How to hang a picture with ribbon

Updated February 21, 2017

Hang a picture with ribbon instead of a nail or a hook. Traditionally, some older homes had moulding around the top of the wall in which people placed picture hooks. The residents attached wire or ribbon to the picture frames to hang the pictures from the hooks. This protected plaster walls from being damaged by nails or screws. Today, this adapted decorating technique of hanging a picture from a ribbon helps add elegant flair to a room.

Mark the wall at the desired position of the picture hook using the pencil. Secure the hook on the wall with the hammer or screwdriver as needed. Decorative hooks have a hole through which a matching nail or screw is inserted to secure the hook to the wall.

Measure the distance between the picture hook and your desired location for the top of the picture. Use this measurement to determine the ribbon length.

Cut two pieces of ribbon long enough to hang the picture in the location you selected. Use the measurement between that location and the hook and add approximately 35 cm (14 inches).

Apply hot glue in a thin, square-shaped pattern to the upper-back corners of the picture frame. Press one end of each ribbon into the glue at a slight angle, with the wrong side up. The ribbons should lie in a slight "V" position, which helps them lay smoothly on the wall after they are tied and hung on the picture hook.

Double-knot the two ribbons together at the same measurement you figured between the hook and where you want the picture on the wall. For example, if you want the picture to hang 30 cm (12 inches) below the hook, make the knot 30 cm (12 inches) from the corner edge where you glued the ribbon.

Tie a bow where you made the knot. Adjust the bow loops to the size you want. Cut the bow's tails at a 45-degree angle or in an upside-down "V" shape for a decorative edge.

Hang the picture by the ribbon on the picture hook.


For heavy pictures, use a picture hook that can be anchored to the wall or attach the hook to a wall stud. Work with the glue quickly, because it cools quickly when applied in a thin line. Add more glue on top of the ribbon for additional security.


Use a hot-glue gun with care; it can burn skin, and the glue is difficult to remove from porous items such as clothing or carpet.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Decorative picture hook
  • Hammer or screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Hot-glue gun
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About the Author

Katharine Godbey began freelance writing for blogs and websites in 2007 with a background in curriculum writing and teaching. She studied business at Colorado Technical University. Godbey enjoys writing about many topics including small business, crafts and florals, decorating and health.