Hang a Picture Frame




Here is my method for measuring and hanging framed pictures. Your art will end up at the correct viewing height and will be even with other frames in the room, even if they are different sizes. This is my own preferred method; there are others, like some folks will hang pictures with the tops or bottoms at the same height; others so that the middles are all level. My method places the two-thirds point uniformly at eye level, which I think looks best.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Tape measure
Pencil and paper
Picture hangers (hooks)

Step 2: Location

Locate the wall you are hanging the picture on. If you are hanging a few of them, line them up at the base of the wall and space them to your satisfaction. Measure from frame center to frame center and write this number down. This will be the distance between hangers.

Step 3: Mark 66 Inches

Calculate the vertical line for the hanger, like from a corner or window, or in the middle between two windows, and make a small pencil mark at about eye level. Then measure from the floor to 66 inches, and make a mark there. Make the lines intersect.

Step 4: Measure Frame

Measure the height of the frame. Write it down. ( H )

Step 5: Measure the Wire

Measure the distance behind the frame from the top of the wire to the top of the frame. I do this by hooking the tape measure on the wire and pulling lightly to make it taut. Write it down. ( V )

Step 6: Make a Sketch

On a piece of paper make a diagram (this helps me). Make these calculations:
Take frame height ( H ), divide by three. This is ( E )
Measured down from the top of the frame, ( E ) is going to end up being eye level ( L, or 66" ), two thirds up the frame.
The difference between the 66 inch mark and where the hanger will go is ( D ).
Picture hanger is placed at ( X ).

So we have:
H divided by 3 = E ( Thirds )
E minus V = D ( Difference between wire and top third point )
66 plus D = X ( Eye level plus difference is where the hanger goes )
V corresponds to X ( The wire hangs on the hanger. Duh. )

It gets easier when you've done it once or twice.
(Tell me if I've made this stupidly complicated.)

Step 7: Make the Second Mark

Measure from your 66 inch mark UP 2 3/8 inches, and that is where the hook of you hanger goes. Make a mark.

Step 8: Install Hanger

Grab your hammer. Line up the pencil mark with the hanger hook, with the nail above it. Hold the nail securely as you hammer it lightly, you don't want it to bend or crack the wall.

Step 9: You're Done

Hang your art.
Level the frame.

This art is from Rob Cohn, photographer.



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    3 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    This is GREAT! Hanging pictures is a mystery to too many people. I have a question though, What is the magical 66 inches? I just 'eyeball' the height I want the pictures and mark the wall at the top of the frame. Then I have a tool which projects a laser beam on all four walls around the room at that level. I need an assistant but the frame height is the same no matter where the pictures are in the room. Then I don't measure the frame size. What's that about? The important thing that many people don't think about is that each picture has different hanger geometry so each one must be measured. Your technique with the wire, frame, and tape measure is excellent.

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I came up with 66 in. as an average eye level- for me its about 68, for shorter folks maybe 64. I bet if you measured all your eyeball pictures, the ones that look good, not too high or low, you'll come up with a constant. It may end up close to my 2 thirds scheme. Measure the frame, divide by three, then measure from the floor. Say you have a couple of 24 in. frames with a 36 in. in between them. Does it look best with the tops even or 2/3 eyelevel? If you frame (or wire) your own, you can make the wire height 2 in. above 2/3, and all the hangers can go at 68. Then you can switch pictures around. But after all, the whole business is like art- you know what you like. Thanks for your comment!