My friend Lauren recently moved into a new home. Aside from feeling excited, she also felt overwhelmed with new projects to tackle and challenges to overcome. Her first quandary: How to hang art and photos without putting nails in the wall. Even though she owns her home and has no “rules” against making these types of changes, she didn’t want the semi-permanence that nail holes create. She wanted the freedom to change her mind without having to start caulking and repainting.

Besides giving you the ability to change your mind from time to time, finding alternatives for your wall displays also can help you to preserve finishes. It is not always ideal to put holes in walls made from high-quality wood. Walls covered in stone or made from brick also can make drilling holes particularly troublesome.


If you, too, want to hang your photos without using a hammer and nails, consider some of these ideas:

Command them to stay. The Command Picture Hanging Strips by 3M are easy to install and can be removed without leaving residue behind. If you have a particularly heavy frame, opt for the large-size strips. According to the manufacturer, four large strips can hold up to 16 pounds. Wipe the surface with some rubbing alcohol before you begin. The trick is to ensure the surface is as clean as possible.

Press them in. Press-in hooks, which you use with drywall, anchor in the wall and allow you to hang photos or other items when no stud is present. Yes, you may still end up with a hole in the wall. However, unlike nails, these hooks do not require a hammer for installation, they do not rip into the wall in the same ways that nails can, and the holes they leave behind often are no larger than a pinhole.

Line them up. Run a long piece of twine, wire or thin rope across the wall. Then, use clothes pins or S-hooks to hang your photos from the line. Consider gluing your photos to cork backing before adding them to the line. The trick is to keep it consistent to achieve a clean look.

Repurpose. Take a trip to a garage sale, the hardware store or Re-Use Hawaii, and get creative. A trellis, window frame, shutters or even an old wooden door can make a great place for you to hang your photos.

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