Ready to Hang?
You are ready to start hanging when:
- You have the right amount of wall space for your group. Figure 2a shows five 5″x7″ framed prints. Framing added an inch to width and height to each print, so they are now 6″x8″.
- You used identical frames. In a minute, this bit of foresight will make your life a whole lot easier.
- You have decided the order of the prints, left to right.
If you haven’t reached this point, go back to Hang A Group Part 1
You have assembled:
- 5 nails of the same size, with or without picture hangers
- A yardstick and, optionally, a measuring tape
- A pencil with an eraser—and a piece of paper for your notes
- A level
- A hammer
- Your phone’s calculator app or a manual calculator
Don’t get hung up on minor mistakes! Just in case, have on hand:
- Wall-color paint
Calculate Exact Spacing
Let’s say we want 12 inches of space on each side of the group, 6 inches on both top and bottom, and 3 inches between each frame. By calculating dimensions as in Figure 2b, we see that the horizontal space needed for the group is 66 inches, and the vertical is 20 inches.
With your measuring tape or a yardstick, locate the dead center point on the wall. In the example, dead center is 33 inches from one side and 10 inches from the bottom. Mark the midpoint lightly with a pencil as demonstrated by the red O in Figure 2c.
Mark First Nail Position
Now you will be very glad you used identical frames! Look at the back of one of your prints. Measure the distance from the vertical center of the frame to the top the frame’s “hanger.” In our example, that distance is 3 inches.
On the wall, measure 3 inches up from the midpoint, as shown by the X in Figure 2d. Take care not to measure upward at an angle. Measure 33 inches from one side to check yourself.
Mark All Nail Positions
From the center nail position, calculate and mark the distance for nails directly to the left and right. Again, be very careful with your measurements. Use a yardstick and a level to stay on track. Then measure left and right again for the final nail positions. Your wall now has five evenly spaced Xs, as represented in Figure 2e.
Complete Your Group!
At last! Get your hammer and nails and stake your claims to that empty wall space! Hang your prints, level them, and step back to admire your work. Rearrange the order of the prints to your heart’s content.
About those minor failures? No need to hang your head! Pull out the nails and fill the holes with spackle. After the spackle dries, use a Q-tip to apply touch up wall color.
A former Chicagoan, Elizabeth G Fagan is an artist, photographer, and writer who resides in southeastern Wisconsin. She calls her place in the world Lake Michigan’s Left Coast.
Fagan attended The Hammonasset School, a private arts high school in Connecticut, where she began writing and taking photographs. She earned a BA in English at Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa) and the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC). She has an MA in Linguistics with a specialization in teaching English as a second language (ESL) from UIC. Fagan later gained an associate degree in Web Development from DePaul University in Chicago.
Connect with Elizabeth G Fagan
- Cedarburg Artists Guild
- Facebook @lakemichigansleftcoast
- Twitter @roscoefagan
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