How to Hang and Mount Anything

Learn the correct technique and tools to hang art, cabinets and more.

Whether lightweight or heavy, nearly any item can be mounted to your walls with the right know-how. Get acquainted with the available range of hardware, and when you visit your local hardware store, you’ll know just what to look for and how to install it.

Prepare to Hang and Mount

Location, location, location:
Before hanging your item, use our tips to carefully choose a location. If hanging heavier items, you will need to use a stud finder (1). It locates the support beams in your walls, which when drilled into, provide a sturdier base for hung décor.

Tip: More often than not, you will need to hang items from studs if you have plaster walls. For lightweight décor, you should be able to use a picture-hanging hook.

Make your mark : Once you’ve settled on a placement, use a leveller (2) to ensure your item is balanced. Then, with pencil or chalk, mark the item’s corners on the wall. Turn the item you’re hanging over and measure the distance from the corners to the hanging components. Use your original marks as reference points for mirroring these new dimensions, then mark the wall to indicate where you’ll drill or hammer. Finally, connect the dots with a leveller to check if your measurements are even and accurate.

Hanging the handmade: If the piece you need to hang doesn’t come with pre-installed hardware, attach one sawtooth picture hanger (3), and hang your item from a picture-hanging hook. For something more substantial in size, evenly space two sawtooth picture hangers.

Hanging and Mounting by Weight
We’ve broken our hardware recommendations down by general weight class, but each individual type and brand is different. Always check packaging to see how much weight your hardware can hold and if there are specific installation instructions. It never hurts to play it safe, so using a more heavy-duty piece of hardware is okay. If in doubt, consult a home improvement expert at your hardware store.

Lightweight Items
Hang small framed photos, works of art and small shadowboxes.

  • Removable adhesive hangers (4): When hanging posters, calendars and extra lightweight artwork like small canvases, removable adhesive hangers are conveniently temporary. Commonly available as adhesive hooks, squares and strips, they can be found in the office supply aisle of almost any major retailer.
  • Picture hanging hook (5): This vertically oriented hook gains its strength when a nail is diagonally hammered through it, into the wall. Try using picture hanging hooks for clocks. In general, the larger your hook, the more weight it will hold.

Medium-Weight Items
Hang small floating shelves, mid-sized mirrors and mid-sized framed artwork.

  • Plastic wall anchors (6): When taking stock of your options, look for how much weight the plastic wall anchor can hold and the type of material it’s designed for. Make sure it’s compatible with the item you’re hanging before following our instructions:

  1. Consult your plastic wall anchor’s packaging to determine which drill bit you’ll use to create your pilot hole(s).

  2. Create your pilot hole(s), then hammer in the plastic wall anchor until it’s flush with the wall.

  3. Twist your screws into the plastic wall anchors. This will cause the anchor to expand inside the wall, creating a stronger hold. Leave space for your screws to stick out. From there, it’s simple to hang your décor!

Heavy-Weight Items
Hang heavy shelving and frames.

  • Molly fastener (7): A molly fastener is generally capable of holding up to 22 kilograms (50 lbs.), though you’ll find a variety of options at your hardware store. To install, follow the same first two steps you would for a plastic anchor, then screw in your bolt clockwise until you’ve achieved a snug fit. At this point, the fastener will have expanded within the wall, allowing you to slightly reverse the bolt. This will provide the protrusion you need for hanging.

Very Heavy-Weight Items
Hang cabinets, televisions and oversized artwork.

  • Toggle bolts (8): Once installed, toggle bolts can’t easily be removed from your wall, so reserve them for truly heavy-duty uses. Follow these steps to install:

  1. Consult the toggle’s packaging to determine the proper size for your pilot hole(s).

  2. Once drilled, remove the bolt from the toggle and push it through the object you’re mounting. You’ll now need to re-thread the toggle, far enough along the screw so its threads prevent the toggle from turning sideways.

  3. Position the item you’re hanging near the wall and push your toggle(s) and screw(s) through the pilot hole(s) you created. You should hear a noise indicating the toggle has swung open behind the wall.

  4. Keep pressure on the toggle inside the wall to keep it from spinning as you fully tighten the screw.

Now that you know how to hang and mount like a pro, what do you plan to display first? Let us know in a comment.


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