Hanging Your Picture Frames

After carefully selecting your picture frames, from the size, the shape and down to the color, the next step is to hang the picture frames where they can make the most visual effect.

So, how do you hang that silver picture frame or that display case so that it looks artful and you don’t poke so many holes on your wall? Here are a few helpful tips:

Plan. Plan. Plan. Before taking up your hammer and nail, visualize where you will place the frame and how you will hang it. Take measurements of your available wall space and plan where you will place your frames. For a gallery display, use paper cutouts to plot the placement of the frames.

Standing position vs. “sitting” position. For frames to be viewed standing up, the general rule is that the middle of the frame should be from 60” to 66” from the floor. This is the height from which people usually view pictures standing up. However, if the picture is to be displayed in the living room or the den (where people are sitting most of the time), you can hang the frame lower so that the viewer does not have to strain to look at the picture. Also, when hanging the frame above the sofa or other pieces of furniture, allow 6” to 8” inches of space in between.

Go for odd numbers. When displaying a number of picture frames, an odd number of frames is preferable. This gives a sense of balance and proportion to the display.

Consider the drop of your hanging wire. The wire at the back of the frame will be raised once the weight of the frame pulls at it. You need to make adjustments to ensure that the frame is positioned exactly where you want it. To do this, measure the distance where the top of your picture frame should be. Then, measure the drop of the hanging wire at the back. Subtract the second measurement (the drop) from the first (the height at the top of the frame). This is the height where you will position the hook on the wall.

Focus on balance and proportion. A gallery display is a single unit and should be treated such, not as separate pieces. There should be a balance between diversity and uniformity. You can have a variety of colors, shapes or items, but it should not be so varied that the display looks cluttered and confused. The aim is to have an interesting, even a visually surprising display, but still retain an even composition. The “weight” of the frames should be well distributed, going for a vertical line and a horizontal line, preferably in the center of the display. When hanging the frames, make sure that the distance between the frames are not more than 2 to 3 inches. Another thing to remember is that when hanging a number of frames over a sofa or bed, the frames should ideally be at least two-thirds the length of the piece of furniture.

Secure your frames. For mobile homes or houseboats, it is important to ensure that the frame does not move to and fro while your “home” is in transit. Anchor the frame’s corner with security hangers. The same goes for round frames, stick rubber pads at the opposite bottoms.

29th Oct 2015 Eric Morgan

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