How to tie picture hanging wires

Updated February 21, 2017

Picture frames adorn the walls of most homes to display photos of family members and colourful art. However, the majority of picture frames hang incorrectly or may be hanging by a thread. Adding hanging wire and screw eyes to the back of a picture frame allows each frame to hang evenly on a wall and prevents photo frames from falling. Tying hanging wire behind picture frames correctly keeps picture frames neat and secure.

Fold a bath towel in half and set the folded bath towel over a table or counter. The towel prevents the glass on the frame from getting damaged. Lay the picture frame over folded bath towel with the back of the frame facing up.

Make a hole on the left and right top corners of the frame with a drill and 1/16-inch drill bit or bradawl tool. Make the holes 1 inch in from the left and right edges of the frame, and 1 inch from the top edge of the frame. Then screw the screw eyes into each hole with your thumb and index fingers.

Insert 4 inches of the hanging wire's working end through the screw eye on the right side of the frame. The working end is the end of the wire. Fold the working end over the screw eye, and cross the working end over the straight end hanging wire, creating a loop around the screw eye.

Pass the working end of the hanging wire back through the screw eye on the right side of the frame. Then insert the working end of the hanging wire through the loop around the screw eye, creating a reef knot.

Pull the working end tightly through the screw eye and wire loop, to secure the wire. Tightly wrap the working end of the wire around the straight end of the hanging wire, preventing the wire from slipping through the screw eye. Repeat Steps 1 through 4 to tie the hanging wire around the left screw eye on the picture frame.


Avoid running your fingers across the tip of the hanging wire to prevent cutting yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Bath towel
  • Drill
  • 1/16 in. drill bit
  • Bradawl tool
  • Hanging wire
  • 2 screw eyes
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About the Author

Anya Meave is a freelance writer from San Diego, Calif. She began writing in 2009 for various websites. Majoring in telemedia, she has written scripts for student projects and has been chosen to submit a spec script for the 2011 Nickelodeon Writers Fellowship. Meave has an associate degree in photography from Southwestern College.