|The 42-piece picture-hanging kit should put an end to all your art-related strife.
One job that gets put off and put off and sometimes really put off, especially when you move into a new place, is hanging up pictures. It can take years. And there are reasons.
Reason # 1: Couples of different heights can't agree on exactly where the picture should go on the wall.
Reason #2: Singles feel like they need a second set of eyes to help with placement (which can backfire; see Reason #1).
To solve this nationwide putting-off-ness, a Calgary designer named Liette Tousignant has come up with a slick kit that solves all of your hanging problems in one tight little package. It even settles your hanging disputes with a spouse, roommate or offspring.
Liette is the inventor of the Hang & Level, a tool that has received all kinds of media attention since it launched in 2006. The Hang & Level tool marks the exact nail location with the push of a spiked button, and it works with all types of hanging hardware. It’s hands down the best way to hang a picture or piece of decor.
But where to hang the thing is what the fights are usually about. Liette’s new kit is all about solving the “where,” so she’s included several new tools in addition to the Hang & Level itself.
The first tool is a Mary Poppins-style tape. Hold it against the wall with the bottom end of the tape touching the floor and you'll see coloured zones on the tape that indicate where the centre of the picture should go depending on whether people will be primarily seated in the room in question or if they're usually going to be standing. (For example, in a dining room, pictures should be hung lower, so you use the blue zone.)
When you need to hang an array of pictures in symmetrical formation, the irritation index can be astronomical. The kit includes spacer tape marked in one-inch increments. The tape has a very light adhesive on the back (similar to Post-It notes) so it won't damage the wall. You apply some of the tape to the wall and use the reference marks on the tape, rather than dirtying up the wall with pencil scratches, as you try to get the configuration right.
And best of all, there's a Deco Guide that gives you all kinds of tips and tricks for hanging pictures, whether you're aiming for a Parisian bistro look with lots of pictures crowded onto a wall or you're trying to figure out the trigonometry of hanging pictures in diagonal sequence down a staircase.
But wait, there’s more. The kit also includes a package of nails that Liette designed to catch the wire through a channel in the nail head, so there’s no chance that the picture will ever fall off the nail, even during a rowdy family reunion. The nails are spiral-shanked so they won't back out of the wall or get loose, like those cheesy little brass brads we’re all used to. Plus, you don't have to use a plastic or metal anchor with this specialized nail, and it holds up to 20 lbs. of weight.
Liette also includes tiny self-adhesive silicon bumpers that you attach to the bottom corners of a picture to stop it from going crooked on the wall.
Finally, there's a cool little fork-like tool that prevents those protracted moments (especially when somebody's watching) during which you're trying to get the picture wire onto the nail you just hammered into the wall and you can't get the wire to catch, no matter how much you contort, and you start to perspire. The Wire Guide tool straddles the nail head exactly where you want the wire to end up, and then you feed the picture down over the tool until it easily finds the nail. A total ego-saver.
The Hang & Level Picture Hanging Kit is a very helpful little present to yourself or someone you love who should have hung the pictures up a long time ago but hasn't. It's $35 for the whole kit (at Canadian Tire). That's way less than the cost of one marital therapy session.
Mag Ruffman appears weekdays on Real Life on CTS. Visit her online at ToolGirl.com.