Do you have multiple frames to hang but do not fancy hammering numerous nails into your walls? If you are living in a rental property, it is likely wise to go easy on the plasterwork. A far less intrusive method to hang multiple photo frames is to use a hanging system. You could spend a small fortune buying one or take the DIY approach and build your very own custom wall hanging system with only a few supplies.
- Picture frames
- A rod or a curtain pole
- Appropriate hanging brackets
- Chains of various lengths in a style you like
Ensuring Your Kit Can Sustain the Weight of Your Frames
While there are commercial hanging systems available, and it may look easy enough to replicate the systems, care needs to be taken to ensure the components you use are up to the job they are intended for.
For heavyweight frames, such as large real wood frames, appropriate hanging brackets to attach them to the wall will be essential. Heavy duty hanging brackets are your safest option along with the right type of wall anchors such as using drywall anchors if you are unable to mount the wall brackets directly to a joist.
Types of Chains to Use
A huge advantage to creating your own frame hanging system is you have complete control over how it looks. It also means you have a wide range of chains to choose from, and those need to support the weight of the photo frames too. Some of these are sold in craft stores, garden centres and DIY stores, each suited to a range of purposes from hanging baskets outdoors, to sink plug chains indoors.
Just as you should look at the strength profiles of your mounting brackets and wall anchors, the same applies to the chains. These will be attached to the back of the photo frames and the rod so each chain should be strong.
The chains you use are likely to be a big part of the aesthetics as they will be visible on the wall. In fact, they are part of the appeal as you can create different shapes such as the upside-down V by attaching the chain to two corners of the frame but suspending them together from a single hook. A longer chain may have two hooks on the pole so two straight lines could be formed.
Decorative chains such as vintage chandelier suspension chains, or black coated steel chains are likely better for aesthetics than a standard steel chain intended for a washbasin. The only chains best avoided are those purely designed for craft projects such as costume jewellery making as those will not be able to support the weight of the frames.
Keep in mind that the larger the chain links are, the harder they will be to cut. Generally, chains up to a few centimetres thick can be cut with a pair of wire cutters or the snipping tool on pliers. Up to a half-inch may be better suited to bolt cutters. Chains over a half-inch are security-grade requiring power tools like an angle grinder to cut through it. The easiest chains to work with will be under 3-cm thick.
By cutting the chains to different lengths, you are able to suspend multiple photos at different levels. By running the chain behind frames, it is also possible to create a tiered wall display with multiple rows, all supported by a single rod used as a rail track that looks as though the frames are connected. And as these are hung from a single pole, it is also a simpler way to hang photos on a staircase at different heights by varying the length of the chain.