First determine where you would like to hang which pieces. Are you someone who likes eclectic surroundings mixing frame styles and sizes; or do you want to keep all the family photos in one area, creating a welcoming collage? Do you have one large main focal piece that hangs above the couch or in a more formal dining room? Are you hanging pictures up the stairwell? If you are unsure as to where you’d like to put a particular piece, try just placing the framed piece/s in that area and see if all the surroundings compliment the piece/s to give you the desired effect you are looking to create.
You’ll need a pencil, a tape measure, wall hanging hardware, any other tool you need for the type of wall hanging hardware you purchased such as a hammer or drill; a level, and if possible a “picture hanging helper”. If your artwork didn’t come with the wire already attached to your picture frame; refer to the last part of the this article to install the hanger yourself.
Now to determine the height at which you’d like your piece to hang. In general the piece should be at eye level. Meaning once the framed artwork is on the wall, you should be able to stand in front of the piece with your head level, your gaze should fall just about in the center or just below the center of the artwork. If you have a helper; have them hold the piece against the wall while you stand back a few feet and determine your optimal viewing height. Once you get this, take a pencil and lightly mark on the wall where the bottom of the frame is. (If you don’t want to mark your wall use a piece of painter’s tape, and lay the tape edge to the bottom of the frame.) Place the bottom of the frame on the floor, either lean your frame against the wall or have your helper hold the frame for you. Find the center of the hanging wire and use your finger to pull the hanging wire toward the top of the frame so all the slack is taken out of the wire. Using a tape measure, measure the distance from the bottom of the frame to where your finger is holding the wire taught. From the bottom of the frame mark, measure up the distance from the bottom of the frame to the wire and put an X on the wall; this is the spot you will be putting the wall hardware into the wall. Follow the instructions provided with the type of wall hardware you purchased to properly secure it into the wall. Now you can erase the bottom of the frame mark. If your piece is light enough for you to handle on your own, hold the hanging wire in one hand and the bottom of the frame in the other. Lift the frame towards the wall and wall hanger and use the hand holding the hanging wire to help guide your wire securely onto the wall hanger. (You can follow the same steps even if you have a picture frame with a sawtooth hanger instead of a wire.) If your piece is too large and awkward to handle yourself; have your helper hold the frame while you guide the wire onto the wall hanger. Once you got the wire onto the wall hanger, use a level (or smartphone level app) to level your piece on the wall. Now is time for the best part, stand back and enjoy your framed art!
A useful tip for hanging multiple frames for a collage type of a look; is to measure your frames’ widths and heights and cut matching pieces of newspaper. Then with a little bit of tape, arrange your paper “frames” on the wall. When doing a collage, try to make the spacing in between each frame as close to symmetrical as possible; or at least visually pleasing to you. If you take some time during this paper mock up stage and make sure all the papers are level; you should be able to mark where on the wall your hangers should go. Mark the vertical center of each piece of paper; then find the distance from the bottom of each frame to their hanging wires; mark that on the paper. Where your vertical line and that wire mark meet, is where you will want to put your wall hanger.
When selecting what kind of wall hanging hardware to use; you must take into consideration a few things:
1. What type of material is the wall you are planning to use made out of? Make sure you get wall hardware appropriate for that type of material.
2. How heavy is your piece? Most wall hanging hardware have sizes designed for certain pound ranges; select one rated for the picture frame you intend to hang. If in doubt, go for a stronger hanger.
For additional reference on how to hang your frames:
If you are a “DIY” type of person and use your creativity to frame your photos and artwork yourself, you may find yourself unclear on the hanging hardware on the back of the frame. If you are able to choose what type of hanger to put onto your frame, a set of D-rings/eyelets and wire combo is a great option. Wire hangers can hold more weight so they are more secure than a sawtooth, especially for frames larger than 11×14. If you are using a sawtooth hanger, lay your piece face-down on a flat surface (recommend putting a towel down to protect the frame surface from possibly getting marred) and find the center of the picture. Place the sawtooth at this spot (generally aim for the middle of moulding) and using a hammer gently tap the sawtooth in place. Attaching a wire hanger takes a few more steps. First, install the D-rings/eyelets. Lay your picture frame face down (again recommend putting a towel down). On one of the sides of the frame, measure about 1/3rd of the way down from the top of the frame and mark that spot. Measure this same distance on the other side of the frame and mark it. Try to aim for the center of the moulding when making these marks. Screw the D-rings/eyelets into the frame at these marks, the D part of the ring faces in towards the middle. Run the wire through both D-rings/eyelets, with equal amounts of wire sticking out of each D-rings/eyelets. Secure the wire to one of D-rings/eyelets by bending the wire back over the D-ring/eyelet twice and the wrapping it back around itself several times. Repeat on the other side; but before securing the wire, make sure your wire has just a little “give” to it; you don’t want your wire too tight OR loose. Now, you’re ready to get that picture frame onto the wall and enjoy the fruits of your labor!