Hang a Picture Gallery Without Making Cutouts

3 Materials
1 Hour

Who has time to laboriously measure and cut replicas of artworks in order to arrange them on a wall? This is much easier.

It is the day before Easter. The table is set but the wall above the fireplace looks like a huge blue abstract painting in its glorious blue bareness. I have a set of watercolours that my mom painted that will fit perfectly but the idea of arranging them is daunting.

I know the theory is to meticulously copy each artwork by measuring and cutting them out on paper and then meticulously arrange the whole lot to absolute perfection. Ja right! I am so exhausted I can’t stand on my feet, let alone find paper to cut. Besides, the cutout method doesn’t make provision for colour, theme or style issues.

So here’s what you do:

You lay everything including the furniture on the floor as if the floor was the wall. Lay the furniture flat on its side, like I did with the table and lamp. Take care to match the dimensions and position of every fixture and every piece of furniture. You will also need a floor line and a ceiling line. I used two bath mats to match the size of the fireplace. Its height above the ground was measured but not much else. Not one artwork was measured. Then arrange the art as you wish.

Next, get on a ladder and double check the positioning. This copies the perspective from which you would normally view the art a bit better.

Once satisfied, take a photo (just for reference) of the layout and start copying it against the wall. You can see from the photo above we started measuring from the mock-up fireplace because it is a fixed point. We then copied the exact measurement against the wall, marked it out and hung the picture. Continue measuring and hanging until you have completed the wall.

And there you go, with the furniture back in position, all that you may need to do is to ensure that the works are level.

Resources for this project:

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Debra
    on May 8, 2019

    How did you paint the walls..?

    • Thea
      on May 18, 2019

      Sorry I actually don’t have it anymore. Also, it would probably not be a brand that you are familiar with.

  • Lillie
    on May 9, 2019

    What light chandelier do u have? I love the glow and shadows. Off topic I know but please don’t edit it out!! It draws people in. Or me at least, to not speak to everyone’s likes or dislikes

    • Thea
      on May 9, 2019

      Please see below. Dimmable LED, from a standard light shop.

  • Mary
    on May 20, 2019

    How to hang pitchures with out ruing the walls

Join the conversation

4 of 49 comments
  • Linda Abate
    on May 2, 2020

    A beautiful way of arranging your art work. This definitely is a great way to bring a room to life. GREAT JOB.

  • Jodie
    on May 2, 2020

    Really like this! And I like your choice of artwork! It's lovely - paintings all so very different, yet, somehow, the same softer colors! Very nice!

    • Thea
      on May 2, 2020

      Most of them are water colours that were painted by my mom so there is definitely a theme running through.

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