How to Make Hanging Pictures Easier and Keep Your Nail From Slipping Into the Wall




Introduction: 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.

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

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

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

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.

Step 5: Trim the Straw

Take the scissors and trim the tape flush with the ends of the straw. Take the nail out of the straw before cutting!

In the background, you see my Sea Monkeys in their Executive Sea Monkey set.

They're about six weeks old now and it looks like their about a quarter inch long. the magnifying bubbles are on the far side of the tank so you are seeing the sea monkeys--fairy shrimp really--unmagnified.

Step 6: Hang the Picture

Now your done, just have to push the nail in the wall and hang the picture.

Now when you go to put your picture frame back on the wall, no more struggling to align the nail perfectly with the hole.

I suppose it could be a game, like operation, but to me that game gets old and I'd rather have an easy time of it.

I hope the simplicity of this, my first instructable is outweighed by it's usefulness.

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    6 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    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....


    12 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

    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.