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Make: Projects

Pull Tab Picture Hanger

Quick, easy, free trick for hanging lightweight items.

Pull Tab Picture Hanger

Shown here is a simple method for A) removing a stay tab from a soda can with the rivet-ring intact, and B) attaching the tab to a wooden frame or board using the rivet ring. The pull-ring is then conveniently used for hanging from a nail.



Step #1: Turn tab around

Pull Tab Picture HangerPull Tab Picture HangerPull Tab Picture Hanger

Rotate the tab around the rivet until the pull ring is directly over the open mouth of the can.

Step #2: Remove tab

Pull Tab Picture HangerPull Tab Picture HangerPull Tab Picture HangerPull Tab Picture Hanger
  • Grasp the short end of the tab with a pair of pliers, as shown.
  • Bend the tab down into the mouth of the can while pulling up at the same time.
  • The tab should pop neatly off the rivet with the ring intact.

Step #3: Attach to frame

Pull Tab Picture Hanger
  • Mark a convenient centered location in the upper back surface of the piece to be hung.
  • Set the tab in position with the rivet hole over the mark.
  • Drive a short wood screw through the tab's rivet hole into the marked location.
  • If your piece is softwood, like pine, a pilot hole is probably not necessary. If it's hardwood, you may want to drill a very small pilot hole first.

Step #4: Bend ring out, if needed

Pull Tab Picture Hanger
  • You may find that the pull ring on the mounted tab does not have sufficient clearance from the wood to go over a nail head.
  • If so, insert a flat-blade screwdriver under the pull ring, as shown, and gently pry it out away from the wood.

Step #5: Hang it up

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  • Drive a small nail in the wall where you want the picture to hang. A slight downward angle is best.
  • Slip the pull ring over the nail head.
  • Straighten the picture, and you're done.
  • (And yes, before anyone asks, we know the inscription on the back is upside-down. Mom was very upset with herself.)


Obviously, one should use caution when hanging heavy, valuable, or fragile items, but you will probably be surprised at how strong these hangers are.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c't – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

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