So you’ve found a fabulous art print that perfectly matches your style and describes your personality – but the expression of your style doesn’t stop there. There are so many ways to display your new art print – framed or unframed, alone or in a collection, hanging or standing on a table or shelf. The way you display your art makes your space even more uniquely yours. Read on for our favorite tips and techniques for hanging art prints.
How To Hang Framed Art Prints
Hanging framed art prints is probably the most popular way to display art – and with good reason. Putting your art in a picture frame protects it from the environment so you can enjoy it for many years. Framed art prints also look sharp and polished, and the many framing options allow you to create a custom look that’s just your style. Think about the following considerations when hanging framed art prints.
There are so many options available for finding a great frame for your wall art. When considering where to find the perfect picture frame for your art print, the first place to come to mind is probably a home decor store with ready made picture frames. These are great for pictures in fairly standard sizes, such as 4×6, 5×7, 8×10, and 11×14. Ready made picture frames are generally available in a variety of styles and at a wide range of price points.
Although they’re often (but not always) pricier than ready made picture frames, custom frames can be a great option for unusual art sizes and very large art pieces. Custom picture frames also allow you to create a highly personalized look by matching colors and styles to the picture you’re framing, matching frames for a collection of artwork, and matching your existing decor. Many home goods stores, craft stores, and interior design services offer custom framing. Some online picture frame sellers also offer custom frame sizes for affordable prices.
For a thrifty DIY option and a unique style statement, search for picture frames at a local thrift store. Be open minded and consider all your options. A frame may hold a piece of art that’s not your style, but it could make a great setting for a piece you love. A coat of paint can also refresh old frames and give them an entirely new look.
Consider Matting Your Art
As you’re selecting the perfect picture frame for your art print, don’t forget to think about whether you want to add a mat to your print prior to framing, as this will affect the size of your frame. A picture mat is a thin, flat, paper-based board that sits between the glass of the picture frame and your picture. It has a practical function to protect your art by separating the picture from the frame’s glass, but it also enhances the look of your art. Adding a mat is a simple way to make your framing look professional and your art look more expensive.
Many picture frames are sold with the option to include a mat, allowing the frame to fit multiple picture sizes (e.g. a frame for an 11×14 picture would include a mat cut to fit an 8×10 picture so the frame will fit either size picture). In this case, size up to fit a smaller print in a larger frame. Pre-cut mats in standard sizes can easily be found on the internet, often in bulk packages. White is the most common color for pre-cut mats.
Some businesses and services that do custom picture framing offer custom mat cutting as well. This increases your options in terms of sizes, colors, and finishes. The size of your mat can be highly personalized, from adding just a small border around your print, to drastically increasing the space between the art and the frame for a very dramatic look. Mats come in a huge variety of colors, and can even be made with contrasting core centers (this is seen on the edge of the mat directly around your picture, which is cut at an angle to reveal the inside core of the mat board). Some mats also have a textured finish, which adds some interest and makes your art even more unique. If the space in your frame allows, consider adding multiple mats cut to different sizes for the most highly custom look.
Hanging Your Framed Art
Framed art can be hung a few different ways depending on your preference and how heavy the framed art is. For light frames, picture hooks or nails work just fine. For heavier frames, you may want to use wall anchors that provide extra support. These can differ for drywall vs. plaster, so be sure you choose one that’s designed for your walls.
Most picture frames come with a sawtooth hanger or ring hook already in place on the back of the frame to easily hang the frame from a nail or hook. Heavier frames may be hung from a wire across the back of the frame. In the event that your frame doesn’t already have a hanger attached, or if you want something a little heavier duty, picture hanging kits are available.
Adhesive hooks and strips, such as command strips, are another great choice for hanging framed art if you want to avoid putting holes in your walls, such as when you’re renting your home or apartment. Just be sure to carefully read the weight limit to ensure adhesive strips are strong enough to support the weight of your frame, and that you use the right number of strips.
How To Hang Unframed Art Prints
There are some advantages to leaving your art unframed when you hang it up. Unframed art prints are lighter than framed art, giving you some hanging options that are gentler on walls. Unframed art is easy to swap out, so if you have an evolving style or like to incorporate seasonal art pieces, you can easily swap one picture for another. Leaving your art unframed can also be a style choice. With a little creativity, you can easily achieve a variety of looks with your unframed art prints. Here are some of our favorite methods for hanging unframed art prints.
