State of the Studio check inWork continues on the Create an Ideal Studio in 30 Days: A Studio Makeover Challenge. This week I’m working on figuring out better ways to hang work on the walls when it is in process. I have tried a lot of things in the past, but never really found something that I’m happy with. It’s certainly easier when I am willing to put tons of holes in the walls, but given my current studio is a room in my house I’d prefer not to totally trash the walls.

Use the Whiteboard

hanging artwork on whiteboard with magnets
using magnets on whiteboard

I have a whiteboard in my office which is next to my studio. I may have known at one point, but had forgotten that it is magnetic. So all I needed to do was get some decent small magnets and I’d have instant hanging space. I got packages of little bar shapes which work well on the edges of the images. I just have to be careful with them because they can leave marks on the paper.

Gather Ideas for Studio Makeover

I asked a few other artists for suggestions, and Jim Carpenter suggested nailing wood strips to the wall. This way I could put as many nails and such on the strips and limit the holes in the wall.

I also visited Pinterest where I have to be careful not to be sucked into endless rabbit holes. I found some artists walls covered in pieces in progress, but not many with shots close up enough to see exactly how they were hanging things. I did find a picture of a grid in front of a wall, which I thought might be another version of strips on the wall.

Engineering Assistance

I’m married to an engineer. For those of you who aren’t, the main thing this means is everything gets taken apart and analyzed (most but not all get put back together.) Nothing is OK the way it is, everything can be improved. Endlessly. Sometimes this can be useful, and I took a risk that my hanging system could benefit from more ideas.

Off to Home Depot for my Studio Makeover

Mark, my personal engineer, decided we needed to go look at everything the home improvement store has before deciding what we should use on the walls. We looked at every molding in the place, and decided to try this lightweight inexpensive eight foot plastic strip. It’s technically for installing tile. He also got a box of nails and  grommets so the nails would stick out enough to get the strips back off the wall if needed.

Best Hanging System Ever

So far, I am loving this system. It was inexpensive and easy to install.

I can use every strip to hang smaller works, and every other strip to hang 20″ x 30″ work. It’s super flexible since I can easily move the binder clips. I am going to install it on the opposite wall too.

Challenges of the system

What I’ve found so far is the binder clips do make marks on the walls if I’m not careful. It doesn’t damage it, but marks the paint. I can live with it. If the paper isn’t flat, as you can see in the smaller work above, this doesn’t help flatten it, it allows it to curl more. I’m experimenting with adding clips on the bottom to help. It’s not a huge problem since the main reason for doing this is to see the work as it progresses.

I want to work on panel. When we installed this, we nailed into studs so it would be as strong as possible. In theory, my personal engineer is planning on creating some kind of custom clip thing that will allow me to hang deep panels. He’s still analyzing. We shall see if it is strong enough.

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16 Comments

  1. This looks like a great system. I look forward to see any adjustments you end up making.

  2. This looks like a great system. I look forward to see any adjustments you end up making.

  3. Great idea! It has def. given me some ideas on how I can put my woodworking Pops to work!

  4. Great idea! It has def. given me some ideas on how I can put my woodworking Pops to work!

  5. Christine, I LOVE this idea. I’ve used moulding at the top of the wall before and nailed into that and hung work on fishing wire, but that’s more for display than work in progress. After just painting my wall I want to come up with some clever ways to display work as well and you’ve given me some great ideas. Very clever.

    • This is so much easier than the rail and fishing line I’ve used in the past. I’ll be interested in seeing other ideas this spawns!

  6. Christine, I LOVE this idea. I’ve used moulding at the top of the wall before and nailed into that and hung work on fishing wire, but that’s more for display than work in progress. After just painting my wall I want to come up with some clever ways to display work as well and you’ve given me some great ideas. Very clever.

    • This is so much easier than the rail and fishing line I’ve used in the past. I’ll be interested in seeing other ideas this spawns!

  7. Oh Christine it looks so … visually clean. Those strips are unobtrusive to the max!!!!! (Sure wish I could say the same about my work in progress arrangements.)

  8. Oh Christine it looks so … visually clean. Those strips are unobtrusive to the max!!!!! (Sure wish I could say the same about my work in progress arrangements.)

  9. Could this work for cork board that I have attached a map to so we can keep track of our golfing challenge (golf in every state before we die)?

  10. Could this work for cork board that I have attached a map to so we can keep track of our golfing challenge (golf in every state before we die)?

    • Possibly. It’s great for anything you want to be able to clip up and move around.


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