that same distance down from the top of the tracing. When you’re done, hang the entire sheet on the wall. Stand back and make sure you like how high it is and that it’s level. The perk to this system over the individual paper cut-out system is that you can move everything just by moving one sheet of paper.

So then you end up with this.

Nail into the wall right through the paper.

Rip the paper off with feeling, hang your frames and you are dunzo.

A special thanks to everyone who voted for the Moody Glam room (or thought about it) in the Apartment Therapy contest. I didn’t win, but I’m still a winner, right?

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Ann McCann permalink
    November 21, 2011 10:21 am

    You are SO definitely a winner! Nesting Game is the one blog I faitihfully return to – can’t wait until after the holidays when I’m painting the bedroom and making those nifty roman shades.

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      November 21, 2011 10:51 am

      Ann, you are so nice! Thanks for the loyal readership. Can’t wait to hear about your newly painted bedroom and roman shades!

  2. November 21, 2011 11:01 am

    This is such a smart way to tackle hanging multiple items! Seems so much simpler than other ideas I’ve seen. Maybe I like it so much because I measure the way you do.

    For what it’s worth, I really didn’t get why some of those rooms had so many votes. That’s all I’m gonna say!

    • thenestinggame permalink*
      November 21, 2011 4:48 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who is fractionally challenged. And I’m with you on the other thing…

  3. November 21, 2011 6:46 pm

    Wow. How I wished you had posted this yesterday, when I was in near tears from measuring and hanging. Oh well. I’ll bookmark this post for future use!

  4. Vicki permalink
    November 23, 2011 3:26 pm

    I voted for you! And honestly I thought you were the best. Well at least your consolation prize is your fabulous room!


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