DIY: Secure a Wood Photo Panel with Picture Hanging Wire

How to Prepare a Frame with Hanging Wire for Photo Show

Some time ago, I decided to enter a few photo pieces into an art show. It wasn't until after I paid the entry fees and read the fine print that I realized that all the artwork entries were required to be mounted with wire.

For my framed images, this wasn't a problem. But, for the solid wood panel that I printed at, it proved to be a little challenge.

My DIY solid wood photo panel hanging system at the art exhibit.
First, I attempted to get a nail into the slotted openings at the back of the picture. It didn't work because the backing is nearly impossible to penetrate and I was worried that I would damage the image.

Command™ Wire-Backed Picture
Hanging Hook.
Turn it upside down to create
the hook for the wire.
After many google searches to find DIY help, I didn't find any suitable results. I decided to visit the local Walmart picture framing section to see what I could find.

With my makeshift wire hanging supplies in hand, I took to creating my own DIY photo panel wire hanger.

My goal was to make the hanging system hang securely through 3 days of the show.

Here's what I used:

3M Command Wire-backed picture hanging tabs , braided picture wire and duct tape.

Instead of the hooks being stuck to the wall, they are turned upside down,
and affixed to the back of the photo panel.
First I centered the picture hanging hooks on the back of the panel. I turned the hook upside down wrapped the wire a few times around the hook, like a lasso. I secured it with duct tape so the wire didn't slip off the hook.

Next, I measured the wire so that it would land about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the frame. I wrapped the wire around the second hook, then cut the wire. Again, I secured it with duct tape.

The duct tape keeps the wire on the plastic hook and
it keeps the wire from fraying or cutting someone.

Exhibits or galleries using a wire system require that the wire on the back of the artwork is at least three inches from the top of the piece. Usually a single wire is used for lighter pieces and two wires for heavier bulkier pieces.

The wire lands about 1-1/2 inches from the top of the frame.

Since many art shows require art entries to be hung on gallery hanging systems, I hope this might help someone out that needs to securely mount a photo panel or wood-mounted image.

End Result

The photo panel hung securely for the entire weekend of the show. After the show, it hung on the wall for almost 8 weeks before the adhesive from the 3M hook came loose.
It worked great. The event coordinators were excited to see my DIY handiwork. And, I was able to exhibit the photo.
Hope this will help you too. If it does, please let me know.

ps: sorry for the crummy pictures. It wasn't until someone asked me how I mounted the wood panel that I realized I should have taken better behind the scenes pictures.

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