DIY Tutorial: How To Hang Your Canvases & Framed Art In Your Home

Some of you may have already seen it, but yours truly was published in a local magazine to share my knowledge on ‘How to Set up a Gallery Wall in Your Stairwell’ for the residents of Stonebridge. Since there are so many others of you living in other areas of Ottawa, I figured I would share the article on the blog to help you get started.

Putting up one frame or canvas is easy: center it on the wall horizontally, and hang it so that the half-mark is at your eye level. When it comes to putting more than one piece of the same size, the same concept can be applied. It is when you start adding more than two pieces, of varying sizes and mediums, that it becomes much more complicated to hang your display. Especially when you attempt this creative endeavour in a stairwell! So, if I show you how to achieve the most difficult, the rest will be smooth sailing from here. Here’s how to hang your canvases & framed art in your home:

Before & After Stairwell Gallery Wall


  • Measuring Tape
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Pencil
  • Stud-Finder
  • Level
  • Screwdriver
  • Wood Screws
  • Drywall Plugs
  • Command Strips, Monkey Hooks, etc.
  • Kraft Paper


  • Decide which pieces you want to use, and approximately where you want your art pieces to be hung. For a stairwell, you want to aim everything to be at shoulder height or higher so that you don’t run into them every time you go up or down the stairs, wherever possible.
  • Draw out your desired layout so that there are no surprises down the road, keeping in mind that “shoulder height” changes at each step.
  • You can choose to start with putting up the largest and highest piece and work your way down the rest as-you-go, OR to lay your items on the floor or large table over the kraft paper, tracing the outlines exactly as you want them on the wall, making sure to identify any light switches in your layout.

diy tutorial hanging artwork stairwell mark the wall


  • Place a piece of painter’s tape on the wall approximately where you want that first frame/canvas. Hold up the frame where you want it to be, and trace a level horizontal line across the tape. Identify the half-way mark (make a cross on the tape).
  • Measure how far down from that ideal spot your hanging device needs to go. Make a small mark on the wall to identify it.
  • When deciding which hanging device to use, you want to consider the size and weight of the art piece. For larger items, you will want to aim for a stud whenever possible, and use the correct size drywall plugs when you can’t. For smaller items, I recommend command strips because of how easy they are to install (less measuring and no holes required!).


  • Always start with one art piece, and add the others one at a time, just in case you made a mistake—hence the importance of measuring twice!
  • If you chose to go with the kraft paper method, tape the entire paper to the wall, making sure the entire thing is level, add all your screws through your identified marks, then tear the paper off before hanging the art.
  • Once all of your pieces have been hung, make sure they are all level, and then step back and enjoy your masterpiece!

Here is another example of a personal wall gallery that my husband and I installed. Do notice that some of the frames are still empty–that is totally okay! Don’t feel like you need to finish your gallery wall right away. Get those frames out of your closet and storage boxes and onto the wall; you will find the perfect image to go in it eventually. OR maybe you need the motivation of seeing that ugly price tag staring back at you in order to actually put aside the time to print the image that was intended for that specific frame. We’re all guilty of that, even the pros! I will personally be adding my maternity and first family portraits to this ever-expanding gallery of ours. What will YOU accomplish..? To see more of my personal adventure, follow my lifestyle blog.

Command strips are our favourite go-to for small frames!

Stay tuned for the next article in this series, all about how to select the different types of art (canvas, frame, etc.) to design your personalized gallery wall.

Chat soon,

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