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How to hang pictures without nails

A step-by-step tutorial on how to hang pictures without nails using 3m Command Hanging Strips.

A cheerful, candid photo of your kids…a dreamy painting of a place that’s #1 on your vacation wish list…a whimsical clock that you had to have…

These are the things that warm your heart and inspire you on hectic days when you’re working overtime or life gets stressful. 

Wouldn’t it be fabulous to arrange them in a wall collage and see them everyday?

But when you think of hanging them up, all you see are nail holes, crooked frames and awkward spaces in between.

Do you want to create a photo wall or gallery wall, neatly and efficiently, without damaging your walls? 

I have the perfect solution: 3M Command Hanging Strips! 

Follow this tutorial on how to hang pictures without nails to help you create the gallery wall you have always wanted.

hanging pictures without nails using Command Strips

SIDE NOTE: This is not a sponsored post – I decided to try this myself.

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links or referral links for your convenience. It is a way for this site to earn advertising commissions by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services, click here to read my full disclosure policy.

HOW TO HANG PICTURES WITHOUT NAILS


MATERIALS:

TOOLS:

  • level
  • scissors

You can print the material list and instructions below.

STEP 1: GATHER YOUR PICTURE FRAMES

The first step is to gather all the frames or other artwork you want to use. 

You can buy new ones to add to your collection but you might already have a few items lying around the house, or some that you can create, with fancy chalkboard lettering.

For unusual or oddly-shaped items, you can create a picture frame to fit it perfectly.

TIP: It helps to have a theme; mine is travel!

Collect everything at this point – you may not use every item and might decide on something else later. 

Note the items that you love and must be included – other pieces will be fillers. Also, vary the textures and shapes when gathering items for your gallery wall.

SIDE NOTE: You can always paint a picture frame, see this post on how easy it is to spray paint picture frames.

STEP 2: ARRANGING THE COLLECTION

Now that you have the decorative items, it’s time to arrange your artwork. 

The easiest way I have found is to lay your artwork on the floor and rearrange there.

Move pieces around, add, or take away until you are happy with a layout. 

But then, WALK AWAY, maybe take a picture first just in case something gets moved. The reason I tell you to walk away is that when you come back, you have a fresh look and you will see if you truly like the layout.

Come back and see if you’re happy – rearrange or remove items if necessary. 

When you’re satisfied with the look, it’s time to create a template of each item. This makes hanging items on the wall much easier.

TIP: Take a picture of the final layout before moving forward.

STEP 3: CREATING THE TEMPLATES

Use a blank piece of paper to create a sketch of the layout, including measurements (spacing between frames). Also, number each item.

After, take the painter’s paper and trace each item onto it, adding the number of the item according to the sketch. Then, cut out the template from the paper.

Once everything is cut out, use painter’s tape to attach the templates to the wall in the layout of your sketch.

TIP: I would recommend leaving the templates on the wall for a day to make sure you are happy with the layout.

STEP 4: HANGING PICTURES WITHOUT NAILS

To hang pictures with the 3M command picture hanging strips, I followed the instructions provided. But I am still going to walk you through the steps.

3m picture command strips
  1. For the first picture you plan on hanging, fold the template on the wall so that the bottom of the template and bottom edge of the frame will touch (see one of the images below for example).
  2. Wipe the wall area with Isopropyl Alcohol 70%.
    • TIP: DON’T skip this part, it’s what helps everything stick to the wall.
      cleaning wall to attach 3m Command picture strips
  3. While that dries, attach the hanging strips to the back of the frame, snap two strips together, then remove one of the backings to stick them to the frame. Apply pressure to the strips for 30 seconds.
    • SIDE NOTE: You can cut the strips if needed and make sure you add the number of strips needed for the weight of the frame.
    • TIP: Remove any nail hanging hooks or easel backs on the picture frame so that the frame can be flush with the wall.
      attach 3m Command picture strips to frame
  4. Remove the other plastic strip and place the frame on the wall. Make sure the frame is level and is touching the template. Then, press the frame to the wall and hold for 30 seconds.
    attach 3m Command picture strips to wall
  5. Remove the frame from the wall.
    • TIP: Don’t pull the frame straight off but start from the bottom and angle it upward.
  6. Add pressure to the strips on the wall for 30 more seconds. Then, let everything sit for at least one hour.
    installing 3m Command picture strips to wall
  7. Complete steps 1-6 for the rest of the frames or items going on the wall.
  8. Place the frame back onto the wall by aligning the strips, using a level again, and pushing the frame where the strips are so they will snap together.
    attach picture frame to 3m Command strips

And that’s how to hang pictures without nails. I do want you to know that there are 3m Command Nail Hanger to hang pictures with hooks and I love using those also.

3m Command damage-free hanging hooks

I really hope this tutorial helps you hang pictures in your home without damaging your walls. Plus, it’s perfect for an apartment or selling a home; no nail holes to patch up!

Yield: gallery wall

How to hang pictures without nails

3m picture command strips

Hanging pictures without damaging your walls is easy with 3m Command Strips. Follow this tutorial on how to hang pictures without nails.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Active Time 1 hour
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $20

Materials

Tools

  • level
  • scissors

Instructions

  1. Gather all the frames or other artwork you want to use on the wall.
  2. Arrange the picture frames on the floor and create a template of each frame with painters paper.
  3. Tape the paper templates onto the wall in the arrangement your want.
  4. Using the 3M Command Picture strips to attach the frames to the wall.
how to hang pictures without nails

One Comment

  1. Devin Scott says:

    I like how you said that you should layout your picture on the ground before hanging it up. My wife and I are looking to decorate our first home and we were wondering how we can hang up our pictures correctly in our living room. I’ll be sure to tell my wife that we should lay pictures out on the ground before putting them up on the wall.

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