How to Adjust a Mirror, Art or Picture Hanging Wire

Learn how to adjust picture hanging wire.We have two beautiful mirrors currently hanging in our front foyer. They each have a classic black and white Greek/Roman-inspired art motif frame that I had never seen before – so naturally I had to have them!

Foyer 2

You may have seen them in other posts such as my summer home tour or my fall home tour.  The mirrors make such a bold impact in the space both for their size and their collective visual appeal that I never tire of.

Before preparing for the home tours and, in fact, just before the launch of this blog, the mirrors were actually misaligned 🙁  Trying to line them up in the first place took a great deal of patience. There was a lot of measuring and re-measuring, drilling (with my hubby’s assistance 🙂 ) and, finally, hanging the mirrors. If they were going to have the impact I wanted, then they really needed to be lined up properly.

And yet, when we hung them up for the first time, they were not  lined up. Grrr. (I readjusted one of the mirrors in the picture below to exaggerate the difference for the purposes of this tutorial, but you get the idea).

misaligned mirrors - side by side

So, I had to improvise and make them line up 😉 Since the back of the mirrors had hanging wires attached, I had the luxury of being able to slide the mirrors along the hook attached to the wall, angling them in such a way that they had the illusion of alignment 😉  Of course, no one ever noticed, but I did. While I was not looking for perfection, there was enough of a difference that it had always bothered me.

The only way to make the adjustment without drilling more holes in the wall – and quite frankly the simplest, easiest method – was to adjust the picture hanging wire on the back.

back of mirror

If you have a similar hanging wire attached to the back of a mirror, print or artwork then knowing how to raise or lower your wall décor is much easier than you’d think! I don’t consider myself particularly ‘handy,’ and yet I figured out how to adjust this on my own and found it to be a cinch. These are the ‘tools’ I used:

rewiring - materials used

Step #1: Measure the difference in height between the two mirrors.

measuring mirror heights

Note: This measurement is just a guide. This is because you will be accounting for the slight ‘give’ of the wire when hanging your mirror, print or artwork. Keep this in mind and expect to adjust once or twice to get it just right. This takes all but a few minutes, so don’t worry if you do have to do this more than once.

Step #2: Remove the tape from one end of the wire. You can either cut along the edge, if there is space, or unravel it, using the scissors as needed to cut away any bits left over.

removing tape

Step #3: Unravel the wire. Be careful not to cut yourself with the loose ends. These are prickly, so take care unravelling from that end.

unravel wire

Step #4: Once you have unravelled the wire, take your measuring tape and measure the length of wire you wish to adjust. In this case, the amount will be based on the difference in height in the mirrors which was approximately 1.5 inches.

measuring the wire to be adjusted

Tip: If you want the mirror to hang lower on the wall, you want to increase the length of the wire from end-to-end (and vice versa if you wish it to hang higher).

Step #5: Adjust the wire to either lengthen or shorten by bending the wire around the metal loop. In my case, I needed to shorten the length of the wire to raise the mirror by 1.5 inches. In the picture below you can see where the wire was originally bent around the loop at the lower end (where my thumb is) as well as the point at which I measured from that bend (where my forefinger is):

adjust wire around metal loop

Adjust the length of the wire by sliding the tail down allowing the new (upper) bent portion of the wire to sit against the loop. This instantly shortens the length of the wire, end-to-end.

pull wire to adusted measurement

Step #6: Now start rewinding the wire around relatively tightly, making sure to tuck down the ends so you don’t poke yourself. The wire is malleable enough to make it easy to rewind with your fingers and without the use of additional tools.


Step #7:  Cut a piece of duct tape and wind it around the twisted portion of the wire, making sure to cover the ends.

wind wire and tape down ends

wind tape around

Step #8: When you are done taping the end, you are ready to hang your mirror, print or artwork!

aligned mirrors

It was nice to finally have our two mirrors align!

aligned mirrors - close up

Foyer 2

Because of the ‘give’ in the wire, it took a couple of tries to get the one mirror to line up precisely with the other. It was worth the few extra minutes it took to do this small, but easy fix 🙂

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