How To Hang Pictures Without Messing Up Your Walls

Ever feel duped when you're watching HGTV and they don't show how they hang pictures on the wall? You know, when the camera just pans to a before and after shot of a stunning gallery wall? Why do they leave the part out on how to hang things?

Well, simply put it's because it's HARD. No one likes to put holes in the wall. You don't want to miss your spot and end up having to do a bunch of patchwork to cover up your mistakes. If you want to hang things right on your first try, it's all about having the right tools.

See how we hung every single frame in our gallery using only the best tools for the job! It's a whole lot quicker and easier when the tools do the work for you. 

How to begin

Here’s what we started with: a sectional sofa, a large blank wall, and the artwork we picked out for the gallery. 

Some people like to make paper cut-outs of each item they want to hang to help them envision what their gallery would look like on their wall. However, we don't like doing it this way because we need to see the colors, shapes, and 3D elements to help determine the best possible arrangement. That's why we lay out our pieces on the floor right in front of where we want to hang them.

We just simply move our frames and other pieces around until we think we've found the winning combination. 

Next, we take a photo of all the frames on the floor. Depending on how big or wide your gallery wall is, you may have to hop on a stool and take a picture looking straight down, like how we did here. If you have a tablet or iPad handy, it'll make snapping the photo easier than just with your phone. You’ll be amazed at how this helps you notice things that you might normally miss with the naked eye.

The camera will pick up on things like if the colors of your gallery go well next to each other, balancing light and dark pieces, and light and heavy pieces. It'll also help determine the amount of spacing to leave between each piece.

We usually move the pieces around until we find the right combination. There's no specific formula to follow other than to trial and error. Although it can be finicky at times, it's so worth it. Trust us, this simple tip will save you time and potential mistake holes too!

The order to hang each piece

Here's our final gallery wall! Can you guess which piece we hung first? If you’re not sure, keep reading.

Figuring out what goes up on the wall first is where you start. Even if you’re going for an eclectic freestyle look, you need to have somewhat of a strategy. Do you start on the left, middle, right, top, bottom, or does it matter? There are a lot of questions to be answered. Here’s the order of how we hung each item:

Frame #1 – The Tree 

  • The Tree is our starting point and the piece that anchors the entire gallery. We added to its left and right to create a balanced look on either side.

  • Center the first piece with the middle sofa cushion.

  • How did we know how high to hang it? Go back to the photo where our gallery is on the floor and you’ll see that we had planned to hang the yak close to the couch and the tree higher.

  • Tip: Have your tablet or iPad on hand to easily refer to the picture you took of your display. It’s basically your guide.

  • The frame we used is the Place&Push frame, and as the name suggests, you literally place and push the frame into the wall to hang it. It’s super easy since the hardware (metal pins) are already installed at the back. We placed a small level on top of the frame to make sure it would go in straight.

Frame #2 – Love 

  • We centered the Love frame with the Tree below, and hung it right above using Hang & Level. This tool works wonders, we couldn’t hang stuff without it.

  • We then used a small DécoNail to hang it with - its head fits perfectly in the sawtooth hook on the back of the frame.

  • We placed AnchorPoints on the bottom corners to make sure it would stay straight when we hung the other pieces.

  • Decorating tip: We have AnchorPoints on the back of every single frame hanging at our house. This is a surefire way of keeping our frames always straight even after we give it a good dusting. It may sound silly, but in a gallery wall, if one frame goes crooked, the entire gallery looks crooked and we just can’t stand the sight of that. It's one of our decorating pet peeves.

Frame #3 – The Yak

  • In a gallery, it’s a good idea to mix pieces of different sizes and shape to add interest. Of course that’s not the case if you’re hanging a symmetrical display like this one.

  • We used CanvasHangers to hang the Yak. As shown above, the brackets sit in the top corners and once the pins are pushed into the wall, the canvas sits perfectly flush against the surface and stays straight no matter what.

Now, let’s go to the right side. 

Frame #4 – The Pinecone

  • Not to sound like a broken record, but we referred back to the picture we took of our floor display to confirm where to hang the Pinecone. When you have multiple pieces to a gallery, it's more challenging to remember exactly where you decided each piece to go. Instead of leaving it up to memory (and mistakes), always check your phone or tablet!

  • Using Hang & Level, we centered the Pinecone with the Tree next to it, marked the spot, and hung it.

  • We hammered a small DécoNail in, and that’s it. Onto the next frame!

Frame #5 – Rudolph

  • As you can see, Rudolph has a tiny keyhole on the back which is a pain to hang.

  • To hang it, once again we used our handy dandy Hang & Level. We placed Rudolph on the single button of the tool, which fits perfectly in the keyhole. Then we centered it above the Pinecone, just high enough for the antlers to surpass the top of the Yak.

  • We used a DécoNail - its head is big enough and strong enough to hold Rudolph up without any worries of it ever falling.

Frame #6 – The Birch Trees 

  • We hung the Birch Trees at approximately the same height as the Yak, which is about 3.5″ from the top of the couch. If you love measurements, check out the picture at the bottom with all the numbers and lines. It’s got everything on it.

  • This frame is a Place&Push frame (the same as the Tree), and it was very easy to hang. See Frame #1.

  • As far as spacing goes, we left a very similar amount of space between the Birch Trees and the Pinecone as we did between the Tree and the Pinecone. Although we didn’t measure, it’s very similar. Isn’t it?

Frame #7 – The Wishbone

  • Using Hang & Level, we centered the Wishbone with the frame below (The Birch Trees).

  • Just like what we did with frame #2, we used DécoNails and AnchorPoints to fix it to the wall.

Frame #8 – The Oval Silhouette

  • The Oval Silhouette– la pièce de résistance. We centered the pretty lady with the Wishbone, and for consistency, left similar spacing between the two as we did between the Wishbone and the Birch Trees.

  • A small DécoNail is all we needed to secure the frame to the wall, and we're done!

Measurements, anyone?

For the record, we measured all the spacing between items only after we were done hanging the gallery. We wanted this display to be hung freestyle, i.e. without using a measuring tape. So yes, we eyeballed everything to demonstrate that it can be done when you have a PHS – a picture hanging strategy. 

Seasonal flair

Since the holidays are just right around the corner, we thought it'd be fun to use some of our leftover Christmas tree decorations to jazz up our Rudolph. Look how far a simple garland and a pom-pom goes!

 Tools used in this project

To recap, these are all the tools we used: Hang & Level, AnchorPoints, DécoNails, CanvasHangers, Place&Push Frames, and DécoHammer.

If you’d like to get your hands on any of the tools we used to hang this stunning gallery, shop online now.

Got any questions? Comments? Let us know down below. We're all eyes and ears for your decorating needs! 

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