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    Here's How To Hang Anything And Everything On Your Walls

    Decorating your walls can be a pain in the ass, but it's not so bad once you get the hang of it.

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    1. Cut some large pieces of paper into the size of whatever you want to hang. Get them in juuuust the right position with painter's tape, and voila! You've got a template for when you hang the real deal — no more making holes in the wrong places.

    youtube.com

    For a collection of smaller items, you could also trace them on one large sheet. Watch the full tutorial on Nifty.

    Get two rolls of painter's tape for $10.84 and a roll of shipping paper for $12.89, both from Amazon.

    2. Don't be afraid to get a little help from the pros. You can get virtual help creating at gallery wall from Framebridge. They'll match you with a designer based on your preferences and what you want to hang, create a custom layout for you, and even send you a hanging plan and instructions.

    framebridge.com, Elizabeth Lilly / BuzzFeed

    The site also offers custom framing services, so you can get your art framed in the process (the consultation price includes a $39 credit towards framing).

    Consultations start at $99.

    3. Get posters to stick (and stay stuck) with a strong-yet-removeable adhesive putty on the edges, corners, and a few places in the middle of the poster.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    It's probably best to stick (so to speak) to using this stuff for lighter items, though some reviewers do claim to have found success using it to mount slightly heavier things. I usually use a similar but off-brand putty for my posters (which, judging by the good reviews of this Duck Brand version, was inferior) and if a heavier poster seems to be slipping or having trouble adhering, I supplement it with some folded-over pieces of painter's tape.

    Promising review: "This has worked for me for almost two years so far. I use it to hold posters and maps on painted drywall surfaces and I haven't had any problems whatsoever. A little bit of this goes a loooong way. I ordered four packs, but was able to stick eight medium to large posters to the walls using only one and a quarter of them. You only need a thin film of the putty, mainly along the top edge of the poster, and one- to three-inch pieces in four to six places depending on the size, with smaller pieces along the edges to flatten it out. Knead and stretch the putty before you use it. I also rubbed a glass slide (for a guitar) on the poster itself to make sure everything adhered well. You could use any sturdy round glass to do the same." —The Lawn Ranger

    Get it from Amazon for $3.29.

    4. Opt for Command hooks to hang small signs, art, or calendars without leaving any residue. You can also use them as storage hooks!

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    They come in three sizes, so make sure to get the right one. The smallest size (left photo) can hold up to half a pound, the medium size up to three pounds, and the large (right photo) up to five pounds.

    Oh, an important but oft-ignored step when using these babies? Clean the surface of the wall with a little rubbing alcohol before applying.

    Promising review: "I use these all over the house. Thanks to these little things, I can hang anything without damaging my walls. I use the small ones to hang lighter objects and the bigger hooks to hang heavier pictures. As you can see in the photo, the top part of the hook is visible, but it doesn't bother me. If you don't want them to be seen, you can obviously hang things higher. I'm very happy with these hooks." —joy izgi

    Get a set of nine small hooks for $7.48, nine medium hooks for $12.60, and six large hooks for $13.10, all from Amazon.

    5. If you're still having trouble getting Command strips or hooks to work, make sure you're using the right size and following the directions exactly — even if it means letting them sit on the walls for a bit before hanging! Patience, my child.

    One Good Thing By Jillee / Via onegoodthingbyjillee.com, amazon.com

    Check out more tips for making Command strips work better from One Good Thing By Jillee.

    Command photo strips can be great for hanging framed pictures (like in the photo above) if used properly. Two pairs of small ones can hold up to two pounds, two pairs of medium strips can hold up to six pounds, and two pairs of large strips can hold up to eight pounds.

    Get 18 pairs of small photo strips for $11.27, 16 pairs of medium strips for $9.99+ (available in two colors), or 14 pairs of large strips for $12.13, all from Amazon. The brand also makes different shaped hooks and hangers for everything from frames to canvases to posters; check out all their products on Amazon.

