Introduction: How to Perfectly Hang a Picture That Requires Multiple Nails

Picture of How to Perfectly Hang a Picture That Requires Multiple Nails

This "ible" outlines the steps for a stupid little trick (which I picked up years ago) to perfectly hang just about anything that requires more than one nail/screw/cleat. It works just as well for pictures, as it does for power strips (or just about anything else you can imagine). I've wanted to capture it in this format for a while... but I'm lazy.

All you need are:
- Tape
- A marker
- A level
- A hammer (or other smashy-smashy device)
- Two Nails (or other pokey-outy devices)

Step 1: Painter's Tape and a Marker

Picture of Painter's Tape and a Marker

Tear off a piece of painter's tape that's long enough to cover both the hangers. It doesn't have to be perfect piece of tape. It just has to be long enough to reach BOTH hangers. I like to use painter's tape, or masking tape, because it's usually accessible; it doesn't stretch much; it's easy to work with (meaning it's not so sticky that it tears or damages the things it touches).

Take your handy-dandy marker, and mark the apex of each hanger (wherever you expect the nail will go). The smaller the mark, the more precise your work will be. Note that I set it up so that the dots fall in the middle of the tape (vertically)? There's a reason for this. Once both of the hooks are marked, remove the piece of tape from the back of the frame and carry it with you to the wall where you intend to hang the picture.

Step 2: Transfer the Marks Onto the Wall.

Picture of Transfer the Marks Onto the Wall.

Slap your tape on the wall in a "yeah... that looks pretty close" kind of way. Then get out your level. Pick one of your dots, set the level, and make your "T" marks (on the tape, not the wall).

This is the reason for putting the marks in the middle of the tape. Some of us are good at "eye ball" leveling. In this case, I was only off by about a quarter of an inch. Not everyone is so "skilled." You want the marks to be in the middle, so that you end up making all of your leveling marks on the tape (rather than the wall).

Step 3: Nail Through the Tape

Picture of Nail Through the Tape

Using your chubby digits (if you're lucky enough to have "chubby digits"), tap your nails through the tape. Repeat.

Once both nails are in place, peel the tape off the wall. See? No unnecessary marks? No "extra" holes.

Step 4: Hang the Picture!

Picture of Hang the Picture!

See? It works.

Now, the part where you figure out how to get those stupid, flippy-style, triangle-shaped hangers to actually HOOK ONTO THE DOGGONE NAILS, is entirely *your* problem.

I suggest spending several thousand dollars on a fiber optic camera. You know, the ones you see in movies with the small LCD screen? It might also come in handy if you ever have to diffuse a bomb, which... come to think of it... I would probably rather do than mess around with these types of hangers.

Step 5: Place Fancy Things Around the Picture

Picture of Place Fancy Things Around the Picture

Take a second to be pleased with yourself. Nothing got punched. Minimal curse words were used. No unnecessary holes in the wall. You did this the smart way. Why not assemble a collection of your most pretentious books and decorative doo-dads in front of the picture, so that you can take a picture... of the picture.

Good luck!


CreatedByVika8 (author)2016-05-14

What an easy work! Genius idea! How it come I haven't come up with this trick? Thanks for your instructable :) Hope you find some extra time also to check out my curtain holder DIY ! I guess you may like it, as you love "hanging stuff" LOl!!!

sol92258 (author)2016-04-14

Great instructible, nice write-up. I've actually done this before, and would like to add some observations from my experiences:

I've found on some hanging frames that the hangers aren't always even or level, one may be mounted a bit higher or lower than the other side - usually it's the cheaper frames. This leads to two problems - when you put the tape on the wall and then level the marks, the frame will not be level. Second, if you notice it's unlevel, and account for it, be sure to remember that the tape will be reversed on the wall....when you mark your left on the tape while it's on the frame, it's actually the "right" side of the frame when it's hanging.

I eventually started placing a strip of tape across the hangers, as above, but long enough to extend past the frame, and mark the holes. Then I hold the frame to wall, level it, and then using two more pieces of tape, secure the first tape to the wall, sticky side out. Carefully remove the frame (it's sticking to it, remember), and then install the nails.

jamesburkefan (author)sol922582016-04-18

You missed the part about "I'm lazy." (Just kidding.)

I totally understand what you're getting at, and you're right. Cheap frames are famously imperfect.

sol92258 (author)jamesburkefan2016-04-29

Totally understand, and relate to, the "lazy" part!
But OCD wife (and myself to an extent) makes that not an option here :)

Markomyt1 (author)2016-04-18

Awesome! I did have one where the little triangle thingys weren't level with each other. I just adjusted the nail on one side a little and VOILA!

sarawelder (author)2016-04-14

very nice and simple. like sliced bread!

jamesburkefan (author)sarawelder2016-04-18


mtbike2 (author)2016-04-14

HOLY COW! You are my hero!!! I HATE those stupid picture frames so much. Seriously you just made hanging pictures so much better

jamesburkefan (author)mtbike2 2016-04-18

You're MY hero, Bane! Soon the darkness will become familiar to all, amIright? Batman didn't know what he was getting himself into.

Seriously though... Thanks. And keep rocking the safety gear.

mgrenzoni (author)2016-04-18

Fantastic! I usually measure, level, measure again, and STILL get it wrong! This is so simple and yet so effective!

jamesburkefan (author)mgrenzoni2016-04-18

Oh, you can still TOTALLY get it wrong doing it my way. Don't sell yourself short. I mess it up all the time.

ECRusch (author)2016-04-15


Thank you.

jamesburkefan (author)ECRusch2016-04-18


Megacode (author)2016-04-14

That's brilliant! Thanks for that. Like treverandamber I also thought it would be easier to connect the two with some wire or string but it would put all the weight onto one nail. No problem for small pictures but might be a bit risky for large, heavy frames or for the huge mirror I need to hang up and have been putting off because it requires two "sticky out" bits to be inserted into the wall! Now I know how to do it'll be up in no time and missus will be chuffed!

jamesburkefan (author)Megacode2016-04-18

Always glad to know that I've helped to chuff another person.

hunter1s1k (author)2016-04-14

I'm with Innkeeper, I should have thought of this a long time ago. Thank you.

jamesburkefan (author)hunter1s1k2016-04-18

You can take credit when you show your friends. I don't mind.

The Innkeeper (author)2016-04-13

Doh! You'd think with as much stuff as I have hanging on the walls, I'd have figured something like this out. Genius, sir. I bow before your tape-y wisdom.

Genius? No. Wisdom? Maybe.

mrmetallica (author)2016-04-13

brilliant going to use this thank you


treverandamber (author)2016-04-13

Another suggestion is to use some braided framing wire to connect the two triangles. This makes the frame need only one nail (or picture hanger hook), makes it easier to hang, and allows you to adjust the level of the picture until it is just right. You can also add a little blue tack on the bottom corners to keep the frame from shifting later after it is hung.

A fantastic point! The only thing I don't like about that particular technique is that it requires you to put all of the weight of the picture on a single nail; but for most applications I would say you are 100% correct! This method is good for heavier objects... but of course you would have to integrate the use of a stud finder, and some heavier fasteners/screws.

seamster (author)2016-04-13

This is a wonderful trick!

Great write-up on the process, thank you very much for sharing this :)

jamesburkefan (author)seamster2016-04-18

Glad to be of service!

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More by jamesburkefan:Make Your Own Wooden Cabinet LatchesHow to Make Four (Awesome) Wooden Swords From a Single 2X4How to perfectly hang a picture that requires multiple nails
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