How to center an even number of pictures in a gallery

When hanging a gallery with an odd number of pictures it’s easy to center the middle frame and work out from there. With an even number of frames in the arrangement, it can be trickier to get started. Use this decorating tip to quickly get the middle two frames centered in your gallery.

image showing how to select a length of tape for marking the center of a gallery by making sure it's longer than the space between your middle two frames

Place painter’s tape on the wall

Cut a piece of painter’s tape roughly 3 times the length of the space you have between your frames. Place it on the wall at about the center of where the arrangement will hang. You don’t need to be precise as you are using the tape for horizontal alignment.

Tip: it’s generally best to use consistent spacing between your frames in a gallery to create a professional look. Lay out your display on the floor to find a spacing that works for you. For most pictures we usually start at 2 - 6 inches. Note that the frame style can affect the spacing, so if you want to learn more then check out this blog.

 Image of a person marking a line on painter's tape at the center of the gallery display.

Find and mark the arrangement centerline

First, mark where you want the center of the arrangement on the tape. The centerline can be calculated in different ways. Here we suggest three options. Use the one that works best in your situation 1. If you are centering the display in the middle of the wall: Find the center of the wall space behind the arrangement 2. If you are centering the display over a piece of furniture: Find the center of the furniture below the arrangement. 3. If you are hanging the arrangement on the wall but not in the middle of the wall, or over some furniture: Mark a line on the tape where you would like the middle of the arrangement to be. 

Image showing how to measure and mark on painter's tape where to align the two middle frames in the gallery

Mark where to line up the middle frames

Now that you have the centerline, we can make marks showing where to align the edge of the two middle frames. First, divide the space between the two middle frames in half. Next, measure out this number on either side of the centerline and make two marks on the tape. 

Check: You will have three lines on the tape. A centerline and 2 marks on each side. The distance between the two outside marks should equal the space you want to have between the frames. 

 Image showing how to align the two middle frames in the gallery to the guideline markings on painter's tape

Hang the gallery

Align the two middle frames with the marks on either side of the centerline and hang them. Remove the tape and cut it to just outside of the alignment marks. Use this to create equal spacing for the rest of the gallery. Hang the rest of the gallery using the same space between each frame. That’s it! Check out how we used this decorating tip to hang 4 frames.

Hang & Level™ marks where to put the nail

We designed the Hang & Level  picture hanging tool to mark exactly where to put the nail. It’s great for hanging single items, but it is even more useful when you want to hang a number of pictures or wall décor items together in a gallery. Two things make hanging galleries difficult: first, it is hard to align things well. If there is a picture hung slightly off, the whole arrangement looks bad. Secondly, it is hard to figure out where to put the nail to hang the item where you want it. Hang & Level solves both of these problems. Check out our Hang & Level YouTube playlist to see this picture hanging tool in action.

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