Today I’m going to show you some easy ways to hang frame groupings, including horizontal and vertical arrangements and gallery walls. OK, let’s get started! With any grouping of artwork, it’s important to treat them all as one single unit.
That means keeping the center of the grouping at eye level, or about 60 inches from the ground. In other words, your frame grouping should be two-thirds the width of the furniture below it. For example, if you have a 60-inch table, your grouping of frames should stretch about 40 inches across.
After you’ve found the wall you want to decorate, be aware of the balance of the room so you don’t put too few or too many frames in one area. It’s also a good idea to use a stud finder from your local hardware store to locate the sturdiest parts of your wall for hanging frames.
Alright, the first grouping of frames we’ll show you is the horizontal arrangement. If you have access to a laser level, this would be a great time to use it. It makes hanging groupings so much easier! But if you don’t have one, not to worry. I’ll show you how to get good results without one!
For hanging three frames horizontally, I like to use the painters tape method we explained in our How to Hang Artwork video. First, decide whether the tops, middles or bottoms of your frames will be lined up. Then place and level a piece of painters tape where that line will fall and make a mark where you want the center of your arrangement to be.
To get the right spacing between frames, line them up face down next to each other, from two to five inches apart. This is a good spacing range for any arrangement.
Next, take the measurement from the midpoint of the center frame’s hanging hardware to the midpoint of the hardware on the frame next to it. Transfer this measurement to the painters tape using that center mark you made earlier as a starting point. Now just repeat for this step for the third frame. OK, it’s time to find where the wall hardware will go. To do this, measure from the middle of the frame’s hanging hardware to the frame edge you want lined up with the others.
For example, if the tops of your frames will be lined up, measure from the frame hardware to the top of the frame. For bottom-aligned frames, measure from the hardware to the bottom of the frame. And for lining up the middles, you’ll need to measure the height of your frame, mark its middle, then measure from the hardware to that point.
Now, transfer your measurements onto the wall using the edge of the painters tape as your guide. For a vertical arrangement with three frames of the same size, or three different sized frames that you want right- or left-aligned, place a piece of painters tape where the sides of the frames will fall, and then level it.
Next, mark on the tape where the top edge of the top frame will go. Now measure the distance from the top edge of the top frame to that frame’s hardware and transfer that measurement to your painters tape. Just like finding the spacing for a horizontal arrangement, lay out your frames the desired distance apart and measure from the top frame’s hardware to the center frame’s hardware.
Transfer that measurement to the tape, then repeat the process to find the measurement between the center frame’s and bottom frame’s hardware. In addition, you’ll also need to measure from the outer edge of each frame to the center of its hanging hardware.
Transfer those measurements to the wall and level them up with your other marks to ensure the sides are nice and straight. One last thing on vertical arrangements: If you have different sized frames that you want centered down the wall, put a piece of painters tape at the TOP edge of the top frame instead of down the side. Then mark the top frame’s midpoint on the tape and use the method I just showed you to find where each frame’s hardware should go based off of that top frame’s center point.
The final thing we want to show you today is the gallery wall. You can find countless arrangement ideas online to match your style, frames, and wall space.
An easy way to get the ideal layout for your gallery wall is by first tracing and cutting out each frame on kraft paper. You can then use painters tape to attach them to the wall, rearranging them again and again until you find the ideal balance and spacing. Then just replace the paper with the actual frame one by one until all the frames are hung! If you want to go one step further, you can also use the paper cutouts for marking where your wall hooks should go.
Just transfer your frame’s hook placement onto the paper cutouts first.
Then you can just put the hardware into the wall directly through the paper and pull the paper away! If tracing paper isn’t your thing, you can simply lay out all your frames on the floor instead. I suggest making a quick sketch, showing the spacing between each frame so that the arrangement transfers correctly from floor to wall. When you find the arrangement you like, start by hanging the center-most frame and work outward. With your gallery wall, you can even try adding in a clock or other type of wall hanging to mix things up and break up the flow of frames Well folks, that’s it!
You’re all set to start hanging frames to your heart’s content.