How to Frame and Hang Posters

Updated on May 14, 2019
Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye loves posters, and she loves to share her ideas and tips about the best ways to decorate with them.

Learn the Basics of Framing and Hanging a Poster

Posters are easy to frame and hang yourself. In this article, I’ll give you the basics of framing and show you several ways to hang your own poster. I've also included a section on hanging unframed posters.

A great way to decorate any room is with posters. They are very inexpensive and available in many different sizes and genres. You can purchase the frames at your local discount or craft stores, or order them online.

It's easy to frame your own poster.
It's easy to frame your own poster.

Selecting a Frame

Choose a frame that is the exact size of your poster—or choose a larger size frame and mat it to fit.

Do You Want to Mat Your Poster?

Before you purchase a frame you will need to decide if you’re going to mat it. This is an important factor in determining the size frame you need.

Matting your poster will depend on:

  • Personal preference: Decide if you personally prefer a mat or not.
  • Size of poster: Some posters are an odd size and will not fit a generic size frame without a mat or having the poster cut to fit the frame (if possible). You should consider this before you purchase a poster, but if you already own it, you will have to choose the best option. In some cases, a generic size mat might not fit your poster either and you will need to have one custom cut. Most craft stores have a framing department that can help you with custom mats and frames.
  • Cost: Obviously matting will cost more, especially if you need one professionally cut. If you’re on a tight budget, buy a poster that will fit a generic size frame and/or mat.

Poster framed without a mat.
Poster framed without a mat.

The Best Place to Buy Your Frame

I’ve bought frames at discount stores plenty of times. However, for nicer posters or art, I suggest shopping at a craft store. Most will offer discount coupons or have great sales that will save you a lot, so it’s not that much more expensive. The frames are of much better quality, and they have a larger variety of sizes. They also have a large selection of mats, or they can custom cut a mat if you need an odd size.

Keep It Simple

The video below will give you an idea of how choose a frame and mat, and then put it together yourself. She suggests keeping it simple by using a black frame and white mat to show off your art better.

How to Frame a Poster

OK, now that you have your frame and mat (if you're using one), it's time to put the poster in. This is the easy part. The hard part was making all of the choices and being sure everything fits.

The basics of framing a poster:

  1. Take the back off of the frame. (Frames are all different, but it should be easy to see how this is done in your case.)
  2. Place poster in the frame and smooth out any wrinkles. If you're using a mat, you will need to position the poster evenly over the mat and tape it on the corners and top and bottom. Make sure it is in the right position, looks even, and is smooth before taping.
  3. Replace the back on the frame.

Now you're ready to hang it.

Considerations for Hanging a Poster

1. Size and weight

2. Type of wall it's going on

3. Kind of hanger on back of frame

How to Hang Your Poster

There are several ways to hang a framed picture of any kind. Basically, it will depend on the size and weight of your picture, what type of wall you have, and the type hanger on your frame.

  • Size and weight: If your framed poster or art is small and light in weight, you should be able to get by with a small hook, nail, or stick-on hook. If it's fairly large and heavy, you may need to use an anchor hook or more than one hook or nail.
  • Dry walls: For dry wall, you can usually get by with just a nail. If your picture is heavier, or you want to be extra cautious, you could use a Monkey Hook. This handy, dandy little item is so simple. Just poke it in the wall, push and lock it, and you have a hook that will hold up to 50 pounds. Amazing.
  • Plaster walls: If you have plaster walls, you'll need to buy a hook that is made specifically for plaster. Or, you can use a stick-on hook or nail. You'll have to check and get the proper hook for the weight of your picture. You might need to use more than one.
  • Hanger on the back of frame: One other thing you'll have to consider when deciding how to hang, will be the back of your frame. You'll need your hook to match the type of hanger that is attached. It might have a wire or a saw-tooth hanger, for example. Or, sometimes poster frames just have a hole on the back to hang over a nail. You might have to attach a hanger yourself, and you can choose the type you prefer, but consider the type of frame you'll be using it on.

