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Wall Decor: All About Hanger Types

Canvases, shelves, sconces, and clocks are all hung a little bit differently, whether from keyhole hooks or sawtooth hangers. Check the "Details" tab on the product page for that piece of wall art you've been eyeing; here, you'll find the hanger type (or hanging hardware) that will fix your new decor securely to the wall.

Mirrored Metal Wall Art


Hanging Hardware vs. Mounting Hardware

  • Hanging Hardware
    Hooks, handles, brackets, slots, or natural openings attached to or included with wall decor. Hanging hardware latches onto mounting hardware to hold decor to the wall.
  • Mounting Hardware
    Screws, hooks, or nails that are driven into the wall. These are (usually) not included with the purchase of wall decor.

Basic Terminology

  • Armature
    The "skeleton" of rods and other structures behind wall decor that supports the various layers of the piece.
  • Canvas Stretcher
    The wooden frame over which a piece of canvas is stretched tight, then fastened into place with staples. The back side of the top stretcher bar is often the site for hanging.
  • Stretcher Bar
    The strip of wood that forms one of four sides on the canvas stretcher.

Built-In Wall Decor Hangers

Built-In Wall Decor Hangers

  • Built-In Slotted Hanger
    A recessed pocket drilled or molded into the back of wall decor. Mounting hardware will catch the upper edge of the slot for hanging.
  • Double Keyhole Slot
    A double-sided, keyhole-shaped opening drilled or molded into the back of wall decor. Mounting hardware passes easily through the circular hole and catches in the long, narrow channel for a secure hang.
  • Cuthole/Keyhole Slot
    A keyhole-shaped opening drilled or molded into the back of wall decor. Mounting hardware passes easily through the circular hole and catches in the long, narrow channel for a secure hang.
  • Hangman Picture Hanging System
    A long metal bracket screwed into the back of wall decor. A second included bracket is then mounted on the wall. The two brackets interlock in a secure grip that is optimal for heavier wall decor.

Common Wall Decor Hooks

Common Types of Hooks Found on Wall Decor

  • Hook
    A curved piece of metal, open on one end, that catches on mounting hardware to hang wall decor. Hooks are a part of the wall decor's armature and are hidden from view.
  • Triangle Hook
    A metal, triangle-shaped ring screwed into the back of wall decor. At least one triangle hook each is attached to the left and right sides of the backing. A length of wire knotted through each ring will hang the piece.
  • Circle Hook
    A metal ring on the back of wall decor. Mounting hardware is inserted through the ring for hanging. Circle hooks are part of the wall decor's armature and are hidden from view.
  • Sawtooth Hook
    A strip of metal with a bottom row of notched teeth that catch on mounting hardware for hanging.
  • Keyhole
    A metal plate with a keyhole-shaped opening. Mounting hardware passes easily through the wide, circular opening on the slot. Mounting hardware slides upward until it catches securely in the long, narrow channel.
  • T Hook
    A metal plate with four openings on the top, bottom, and sides. Mounting hardware catches on one of the four openings to hold the wall decor fast to the wall.

Standoff Wall Decor Hooks

Standoff Hooks Found on Wall Decor

  • Standoff
    A metal structure on the back of wall decor that serves two purposes: projecting the decor away from the wall and latching onto mounting hardware.
  • Standoff Sawtooth
    A standoff with a sawtooth hook on one end; a sawtooth hook is a strip of metal with a bottom row of notched teeth that catch on mounting hardware for hanging.
  • Standoff Keyhole
    A standoff with a keyhole hook on one end; a keyhole is a metal plate with a keyhole-shaped opening that fits over mounting hardware.
  • Standoff Metal Knuckle Hanger
    A standoff with a knuckle-shaped metal hanger on one end. The curved projections latch onto mounting hardware. A rectangular hanger positioned just below the knuckle hanger adds extra support to the wall decor.

Alternative Wall Decor Hangers

Alternative Hangers Found on Wall Decor

  • Hang Directly on the Frame
    A hanging method where mounting hardware catches just beneath the top stretcher bar on the canvas.
  • Use the Natural Openings to Hang
    A hanging method where the natural openings and curves on wall decor are utilized for mounting on the wall.
  • Handle
    An arch fastened on both ends to the top of wall decor; often part of the wall decor design, the handle will hang from many forms of mounting hardware.
  • D Hook
    A metal D-shaped ring screwed into the back of wall decor. At least one D hook each is located on the left and right sides of the backing. A length of wire knotted through each ring will hang the piece. D rings can also hang directly on screws or tails.
  • Brackets on Back for Hanging
    Two metal brackets hang down from the top stretcher bar on the back of a canvas. Each bracket has a small oval opening on its bottom. An L-shaped hook inserted through each opening secures the canvas to the wall.

    Note: L hooks are included with hanging bracket canvases.