Multiple Frames Hung with Precision

Even though we're not ones to display photos of family and friends around the Hive, a few months ago I bought five big square frames from Ikea and had several black & white prints made of a few of our favorite wedding photos. Since then the photos have remained untouched as we tackled other more major projects. During a recent visit with my parents super hot temps and sticky humidity had us cooped up inside, so as S and my dad tackled more electrical work, my mom and I set to work displaying our wedding photos.

Armed with picture hanging wire, hanging hooks, a hammer, tape measure, and calculator, we set to work calculating exactly how to space the photos along the tall, narrow wall above the landing in our stairwell.
First I measured the entire wall height from the ceiling to the baseboard. Then I measured the height of each frame, and multiplied by five, since I wanted to hang all five frames on the narrow wall. I subtracted the total height of the frames from the total height of the wall and divided by six - four spaces between each frame and the space below the bottom and above the top frames. This gave me three and some odd inches. Since "three and some odd" wasn't going to cut it, I decided to make the spaces at the ceiling and at the baseboard four inches. I went back to my calculation, subtracted eight from my original number (four times two) and then divided by four (a space between each of five frames), which gave me 3" between each frame. Perfect.

Next I had to calculate exactly where to hammer each picture hanging hook into the wall. Since each frame's hanging wire was secured at a slightly different height, I took the frame with the photo we decided should go on the bottom - the one with Lexi in it so I could look directly at her every time I walk upstairs - and literally hung it from the tape measure. This step is key; you have to have the entire weight of the frame pulling on its hanging wire or the measurement will be off. I measured to the top of the frame and subtracted this number from the height of the frame to give me the measurement of exactly where the hook needed to be. To this number I added four, since I wanted the entire frame to be four inches from the baseboard.

I then measured the width of my wall and divided by two to find its center point. I measured up from the baseboard, marked where the bottom of the hook should sit and then put a piece of masking tape where the nail would enter the wall. The masking tape trick keeps a plaster wall from cracking and crumbling when nailing into it. Then I lined up the bottom of the hook with my mark and nailed the hook into the wall. Don't forget that your mark is where you should place the bottom of the hook, not your nail!
With photo one in place, I did the same hang-from-the-tape-measure trick with photo number two, except this time after subtracting the measurement from the height of the frame, I added three, the number of inches that I wanted between each frame. Thankfully my math was correct and number one frame and number two frame were precisely where I wanted them.
I continued on up the wall until all five frames were hanging with equal spaces between them. I only had to ask S for help once when I couldn't reach the spot for the very top frame while hanging off the banister and holding my breath. Instead I held the ladder while S reached around from the top landing with the hammer. I was grateful we didn't make headlines saying "woman loses grip on ladder while husband hangs wedding photos," not that the irony wouldn't be amusing on some level.

Now when we walk upstairs we're greeted with this montage of wedding photos, which is a nice reminder of how much we love each other, especially on those days when I look to the left and see dirty socks hanging from the banister. ;)

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  1. Your house looks great! I had a lot of fun reading through some of your past posts and checking out your Esty store :) Looks like you guys are going full throttle on your improvements. It's all looking great, too!


  2. Love this... You really did a great job! I have been planning on a wedding wall myself!

    Lindsayv @ A Design Story


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