Hang On and Hang Up

By | January 11, 2013

Have you guys seen any great gallery walls lately? They seem to be really popular right now and I knew I wanted a couple of them in our house. I had so many beautiful wedding photos to hang up. Plus, we had a lot of walls to fill and lots of small frames is WAY cheaper than a few really big pieces of art.

This post is a little bit of a flashback since these photos were taken in October. Still, I wanted to share the project with you guys because I’ve had a bunch of questions and comments about it.

Right before we had the housewarming party with our families, we had a LOT of finishing touches that still needed to be done. That meant in the days leading up to the party, Hubs and I had to divide and conquer.

Hubs was in charge of hanging the beadboard in the bathroom and caulking all the trim and stuff. Plus, hanging up art was more my cup of tea anyway.

But, I’ve never had to do a project like this all by myself, so I learned a few tricks I can share with you guys… you know, in case you are ever rushing to hang up a bunch of photos all by yourself before inviting your entire family over to visit your new home.

Note: I did this in three rooms in our house that day, so these pictures are from three different arrangements, not one giant crazy one.

1. Layout everything on the floor first. Now, keep in mind, I was going for free-form arrangements here so there wasn’t any measurements in mind. Of course, if you were wanting arrangements that were perfectly spaced out and symmetrical, this would take more time and planning. Since I was just going for a random arrangement, no measurements were needed.

2. Think about balance. For an arrangement that’s centered on a wall, for example, over the couch, I recommend keeping the bigger frames to the middle of the group and then working out in all directions with the smaller ones to keep it balanced.

Note: This is actually not how I ended up arranging this grouping, but it works to show the point, right? And if I hadn’t admitted that, you might never have noticed. Oops.

For an arrangement that is going to take up the entire wall, like the one in my office, I’d say it’s better to keep things balanced with some big stuff of the edges, too.

Another note: I realize this looks weird, keep in mind that I was missing a few frames here and the microwave/printer cart¬†goes on this wall so I had to leave room for it. Also, don’t mind Hubs’ feet in this photo. He was just checking out my progress.¬†

3. Here’s the secret trick: toothpaste.

Since I was trying to do this as fast as possible, I didn’t have time to hold the frame on the wall, mark the top of the frame with a pencil, take the frame down, and then measure how far down on the frame the nail needs to be from the top, measuring the same distance down on the wall from my mark and then hammering the nail in. Even just thinking about doing that for every single frame makes me dizzy and tired and grumpy. Sheesh.

So, instead of that exhausting method, just dab some toothpaste on the frame in the exact spot the nail needs to go.

Hold the frame up and touch the toothpaste to the wall to make the spot the nail needs to go.

So simple, right? And so much faster than the other way!

Now, I’d recommend wiping off the toothpaste first, but it’s probably not necessary. It will eventually dry, right?


And here’s the office wall, still some finishing touches needed in here: (Yes, it’s a lot, but it’s where I work and write and I like all the fun, colorful prints because they keep me feeling happy and inspired when I’m working. Also, please ignore the icky flash-sorry!)

(UPDATE–my taste has changed A LOT–see what this room looks like now, here!)

(UPDATE–The kitchen looks nothing like this now—it’s been totally gutted and redone—see it here!)

4. Then, just keep hammering away and eventually, you’ll be done!

Here’s a little preview of how the process went in the living room. It’s like a little flip book! (You know those little doodle flip books kids make in school?)

Please excuse the bumpy photography and enjoy the disappearing and reappearing yellow hammer!

So, what about you? What are your tips and tricks for making projects go faster when you’re on your own?

6 thoughts on “Hang On and Hang Up

  1. Kaleena

    been searching Pinterest for great gallery ideas to finally get (and order, embarrassing!) our wedding pics hung up – this is perfect!

    1. Melissa Post author

      Glad this was helpful! Good luck with your project! Send a picture when you get it finished!


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