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How to Hang Different Sized Frames
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How to Hang Different Sized Frames

Whether you’re hanging family photos or looking to create a gallery wall out of a collection of frames, then you need to know how to hang up any size picture frame that you might come across. After all, not every single piece of art is going to be the same size. 

Whether a light drawing on a canvas or heavier pieces like an oil painting, having the right hanging hardware is crucial, and that’s exactly what we’re here to cover today. Let’s figure out how to create an arrangement of frames that will make any wall space come to life.

How to Hang Different Sizes of Picture Frames

Sure, a normal picture hook might work fine in some cases, but they’re not always ideal. As a rule of thumb, you need to use the right hardware for various sizes of photo frames. If you fail to use the right hanging hardware for your art piece, if it’s a heavy frame, it might just come crashing down to the ground.

How to Hang Smaller Frame Sizes

Let's first figure out how to hang the smallest and lightest of picture frames.

Adhesive Strips

If you have very lightweight artwork that doesn’t require much in terms of holding power, using some adhesive strips might be the best way to go. These have two sides, both of which feature adhesive, making them very easy to use. They also don’t require tools or damage walls, although they have severe weight limitations. They also don’t do well on textured walls or in moist environments.

Thumb Tacks

For lightweight pictures, especially if they don’t have a thick frame, using thumb tacks or push pins might be your best bet. These don’t cause much damage to walls, plus they’re easy to use, although they do make small holes in walls. They also come loose over time, so you may need to push them back into the wall.


If you have framed artwork that isn’t too heavy, you can always use some nails. Many picture frames have special brackets or hanging wires that you just have to place over a nail. Yes, nails do cause a bit of damage to walls, but for lightweight work they’re also more secure than either of the other options we’ve looked at. However, there are also alternatives for nails, especially if you need to hang something a bit heavier, so let’s move on.

How to Hang Medium Sized Frames

If you have any kind of custom frames of a moderate size, here are some of the best ways to hang them.

Sawtooth Hangers or Picture Hooks

If you’re looking to hang up some medium-sized framed prints, then you’ll need to take some additional steps when compared to hanging the lighter prints. 

One thing you can try doing is using picture hooks, which are small hooks that come with a thin yet heavy nail that allows you to secure them to the wall. 

They hold a good deal of weight and don't cause too much wall damage, but not all wall types are suitable for nails.

Screws and Wall Anchors

Whether you’ve got white frames or black frames, if they’re heavy enough, you might want to use screws and wall anchors. Wall anchors are ideal for some fairly heavy pieces, and if you’re looking to secure a collection of medium-sized artwork to the wall, then this is a good way to go. 

This method is also ideal for virtually any wall type, especially harder walls, and it’s very secure too. The problem is of course that you need to drill holes, and those holes are generally of a substantial size.

How to Hang Larger Frames

If you have really heavy picture frames, such as wood frames, then here are a number of great ways to hang them up. These methods are best reserved for heavy pieces that require a great deal of security.

French Cleat

The French cleat system is a great mounting method to use if you have very large picture frames. The French cleat consists of two interlocking parts, one of which attaches to the wall and the other to the picture frame. 

This method is ideal for pictures in excess of one hundred pounds, and it is very secure indeed, although it can also be expensive. The mounting process is also a little more complex, although its reliability makes the French cleat a preferred method for many types of wall art.

Heavy-Duty Picture Hangers

There are special heavy-duty picture hangers designed for the heaviest of pictures. These are like regular picture hooks, but much larger, and often have anchors to secure them into a wall. This makes heavy duty picture hangers ideal for virtually any frame type and frame selection, as long as you're able to attach the frame to the hangers.

Locking Systems for Security Purposes

If it’s an expensive piece of art you have, no matter the size or weight, you may want to consider a special locking system to protect against thievery.

Tips for Hanging Various Frame Styles Successfully

  • Try to hang picture frames over the center of a piece of furniture.
  • Make sure to hang pictures at or near eye level, as they’ll be the easiest to see.
  • Make sure to use your tape measure before mounting anything, and if you have multiple frames, be sure to measure the distance between frames so you can achieve a coherent look.
  • For the best results, use a bubble level or laser level to ensure that your pictures are hung straight.
  • If you’re having trouble figuring out picture spacing, this free picture spacing calculator might be of assistance.

Final Thoughts on Hanging a Collection of Art

As you can see, there are many different ways to hang up those pictures. The most important thing for you to do is to weigh the piece of art in question. You then need to determine the proper hanging method for the weight of the frame being hung. Once you figure that out, the rest should come together on its own! 


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