Posters. Everyone has them (or at least had a few at some point in their life). They can be anything from concert mementos to a vintage poster found at an estate sale. There is no doubt about it – posters are made for hanging – but how to hang them without making your house look like a college dormitory can be difficult. That’s why I have scoured the internet and racked my brain to come up with 9 ways to hang posters – all without the infamous thumb tack.
While framing posters is the obvious solution to preserve and elevate an ordinary poster to the status of art, it can be costly to have a custom framing job done. If your poster is a standard size, it may be possible to use a poster frame, but these can sometimes be cheaply made and quite frankly, not that exciting. (UPDATE: for a great, inexpensive way to custom frame your large or odd sized poster, visit Katpolkadot’s blog for instructions.)
1. Look for solutions at thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales
Thrift stores, estate and garage sales can be a great place to score a large frame to use for your poster hanging needs. Often frames — complete with glass or plexiglass — can be had for a few dollars and used as is or spruced up with a coat of spray paint for a new look.
2. Mount your poster with Mod Podge on blank canvas
If you want to add dimension to your poster and don’t mind a permanent solution, try buying a blank canvas from the art supply store and mounting your poster with a gel medium, such as mod podge or, for the less brave — mounting tape or repositionable mounting spray. (Always test a small spot on the poster first to make sure the ink won’t run!) Blank canvases come in many depths to help you create the depth you desire.
3. Make a poster collage wall
If you have a lot of posters — perhaps all related in theme or color — why not dedicate an entire wall (and channel your inner Pam) by making a giant poster collage? Posters could either be hung in a mosaic type pattern, like the wallpaper squares in Pam’s Big Fat Office remodel, or cut and collaged into a mural of sorts. This type of treatment would be fantastic for a basement rec room!
4. Create your own custom frame with decorative molding
This idea works well if you really like the look of a framed poster, but have a poster so large (or many posters to hang) that a custom framing job becomes too cost prohibitive. Instead of a traditional framing job, why not hang your posters on the wall with pieces of decorative molding? Whether you use salvaged molding from the Re-Store, or a simple piece of lattice from the hardware store, the possibilities are endless and the results can be quite impressive, as in the case of Kate from Centsational Girl, who used this method to hang a large wall map.
5. For small poster hanging, try pant hangers
If your poster is on the small side – or long and narrow – an easy and creative way to hang them could be as simple as locating some wooden pant hangers like Jessica at The Window Ledge used. Clipping the hangars on the top and bottom of the poster will keep it hanging flat and creates interest that a frame simply doesn’t provide.
6. Swiss poster clips and foam board
Do you prefer a more minimalist approach? Shown above: Why not mount your poster to foam and then use these Swiss poster clips to hang your posters up. They are inexpensive and unobtrusive for those who like a clean look.
7. Use ready made hanging products like Posterhänger
Reader Joe who commented on Pam’s post about Charley Harper posters from U.S. Govenment original stockpiles, tipped us off about this method of poster display — and inspired this story! On this specific product, Joe recommends:
For a fantastic modern way to hang posters, check out Posterhänger by Jørgen Møller out of Arizona. (Shown above)
While very cool, I would not recommend hanging valuable posters using the Posterhänger device as it does not protect the paper at all. But temporarily like a gallery (where I use it), office, up very high, in a dorm room/first apartment, or for an inkjet print or in a very clean home with no kids, its pretty cool. Way better than poster putty, tape, or pins (never!) or other botch approaches.
Sizes range from 12 inch at $15 up to 72 inch at $80 for the device. The 32 inch at $20 would be fine for the 29 inch poster. The 18 inch at $16 for the 17 inch wide.
8. Use IKEA KVARTAL curtain system for a movable poster display
The IKEA KVARTAL curtain system (shown above) is a great way to cover windows with your choice of materials, but imagine mounting a rail or two on your wall or ceiling – perhaps even for use as a room divider – and then using the top and bottom rails to hold posters instead of fabric. This method would work best with posters that are 24 inches wide at most since the top and bottom rails are 24 inches wide, but I think it is not out of the question to hang one larger poster with multiple rails. Hanging multiple posters this way allows for easy rearranging as well – sliding posters along the rail, or unclipping the panels and switching up the order of posters would make for an ever evolving poster display – just make sure the posters you choose are on heavy enough stock to survive all the attention!
9. One poster in many frames
This next method works well if you have a large poster that you don’t mind cutting up into smaller squares. Using many small frames – preferably all the same size, style and color – cut your poster into pieces to fill the frames. Using this ‘puzzle piece display’ idea, you can create a new manifestation of your poster’s former life. Once the poster has been cut to size, and frames have been filled, you can then hang the frames as close together or far apart as you desire, creating an abstraction of your former poster and a conversational piece of wall art.
So there you have it, 9 creative ways to hang posters without breaking the bank for a custom framing job.