- TAKE IT TO THE FLOOR. When working with multiple prints, first mark off how big your wall is on the floor with blue painter’s tape. Then, lay out the entire arrangement, framed on the floor. Keep re-arranging until you’ve found the perfect composition! You can also use our online inspiration board tool to help with this.
- MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE. Measure your wall and divide by half to find the wall’s center-point, width-wise. This is obviously helpful if you’re centering your collage and even if you’re not, it’s good to know where the natural middle is. You’ll want to hang your center piece first.
- PAPER TIME. When you think you’ve found the perfect composition, trace each frame onto kraft paper or even newspaper and if you can, photo copy the art in the exact size. If that’s too much trouble, you can just outline the size of the art. Using painter’s tape again, tape the arrangement onto the wall exactly as it would hang. This will really help you visualize the end result and make sure you’ve gotten it just right–feel free to move it around until it’s just so–the painter’s tape won’t hurt your walls.
Image: Pottery Barn.
- JUST THE RIGHT HEIGHT. Next, decide the proper height from which to hang things. *Keep in mind* that most people hang things too high!! And consider whether or not your height is average… ideally you want to hang the center of the picture at the average person’s eye-level. So, if you’re really tall, this would be lower than what seems natural to you. The bottom should be no more than four feet off the ground. Hold your centerpiece against the wall to find the perfect place, keeping all of the above in mind, to hang this anchor piece. Make a small pencil mark at the top of the frame. A good rule is: 58″ from the floor to the center of the artwork. Other pieces will hang lower, higher or level, depending on the perfect arrangement you came up with! Also, when installing artwork over furniture, leave at least 8” between the base of the frame and the top of the furniture.
- FIND THE NAIL HEIGHT. Next, turn the frame over and figure out how many inches from the top of the frame the hanging wire or hole is. Then measure that many inches down from the pencil mark and make an ‘X’ onto the kraft paper. This is where you’ll want to put your nail if you’re using just one. If you’re hanging with two nails, which we recommend for larger prints, then you’ll want to measure out an equal distance to either side of the ‘X’ and make two more ‘X’s for where your two nails should go.
Image: Pottery Barn.
- SAVE YOUR WALLS. Place a strip of transparent tape over your ‘X’ to help prevent the plaster of your wall from splitting.
- SAVE YOUR FINGERS. It’s helpful to use a clothespin to hold the nail–place the clothespin perpendicular to the wall–and then hammer the nail in at a slight upward angle.
- OOPSY DAISY. If you do mess up: fix mistakes on white wall with Spackle (sold at hardware stores) and a fingertip. Apply a tiny dot over a hole, then smooth with a damp paper towel. White toothpaste also does the trick!
- LEVEL FOR PERFECTION. Rest a level on the top of the frame to straighten the frame just perfectly!
- REPEAT. For multiple prints, you’ll want to repeat all of these steps, but instead of measuring from the center, you’ll want to measure from the other prints. A good rule of thumb is to hang all the images the same distance from one another. You can use a book’s spine to be the standard width or measure 2 or 3 inches.
- KEEP IT THAT WAY. Buy double-sided sticky tape squares or rubber bumpers for the corners of your art pieces. There’s nothing more annoying than a crooked picture!!
Image: Dick Blick.
- Also *remember* you don’t have to hang your art! Ledges are an awesome alternative. They simplify things quite a bit and offer ongoing, arranging flexibility. Plus, they also let you showcase books, cards, flowers, and other memorabilia alongside your art and photos.
Image: Pottery Barn. The Holman Ledge from Pottery Barn is pictured above. It’s available in white, black, and wood in 2′, 3′, and 4′ feet sizes.
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