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Hanging Pictures Right The First Time: How To Get Rid Of Hole-In-The-Wall Anxiety

Ever feel so anxious about hanging shelves and pictures right they just stay in a closet for a year?

Yeah, join my hole-in-the-wall-anxiety club!

I know how to patch and paint up any holes I make. But it’s usually the hassle and the worry over making mistakes too many times that causes the anxiety.

So after a long while of looking around the internet for inspiration and guidance, as well as my own trial and error, I’ve come up with a way to combat that anxiety and stop procrastinating my hanging projects.

The Art Of Hanging Home Decor

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Some of my anxiety comes from the concern that I’m going to make pictures, shelves, and then a whole room look bad.

It’s not that I’m particularly bad. I struggle with worrying it’s not going to be good enough.

So, to counter my procrastination, I did some reading and found inspiration around the web. That resulted in my little pocket-guide on less hole-in-the-wall-anxiety.

Here it is:

How Important Is The Piece?

  • Sentimentality makes your home uniquely yours.
  • If you don’t think a piece is going to fit, try it anyways. You might be surprised how a unique piece can bring a room together.
  • Choose places of importance for important pieces. That could be your living room, a bedroom, or even a home office depending on the piece.
  • If you think you can live without it, don’t hang it. Just get rid of it. All pieces of your home should bring you joy.

Consider Size, Scale, And Color

  • Bond your collections with color palettes. They don’t all have to be the same color, but they should compliment each other.
  • Sizing can be important too. I use these cool sites for inspiration (here and here) to help me choose which pieces/sizes to hang together and in what pattern.
  • Long or tall? Along with sizing, horizontal and vertical frames and shelves can be a challenge. There’s great advice here. But the takeaway is to balance it all out. As long as there is balance there is serenity.
  • Most rules say don’t hang too high, but I think that’s only if your pattern and design won’t cover the scale of your wall. As long as it looks balanced, you do you.
  • Have fun and make it feel like you. Even if you don’t follow every rule out there, your stuff can still look great on your wall!

Trial Run

I’m embarrassed to admit I use to just go in with a hammer to hang my pictures when I was in my college dorm or rental homes.

Now that I’m smarter and more mature *wink, wink* I always measure, balance, and mark before I hang.

And, most importantly, I use putty or tape to try out my designs first. This way I don’t have worry about filling in a hundred holes after. And it’s a lot more fun to experiment with designs.

How To Hang Your Decor Right The First Time

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So now that we have some foundations in decorating established, let’s discuss some more ways to make sure you’re feeling happy with your decor the first time.

Have The Right Tools

A project is always easier if you make sure you have all the right tools first.

I recommend you spread your pictures/decoration/shelves out (so you don’t forget about any) along with the corresponding wall mounts and anchors you’ll be using.

You’ll also want a drill and screws (or hammer and nails), tape measure, level,stud-finder, and possibly wire.

Make Sure You Have The Right Hardware

So you have the right tools, now you should consider the weight and size of the object you are hanging.

Most of the time you’ll have ready-to-use hangers on the backs of your products. Other times you’ll need wire to make your own.

Also, if you’re hanging a large picture or shelf, you’ll want to consider distributing the weight evenly so it has more support.

If you’re using hanging tape or putty, you’ll want to make sure it can handle the weight you’re hanging.

Choose The Best Wall Mount

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So you have the tools, you’re sure of your hardware and what will support your products, and now you’re looking for the best version of wall mounting to use.

First you want to make sure the wall you’re mounting stuff on is in the condition you want it to be. Fix any patches and paint jobs before you start.

You’ve already considered the weight of your items. Now you want to find your studs ( I use a stud-finder). Studs are great for heavier items because otherwise heavier items may rip through the drywall.

You might not need to use studs on all your items, but it’s a really good idea to know (and mark) where they are. That way you can use them for the heavier items and decorate with that in mind.

Choose Your Layout, Take Measurements And Level, Then Mark Up

You have the items you want to hang, you’ve considered their weight and hardware, and you know where the studs are if you need them

Now you get to plan how you want things to look. Which is the fun part, in my opinion.

Using temporary hanging tape and putty is a great way to try things out for a moment without committing to a look.

Once you know what you want, use a level to make sure things are balanced, then mark their placements so you can easily hang them.

Keep in mind the overall end-look and balance out your sizes and shapes in relation to your wall.

Time To Hang Like A Pro

Now that you have your spots marked, measure where your wall mounts are on the item you’re hanging. Then measure and mark those locations on the wall with the pencil.

You do this because the top of the picture that you marked in the formatting stage won’t be where your wall mounts are resting. To get that location you measure and mark where those are.

Apply your wall mounts, then hang your items. Almost done!

Finishing Touches

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PC: freepik

If you find anything that doesn’t look straight, or that you don’t like, it’s going to be easier to change because of all the planning and formatting you’ve done in other stages.

Use your level to double-check evenness. Get some more eyes (family and friends) to look over your handiwork for balance and levelness.

Make your finishing adjustments and then you’re done!

It may seem like a lot of work (and maybe that’s the reason some of you procrastinate the wall hanging process), but the planning and measuring makes all the difference–you will hang pictures and shelves like a pro.

Trust the process and have fun with it!


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