Instructables

How to make hanging pictures easier and keep your nail from slipping into the wall

This instructable is inspired by Camel_Doughnut's "Cheap Sea-Monkey Aerator!" instructable and is written in the same spirit.

After I made an aerator for my Sea Monkeys, I had trouble hanging my digital photo frame on the wall when the nail kept slipping flush with the wall.

The digital photo frame also serves as a memory card reader when I need to get pictures off the camera at work, but I have to take the frame off the wall to put in the card and the USB cable and I always had a hard time re-hanging the frame so I wanted some way to keep the nail from slipping.

Since I already had the straws out, I decided to try something and this instructable was born.
 
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Step 1: Tools and Supplies

This is a very simple instructable and you basically need a nail, a straw, some scissors, and some tape.

You could use a ruler too but the measurements aren't that precise so that's optional.

I'm doing this at work so I only used items readily available to me (I found a stash of bendy straws in the kitchen)

Step 2: Cut the straw

Picture of Cut the straw
Cut the straw to about one quarter inch long (about six millimeters).

The length of the cut isn't terribly important as long as it is long enough to keep the nail far enough from the wall to engage the keyhole or picture hook of the object that you are trying to hang.

Step 3: Fold the straw

Picture of Fold the straw
Slip the cut piece of straw over the nail and flatten it with your fingers.

Once it is well flattened, fold and wrap it around the nail to make the diameter of the doubled up straw smaller. I didn't find that this step was too critical either since the straw bends easily to conform with the keyhole shape of the frame.

Step 4: Tape the straw

Picture of Tape the straw
Take a piece of tape and wrap it around the straw to keep it doubled up. Don't worry about the tape overlapping the end of the straw, we'll take care of that in the next step.

Nothing critical here.
baxter105 years ago
this is a dumb , either hit a stud with the nail , or use a screw even without the anchor it wont slip back and forth, or they make nails with heads that stick out....
Yakster (author) 6 years ago
The straw is just a spacer to keep the head of the nail away from the wall to make it easy to hang the frame. After I wrote the instructable I was thinking that you could probably just roll up some used printer paper to do the same thing but it might not be as flexible to fit the keyhole or as sturdy to keep from getting smashed. The frame is light weight and in my office so I didn't want to use a drywall anchor (love those things normally) and I wanted to hang it below my clock in a spot where there is no stud so I just went for the nail. Thanks for the comments.
canida6 years ago
Could you explain the problem a bit better? I'm not clear whether the issue was accidentally pushing the nail too far into the wall when trying to hang the picture (thus the straw as a spacer) or if there's something strange about the back of your picture that somehow necessitates this fix. Just a bit more explanation, and all will become clear.
for whatever reason, the nail keeps on going into the wall making it ridiculously frustrating to hang the picture. the straw keeps it out so that it stays out far enough to hang the picture easily.
It sounds like you've got another problem! The nail is embedded in drywall, not a stud; this allows it to slip freely, and if you put too much weight on it the nail will "slip" and cut through the drywall. You should be using drywall anchors- they'll provide a stable hold that won't slip. The self-drilling drywall anchors are awesome- it's basically a hard plastic outer screw that distributes the load through the drywall, then you put a regular screw into the threaded interior.
It's so simple I don't get it! What is the purpose of the straw?