Command Universal Frame Hanger, Decorate Damage-Free, Large, 3 hangers, 6 strips, 6 frame stabilizer strips (17047-3ES)
Command Universal Frame Hanger, Decorate Damage-Free, Large, 3 hangers, 6 strips, 6 frame stabilizer strips (17047-3ES)

These picture (or poster) hangers stick to the wall and have a nail sticking out enough to hang your picture. Basically, a stick-on nail. They hold up to 5 lbs. My son used these for his posters with good results.

For this poster, my son used stick-on nails for hanging. The frame already had a saw-tooth hook on the back.
For this poster, my son used stick-on nails for hanging. The frame already had a saw-tooth hook on the back.
For this wide poster, my son used the same stick-on wall nails, but with the stabilizing strips provided in the package.
For this wide poster, my son used the same stick-on wall nails, but with the stabilizing strips provided in the package.

Hanging an Unframed Poster

Stick-on Hanging Strips

Poster Hangers

No More Scotch Tape on the Wall

Years ago we used to just stick a poster on the wall with Scotch tape, which, of course, ruined the wall when we removed it. These days, we have the advantage of having poster tape and hanging strips that will attach to the backside of the poster and stick directly to the wall. The best thing is that it doesn't show on the outside and when you take the poster off the wall, the tape doesn't ruin your wall. Modern science is wonderful.

Stick-on Hanging Strips

If you're decorating your kid's bedroom or playroom, or even your den, you might want to simply tape your poster to the wall. But don't use just any kind of tape—use handy, dandy poster hanging tape strips! The main reason is that this will not harm your wall. Just peel it off to remove or re-locate your print. You use it on the back side of your print, so it always looks great! I've used these before for my grandchildren's posters, and it works very well.

Command Classroom Decorating Strips, Easy On, Easy Off, Multi-Pack
Command Classroom Decorating Strips, Easy On, Easy Off, Multi-Pack

These strips are one of the easiest ways to hang unframed posters, and they will not harm the walls. I used these when I lived in an apartment because I didn't want to damage the wall. Be careful to read the weight limits.


How It's Done

Watch the video below for a demonstration on how easy it is to use the stick-on hanging strips. These are a great invention. I love that they do not damage your wall.

Poster Hangers

Personally, I've never used or even seen these poster hangers before, but I really like the idea, so I decided to add them also. It says that you just slip one on each end of the poster or art work. You can use these on laminated paper as well. They will keep the poster straight and flat so that it will hang well on your wall.

Watch the video below to see more details about how to use them.

Canvas Posters

These are canvas posters displayed in my son's man cave. They are all stretched over a mounting frame. Canvas posters are usually bought this way, and are hung without a outside frame.
These are canvas posters displayed in my son's man cave. They are all stretched over a mounting frame. Canvas posters are usually bought this way, and are hung without a outside frame.


If you have a poster or art you want on your wall, you can either hang it as is, or in a frame. Choose a frame and hang with a nail, saw-tooth hook, Monkey Hook, or stick-on nails. If you decide to not use a frame, it's best to use poster tape strips or hangers. I hope the tips I've shared here have helped you with your project.

Questions & Answers

  • How do you apply a poster into an acrylic frame that forces you to disassemble the frame?

    Most acrylic frames are fairly simple in that you just take the frame apart, lay in your poster at the desired location, and then carefully snap the frame back together. Be sure and keep your side pieces in the original location. If you need more detailed directions, I suggest you do a Google or YouTube search, which can give you more visual directions. Thanks.

© 2009 Faye Rutledge


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Beautiful Posters. I like your lens

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      7 years ago

      Awesome lens! Great job!

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      8 years ago

      Just gorgeous!

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      8 years ago

      Beautiful, I love these!

    • Asinka profile image

      Asinka Fields 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      I love this lens, love wolves. So nicely done, keep it up!


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