13 Hanging Hacks for Picture-Perfect Walls
Hanging stuff on your walls can be tedious frustrating, especially if it ends up crooked! These handy hacks will help you get it right the first time.
Lickety-Split Wall Decor
Here’s how to hang pictures quickly and easily. Lick your middle knuckle and grab the hanger on the back of the picture with the wet finger. Press your knuckle against the wall when the picture is exactly where you want it. The saliva will leave a light mark for placing a nail. — Leann Cormier. Be sure to use wall anchors for hanging heavy items on your walls!
This is probably old news to you smartphone veterans out there, but for you newbies, here’s the tip. Your phone can work like a small level or plumb bob. You can download a level app, or your phone may already have a leveling app built into the operating system. You wouldn’t want to build an addition with a phone level, but it can come in handy for little leveling tasks around the house. These are the nine best home improvement apps you need on your smartphone.
Use Templates and Tape
Cut out paper patterns and arrange them on the wall with low-adhesive masking tape. The temporary red line from a laser level is helpful for aligning a series of photos level with one another. The laser level is ideal because you get a perfectly straight line without having to mark up the walls. A standard carpenter’s level will also work. Check out our essential guide for using plumb bobs and levels.
A Riveting Idea
Here’s a better way to hang pictures and other light items on drywall. Use a hammer to drive the stem of a rivet down and into the wall. The rivet head won’t slide into the wall when you hang the picture. You can buy packages of 1/8-in. rivets at the hardware store for less than $5. — Alvin Lewis. Level Hanging: Hang Artwork and Wall-hangings Straight and Level
Pull Tab Hook
If you’re hanging pictures and run out of those sawtooth hangers, just grab the nearest pop can. Bend the pull tab back and forth until it breaks off. Then screw it to your picture frame. Bend the free end out slightly and hang the picture. — Carrie Tegeler
The Family Handyman
Pinpoint a Solution
Here’s a nifty way to mark nail hole positions on walls when you’re hanging that new picture. Glue two pushpins top to top with a cyanoacrylate glue (such as Super Glue). Find the center of the picture along the upper back edge of the frame and press in one of the pins. Now just hold the picture up, maneuver it to the best spot, and press in to mark for the nail. This tip works best when you’re hanging pictures with hardware screwed on the back of the frame, but if you’re putting up wire-hung pictures, just measure the distance from the top of the wire to the pushpin hole and move the nail down that distance. Many thanks to reader Richard Wooden for clearly framing this sharp tip. Plus: 12 simple life hacks you need to know.
Photo: Teresa Odland
Toothpaste Marks the Spot
You can also place a small dab of toothpaste on the hanger and then press it against the template once it’s on the wall. Remove the frame, and the spot of toothpaste on the template will mark the nail’s placement. Plus: Check out 49 other things you never knew you could do with toothpaste.
Leave one finger in place and measure from the wire to the top. Use this dimension and the dimension from side to side to position the picture hangers. Plus: You need to see these 20 cool tool hacks.
Once your template arrangement is final and taped on the wall exactly where they will hang, hammer a nail through each template’s marked X. Tear away the paper template and the nail is ready in perfect position to hang each gallery piece. This article shows you how to hang an entire gallery wall with less stress!
Keep It Level
A pinch of mounting putty (that sticky stuff used to hang posters) prevents picture tilt without harming walls. Plus: How to Use a Laser Level.
Hang Shelves Instead
With these picture frames, you don’t have to mess with positioning hooks. Your photos and artwork will never go crooked, and best of all, you can “redecorate” instantly just by swapping things around. There’s no need to patch holes every time you move a picture. We’ll walk you though how to hang shelves perfectly.
When you’re mounting something on the wall with keyhole slots, lay paper over the slots and make a template by rubbing with a pencil. Then level your template on the wall and you’ll know precisely where to position the screws. Plus: Check out our best PVC hacks for the home and workshop.
Sawtooth Tape Measure Hanger
This one’s less of a picture-hanging hack and more of a hack for using picture-hanging hardware in the workshop! Check out what our reader says: I use my tape measure a lot in the workshop, so I like knowing where it is at all times. Sick of digging through piles of stuff to find it, I screwed a “sawtooth” picture hanger on the edge of my workbench, and that’s where the tape measure lives—always! — Ryan Sorensen. Here’s another cool tape measure hack. Bet you didn’t know there were all these ways to use pool noodles around your house!