Choosing the best location
Avoid hanging your new framed print in an empty space – unless it is a large statement piece. Prints look great at eye level and is typically why galleries and museums display art like this. As a general rule hang your art approximately 1.4m to 1.55m from the floor to the centre of the frame, though its always best to figure out what works best for your space.
If you own your home – or have an understanding landlord
Time to get out the hammer and nails! You will need the former, a spirit level (or phone with a clever app), pencil, tape measure and, depending on your wall type, a power drill and wall fixings.
Measuring the frame and wall
If hanging one frame, mark the height on the wall using a pencil and measure to find the middle of the wall from end to end – marking where the two points meet. If hanging more.. get the calculator out and start dividing!
Measure the distance between the middle of the frame and where it will catch the nail (this will either be where the metal hook on the back of the frame is or where the wire/string bends when bearing the weight of the frame). Measure this difference beneath you pencil mark on the wall and mark the spot – this will be where the nail or screw will go!
Remember different wall types require different fixings. Knock on the wall or use a stud detector before you start drilling holes. Generally a hollow sound = stud and solid knock. = masonry. You can use a double headed hangar screw without the need for a pilot hole in stud but will need to drill and use a wallplug in masonry. If you can always check for electrics and pipes – or at least avoid obvious areas around light switches!
My personal favourite is command strips. While these are more expensive than a pack of nails and a good hammer, they do save you time at the end of your tenancy having to cover up holes! You can also get combo packs which are handy for hanging a range of frame sizes.
From experience, as good as command strips are, I would recommend not sticking the frame to the wall above anything valuable or easily broken (ie a record player like I did), as occasionally – probably due to not following the instructions completely – you might get one fall off the wall. Also stick to using frames with Perspex fronts rather than glass. This not only reduces the load on the strips but eliminates the risk of broken glass in the event your frame does fall off!
Bear in mind that measuring the frame and wall will be slightly different if using the strips. Rather than measuring for the centre of the frame, you will need to measure the width of the frame and allow for an even amount of wall space either side. Use and pencil and a level to make sure this is as accurate as possible. You will still want to follow the eye-line rule for the height on the wall.
Or.. don’t hang it at all!
The ‘laziest’ way to display your framed print is to lean the frame against the wall or on a shelf. Home that have a lot of art hung properly on a wall can still use casually leaned pieces and if placed properly it looks intentional! We have some spare frames dotted around my flat – some carefully placed to even cover cables.
You can also use a picture shelf if you are into the leaning method. It is also a good solution if you want to change your room around occasionally to freshen things up. If you are renting then this method may fall foul of the no nails rule but there are ways to create improvised picture shelves. For example we have very basic radiators in our current flat which, even with furniture pressed up against it, do not look good. To solve this we went to B&Q and got several bits of cut timber to lay across the top, creating several shelves perfect to rest a small framed print on.