Everyone Should Learn the Basics of Hanging Art

There is a process for hanging art that works everytime and knowing it can keep you from making hole after hole in your walls!

hangingart-1Matt and I have become real pros at hanging art. We almost never have to move the nail over a smidge to hang a piece correctly! And, actually, hanging one piece is a walk in the park compared to putting together a collage of pieces! But, let’s start with the basics, and I’m sure you’ll advance quickly to the “pro” level.

Materials List:

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Appropriate weight picture hooks
  • Hammer
  • Long ruled level (if available)


1. To hang one framed piece of art, first determine where it is to hang. (Placing the center of the picture at eye level is a general rule.)


2. While you’re holding the piece up on the wall, have someone else put a tiny pencil mark along the top of the frame right in the middle. (Or if you are like me you figure out how to do it yourself so you don’t have to wait!)


3. Next, lean the picture against your legs or prop it on a chair or sofa, and grab the wire with two fingers, as if your fingers were the hooks. Have someone measure the distance between your fingers. (Or again, do it yourself.) This is how far apart the hooks will be on the wall.


4. Then, measure how far down you have placed them from the top of the frame. With these two dimensions committed to memory, go back to the wall and your center pencil mark.


5.  Measure down from your center mark, the height of the frame to your fingers then make another pencil mark. Now it’s time for a little math. Divide the measurement from finger to finger (a.k.a. picture hook to picture hook), and divide that in two.

hangingart-76. Let’s say the distance between your fingers was 10 inches. Place the tape measure’s (or better yet, the level’s) 5” mark on the lower pencil dot, and make another mark at 0” and at 10”. Now you have the placement for both of the picture hooks that will hang your piece of art evenly and securely.


7. Install appropriate weight picture hooks using the hammer and keep those thumbs out of the way!!


8. Stretch the wire across the two picture hooks.

9. Adjust level by sliding the artwork on its wire until the picture is hanging straight.


Now comes the best part. Put all the tools away, stand back, and admire your beautiful work of art! Don’t’ forget the “pat on the back” part, ‘cause you’ve achieved “pro” status in the art…of hanging art!


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