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How do you hang things without leaving a mark?
July 7, 2010 9:13 PM   Subscribe

How do I hang things on the walls of my apartment without making holes/leaving marks?

My apartment has plain white walls (with a kind of textured wallpaper; it's not smooth). I've got small stuff and heavy stuff that I'd like to hang up on the wall, from small picture frames to large, somewhat heavy piece of cloth.

I'm renting, so I obviously can't do whatever I'd like to the walls, and when I move out, they should be as clean as when I moved in. So no nail holes and the like. Or as an alternative, I'd chance making holes if I could patch it up when I move out, but given the textured pattern of the wallpaper, that may be tricky to do.

Any advice how to hang things? And a secondary question: how would you go about hanging a length of cloth about 3 feet wide by 5 feet long, lengthwise along the wall? Wires? Hooks?
posted by zardoz to Home & Garden (23 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Perhaps you could get away with small screw-in ceiling hooks near the edge where the wall and ceiling join? Using some fishing line, you can hang stuff wherever you want on the wall. If you use enough to support the weight, you could even hang your cloth that way.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:18 PM on July 7, 2010


I.e. hooks in the ceiling right next to the wall, if that wasn't clear.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:18 PM on July 7, 2010


I think people just put holes in the wall.
posted by low affect at 9:20 PM on July 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


You can also get pretty long tension rods. Depending on how long the wall is that you're hanging stuff on, you could set up a tension rod up near the ceiling, and hang things off of that.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 9:20 PM on July 7, 2010


3M Command! Used correctly, they've never left a mark on my walls.
posted by rachaelfaith at 9:21 PM on July 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


The 3M Command strips really do work, except in high-moisture areas like bathrooms.
posted by Ostara at 9:25 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seconding 3M Command. For the fabric, if you're going for something simple and non-permanent (and don't care about esthetics), you could use clothes pins or even double-sided tape, assuming the cloth is hemmed.
posted by halogen at 9:45 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I rent and have rented several apartments in the last few years. Lots and lots of holes in the walls, including heavy-duty anchors to mount 50lbs+ shelves; never had a problem or was charged a fee upon moving out.
posted by halogen at 9:47 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just get a tube of quick caulk when you move and fill the holes. Unless you're hanging your bowling ball collection, the holes will be relatively small. Always done it and never lost a deposit.
posted by littlerobothead at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


3M Command!

Just used these today to hang up fire detectors. It worked well in our other residence, as well, and left no marks behind.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I meant smoke detectors.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2010


I've had good experience with Monkey Hooks (I used the name brand because they were all I could find but a knockoff would be identical I'm sure) and they weren't too expensive at my local big box store. The holes they leave are absolutely tiny, and they're reusable, but they're not good for anyplace with a stud too nearby (you have to push it through and then spin it around to hang something from it, which requires enough open space behind the wall for it to spin around).
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:45 PM on July 7, 2010


Lately I've seen designers installing crown molding with a little gap between the top and ceiling expressly so they can hook into it to hang paintings or whatever. Obviously, check with your landlord before doing this, but there's a chance it'll actually improve the appearance of the room while offering you a solution.
posted by Unsomnambulist at 12:27 AM on July 8, 2010


Easels?
posted by mdonley at 2:19 AM on July 8, 2010


Most rental agreements allow you to put small holes in the walls, such as tacks, screws and nails. I'm sure yours will specifically state whether or not it's allowed.
posted by Sufi at 2:39 AM on July 8, 2010


Our complex told us that normal wear and tear was fine. People normally put things on the wall. Thus, you should be fine.
posted by theichibun at 5:53 AM on July 8, 2010


Museums generally hang fabrics by sewing velcro on the top edge and velcroing that to a long strip of wood that has the other half of the velcro stapled to it. The strip of wood is hung like any other work of art. Sewing the vecro on distributes the weight of the piece across a much larger area and provides the necessary horizontal tension. Gravity provides the appropriate vertical tension.
posted by advicepig at 6:48 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


In reference to the second question, quilt shops sell wooden clamps in all sizes for gently hanging fabric art. Another thing we have done (we have a lot of fabric art) is suspend a rod with picture hanging wire and get shower curtain hangers with alligator clips. This can result in wear and tear, so the quilt hangers are the better deal.

We are also blessed with picture molding in our house, so no nail holes for us.
posted by jimfl at 7:26 AM on July 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most rental agreements allow you to put small holes in the walls, such as tacks, screws and nails

I've rented rooms where blu-tack wasn't allowed as it marks the walls. I would advise checking as far as nails go first.
posted by mippy at 8:13 AM on July 8, 2010


Lately I've seen designers installing crown molding with a little gap between the top and ceiling expressly so they can hook into it to hang paintings or whatever.

AKA picture rail
posted by misterbrandt at 8:40 AM on July 8, 2010


In situations like you're in, I use sewing needles. They're remarkably strong and leave a very very small hole.
posted by komara at 9:59 AM on July 8, 2010


I was just looking for a way to mount a rug and some other fabrics and came across a few potentially helpful resources: Mounting and Hanging Textiles - offers several methods. Also, advice from The Textile Museum - they favor velcro.

I haven't done it yet, but for my silk rug, I think I am going to sew tabs and then hang on a rod.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:02 AM on July 8, 2010


Textured white wallpaper sounds ideal for hiding small holes -- you can even use white toothpaste! Yes, BTDT.
posted by Idcoytco at 2:34 PM on July 8, 2010


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