How to Hang a Small Canvas – Or a Bunch of Them


how to hang a small canvasDo you want to learn how to hang and display small canvases. I have always preferred smaller paintings for two reasons, one they are great to adorn those tight spaces in which there isn’t much room, and two, you can group together small pieces of artwork into a cluster for a more striking appearance. I’ll show you i n this post how you can do both.

Hard to decorate places in your home may include: that little strip in the hallway between the door or entrance, that space between above the door.

Here’s a good example of my own. Those four cute little micro-paintings I have displayed above the window in my kitchen. I didn’t actually paint these – they were gift ted to me from a family friend whose mother (that passed on) painted them.

I thought they were too cute not to be displayed somewhere. Each of them are 3″ x 3″. little fruits (apples, pear.) I had to get up on a stepladder and measure and mark, measure and mark, repeat, repeat. It was quite tedious to get each little bitty picture lined up neatly with equal space between them, but it was worth it.

how to hang small canvas on wall

Little canvases (think 8 x 10 or smaller) I have seen canvases, the smallest I’ve seen are the fruit ones I mentioned earlier – 3″ x 3″ yes, that small. You can group them together in a pattern, horizontally, diagonally, side by side and flanked by a larger painting are all the ideas I’ve seen.

A long, skinny (or you could call it “panoramic” view) canvas is also ideal for that spot right above hallways and windows. Here’s another one I spearheaded. Yes, you may have to get up on a ladder to hang it, but it’s perfect for that spot!

best way to hang small canvas

Conversely, if you’ve got a “tall” painting, it would look good in that narrow space flanking the door.

Diagonal positioning works great. Here’s three of my fluid paintings hanging above the bed. Notice how I have them staggered which keeps the eyes moving. to do this I measured to be sure there would be equal space between each. Yes, I measure twice and make the hole once.

canvas hanging ideas

My maternal grandfather, who was a carpenter by trade, despised nails for picture hanging. I share the same outlook and try to avoid nails as much as possible. They tend to “drag” under the weight of artwork, especially if there is extra weight added by frames or glass.

The good news is that with lightweight little canvases ( especially when unframed; you can paint the edges too) you don’t even need them. I use pushpins, and sometime I use straight pins I use pliers to cut off parts of them so they will stick in the wall just like pushpins.) And sometimes I use Command hooks which are great for picture hanging.

I know stuff like measuring can be tedious, resist the urge to be a perfectionist too much. Just remember some principles of design:

  • Have a large focal point (small paintings can make a larger painting stand out more)
  • Arrange in different directions – paintings that are vertical (“Portrait” oriented) and lengthwise “landscape”) together can look more appealing than just one straight line)
  • Different shape canvases nowadays come in other shapes beside s oblong. There are squares, round, ovals, and yes, even shapes like triangles and pentagons. You can add softness to a display by combining different shapes of artwork.

Here’s another example of how combining small paintings with a larger one can really make them stand out. These are my fluid paintings from my first attempt:

how to hang small canvas painting

I put together this handy infographic below so you can see at a glance the most popular grouping arrangements for smaller sized canvas paintings. You can decide what applies best to your collection and go from there with the info in this post. They say a “picture is worth a thousand words”, right?

ways to hang art

Steps For Showcasing Your Work

This is the nitty gritty of preparing your work, and the walls too.

  • Measure twice, mark the spot once (just like carpentry huh)
  • Canvas stretcher bars (shown on the back) usually are about an inch wide. When you measure the spot on the wall you’ve chosen be sure to take that 1″ into account as that is where it will hang.
  • If you use the Command hooks, make sure to let the adhesive strip/hook stick on alone for at least two days so its’sticky power will be certain.
  • Use a pencil to mark the spot you want to hang your picture, also a little spritz of rubbing alcohol can help clean off the area.

Well I hope these suggestions will be helpful to you going forward in your canvas hanging endeavors. Who knows, maybe one day a visitor who stops by out of the blue might see one of your mini-masterpieces so tastefully displayed and offer to buy one of them?



Updated: 05/20/2023 — 4:55 PM

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