picture cords and picture wires PIcture Frame Hanging picture framing information picture hanging

Picture Framing : A Picture Cord Knot

A commonly asked question is what picture cord knot works best for hanging a picture frame? To answer this we first have to ask what are the desirable features of a picture cord knot?

The following are some desirable features of a picture knot –

  • Won’t untie (self tightening)
  • Won’t sag (so you can hang several pictures simultaneously in a line)
  • Will look neat and tidy (for a professional finish)
  • Won’t fray at the ends

Sagging can be minimised by using low stretch picture cord, you can then decide on the choice of knot.

One knot that meets the above criteria can be achieved as follows –

  1. Attach D-Rings to back of frame (1/3 way down each side)
  2. Cut cord to 3 x the width of the frame and feed cord through D-Rings as shown below –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  3. Position the cord as follows –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  4. Arrange the cord like follows –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  5. Loop the right hand side back under to the left side as shown below –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  6. Feed the right hand end through the loop that you just created as shown below. Pull either ends of the cord  away from each other until knot tightens, change directions of pulling by 1800 and pull again in opposite direction to tighten –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  7. The knot and the cord should  be tight, and not able to slip out or slacken –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  8. Tie a few ‘granny knot’ L over R, then R over L to secure the underlying knot –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  9. Secure by wrapping small piece of ECO-15 tape around the tied ends –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  10.  Use a craft knife to cut through the cord wrapped in ECO-15 tape –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot
  11. The finished cord/knot combination should have a nice clean looking finish, and should provide a tight and  secure cord to hang the picture via a picture hook on the wall –How To Tie A Picture Framing Knot


PIcture Frame Hanging picture hanging picture hooks

How To Hang A Picture Frame From A Picture Rail

picture rail hook brass plated
A brass plated picture rail hook

Picture rails offer an easy way for you to hang pictures on a wall without the need for creating screw or nail holes for picture hooks. This can be useful when you want to frequently change the picture frames that are on display.

Picture rails can be made from wood, plaster and metal. Traditionally they are found in older properties with high ceilings.

Picture Rail Hooks are the most common method used for hanging a picture from a picture rail. The hooks come in a variety of sizes, styles and colours, but all generally do the same thing ie. provide an attachment hook for a cord, wire or cable to drop down for a frame to be attached to. Picture rail contours can vary so each will have a picture rail hook that work best with it in terms of size and shape.

How to hang a picture frame from a picture rail with a picture rail hook

Picture Rail SystemThe diagram on the left shows how to hang a picture frame from a traditional style picture rail. The dimensions in the vertical direction have been compressed for indicative purposes. In reality the cord or wire can run much further down the wall.

A picture rail hook used with the picture rail allows you to create a suspended hook from the picture rail where you can attach a cord, wire or cable to. (The larger hooked end of the picture rail hook goes over the picture rail).

The suspended cord, wire or cable then attaches to the rear of the picture frame. This can be done using D-Rings or simple Screw Eyes screwed into the rear of the frame allowing the picture frame to be securely held.

Attachment of the cord closer to the top of the frame will hold the frame flatter to the wall which is good if the pictures will be displayed at eye level. Attachment of the cord closer to the middle of the frame will cause the frame to tilt forward, which is good if the pictures are to be hung above eye level.

There are different ways to suspend your picture frame from a picture rail with cord or wire. The following diagram shows a few of these alternatives –

Picture Rail Hanging OptionsThe choice can come down to aesthetic appearance, but lets discuss the merits of each method –

Frame A : Would likely require the frame to have a picture cord or wire strung between both sides of the frame with D-Rings or alternatively have some type of hanger attached at the top edge of the frame (could increase bowing of that frame edge). This option may prove difficult to hold position on the wall ie. it may need to be adjusted/straightened quite a lot. Another point to note is that the whole weight of the frame is placed onto one picture rail hook.