    6. If you're looking to hang a towel rack in your bathroom without major installation or losing your deposit, Command makes an adhesive one of those, too!

    the silvery towel bar mounted on a reviewer's wall
    amazon.com

    It holds up to three pounds and works on most types of surfaces.

    Promising review: "This item was perfect to attach to the front of my new farmhouse sink. I just could not figure out any other way to have a towel bar close by. I was concerned at first about the color, as my fixtures are oil rubbed bronze, but with the appliances being stainless steel it looks perfect! It's been up for some time now, and holding even with everyday use and the occasional bump. The most important thing I can recommend using any Command product is to clean the surface well!! With rubbing alcohol if possible, and let it dry completely. Apply good pressure for AT LEAST 30 second to that sticky and really get it to adhere well. If you are hanging something heavy, wait for 30 minutes or so after application. If you follow the instructions, you won't be reattaching anything." —V. Anderson

    Get it from Amazon for $13.20.

    7. Put up a pretty tapestry by using small nails at the corners.

    8. Or, if you'd rather not make even small holes in the wall or the tapestry, use a hot glue gun to attach a light tapestry to some painter's tape, which won't leave behind any residue.

    youtube.com

    Get the full tutorial from Nifty.

    9. OR opt for peel-and-stick Velcro, which can also work for other small items.

    hand about to place frame on small strip of velcro stuck to a wall
    amazon.com

    Watch the full tutorial from eHow at Home.

    Get a large roll of peel-and-stick Velcro for $16.93 or four smaller strips for $2.98, both from Amazon.

    10. Before making a hole, identify what kind of walls you have. Some materials are sturdier than others, so this will help you determine where and how you can hang things.

    version of the "is this a pigeon" meme with the person saying "is this plaster?" and the butterfly reading "drywall"
    Sunrise

    A thin material like drywall will have a hollow sound when you tap on it, while brick or stone will sound more solid (listen to an example in this video from Handy). When it comes to drywall versus plaster, if you can stick a thumb tack through it, it's drywall.

    Drywall is the least sturdy, so for anything much heavier than a poster or tapestry you'll need to use a stud or proper hardware (more on that later). Plaster can support nails and screws as long is what you're hanging is under 10 pounds or so. Obviously, brick and stone are the toughest, so they'll require you to drill into the mortar and use an anchor.

    11. Assuming you have drywall or plaster, as most people do, use a stud finder to, well, find a stud (a magnetic one will work for either material).

    two of the stud finders
    Amazon

    Turns out, a stud is more than just an embellishment that makes your clothes look edgy or a hot guy. It's also a piece of metal or wood supporting your walls that you can use to hang things even if the wall material itself is too flimsy.

    This handy gadget uses a magnet to help you detect them. It also has a built-in level you can use for hanging once you've found the stud.

    Promising review: "This is a GAME CHANGER! Every once in a while, a new device renders all the old ones utterly obsolete. So it is with these stud finders. Oh, yes, I’ve used the old battery powered devices — I own several. You know, the ones with little LEDs that supposedly light-up when you’re over a stud—except that they keep lighting up in different places so that you ultimately give up and just drive in a nail into the wall and hope you’ll be over a stud. No more! Gently rub these little gadgets over your wall, and when there’s a nail underneath the sheetrock, its powerful magnets will be drawn to it, and IT WILL STICK TO THE WALL! There is NO guessing with this little fellow." —Moi Aussie

    Also, bear in mind that if the magnet is sticking to a larger stretch of wall, not just one area where a nail would be, you may have found a pipe, so don't drill there!

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $19.06.

    12. OR, find the stud yourself by knocking on the wall or using a strong magnet.

    Disney

    Just like when trying to figure out what type of wall you have, you're listening to see where the wall sounds hollow versus more solid. The area that sounds more solid is probably a stud! But it's always a good idea to make a small test hole to be sure. Watch the full tutorial from Build.com.

    You can also use a strong magnet to replicate the function of a magnetic stud finder. Get the full tutorial from The Craftsman Blog.

    Also check out Style Me Pretty and Popular Mechanics for more tips for finding studs yourself.

