Tools of the Trade - Hanging a Grouping

I wanted to share with you some tips on how to hang a series of artwork.  It is relatively easy to do if you have the right tools and a person who can hold the artwork so you can step back to make sure the spacing works.

But, what if you are hanging it by yourself?

Add to this the fact that many groupings include artwork with different hanging mechanisms on the back, different wire lengths, or side latches and no wire - all of which effect the height of a piece.  It can be a major chore.

This is a grouping in my dining room.
These plates were my Mom's first china pattern when she and my Dad were married 46 years ago.  Their house was struck by lighting and burned in 1999.  These plates were no longer usable (up close they are cracked throughout and stained in spots), so I made art out of them. (sorry for the dark photos, I realize I'm always apologizing for my photo skills, so maybe I need to treat myself to a class or two.)  

I hung this series by myself (yes, just me) on a Sunday afternoon a few years ago.  Here is the easiest way to hang art when you don't have a friend to help.

1. Figure out the proper layout of the series.  Always place the entire grouping on the floor to create the ideal placement. 
2. Grab some leftover over newspaper and trace each plate or picture onto the paper and cut them out.
3. Gently tape these cutouts to the wall and step back to make sure you are happy with the spacing and the height of the entire group.

4.  Once you are completely satisfied with the placement on the wall, you can begin hanging the plates.  
5. Start with the bottom piece first and place it on top of the paper cutout.  At this stage, I used this tool to get the exact placement of the nail.  I got it for Christmas one year, and now I simply cannot live without it!

 6.  You simply hang the picture (or plate in my case) on the hook at the bottom of the tool and hold it up to the wall on top of your paper cutout.  
7.  When it is completely lined up with the cutout, gently push on the picture/plate and the tool makes a small impression on the wall indicating where to place the nail.  It truly is a snap!  
8.  Once the nail is in place, you can remove the paper cutout.

 I like to remove all previously hung pieces while I'm hammering.  I have a tendency to bang so hard that I've knocked pieces off the wall!  So, I'm careful to make sure to place the exact plate back in it's original place (since the hangers on the back can vary slightly from piece to piece thus changing the spacing of the series).

One More Tip: I didn't know about this product when I hung my plates, but discovered it later and have used it for many projects since.  I love that it allows the plate to sit closer to the wall for a cleaner look.
Hopefully, this has inspired you to come up with a grouping of your own.
I hope your Monday runs super smooth! M.


  1. Those adhesive discs are the greatest, and the newspaper tip is such a good one, thanks!

  2. Great tips! I feel sorry for the person who buys our home one day and sees all of my mistakes (millions of holes) from hanging 8 prints above the mantel!

  3. Thanks for stopping by the blog! Stay tuned in for Friday as we announce the winner of the Lowe's giveaway!

  4. WOW...those are some great the disk hangers...have to remember that.

  5. I wanted that "hang it level" tool for Christmas too, but I didn't get it. I need to buy one of those. I love the grouping and I love your drapes.

  6. I have a TON of plates that I want to hang here and there, and am determined to come up with a DIY type of hanger. I don't want to spend $2 bucks each for a hanger..that can add up! I am going to try gluing pop tabs to the backs with a super type glue...any suggestions out there? Am so excited to learn about the hang and level thingy! My husband is going to LOVE it too!

  7. thank you so much. I have been wanting to hang plates for a long time and have waited and waited . Your expertise has given me the tools i need.

    In fact I will do this today!!

  8. I just found this today....thank you very much

  9. nice idea with the disc to hang plates. Although, this only works for plates you never intend to use again for eating out of.
    In my dining room besides some dishes I have in my hutch, I have a set of 12 plates, each depict a seasonal scene, 3 from each season.
    I found a decorative dark silver toned plate hanger that allows 3 plated displayed in a triangle, 2 on the bottom, 1 on the top. I have 2 on each side of the hutch.
    At least once a year, I take down the plates I intend to use for a dinner gathering, wash them first and place them on the table for dinner, then just hand wash them later to put back onto the wall

    1. Anonymous - the plate discs do not permanently prevent you from using the plates. They can be easily and completely removed by soaking them in hot water. However, if you are looking for an alternative for plate storage where you do intend to use the plates on a more regular basis, these disc would not be the best solution. But I did want to mention they are removable and what I love best about them is the plates look as though they are floating on the wall. A very clean formal look! M.

  10. I have been wondering what is the best way to hang plates. Thanks for sharing, this post is very helpful!


  11. I Checked out the cost of these disks and they are expensive if you are hanging many plates.
    I love the idea of them but need something much cheaper.
    Can anyone give ideas for hanging Danish plates?


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.