I made custom hanging rods for my wall art. They only cost me $ 1


This card print is massive. Commercial hanging rods weren’t going to cut it.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Large format posters or prints can look great on your wall, but just gluing them in place makes them look more like something you find in a student dormitory than your beautiful home. Instead, using rods for hanging posters to hang large prints can be a much more appealing solution – and can cost a lot less than trying to find a gigantic frame.

The rods attach to your poster at the top and bottom: the top band allows it to hang on your wall, while the bottom acts as a weight to keep the poster taut against the wall.

But some rods don’t come cheap, especially if you’re trying to get some for huge billboard-sized ad impressions. I recently ordered a print measuring 47×71 inches, but I would need to get some custom rods that would cost around $ 80 if I wanted to hang it.

img-4106

The wooden batons I got were cheap, but they were dirty and scuffed.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Instead, I made mine from wood that I bought for a dollar. Here’s how.

Step 1: I measured the top edge of my print. If you hang it in portrait orientation, this will be the shortest measurement. If you’re hanging in a landscape, you’ll want the longest bar. I wanted the stems to extend slightly beyond the print so I added about 2 inches on each side.

2nd step: I visited a local supplier of reclaimed wood. If you can recycle and reuse otherwise wasted wood, it’s always best to use virgin wood, but you might not have a reclaimed wood store near you. (Google will help you there.) I found a few pieces of wood that didn’t match, but that wasn’t a problem, and had the wood cut to size. It cost me 78 pence here in the UK which equates to almost exactly $ 1. I can not argue with the value.

img-4108

Some time with an orbital hand sander and they looked like new.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Step 3: Salvaged from an old piece of furniture, I think the wood was a bit shiny and rough with visible pen and print marks. I used an orbital hand sander and deep sanded both pieces until they looked and felt good.

Step 4: I used Danish wood oil on an old rag (formerly an old T-shirt) and worked the oil in the wood which gave it a darker tone. It’s just an aesthetic choice that you don’t need to follow if you prefer the natural tone of the wood.

img-4116

Once oiled and dried I screwed in some picture hooks to tie the cord to hang the frame.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Step 5: I screwed two picture hooks into the piece that would form the top bar and a cord tied between the two. I used enough cord to loop it around on itself three times which makes it overall more solid when hung. While a couple of times probably would have been enough, I was concerned that the weight of the print plus the wood was too much of a strain.

Step 6: Attaching the printed poster to the hanging rods was the hardest part. Prefabricated rods often come in two pieces for the top and two for the bottom. Each pair usually fits together using magnets, trapping the imprint and holding it in place. I couldn’t get enough thin wood for this, so I instead opted for a larger, sturdy piece at each end that I would secure to the poster using small nails and glue.

img-4126

I first attached the impression to the stems using small nails. This made it easier to set up the print and learn it throughout the process.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The downside is that you can’t just swap out the print by undoing the magnets when you want a refresh. Removing the print using my solution would involve tearing the top and bottom. On the other hand, this is a very cost effective solution if you know you want that print to hang for a long time. If so, the use of such a permanent fixation approach will be suitable.

img-4129

I put glue in the gaps between the nails for more strength.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

The poster should be attached to the back of the rods, with enough overlap that you can put the poster in place. When your print is aligned with the rod, use small nails (or a sturdy stapler) to secure the print in place, working along its length to make sure it stays taut and aligned. Then with a tube of fine-tipped glue, insert glue into the spaces between the nails or staples and stack weights (I used books and a PlayStation4 that was nearby) until the dry glue.

img-4130

And I weighted the rods with books and a PS4 until the glue dried.

Andrew Hoyle / CNET

Step 7: Hang your mounted print from the cord you attached to any regular hook or nail in your wall. Make sure the hook or nail is able to support the weight of your new mounted print, especially if it was driven into old drywall.

Step 8: Take a step back and enjoy your beautiful massive impression.


Comments are closed.