How to Hang Pictures Without Putting Eighty-Five Million Holes in the Wall
Ever wanted to hang your pictures in a nice arrangement, but shied away from elaborate gallery arrangements for fear of putting tons of holes in the wall? Well, you’re in luck. I learned this technique a few years back from (who else) Martha, and though it is somewhat labor-intensive, I think the end result is worth it.
Assemble all of the pictures you would like to go in your gallery. It’s good to have a general idea of how you want to arrange the pictures–for this gallery, I decided to arrange the pictures in the shape of a large rectangle. Place the first picture face up on some brown craft paper, or any scrap paper that is big enough to fit the picture. Trace around the edges picture with a pen.
With pictures that have a hanging wire, you will want to measure to figure out where the nail should go. The way to do this is to turn the picture over, pull the wire taut, and then measure the distance of the point from the top of the frame as well as the side of the frame.
Measure distance from top edge of picture to where the wire is at its tallest. Mark with a horizontal line.
Next, measure how far over from the side edge the middle of the wire hits. Mark this with a vertical line.
When you are done, you should have a cross that shows where the nail should go. I like to write a description of the picture on each cutout, so that I don’t get them mixed up when I start arranging them on the wall.
Repeat this process with all of the pictures you want to include in the gallery. With pictures that don’t have wires, simply measure the distance from the top of the picture to the top of the hook, and from the side of the picture to halfway through the hook.
Once you have finished making the paper cutouts of all the pictures, tape them up on the wall with blue painter’s tape (so that no paint will get pulled from the wall).
Arrange the paper cutouts until you have it looking how you want the gallery to look.
Once you have the arrangement how you want it, then you can nail a nail in the crosshairs of each paper cutout. When you’ve done this, remove the paper cutouts and replace them with the actual pictures. And voilà.