I have been doing this for about 17 years on the back of a heavy mirror. But I decided to read up on how to do it properly and people seem appalled that I would have used a heavy duty cable to hang this mirror all this time. They claim straight onto d-hooks was the way to go. So I wanted to know what the consensus is here from people who have more direct experience than on regular forums? I prefer not to use french cleats if possible, I don't want to put more screws into the back of this very old mirror.

(the wall is concrete masonry, I'll be using 4" long concrete screws.)

And here's how I have the back of the mirror set up. The mirror is about 75-80 years old but the cabling was done by me 17 years ago.

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  • 3
    If the mounting is strong enough to hold, then whatever works.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 19:30
  • 1
    What's the concern from people not liking the cable, @crip659? That the cable can snap or that it can pull the wooden frame in on the glass? This is pretty dense wood. Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 19:47
  • 1
    I do not know. Everything I have that hangs is done with cable/wire. I do imagine the quality of the frame will have something to with it. It might also be what they have grown up with.
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 20:01
  • 1
    I might quibble with the way you've terminated the cables; there are ways to build a knot into it so that wrap can never accidentally untwist. Other than that, if the cable setup and the wall hook are appropriate to the mirror's weight and frame, it looks fine to me. Don't fix what ain't broken?
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 3:56
  • I might also quibble with the orientation of the D-rings; seems to me they could've been oriented horizontally.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Depends on what you're hanging where and how, where the hanging points are relative to the rest of the object, whether you take the time to learn how to tie a picture-framer's knot and whether you're using hardware/cable/anchors designed for the load you're going to put on them.

Also on whether you are mounting directly to the wall or hanging the art from a gallery-style picture rail.

Also on whether you trust your measurements. Cable gives you some leeway for adjustment. I have a honkin' big mirror on my bedroom wall that I didn't just use cables for, I attached them to the frame with turnbuckles (hidden behind the frame) so I could fine-tune things until it was level.

  • The turnbuckles are for when you use more than just one cable?
    – crip659
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 23:11
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    @crip659 In my case, yes. This rococo monster needed at least two points of support; its own frame would have had problems if I'd tried to use only one, and it was too heavy to bet on getting it positioned correctly without some adjustment capability.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 0:22
  • @keshlam - I've added photos. Commented Jun 29, 2023 at 3:49

Technically this is wire rope, not "cable", and quality of "picture wire" rope varies widely. I've had it snap under surprisingly light loads. Here are the problems with it for heavy loads:

  • It's rarely load-rated, typically being low-grade imported metal of some sort.

  • Load is deceiving. When suspending something at near right angles like we do with frames like this, load is multiplied manifold--it's not adequate to simply consider the weight of the frame. As the angle of the load approaches 90 degrees the stress on the rope approaches infinity. Therefore, some sag is critical, and more is better. Set the eyelets low enough to allow this.

  • The various means by which we attach the rope to the eyelets weakens it. Sharp bends stretch and stress metal, reducing actual strength to a minor fraction of any initial load rating.

  • Enough wraps must be made to prevent slippage, and they need to be short (not stretched out along the rope). You've done a good job with that.

Aside from those caveats, the screws (or nails) holding the eyelets must be up to the task, and the eyelet must be oriented parallel to the wire when under load. The way you have it on your frame is likely to twist right off the wood, as the load is applied at a sharp angle to the mounting axis.

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