I’m not really sure what to call this project! A DIY picture hanger? A picture rail? A picture board? Giant clipboard? Who cares. It looks cool and it was really easy and very quick to make, so it’s a win.
I bought these gorgeous wildflower lithographs on eBay months ago. They’re engraved by George Worthington Smith and were printed by Waller in “Wildflowers of Great Britain” by Hogg and Johnson in 1863, and they are beautiful. I wanted a way to display them all together, but I didn’t want to frame them because it would obscure the lovely browning edges of the pages and I thought framing would be too formal. And anyway, I already have these beauties up in the guestroom ticking the gallery wall of botanicals box! So, something different.
Since we removed the doorway to the office, we have had a spare door lying around, that was actually quite damaged and not worth keeping. We cut it up for firewood (really), but two big panels were left and I thought I could use them for something. One of them sadly cracked right down the middle when we removed it, but the other just had a couple of smaller fractures at the side, nothing major. I realised it was the perfect size to display my flower prints.
But how? I didn’t want to stick the prints down, in case I ever do decide to frame them, so it needed to be secure, but temporary. Bulldog clips seemed the perfect answer, and I got a pack of 6 from eBay for £3 – my only expense for this project! (Except the £12 I paid for the prints months ago).
So, here’s a very quick and easy How To for your very own DIY picture hanger/board/thingy. I have one bulldog clip left and I’m planning to make myself another rustic clipboard for my blog editorial calendar. It will look great in my new office (whenever that is finished).
Obviously you probably won’t have an old door lying around, but a sheet of plywood cut to the size you need for your prints would do the job nicely, as long as you sand the front and edges carefully to ensure no splinters. In fact, any old bit of wood will work. And you probably won’t have a stash of pictures you’ve been meaning to hang lying around. You can find lots of downloads of wildflower prints on the internet, but you could just as easily make this for family photos, or To Do lists or calendars (one for each family member), or even a week’s worth of recipes for your evening meals. Basically you can hang anything, and it is a pretty cool way to make mundane stuff like lists or recipes look awesome, or just to display art.
It took me 30 minutes to make the entire thing, not including the time I left the oil to soak in and the glue to dry.
How To Make A DIY Picture Hanger
Sand your board. You can see there was a lot of glue around the edges, and a couple of cracks, so I used my palm sander to smooth these and bring the wood back to its original state. Sandpaper will also work, it just takes a little more time. Once sanded, wipe it down with a damp cloth and leave it to dry.
Treat your wood. I loved the natural state of the wood but it was too pale to show up my prints properly, so I treated it with some Danish Oil stain, which just gives a hint of colour whilst protecting the wood. If you prefer the bleached look you could just wax it to leave it looking very rustic, or you could stain it to match your furniture or even paint it. Versatile, see? Leave it to dry for a couple of hours (or whatever it says on the tin). At this stage, ensure any cats are not able to take a little stroll on it.
Measure out where you want your prints to go. I attached each clip to the top of a print, and laid them all out. Since there were 5, I started with one in the centre, and then placed the others either side at equal distances. I used a pencil to draw a mark where the clips needed to go.
Glue your clips to the wood. I used ordinary superglue because I couldn’t find our superstrength DIY glue. It worked great, and since the prints are not heavy I am sure it is plenty strong enough. Don’t use too much or you will end up sticking yourself to anything and everything. Leave it to dry for as long as possible (I know, you’re keen to see how it looks, but patience is a virtue and all that).
Organise your prints in the order you’d like, and clip them in. Simple. And obviously you can change them that easily as well.
To hang your board you will need to affix a picture hook at either end of the back, and string wire between them. Then hang on the wall. I haven’t done this yet, because I’m planning to put it up in the spare room, which is currently building site overflow, but I am sure it is going to look beautiful against the grey walls. Sorry for being a bad blogger and not being able to show you the final thing in pride of place!
And there you have it. Quick, easy, lovely to look at (look at the flowers!), versatile and useful. The best kind of DIY. Tweet me a pic if you decide to make your own DIY picture hanger thingy please!