Monday, December 6, 2010

How to Build a Poster Hanger

Building a Blueprint Holder-Sheva Apelbaum

I am lucky to have a 42” plotter at home and from time to time I use it to printout my projects (1, 2, 3, 4).  The problem that I have is what to do with all of my posters after I am done presenting them.   My room is pretty full of stuff and I really don’t like rolling the printouts and storing them under my bed or on top of my bookshelf.  So I finally decided that I would hang them behind my door with a poster hanger.

11 Poster Hanger with Poster 

I first looked at several commercial blueprint hangers, but they were all too large and very expensive (over $150). 

So I decided to design a hanger and build it myself.  I wanted to design a poster hanger that would be able to:

  • Hold more than 50 posters of different sizes and thickness
  • Allow me to quickly add and remove posters
  • Allow me to easily put it up and down without any tools
  • Not take more than 3” behind my door so I could still open and close the door easily

My dad helped me with the cutting and assembly, which in the end took little less than 30 minutes.  My total cost for materials was only $12.  If you are in the market for a poster or a blueprint hanger here are all the materials, tools, and instructions you’ll need:


  1. 1 x 1” x 1/8”x 43” Aluminum L section
  2. 1 x 1” x 1/8” x 36 Aluminum bar
  3. 4 x 1/2” Aluminum rivets
  4. 2 x 2” x 3” x 1/8”  Aluminum sheets
  5. 3 x 1 1/2” Fine thread screws with butterfly nuts
  6. 6 x 1/2” sticky weather stripping tape
  7. 4 wall anchors and screws


  1. Medium coarse file
  2. Hacksaw with a fine blade
  3. A drill and drill bits
  4. A vice
  5. Measuring tape
  6. Pencil
  7. Center punch
  8. Screw driver
  9. 100 grit sand paper

Blueprint Holder Design-Sheva Apelbaum

Making the Brackets and Hinges
My poster hanger is supported from two brackets that are attached to the wall.  The brackets fit inside the hinges that are riveted to an aluminum channel. 

To make the brackets, take the 2 x 3 x 1/8” sheets and form them into C-shapes (you can bend them using the vice).  One side of the bracket needs to be bent at 90 degrees and the other at 45 degrees. Next, drill two holes into the 90 degree bend.  Round off the corners with the file and smooth the surface with sand paper.

Next, to make the hinges,  cut two 3” pieces from each channel and make a 1/4” x 2 1/2” grove inside of it (that’s where the brackets will fit in). Round off the corners with the file and smooth the surface with sand paper.

1 Poster Hanger Hinges 2 Poster Hanger Hinges3 Poster Hanger Hinges Filing 4 Poster Hanger Hinges and Hardware

Next, to attach the hinges to the channel, measure 12” from each edge of the channels. Place each hinge at that location and drill two rivet holes through both the hinge and channel. Clean both surfaces and rivet the hinges to the channel.

5 Poster Hanger Hinge Layout 6 Poster Hanger Hinges Drilling 7 Poster Hanger Hinges Rivits-1 8 Poster Hanger Hinges Rivits-2

Next, you’ll need to layout and drill the holes screws that will be used to clamp the posters together.  Clamp the 36” aluminum bar and channel together, mark and drill 3 holes at 2” from each edge and one right in the middle (18”).

Now that the hinges are attached and the tightening screw holes are in, glue the weather stripping to the flat 36” bar and channel.  The reason we need the rubber stripping is because when we tighten the screws  bringing the channel and bar close together, the weather stripping will be compressed and will help hold  paper in between softly but firmly.  To glue the weather stripping I used contact cement.

7 Poster Hanger 10 Poster Hanger Completed 9 Poster Hanger with Rubber Pads 

Finally, attach the brackets to the wall. You should use a level for this. Fit the hanger’s hinges right over the brocket. And that is it!

14 Poster Hanger Hinges on Wall 13 Poster Hanger Hanging-2 12 Poster Hanger Hanging-1

Now place your posters in the hanger and sit back and enjoy your handy work. 



  1. Five minutes ago I thought: 0h it is Monday, no post from Sheva? I checked and wupp there it is!

    Okay, now you are a builder too? :-)

    You have such great talent to describe stuff and you are always so very oriented and organized!

    Oh girl!
    Love Yael.

  2. Is there anything you cannot do? I am amazed by your Renaissance skills--truly enviable and admirable!

  3. Hi Yael and Dawn,

    Yael: I try to stick to a schedule and publish every Sunday or Monday. Sometimes though, it takes me a little longer to come up with ideas for blog posts. It takes so much time to write them too. I have to research the subject, make a draft, write the “real thing”, then my mom proofreads and makes suggestions, then my dad gives me suggestions, then the artwork...Well, you get the gist. It’s a lot of work but I love it. ESPECIALY when I find your comments :-)

    Dawn: I feel honored to receive this comment, especially from such a wonderfulartist!