How I Hang Wall Art and Mirrors Instantly

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How to make a picture hanging gadget so you will be able to hang wall art, mirrors and more perfectly level and in minutes. Yes, it can be done when you make a picture hanging gadget. 

When making over the small powder room in my home I wanted to hang a decorative mirror over the sink vanity.

decorating-ideas-for-mirrors-in-a-powder-roomHow to Hang Art and Mirrors on a Wall Instantly

It is kind of glam, kind of cottage…just my style.  It is a little unexpected with the mix of silver and gold as well as with the industrial light above it, but I love it!  The best part – no need to buy something new.

To hang it on the wall I got my trusty picture hanging gadget from my tool box.


What is my picture hanging gadget?  It is the white paint stick in the photo above.


It lets me instantly hang art or in this case a mirror perfectly level without the need of another person’s help.


I could not get a photo of me actually using the gadget, but there it is above the top right hand side of the mirror. It has a nail  on the bottom that is hooked to the hook on the back of the frame.

How To Make A Picture Hanging Gadget

Here are the steps to make and use a picture hanging gadget.

I made mine using 3 paint stirring sticks that I duct taped together.

Picture Hanging Trick using an easy to make gadget

supplies needed:

  • 3 paint stirring sticks
  • Duct Tape
  • Nail or Screw
  • Hammer

Step 1. Hammer the nail about 1-inch from the bottom of the taped-together paint stirring sticks so that half of the nail is on one side and the tip is halfway out the other side.  You want to make sure the nail is straight and snug in the wood.

An option: A reader, Pat commented that using a screw works better It stays more firmly in the stick, where the nail will eventually loosen and “screw up” your attempts to make everything level.

How To Use The Picture Hanging Gadget

When hanging a piece of art or a mirror on the wall that has one center hook on the back.

Picture Hanging Trick using an easy to make gadget

Step 1 – Hook the nail head end on the gadget onto the hook or picture hanging wire on the back of the frame.


Step 2 – Hold the top of the picture hanging gadget with the frame hanging from it and position the frame on the wall where you want it.


Step 3 –  Tap the center upper portion of the frame. This will press the tip of the nail into the wall leaving a mark on the wall exactly where you need it.

Step 4 – Remove the gadget, hammer a nail into your marked hole, and hang your frame or artwork.

Works perfectly – every time.

NOTE: The gadget stays intact with the nail – you never remove the nail from it.

The nail that is in the gadget when you make it stays in the gadget. It is not the nail used to hang the frame, it is used to mark a hole for exact placement.  You tap to make a hole exactly where you need it.

The nail on the gadget makes the hole in the wall, once it is removed you will see a nail hole in the wall.  That hole is where you put a nail or picture hanger to hang the frame.

  • If you are using a hook style hanger, (shown in second photo of this post) place the bottom of the hook where the hole is, then hammer it into the wall.  If you don’t, your item will be lower than you want it because of the length of the hook.

How to hang and level art and mirrors that have two hooks on the back:

When hanging an item with two hooks, if it is large and heavy, you may need a second set of hands to help.

Step 1 – Figure out where you want to hang the frame or item.

Step 2 – Hook the gadget to the back hook on one side of your frame and attach it in the same way as shown above.

Step 3 – Once one side is attached to the wall, hook up opposite side with the gadget and then place a bubble level along the top of the frame.

Step 4 – Move the gadget with the frame attached up and down along the wall until the the bubble is centered on the level, then tap the front of the frame with the hammer.

Step 5 – Have someone else hold the frame while you hammer in the nail or hook into the hole the gadget made in the wall. Hang the art or mirror.

Picture Hanging Trick using an easy to make gadget

How to hang larger pieces of wall art:

I made a larger picture hanging gadget using a 5 gallon paint bucket stirring stick.  It is the perfect thickness and length for hanging items that are bigger in scale. It is the one I used to hang the mirror.

I have tried many other picture hanging methods – tape, pencil marks, paper transfer, but none work as well and as quickly as this little picture hanging gadget does.  It is one tool that will always be in my toolbox.

Do you have any tricks to hang wall art, photos, and other stuff on your walls?

Related posts:

Have you seen how I hang and layer frames to create a 3D gallery wall?


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  1. I have the same thing! I have used if for about 8 years. I saw it on some old HGTV show with Sabrina. But I used a screw through one paint stirrer, but works the same. It was fun to see someone else using the same thing – it is a total life saver when hanging pictures.

  2. Very nice makeover, love the mirror with the clock knobs, I have two of those will have to look around to see where I have them at.lol I also love the light and the color is just adorable!

  3. Oh my goodness…this is ingenious! Truly one of the best darn ideas I have seen in a while – I Love it! Thanks for sharing this great little tip!