Frame B: This method has a more evenly distributed load over two points on the picture rail and picture frame. This method of hanging would likely require some adjustable secure hangers attached to the back of the frame and used in conjunction with the picture wire, cable or suspenders in order to fine tune position and straighten the picture. The whole weight of the frame will be evenly distributed between the two picture rail hooks as well as two points on the frame.

Frame C: This method is by far the easiest option to use. It has only has one connection with the picture rail, but allows easy adjustment of the angle that the frame hangs at. Only one length of cord or wire is used, with no requirements for knots or loops on the picture rail hook. However, the whole weight of the frame is placed on one picture rail hook. The cord can be attached to each side of the frame back with Screw Eyes or D-Rings.

Picture Rail Hooks and Accessories can be found here


picture hanging picture hooks

Picture Hooks For Picture Frame Hanging

floral no1 picture hook brass platedPicture frame hanging, (or photo frame hanging) involves choosing the correct picture hanging hardware and picture frame wall hooks to match your picture frame size, weight and wall type. This will include choosing the correct hook to attach your frame to the wall. Whatever picture hook you go for make sure that it can support the weight of your frame. If in doubt, you can use more than one picture hook to support each frame, or alternatively go for hooks and hangers that exceed your needs.

The basic picture hook available is the Floral No1 Picture Hook, they are a cheap but robust option with a hardened steel pin. They will work hammered into wood or plaster for small light frames.

floral no3 picture hook brass platedThe range of Floral Picture hooks go up in size and robustness with Floral No2 (2 hole) Picture Hooks  to Floral No3 (3 hole) Picture Hooks (pictured on the left). Each comes with brass capped reinforced steel pins to securely attached them onto the wall by hammer.

Floral picture hooks are also available as 1 hole safety picture hooks and 3 hole safety picture hooks which have a spring locking mechanism to secure the cords into the hooks.

Standard Picture Hooks

standard 2 hole picture hook nickelPicture hooks are available in a ‘standard’ non-decorative design. they are just as robust as the floral picture hooks. They come in Standard No.2 Picture Hook (two hole) nickel plated, Standard No.2 Picture Hook (two hole) brass plated  and also come in a smaller size as Small standard No.0 Picture Hooks and  Small standard No.0 Picture Hooks. All come with hardened steel pins.

Heavy Duty Picture Hooks

heavy duty picture hook 3 hole brass platedFour types of heavy duty picture wall hooks are available which come in 1 hole heavy duty picture hook brass plated, 2 hole heavy duty picture hook brass plated3 hole heavy duty picture hook brass plated, 3 hole slotted hook zinc plated sizes. Three are constructed out of sturdy brass plated steel and the other is zinc plated steel. All are robustly constructed. They all take countersunk wood screws. How you attach the hooks to the wall will depend on the type of wall and any rawl plugs that you might use. The 3 Hole Heavy Duty Picture Hook is the strongest of the four heavy duty picture hooks.

Picture Rail Hooks

picture rail hook bronze platedAnother form of picture hanging hook is the picture rail hook, which is specifically designed to hang over the picture rails found in some higher walled or Victorian styled houses. We have brass plated picture rail hooks, bronze plated picture rail hooks and white picture rail hooks. There is also a narrow version of the bronze plated picture rail hook available. The picture rail hooks hook onto the picture rail, and you can run a picture cord or picture wire down to attach the picture frame to, this is a traditional form of picture hanging, which also has the additional benefit of not leaving picture hook pin holes all over your walls.

Other Picture Hooks

toly hard wall picture hookThere are also a couple of speciality picture hooks available –

The Toly hard wall picture hook has short hardened steel pins which are used for nailing the hook into hard brick walls.

The other is a plasterboard picture hook which has a special flat spike which attaches firmly into plasterboard walls.

Decorative Picture Hooks

Fleur de lys decorative picture hook bronze platedIf you are looking for a more decorative look for light frames, you should try the Brass Plated Fleur-De-Lys Decorative Picture Hooks, or the the Bronze Plated Fleur-De-Lys Decorative Picture Hooks for that special decorative look.