Foolproof picture hanging: mark the spot with a thumb tack

Amazon: BAZIC Nickel Thumb Tack, Silver, 200 Per Pack Who else has a hard time hanging framed pictures on the wall so they line up nicely? No longer, thanks to Tracy's problem-solving:

I was a frustrated picture-hanger! The little hanger hooks on the backs of frames are often crooked, and it's hard to position the pictures on the wall. After a little brainstorming, I came up with the perfect solution: flat thumb tacks!

Here's how I do it:

1. Lay the framed picture face down.

2. Place a thumb tack — pointy side out — where the nail would contact the hanger if the picture were hanging on the wall. If it's a serrated hanger, slide the tack into the notch where the nail would sit. If it's a triangle hanger, slip the tack behind and through the triangle.

3. Hold the tack in place on the frame with a piece of tape.

4. Position your picture on the wall where you want it hang. Ideally, have a partner help you "eyeball."

5. Gently push the frame against the wall. The thumb tack will leave a tiny mark on the wall in the *exact* location where you'll need to place the nail.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I refer to Tracy as a "Parenthacker extraordinaire." *applause*

What's your secret for hanging pictures on the wall without fussing with silly details like measurements or level?

RelatedLeave the glass out of a fancy wall frame for easy kid art swapping


  1. says

    My secret? I lean the art against the dining room walls on the floor and leave it for Jim to do. Six years later, the art remains along the walls, but nary a picture is poorly hung.

    I guess I should buy some thumbtacks.


  2. says

    Definitely sharing this one with my husband! Any time he tried to hand something up, it ends up looking good, but behind the frame the walls look like swiss cheese. At this rate, we’ll never sell the place!

  3. Sarah in Georgia says

    I’m also guilty of too-many-holes when trying to hang things. I’m a huge fan of the Command Adhesive picture hangers, which really helps the too-many-holes problem.

    And from Reese Dixon’s blog (although I can’t find the exact link right now), I’ve recently started using painter’s tape to help line up pictures. For the last batch, I put up the tape where I wanted the pictures, put the Command Adhesive on the picture frames, and then pushes the pictures up where I want them. Picture up and no holes, much less extra ones!

  4. Andee says

    Hey, that’s how we’ve done about half of ours! the other half are crooked!

  5. Alli says

    We dab a spot of toothpaste on the serrated hanger, and then press the picture to the wall. Then there’s a little spot of white paste where I should drive the nail.