How to Hang Canvas Prints with Hinges (and Why You Might Want To)

Most prints are hung on the wall in a stationary position used only for display purposes. It is, after all, the whole point of hanging art and personal photos on your walls.

But, for stretched canvas prints or even shadow box frames that have deeper recesses behind the frame, those can be a good depth to give you some storage space for items behind the print.

Enough space to hang things like your garden shed keys, spare house keys, bike lock keys or even transform the back of your frames into hidden jewellery cabinets to hang your bracelets, bangles and necklaces. For smaller items like rings and earrings that are difficult to hang, you could instead hang tiny wedding favour bags on hooks that have your smaller items in them.

If you’d rather see a beautiful piece of wall art as you walk into your home instead of a bowl with a fistful of keys, likely all tangled together, you can integrate a key hanging system behind some deeper wall frames, or for upstairs, turn your canvas print into a jewellery cabinet that opens at the flick of your finger, while keeping your items out of sight. It won’t lock, but it won’t be on display for all to see either.

You can also use these to disguise parts of your walls that annoy you. Like the big keypad for your alarm system, your central heating control panel or even a thermostat that’s taking up valuable wall real estate.

Items you’d need for this DIY frame hanging project

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • A couple of small hinges*
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • As many self-adhesive hooks as you need for your keys

*the hinges you buy will need to fit the width of the bars on your canvas prints, or the outer edges of your frame. Most standard sized hinges will be too big so measure the thickness of the edge of your frame, so you know the right size of hinge to buy.

How to Attach Canvas Prints to Your Wall with Hinges

  1. Pre-drill holes in your frame

Using the right size of drill bit, it’s a good idea to pre-drill holes in the frame ready to screw your hinges in place.

Use the screws for the hinges to mark the wood where they’ll be positioned. Drill slightly into the frame just enough to prevent the screw being forced into the wood, which can cause wood to split if you were to screw it directly in without pre-drilling the hole.

  1. Attach the hinges

You’ll want to be attaching two hinges – one nearer the top, the other on the bottom, rather than one hinge supporting the weight of the entire canvas print. (Remember, these are only on one side of the frame). Using two hinges, weight is more evenly distributed across both hinges.

  1. Nail the hinges to your wall

Each hinge is best secured in place with a couple of nails. As most hinges have three holes letting you get them centred just right, you’ll want to use the top and bottom holes for even distribution.

If you’re planning to try this with a solid wood frame, do check the weight each hinge can support. Large bulky wood frames may be too heavy for hanging with hinges on just the one side. 

  1. Put the hooks in place

The last step is to apply as many self-adhesive hooks as you need for whatever you’re going to be hanging behind your print.

If you’re using a hinged frame to cover up wall electronics such as alarm systems, thermostats or heating control panels, you can skip this stage. Hooks are only an option if you want to hang items behind your frame like keys or jewellery.

  1. Put it to use and swing it to close

Once you have your organisation system in place, just swing it to close, and you should find it sits flush to your wall. If the angle of your hinges prevent the frame from sitting flush, you could try to adjust them until it does, or alternatively, attach a self-adhesive magnetic strip or even a tiny square of magnetic tape to the wall and a small fridge magnet to the frame so it contacts when closed, holding your print flush to the wall until you need to open it for access.