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Hung up on hanging art in your home?

If you're like most of us, you may find the prospect of hanging artwork a bit daunting. First of all, you probably have artwork of different shapes and sizes. And then there's the question of mixing colors and styles. It's enough to make you live with blank walls!

Here are five of my favorite tips and tricks to help you tackle art and framing issues once and for all.

1. Mix and match on large walls.

I've seen it a hundred times: large wall artphobia. No, you don't have to invest your child's college tuition in one large piece. In fact, please don't! It's much more fun and interesting to create a gallery with a variety of small to mid-size pieces instead. For added texture and interest, try adding some three-dimensional pieces such as a beautiful plate, mirror, or tapestry.



Sarah Heitman

Design by Sara Eizen

2. Trace the space.

Creating a gallery with an entire wall looks amazing but can be a little tricky when it comes to hanging. The key is to trace the space in advance.

First, arrange the artwork on the floor or a table to get the right layout. Next, lay a large piece of wax paper over the entire gallery and trace each frame, making sure to mark the hanger so you know exactly where to pound the nail. Place the wax paper on the wall and hammer the nails right through the paper. When you're finished, just tear the wax paper down and hang your art! This works great for hanging single pieces, too.

3. Crest marks the spot.

If you aren't creating a gallery but still want to avoid filling your walls with nail holes (and bickering with your mate in the process!), simply put a dab of toothpaste on the back of the frame exactly where the nail should be. Hold the frame against the wall and lightly press to transfer the blob of toothpaste to mark your spot. Hammer, wipe away the toothpaste, and voila - perfect, minty-fresh picture placement!



We Like To Learn As We Go

4. Get thrifty with framing.

If you have several smaller pieces to frame and want to do it on the cheap, pick up an assortment of frames at Goodwill or your local thrift store and spray paint them all the same color. The variety of styles and textures adds flair while the single color creates a unified look without being too matchy-matchy.

5. Put your little Picasso in the spotlight.

If you have kids, chances are really good that you're going to have a bunch of kiddo artwork filling up the fridge at some point or another. I have lots of tips on this topic (stay tuned), but one of my favorites comes from a fun little company called Fine Doodles that converts your kid's artwork into a beautiful, hand-painted acrylic that's ready to hang on the wall. With a range of sizes starting at around $100, these make great gifts for grandma, too.

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So remember, while it helps to trace first and hang artwork within the lines, think outside the box when it comes to use of space and what goes on your walls.

Sara Eizen, founder of Nest, is a Seattle-based interior designer and home organizer with a passion for helping busy families reclaim style and space in their homes on any budget. In a bi-weekly column for Seattle's Child, Sara shares creative, fun, affordable tips and tricks for clearing clutter, sprucing up rooms with minimal effort, creating systems that simplify family life, and much more.

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