How To : My Attempt to Explain How to Hang your Art Collection

The winter holidays are quickly coming to an end and my inner introvert is shouting "hooray!"

I love my people, but sometimes a woman needs to rest.

That being the case, doesn't mean I plan on sitting around and watching Netflix fulltime for the next month. After the holiday's influx of stuff I'm always excited to take time to make sure that everything has its own home. This year that means finding places for my art to hang as well. (In case you missed it check out my post previous post note to self: hang your art.)

Here's what I do to hang multiple pieces on one wall.

Supplies needed: 

  • Pencil
  • Wrapping paper. (the ugliest / plainest / least expensive / least liked you can find)
  • Tape (I had washi tape on hand.)
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure (maybe - read on)
  • 3m Command strips, size dependent on the pieces you are hanging.
    (I prefer medium and large. Better to be safe than have a frame rain down on your head.)
  • Level
  • Eraser

Step 1. 
Download an audiobook. Hanging art isn't a terribly difficult process but it can get repetitive and a bit boring. Fight the boredom.

Step 2.
Outline all of your frames on the wrapping paper. Bonus step: take a picture of the cute studio dog.

Step 3. 
Cut out all the outlines you just made. These will now be known as cut-outs.

Step 4.
Tape the cut-outs up on your wall.

I suggest totally ignoring the names on the pieces - if the art goes together well enough that you've decided to hang then together, the color/ subject matter doesn't matter as much as the layout and flow on the wall itself.

Also to be ignored at this step: the tape measure. We will come back to it.

This is where I trust my eye and sense of balance. 

Does something feel heavy or out of place? Does one side of the wall look lopsided? This is a mistake-free zone: If you don't like it keep working with it until you decide you do like it. (The example pictured was try three for me.)

Step 5.
Once you settle on your overall design, break out the tape measure it the spirit so moves you. I decided to forgo this step and am happy with my results. However, if you are the type of person who will be forever annoyed when you notice that the top middle is off by 5/8 of an inch, please use the tape measure.

Step 6.
Use your pencil and outline just the top of the cut-outs. No need to put graphite all over your walls.

Step 7.
Attach the Command Strips first to one another ("velco" them together) and then to the back of your frames. 

Step 8.
Detach the back of the Command Strips, but don't stick them to anything yet!!

Step 9.
Use the names of the art on the cut-out as your guide and take the cut-out off the wall. With your level in one hand and the frame in the other, raise the frame to the line you made in Step 6 and angle the frame toward the wall so that only the smallest part of the Command Strip is on the wall. Set your level on top of the frame and adjust as necessary. When satisfied, push hard against the frames for 30 seconds (I read somewhere that this locks them into place).

Step 10.
Repeat Step 9 until all frames have been hung. Go back to the store to get more Command Strips as needed, (a regular package of "medium picture hanging strips" will only hang two frames.)

Erase all the pencil marks remaining on your wall.

Finally, step back and give yourself a high five for getting those frames out of your closet and onto a wall... Or am I the only one who hoards framed art in closets unintentionally?