    13. If the studs aren't where you want them, find the proper hardware so you can sturdily hang things in between them.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    There are tons of options, and what you use will depend on what you're hanging, how heavy it is, and what kind of walls you have. This Old House and Popular Mechanics both have very comprehensive guides to your options. If you're putting up something that needs to be mounted on a hook, flat picture frame hooks can work with a regular nail for lighter loads (up to 20 pounds depending on the size of the hook) or affixed to an anchor for heavier ones.

    Get a 122-piece set of common drywall fasteners (including toggle bolts, which can also be used for plaster) for $9.98 and a set of 130 picture hooks in various sizes for $16.50, both from Amazon.

    14. Hang mirrors, frames, or shelves up to 60 pounds with a French cleat hanger.

    youtube.com

    One piece attaches to the top of the frame, while the other goes on the wall, and the two fit together. It even comes with a tiny sliding level inside the wall bracket to make sure it's positioned just right. Watch a full installation tutorial from Hangman Products, and see a cool example of one of these being used to hang a floating shelf from Nifty.

    Promising review: "I needed to hang a bunch of larger items items in the house (paintings and a few different mirrors). For larger items or items that you want to give some extra security, these can't be beat. Installation is pretty simple. They come with decent drywall screws or you can use your own. Once installed, the items mount nice and flat against them. The small downside is that the frame has to be fairly wide and fairly thick to accommodate the cleat without it being visible." —Joe F.

    Get a set from Amazon for $6.49.

    15. If you've got brick walls, understand that drill holes are harder to repair in mortar, so opt for brick clips to bypass the drill altogether.

    a brick clip
    Amazon

    If you do want to install something more permanent on an exposed brick wall, learn how from Brick Underground.

    Brick clips fit right onto the bricks, so there's no need to drill. This set fits bricks 2 1/8 to 2 1/2 inches tall and each one can hold up to 25 pounds. Brick is tricky, though, so be aware that even these may leave some marks.

    Get a set of two brick hooks from Amazon for $5.95.

    16. Stay safe and ensure you don't drill into wires or pipes by drilling just deep enough to break through the wall and then checking the area behind it with a thin object. And when making deep holes, try to stick to screws instead of nails so you're more in control of how deep into the wall you go.

    NBC

    From Popular Mechanics.

    If you actually think you hit a wire, poke through the wall with something that won't let you get shocked, like an insulated screwdriver. Oh, and don't drill directly below or above outlets or switches, including on different floors, because the wires probably run all the way through. It's a good idea to avoid walls near radiators or connected to bathrooms, too.

    17. When you are using a nail, save yourself from accidentally hammering your fingers by holding the nail with a clothespin.

    hand holding a nail in place with a clothespin
    onegoodthingbyjillee.com

    From One Good Thing By Jillee.

    Get 30 clothespins from Amazon for $9.99.

    18. Measure the distance between hooks on the back of an object with — you guessed it — painter's tape, then use it to mark where you need to make your holes.

    youtube.com

    Guys, I'm starting to think there's nothing painter's tape can't do.

    From Nifty.

    19. Invest (though for $8, it's not a big investment) in a level to keep everything you hang ~in line~, because you can do better than just asking your roommate to eyeball it.

    model using the tool to level things vertically, horizontally, and 45 degrees
    Amazon

    This one has three bubbles for horizontal, vertical, and diagonal objects, and also has a magnetic edge so it can be used hands-free on metal surfaces.

    Get it from Amazon for $7.59.

    20. Or pick up one of these nifty tools that's a ruler, a level, and a marker all in one.

    the tool, which looks like a long ruler with two adjustable vertical parts
    Amazon

    It measures and marks the distance between hooks and has built-in pins to mark where you'll make your holes on the wall.