Available in a multitude of colors and patterns, washi tape can easily be matched to your art print, your walls, your decor, and your style. It’s also gentle on walls and paint, and even paper – making it a great choice for hanging art prints. Just be sure to be very careful when taking down your prints so you don’t tear them!
You can hang pictures with just one piece of washi tape at the top, one piece at the top and one at the bottom, on two corners or four corners, or you can completely frame your pictures with washi tape. Get creative with your washi tape styling!
A simple, effective way to hang pictures on your wall – simply stick a tack in the top to secure to the wall. To hold your picture down more securely, use two tacks in the top two corners, or one in each corner. Using interesting, pretty tacks helps you create a look that matches your style. The obvious downside to using tacks is that you put holes in your art and your wall – but your walls can be protected by pinning art to a pin board or cork board instead.
Clips are available in a variety of styles, from simple binder clips that can easily be adapted to hanging wall art, to clips that are designed specifically for the purpose, and everything in between.
Some clips that are specifically intended for hanging things on your walls come with wall safe adhesives that stick directly to the wall, so you don’t have to use pins or worry about what you’re pinning your pictures to. These are often designed to be minimal and blend right in so the focus stays on your art.
You don’t have to get super fancy when finding clips to hang your art prints. For a utilitarian look, traditional binder clips will do the trick. Binder clips also come in pretty colors and patterns for a more feminine look. Wooden clothespins come in a range of sizes and provide a more natural look. Binder clips with loops can be attached to the wall by a pin or hook. All kinds of clips can be used to hang art prints and pictures from pieces of string, yarn, twine, or even string lights.
Get creative with the types of clips you can find around your house. Even unexpected items with clips, such as clipboards and pants hangers with clips, can be used to secure pictures to your walls, and they can give your art a quirky, unique feel.
Wood Bar Picture Hangers
For a look that’s somewhere in between framed and unframed, wood bar hangers are a fun choice. These are often designed with two wooden bars that hold a picture between them using magnets. The picture is then hung from a string at the top of the bar using a pin or hook.
Single Art Print Vs. Gallery Wall
The gallery wall is a popular design trend that allows you to showcase multiple pieces of art together. When deciding if you want to hang just one art print or multiple, think about the size of the wall, the size of the art prints, and any surrounding furniture or other items. A large, open wall usually works well for a gallery wall, while small spaces are often better for single prints. No rules are hard and fast, though. You might choose to place two or three smaller prints together in a smaller space, or place one large piece of art on a large wall to make a statement.
When creating a gallery wall, select pictures that play off of each other and complement each other, but try not to have it look too planned or matching. Pair a variety of complementary styles, colors, subjects, and themes to create a curated, personal look. When planning the arrangement for your gallery wall, it’s often easiest to start with the largest pictures and place the smaller pieces of art around them.
Hanging Vs. Standing
Of course, if you choose, you don’t actually have to hang your art prints at all! Many picture frames come equipped with an easel stand so the frame can sit upright on its own. Small art prints in frames go great on tables, shelves, dressers, desks, counters, and anywhere else you want a small splash of decoration. You can still place art prints at eye level without hanging it by placing them on a shelf and leaning them against the wall. Large pieces of art can also sit on the floor and lean against the wall for a relaxed look. Play around with art placement to find the perfect home for each piece.
Tips For Ensuring A Flawless Finished Look
To make your art look like it was hung by a professional, use the following tips and tricks:
- Use paper and masking tape to test the look of the layout you have planned.
- Use a level to get perfectly straight hanging pictures.
- Use sticky notes or painters tape to mark your spot instead of pencil to avoid making marks on your walls.
- Keep art prints out of direct bright sunlight to prevent colors from fading over time.
- Art is best hung at eye level – but room and art size and personal style will affect where you want it hung. Use your eyes instead of a tape measure to determine the best spot to hang your art.
Shop For Art Prints
Looking for the perfect art print to hang in your space? Look no further! We have a fun, colorful collection of watercolor art prints that are perfect for any room in your house. From soft, pretty floral art prints to inspirational words and quotes, we have art prints for everyone. All of our art prints are created from original watercolor designs and are printed on high quality 19 point paper. We have art prints available in sizes 5×7, 8×10, and 11×14 inches. Browse our entire art print collection to see them all.