the easy way to hang photos on a wall

A few months back, I stocked up on white NYTTJA frames to match my white LACK shelves in the craft room. Sadly though, the task of aligning them in a perfect geometric arrangement was frightening, and I simply left them sitting on the carpet until I figured out what to do.

I had seen people arrange the frames on pieces of paper on the ground, then tape it up to the wall to make hanging that much easier. But that still meant that you had to measure perfectly on the floor… and you needed some pretty big pieces of paper to take care of the task. So when I was flipping through blogs the other day and saw how someone made use of the large format printers at Kinko’s (will never calll them FedEx HomeOffice or whatever they want me to believe they are now) and the lightbulb went off…

… what if I just designed the layout on my computer in Illustrator?? And then I just sent the file to be printed and hung that up on my wall?!? Would that work?? Let’s just see if it will!

screenshot by you.

The first task was designing the layout. I called Kinko’s and they reported that their large format printer would print up to 36″ wide at a cost of $0.75/sq ft. Lucky for me, the area I was working in was exactly 36″ tall…. so I jumped in to measure the widths of the wall (42″ and 50″) as well. I created two files in Illustrator with those dimensions and saved the files as PDFs. I created shapes for each of the objects on the wall, measuring them precisely and copying/pasting multiples on the screen. Then, with my grid lines up, I went to creatively arranging them on my virtual wall until I was happy with the product! I then uploaded the file online, called to make sure they had everything right, and picked up the large printouts the next day.
set-up by you.

The first thing I did when I got home was to lay out my frames on each of the printouts, just to make sure everything looked “right.” (And to make sure I didn’t mess up any measurements before I started punching holes in the wall!)

Once everything looked great on the ground, I decided it’d look even better taped up to the wall…

IMG_1226 by you.

… and it did! I used a level to make sure everything was lined up properly before securely taping down the rest of the sheet to the wall. Then it was…stop, check, HAMMER TIME! With epic precision (or at least my best attempt), I tapped in 32 OOK hooks into the wall and one hour later when I ripped off the paper around each hook and hung up my frames, I had this to show for it:

IMG_1228 by you.

Now that looks neat and pretty! If only I had all of the photos to stick in each one of them… oh wait… that’s next on the list!

When Mr. M got home to see my handiwork, he giggled at my Kinko’s plan and thought it was the easy way out. And it is exactly that… the easiest way to get this done without tearing your hair out! If it had only been 4 or 5 frames, I don’t think I’d have worried too much about it, but all of these little guys would have made the job unbearable. I’m happy for finding my shortcut, but even happier that my frames are on the wall to admire!Technorati Tags: , , , ,


  • talda

    what a great idea! i don’t know why mr. m laughed though. it’s not about working harder, but working smarter. which is exactly what you did. i’ll have to remember this trick for myself some day!

  • Mr M

    What Mrs M left out (:P) was that, before seeing the big pieces of paper, I had only been told that she had an order at kinko’s for her photo wall. And I had assumed that it (the order) meant actual prints of the pictures to go in the frames…that was the majority of the giggle…my own misinterpretation.

  • Kim

    You are BRILLIANT.

    What a wonderful idea. I am a terrible photo and shelf hanger. I do not have any patience to do it, so I just kinda go at it. Not the best way. :)