First, you’re going to need some supplies. 

  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Tape measure
  • Set square
  • Carpenter square
  • Steel cable wire
  • D-ring holders
  • Screws

Then, it’s time to get to work. Follow these steps and you’ll have your barrel head up on display in no time. Watch the video for a detailed look at how it’s done.

Step 1: Measure and mark where you need to place the first D-ring hanger. Make sure the mark is centered vertically. 

Step 2: Set a screw and, using the drill, secure the first D-ring hanger in place.

Step 3: Determine where to place the second D-ring hanger. Measure the distance of the first D-ring hanger to the second.

Step 4: Repeat Step 2 to secure the second D-ring hanger in place.

Step 5: Attach the steel cable wire to the first D-ring hanger and then attach to the second. You will want to allow some slack. Cut any excess wire.

Step 6: You’re all set! Find a secure spot to hang your barrel head in a wall stud and put it on display.

Person using a power drill and carpenter square while working on barrel head


If you’re in the research stage and haven’t actually purchased an engraved barrel head, then it’s useful to know the differences between whiskey and wine barrel heads.

The type of barrel head you have – wine or whiskey – doesn’t affect how you’ll go about hanging it up. The same steps apply to both. Diameters will generally be similar for both, anywhere from 21-24 inches. The only clear difference as far as specs go is that wine barrel heads are 5-6 inches deep, while whiskey barrel heads are 4-5 inches deep.

However, the differences are more pronounced when we start talking about appearances. No two barrels are the same. They all have different characteristics that tell their unique story. But whiskey and wine barrels have a few key differences between the styles.

Though made from oak just like a whiskey barrel head, wine barrel heads tend to be a higher quality product and slightly heavier than whiskey barrel heads. The heads are flatter and are less likely to warp as they dry out over time. They’re also cleaner in general and have two rust-free, galvanized rings screwed to the barrel head.

Wine barrel heads are also lightly stained and finished with poly.

But if it’s rustic you’re after, then you’ve got to take a look at whiskey barrels. We do our best to reinforce the heads by screwing the rust-colored ring (there’s only one on barrel heads) to the head and adding a 2x4 inch block of wood to reinforce the back. Still, the heads are not as flat. They’ll also have slight variations in the engraving finish.

Wine barrel headWhiskey barrel head