About a year ago Shon and I awoke to a loud crash. Shon ran downstairs but returned to bed saying he couldn’t figure out what made the noise.

The next morning I walked through the parlor and noticed that this mirror had fallen off the wall and miraculously didn’t break!

The mirror and vanity table once belonged to my Great Granny Mary. Shortly after we married, my Uncle Mark and Aunt Janet gifted them to us – they are beautiful and we love them.

When Shon took a look, he said it wasn’t the hanger that gave out – we’d use the appropriate one for the weight of the mirror – it was the actual plaster that had fallen away. From that moment on I was scared to hang anything and quickly found a safe space to store this mirror.

Fast forward a year and parlor remodel later. I thought to ask Joe Meier, our contractor if he knew of any fool-proof ways to hang heavy items on plaster walls. His suggestion was this toggle bolt.

The same type used when hanging towel bars.

Although this system is quite a commitment, due to the large hole that is needed for the entire apparatus to anchor securely through the plaster and lath, it is so reassuring to know we won’t wake up to another loud crash anytime soon.


First drill a long hole through the plaster and lath. Make sure it is large enough for the “wings” to fit through. Then unscrew the wings, put a nut on then a washer large enough not to allow the screw or nut through the drilled hole. Then, carefully fold the wings over the bolt to ensure they go into the hole and don’t open until they are safely past the lath.