How to add picture wire on your frame

Sometimes you have a picture frame that doesn't come with hanging hardware pre-installed. Picture wire is a great option to hang a frame. Here’s all the steps for adding picture wire to a frame by installing D-rings to hold the wire, and our favorite tips to make it easy.

Picture showing a person using Painter's tape on each side of the back of a picture frame and measuring down the same distance from the top on both sides to mark where to install the d-ring fasteners

Mark the spot for the D-ring screws

Place Painter's tape on each frame edge no more than one third of the way down from the top of the frame. The distance will vary based on the size of the frame. Pick a spot for the hangers so when the wire is strung it doesn’t extend over the top of the frame and for larger frames place the D-ring a bit higher than the ⅓ spot so the frame won’t lean out from the wall. Once you have a spot selected, make marks on the tape where to install each screw - use the same distance down from the top, on each side of the frame. 

Tip: an easy way to calculate the top third of the frame is to measure your frame from top to bottom - and divide that number by 3. This is the distance where you’ll find a spot for the D-ring.

Image of a person drilling starter holes in the back of a picture frame on the marks previously made on the frame

Drill starter holes

We often use starter holes to help avoid cracks from forming in the frame when the screws are installed. Draw a cross on the tape using the mark already there and drill a small hole where the two lines intersect. You only need to drill into the frame about half of the length of the screw that is used to fasten the D-rings. 

Pictue showing a person installing the screw for the d-ring on the back of a picture frame using a screwdriver

Secure each D-ring

Align the mounting hole of the D-ring over the starter hole (with the D-ring facing upwards) and screw the hanger tightly to the frame. Repeat for the second D-ring. 

Tip: D-rings come in various sizes. Select a size that is the right size for your frame. Use a size that is about one third of the width of the picture frame.

5 images showing the steps from start to finish of adding picture wire on the back of a frame using 2 d-ring hangers

Add picture wire

Cut a piece of picture wire about 4 inches wider than the frame. Loop one end through a D-ring with about 2 inches overhang and twist it around itself. Thread the wire through the other D-ring, pull it taut and loop it back to the center and secure it by twisting it. Cut off any excess wire. That’s it! You are ready to hang your picture. If you want to see all the steps - watch this video.

Person testing the installed picture wire on the back of the frame by pulling it upward

Tip: Test the wire by pulling it up where the nail will go to make sure it doesn’t stretch past the top of the frame.

Hang & Level™, the picture hanging tool

Here’s an easy way to eliminate mistake holes. We designed Hang & Level to mark exactly where to put the nail. Check out the video above to see how to use the picture hanging tool with picture wire.

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