This Clever Tool Makes Hanging Art 1000x Simpler

It's also cheaper than bribing a friend.

September 25, 2019
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Buying art is thrilling. But that’s where the fun ends for me.

The next step—choosing a frame for the art—is an exercise wrought with agonizing indecision (comparable to when I have to pick, say, between two ridiculously good taquerias).

And hanging art is of my least favorite things to do.

There was a time when I’d ask someone to do it for me, like a friend or a partner, because I didn’t trust myself. Turned out I couldn’t trust them, either. I’d hover as they measured and marked, and wince as they drilled, panicking over all the giant, unfillable holes that my landlord could get mad about. The final result was always just short of perfect, not least because of my interference.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“Most of my art work is propped up against the wall right now instead of hung up. Hoping this tool makes the task a bit easier!! ”
— OxfordLeigh

Then, I decided to switch to doing it myself (mostly because I had scared away every willing helper). Now much of my art gathers dust on shelves or hides out in storage, instead of being up on a wall.

But that's about to change, because I’ve just discovered what I think is the best art-hanging helper in the world.

Meet my new best friend Photo by Home Depot

Cue the Hang & Level—the yellowest, most hardworking tool that makes light work out of hanging art. At $14.98, it's less than what you’d pay for professional help, and suuuper simple to use. Here's what you do.

  • Hang your art on one (or two) of the hooks on the tool.
  • Slide it to where you want your picture to hang and click to mark the spot. A built-in pin marks exactly where the nail goes, which means there are no more mistake holes. It’s also cushioned at the back, so you can drag it across walls with no resulting scratches.
  • The built-in level helps keep things balanced, so you don't have to scramble to find a level when you're holding up a bunch of stuff, which is annoying when you don’t have the wingspan of an albatross. (Also, P.S. I don’t actually own a level.)
  • Hammer in your nail, and TADA.

You can also watch this handy video.

Now, there is just one other thing. In New York, where I live, so many of the floors and walls of apartments are crooked that you could hang something perfectly and still have it look completely askew. Anyone have a fix for that? I’m all ears.

Have a trick to make hanging art more fun? Tell us in the comments!
Grab your copy

It's here: Our game-changing guide to everyone's favorite room in the house. Your Do-Anything Kitchen gathers the smartest ideas and savviest tricks—from our community, test kitchen, and cooks we love—to help transform your space into its best self.

Grab your copy

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Charleen
  • Richard Dietzel
    Richard Dietzel
  • Francine Hughes
    Francine Hughes
  • Casey
  • Cyd
Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.


Charleen September 16, 2020
From an interior designer for whom I worked for several years, the best way to hang any art so it stays level is to use 2 hooks. I have done that in my own home and never have I had to "adjust" a frame. If the piece has a sawtooth hanger, remove it and replace it with 2 small eye screws and picture frame wire. Then use 2 hooks, placed as close to the edge of the frame as possible.
Richard D. October 27, 2019
The link to the video leads ton one on Programming in Basic. I wanted to see if it works on brink walls.
Arati M. October 27, 2019
Here's the same link, Richard:
Francine H. October 27, 2019
Mounting putty will keep frame in place. For large art I prefer using a french cleat, great in earthquake country and makes adjusting to center to wall.

Casey October 27, 2019
where do you purchase the Hang & Level tool - it was never mentioned - the price was $14.98
but where to get it - unknown. Help please
Arati M. October 27, 2019
Hi Casey. It's linked in the article. Here it is: Hope that helps.
Casey September 16, 2020
Thanks so much!!
Cyd October 27, 2019
Regarding the crooked wall making art look crooked - my brother suggests that you use the ceiling line as the point of reference as the eye does. Yes, this does mean hanging art "crooked". Measure from the ceiling.
Arati M. October 27, 2019
That is such a useful tip, Cyd! I will have to try that.
OxfordLeigh September 29, 2019
I am going to order this tool now!! I am over the top OCD about hanging pictures. I’m pretty sure you were describing me in your article! Most of my art work is propped up against the wall right now instead of hung up. Hoping this tool makes the task a bit easier!!
Arati M. September 30, 2019
Hi! Happy to meet a kindred spirit. This is an easy tool to use, especially with smaller works, so give it a go, and let me know how it goes. Art makes us so happy, so there’s no reason why hanging art shouldn’t, am I right?
Claire L. September 26, 2019
I am having a hard time understanding how the clever art hanging tool works. Can you post a video? or maybe describe it a bit more. If it is such a breakthrough, maybe worth it.
Arati M. September 26, 2019
Thanks for your comment, Claire. I've actually just inserted a link in the story. Hope it's useful.