I was at West Elm a few weeks ago shopping for our new home when I saw a display in their housewares section that I thought might work for our ever expanding primary art collection. The idea was simple, plywood, bulldog clips and rope. I'd seen an iteration of this in Martha Stewart Living a few years ago that involve framing wood to create a wall gallery using bulldog clips, but that would be too permanent a solution for our rental.
west elm display
I gathered the materials and made a 4x4 version which we'll put in the kids playroom over their art space when we move. I varied the heights on the clips to accommodate taller pieces and used several strands of bakers twine braided friendship bracelet style with a loop at the top to create a colorful pop on the unpainted wood; this helped to keep the board more flush with the wall when hung than rope. The board would also look great painted, chalkboard a paint could be an option, as you could write above the piece and the black would pop against the wall. Here's how I did it:
1 4x4 cut of plywood
9 Bully Clips (sourced from Blick)
9 short nuts and bolts
Bakers twine or thin cord
Measure out the placement on your board. I left a 1" space at the top of the board to accommodate the clip and marked 17" from the top edge (creating 16" of space for art), 12" inches in from the side for my first mark, 12" apart for each clip. The second row another 16" down and the third row at 12" from the bottom. I drilled the holes and attached the bulldog clips. Measuring 1" in from each corner I drilled 4 more holes to attach the twine. I then cut 12X 9' strands of twine, stringing 6 strands on each side, braiding the ends and tying into a loop knot at the top of the board for hanging.