hanging a picture frame

How to Hang a Picture Frame : D-Rings

brass single d-ringPictures are most commonly hung using a pair of D-Rings screwed onto the back of the each side of wooden (or plastic) picture frame. They provide attachment point loops that picture cord or wire can be then be strung between. The cord or wire can then be used to hang the frame from a picture hook (nail, screw or similar) that is attached to the wall.

Single hole D-Rings are the most basic form of hardware for this purpose.  They are useful for most frames up to about 0.5m wide. Wider than 0.5m  but < 1m or when using a heavier frame/moulding, then double D-Rings are advised, they are more robust than single D-Rings and have two screw holes.

The Procedure for attaching D-Rings to a picture frame –

How To Use D-Rings to Hang a Picture FrameHardware required –


  1. Apply frame backing tape around each back edge for the frame/backing board to seal the frame from dust mites and dampness.
  2. Measure approximately 1/3 of the distance down on one side of the frame and mark with pencil/pen. Measure down the other side the exact same distance and mark again.
  3. Use a bradawl to poke a small hole into the frame backing at this mark on each side, this will provide a start for the screws.
  4. Line up the D-Rings and screw with the pre started holes and screw the D-rings into place. The D’s (loops) of the D-Rings should be facing each other.
  5. Tie a cord between each D-Ring and secure with a knot. Alternatively, wire and ferrules can be used instead.
  6. Finish the cord ends off with a bit of frame backing tape to stop them fraying.
  7. You picture is ready to hang on a picture hook.


PIcture Frame Hanging

Bifurcated Rivets with D-Rings

Bifuricated RivetSometimes you may find yourself using a moulding that is just way too narrow to attach a screw and D-Ring to. If you do, the rounded edge of the D-Ring can end up being visible from the front of the frame when hanging on the wall, which isn’t pleasant to look at.

One alternative is to continue to use D-Rings but instead of screwing the D-Rings to the frame, you can attach the D-Rings to the backing board by using Bifurcated Rivets. This is method I’d recommend for lighter frames only as there is a finite strength to MDF backing boards. The Bifurcated Rivets come in both nickel plated and brass plated finishes and require no specialised hardware to fit (a ruler, pencil, bradawl, screwdriver and hammer will suffice).

The procedure for attaching them to the backing board is as follows –

MDF Backing Board Measured for Bifurcated Rivets 1. Select a backing board at least 2mm thick MDF. (a relatively solid material). Mark the two points where the rivets are going to go (about 1/3rd way down from top and about 30mm in from sides)
 Use a bradawl to punch holes through the MDF 2. Use a bradawl to punch holes through the MDF at your measured points. make the holes close to 3mm in size – just wide enough so as to allow the bifurcated rivets to push through.
D-Ring with Bifurcated Rivet 3. Push the rivet through the hole of the D-Ring and then through the hole you have made in the MDF.
Splaying a Bifurcated Rivet 4. Turn the MDF over to see the rivet protruding from the other side of the board. Place the D-Ring and Rivet head on an old wooden off cut, and place a screwdriver over gap in the rivet legs.
Bifurcated Rivet Legs 5. Hit the screwdriver shaft with a hammer to start to splay the rivet legs.
Splayed Bifurcated Rivet 6. Take away the screwdriver and splay the rivet further apart with a hammer. Flattening the rivet legs against the board. If you are not using a barrier board between the backing and the artwork, then at this stage you should tape over these ends as they may push against the artwork (which is really not desirable). I recommend using a mount board or similar barrier layer of acid free board between the artwork and the backing board.
D-Rings attached by Bifurcated Rivets 7. Repeat with other D-Ring.
Finished Frame Backing wiht Bifurcated Rivets and D-Rings 8. Assemble the frame and finish tying picture cord between the two D-Rings. Congratulations the picture frame is now ready to hang.




picture framing information

D-Rings for Picture Frame Hanging

Brass plated  D-RingA D-Ring is a piece of picture frame hanging hardware and is used to attach to either side of a picture frame to tie picture hanging cord or wire to in order to hang the picture. D-Rings come in a variety of styles to suit different applications and colours to suit different tastes (nickel plated, brass plated, bronze plated).

Standard D-rings come in 1 hole and 2 hole variety. 2 hole D-rings are slightly larger and made from slightly heavier duty metal than 1 hole D-Rings and are used to hang heavier frames.

2 hole d-ringD-rings are usually placed about 1/3rd of the way down the picture frame on each side. They are attached by pan headed screws which can be different lengths depending on the depth of your moulding. If you put a 13mm screw through a 12 mm moulding then you will end up punching through the picture frame face which would obviously not be a desired outcome, so choose your screw lengths wisely!

The D-Rings can come in standard size, or small sized to suit smaller moulding widths and smaller frames.

Solid d-ring nickelAnother form of D-ring is the solid ‘D’ D-ring which is made from one solid loop (stamped metal) ‘D’. The sold loop may give extra security in some applications. Standard D-rings are formed with the ‘D’ made from a non-continuous looped D of metal.

Fancy loop hanger brassYou can also get Fancy loop D-Rings (is that still classed as a ‘d’?) which are used purely for artistic effect, but require small pins rather than screws for attachment to the frame edges. This type of D-ring is recommended for lighter frames only.

Angled d hangerAngled D-ring picture hangers are another option. They come in pairs (left +right) and give you the security of a two-screw fixing on all types of moulding, including narrow frames. The angled D-ring hanger is angled to give the correct alignment of the cord or wire and to minimise stress in the frame.

In summary, D-rings are by far the most commonly used way to hang picture frames. They can be bought in bulk with multi-packs too.