Install a sawtooth hanger on your picture - quickly and easily

Sometimes when you buy art it doesn’t have a hanger already installed. One of the most common hangers on art sold at retail is a sawtooth. Here’s a really simple way to install a sawtooth hanger on a picture frame, so you can get your artwork up without delay.

Person marking the centerpoint on a piece of Painter's tape on the top of the frame profile, using a tape measurer and marking pen.

Mark the center point at the top of the frame

Place a piece of Painter’s tape on the top middle of the picture frame. You don’t have to worry about being precise, just make sure it’s around the center of the frame profile. Painter’s tape is good to use because it will remove cleanly, but you can also use masking tape if that’s what you have handy. Then measure the width of the frame and place a mark on the tape at the centerpoint.

 Using Painter's tape applied vertically to the sawtooth hanger, a person is aligning the hanger in the right spot on the back of a picture frame.

Align the sawtooth hanger with the frame centermark

This is a little trick we use all the time to help align and hold the sawtooth hanger in the right spot. Place Painter’s tape vertically across the hanger. It will stick to the tape and then you can use the tape to adjust the hanger into place on the frame profile. Position the hanger on the profile about half way down from the top. Align the middle of the hanger with the mark on the tape. Make sure the hanger is level (using your eye) and then stick down the tape to hold it in place. Most sawtooth hangers have a mark at their center so they are easy to align.

Tip: Even if the hanger is installed a bit crookedly, it won’t make a difference for hanging the frame.

Two images: one showing how to hold the nails for the hanger with pliers so you don't hammer your fingers by mistake, and the second showing hammering the nails into the picture frame to secure the sawtooth hanger to the profile.

Secure the hanger with nails

With the sawtooth hanger held in place, it’s easy to secure it with nails. Use pliers to hold the small nails to avoid banging your fingers with the hammer. Once you have a nail started you can remove the pliers and finish securing the nail flush to the frame profile. Hammer in both nails, remove the tape - and you’re ready to hang your picture!

Image of a person installing a sawtooth hanger on the back of a picture frame with the words How to install a Sawtooth Hook.

If you’d like to see the sawtooth hanger installation in action, check out our short How-to video on YouTube.

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