How to Hang Art (And More!) While Renting
Hi gang!! Janel here from NellieBellie with more tips and tricks for renters! Today I want to give some tips for hanging art and other items on the wall for renters. One piece of advice I hear so often is that if you have a small home you need to use your vertical space. Sure, great…but I’m a renter! Which means I can’t install shelves and hangers and such on the walls. Great advice, not so easy to implement.
While there still isn’t a great solution … here are some tricks that I use around my apartment to hang art, bulletin boards, quilts, and more on the walls.
Always be mindful to test an inconspicuous area first to see if adhesive will peel paint or something when it is taken off.
Washi Tape is a renters dream. It isn’t terribly sticky and comes off easily from most walls. It can be used to create art all on it’s own (think striped walls) or used to create “frames” like I did here in my dining room. Or, it is a fun way to simply tape children’s artwork up on to the wall. In fact, Remodelaholic has 27 Renter-friendly ideas with Washi Tape! Seriously…a renters best friend!
3M Command Hooks
If you are a renter you are more than familiar with these nifty little helpers. (You can pick them up at pretty much any local store, or browse the different sizes and styles here on Amazon.) We used them to power our family’s message center. But, don’t limit them to what you see them most commonly used for. I used washi tape and ModPodge to make the cheap version of the hangars look awesome! You could also spray paint them to customize them to your home.
- Use 2 hooks and a curtain rod to create a place to hang fabric, curtains, artwork…etc.
- The waterproof versions work great for holding towels and hand towels in the bathroom!
- Small hooks holding totes are a great make-up storage solution in the bedroom…and a great way to keep kid’s art corralled!
- Use them on the back of doors to hang sweaters and hats.
- Hang lids, towels, and more on the back of kitchen cupboard doors.
Okay, I changed my mind…Command Hooks are a renters must-have!
3m Command Tape and Clothespins.
This is probably my favorite and used whenever I can. I put 3M Command Tape on the back of clothespins that I cover in washi tape. Then I stick the clothespin to the wall and hang. I am currently using this method to hang my quilt behind my t.v..
So, technically you have to be able to put in a small (itsy) nail to be able to hang these. So, if you think you can get away with it…or there are visible holes you can use…this is a clever and fun option! I use this to hang my calendar in my kitchen. There was a hole already there but it was higher than my kids could use. So, I used a pant hanger and it works great! And, looks pretty cool :). This would be a great option for hanging a print or poster! Here I used them in our epic hall makeover to hang a couple vintage prints.
Stretching string or ribbon between 2 nails/tacks is a great way to hang photo’s or other light art (children’s papers). If you can’t get away with tacking a couple strings down use Command Hooks and just tie the ends around the hooks. And you can see how a Remodelaholic reader used a similar version (we would use command hooks or tape to hang the string!) in her craft room…
This works great to hang multiple items in one place. You could even cover the tension rods with yarn or fabric to make them look even better! Hang the rod between 2 windows, 2 cupboards, or in a corner. Be aware that they can’t take a great amount of weight. But, a few canvases will hang nicely! We used this method to create our Advent Wall this year.
Some other fun wall ideas…
- Cover an entire wall with craft or butcher paper in your kids room (make sure you cover all of it!). Tape it down well and give them crayons. We use this method in the kids area and they love it. I could see it being a problem for young children that might think the next wall they see is for coloring (yikes)…so use your smarts!
- Twinkle lights are fun for little girls! String them up between shelves, from windows and closets…they don’t care how perfect they look! (Amazon has a great selection of lengths and colors!)
- Maps take up a great amount of wall space and are light. We have a vintage one hanging in our apartment as art…I love it!
- Yarn. Yes, yarn. Run yarn across the wall like lines. Either use a thumbtack or washi-tape to hold in place.
- Ribbon and 2-sided tape. To create a wall similar to what this reader did using ribbon and thumbtacks
- Vinyl. Cut into shapes and letters. Removable!
- Post-it’s. Applied in masses -post-its can make a great statement!
- Canvases. Canvases are light and can usually be held with a simple thumbtack. You can create art on them or simply use them to showcase an ever-changing “art” display (although I’m not sure my coffee filters and pipe cleaners can be considered art).
- 3d decals. These are available at many department stores, or try Amazon’s offerings, like these simple white butterflies, wall flowers, or metal-look leaves. Use 3M double stick tape so that they can be removed later and think about using them in masses for the most dramatic effect. (I used them on the wall behind my bed for impact)
I hope you found something you can use and take away for your rental! Don’t assume because you rent that you can’t jazz up your walls and use your wall space. You can. You should!
Let me know if you have a tip of your own. I’m always looking for fun ideas!
Now that you know how to hang the art… DIY some! 25 great diy art ideas
Great ideas! I actually just shared my plate gallery wall in my rental apartment on Monday! Check it out here: https://itsalwaysruetten.blogspot.com/2014/02/how-to-hang-plate-wall-in-rental.html.
Thanks so much for the ideas!
I live in a rental too but I don’t really get why that should be so limiting? If you ever leave the house you can just spackle, sand & repaint a hole right?
In 2010 you could. But nowadays some landlords have extremely strict rules in the lease that prohibit one from doing any sort of cosmetic changes. If you are in a lease where that is the case just give em the bird haha, fix it and say you had no idea that the last tenant was such a great repair person,,,
Unfortunately a lot of leases have these aggressive restrictions and severely limit the creativity of the renter.
I too very much like the idea of command hooks and things, but before you spend your money on them, make sure your wall isn’t too textured for them to stick. We have just a small texture on our walls, and if we can get them to stick at all, they won’t hold any weight. Just a cautionary tale. If you don’t have this problem, command products are great!
Thanks for the tip, Naomi!
I own my own home and I still use Command strips all the time. I use them to be sure I like things before I make the commitment of holes in the wall. And sometimes I just leave them up on the command strips because they work so well!
Smart! Command strips are amazing!
You’d be surprised how much weight just a little stick pin can hold. They only leave very small holes.
Thanks for the tip, Donna!
Can you use command hooks to hold up the rod to attach it to a wall to put clothes on.
Probably! Just make sure the hook has a weight limit for what you want to hold.