    Promising review: "We had a big empty wall to fill and this tool made the job so much easier. We were done in less then an hour. The tool has a level that slides and the arms are removable for singe hook or bracket applications. The easy-to-read numbers help you keep your item centered. The push pins are sharp but small, so you'll need to push hard to made the mark. Hold the top of the device firmly and at a slight angle and push the pins into the wall. We're very happy with this item overall. It's one of our best finds yet." —D. Ritchie

    Get it from Amazon for $22.98.

    21. Know your drilling basics and make sure you're using the right kind of drill bit.

    model drilling into an outdoor wall
    amazon.com

    For most walls, you'll probably be using a drywall bit. For stone or brick walls, though, you'll need a masonry bit. Make a small indent with a hammer and nail or screw, then place the bit into it, hold it straight, and slowly start to drill. Watch a basic drilling tutorial from Loewe's and get tips on drilling into a wall from Howcast.

    It's also good to know that drills and electric screwdrivers are NOT the same thing. Drills can both drill (make holes) and drive (screw something in) depending on the bit, but an electric screwdriver, hence the name, is just built to drive. Electric screwdrivers are also less powerful, and can only drive screws into pre-made holes or thinner materials.

    Get a cordless drill kit from Amazon for $69.20.

    22. Before you start drilling, fold up a sticky note to catch the shavings so they don't get all over everything.

    sticky note stuck to a wall catching debri under a drill hole

    23. Mount a frameless mirror with either mirror clips or adhesive.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Getting a frameless mirror without any hardware on the back to hang flat on your wall can be a bit tricky, but there are actually products designed specifically for that purpose. Mirror clips are pieces of transparent wall hardware you can install with screws and anchors like you would any other hook, and they grip the edges of the mirror. The drawback is that you can see them and they're often better for lighter mirrors. To install a heavier mirror or for a more seamless look, you can turn to a special adhesive. Because you're literally gluing it to your wall, it's obviously not a good choice if you're worried about maintaining a paint job or the surface of your drywall. Get a tutorial on using mirror adhesive from Mirror Outlet and more tips from DIY House Help.

    Get 12 mirror clips for $3.79 or a tube of mirror mastic (a fancy word for mirror glue) for $21.88, both from Amazon.

    24. If you're looking to decorate on a budget or don't want to fully commit major $$$ to gallery wall pieces just yet, Etsy has lots of instantly downloadable prints you can print at home in whatever size you need and can swap out frequently since they're so affordable.

    gallery wall with 10 black and white prints, including abstract art and text that reads "the homebody club"
    Kikiandnim/Etsy

    Some shops, like Kiki & Nim, even offer pre-curated gallery wall sets like the one above to get you started! This Black woman-owned shop makes so many stylish, instantly downloadable works of art (available individually or in sets) for every style and occasion, you'll probably be able to find something for every room. Each order comes with four JPG files in different sizes, but you can also message the shop owner if you need a custom size!

    Get the set of 10 prints from Kiki & Nim on Etsy for $15.40.

    25. And because — in the words of Hannah Montana — everybody makes mistakes, fill in holes with putty or even white soap or toothpaste!

    budgetsavvydiva.com, commons.wikimedia.org

    Soap hack from Budget Savvy Diva. Watch the full toothpaste tutorial from Simple Touch Home Design.

    Get a pound of all-surface putty from Home Depot for $1.96.

    26. Or pick up a tube of this 4-in-1 hole repair product. It's a squeeze bottle of spackle with a built-in primer, plus it has a built-in putty knife on the top and a sanding pad on the cap, so you can easily cover mistakes or get your security deposit back when it's time to move.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Absolutely love this product! Completely repairs dings, damages, and holes in drywall (that a landlord would charge $100+ for) in one product. Used it to fix a large wall ding above my bed that was very unattractive. Spackle easily coated and covered the ding. I flattened the spackled surface with the sharp edge on the bottle and allowed to dry overnight. I sanded down the surface with the smoother disk on the cap, and no scrapings or dust spilled at all while sanding — it left a perfectly smooth surface. Painted over it and it's gone!" —Analytical V

    Get it from Amazon for $6.97.

    So no more getting hung up on the task of decorating your walls. NBD, you got this now.

    Disney

    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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