Hang A Group of Same-Size Prints Part 1

Hang A Group Same-Size Prints Part 1

Figure 1
Figure 1

You just had to have that 8×8 print you saw a street fair. But small prints get lost in a large wall space. You have a 5×7 family photo you adore. But tables and bureaus can hold only so many free-standing frames. There’s a space in your home where you want to showcase seasonal decor. How will you handle these design dilemmas? Your solution could be to hang multiple smallish, same-size prints in a group.

Don’t hang yourself! Follow this advice to get professional results without messing up your artwork, your walls, or your peace of mind.

Identify Space for the Group
Where do you want your group of prints? Hallways and bedrooms are good places for family photos. You might want original art in your living room, great room, or kitchen. Seasonal decor is perfect in a front foyer.

Tour your home for the right amount of space. A wide space above a table or counter works well for horizontal multiples. For five 5×7 prints, figure about four feet of horizontal space but only one foot or so of vertical space. Figure 1 showcases three 8×8 prints hung one atop the next on a gray wall. For this group, allow approximately two feet horizontally and four feet vertically. Remember to plan for the exact dimensions of the prints after framing.

Plan Overall Design
Before you buy the first frame or pound the first nail, plan and assemble your group of prints. This step is either the most fun or the hardest! If you are starting from scratch, make these decisions before you acquire. If you already have your first print, take a careful look at it. Consider the following:

Figure 2
Figure 2
  • Will the group’s orientation be portrait (up and down) or landscape (across)? If you want only three prints, select those with the same orientation. If you want five prints, you can use three of one orientation and two of the other. Figure 2 shows a group of five 5x7s, two portrait and three landscape.
  • What colors do you want in your group? Select a color or palette (a group of harmonizing shades) you want to emphasize. You will not be able to match colors exactly, but that’s OK! Think of families of tones. Look around your home for dominant shades and accent colors. For a sleek, modern look, use prints that are black, white, and shades of gray. For a seasonal group, identify associated colors. Figure 2 shows five 5×7 prints with Halloween’s familiar orange and black.

Purchase Identical Frames
Your prints have variety enough to engage the eye. This is not the time for unique, one-off frames. Acquire the same frame for each of your prints. Take clues from your home’s style and furnishings to guide your purchases. Consider the wall color on which the prints will hang. Then select a neutral like black, white, or a metal or wood tone. Later on, you will discover another very good reason for using identical frames.

Figure 1 shows white frames on a gray wall. If your wall is white, unless you wish for the completely bizarre effect of artwork dangling in space, don’t choose white frames! Figure 2 demonstrates black frames on a buff wall. Figure 3a shows black frames on a taupe wall. To complete the modern look of a black-and-white group, choose metallic frames—chrome, for example. For rustic appeal, select unfinished wood. If you have your prints professionally framed, ask for advice.

Figure 3a
Figure 3a

Get Hanging!
With the appropriate space mapped out and your group of framed prints at the ready, you can get hanging! To begin, you will need:

  • The five framed prints
  • Five picture hangers or nails of the same size
  • A yardstick and, optionally, a measuring tape
  • A pencil with an eraser and a piece of paper
  • A level
  • A hammer
  • Your phone’s calculator app or a manual calculator

All set? Next

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