One solution to fastening items to Sheetrock is the toggle bolt. This is the strongest of all hollow-wall anchors, consisting of a pair of spring-loaded wings called a toggle that’s threaded onto a machine bolt. Toggle bolts are sized by the diameter of the machine bolt. A toggle bolt is far stronger than plastic anchors. A 1/8-inch toggle bolt can support 50 lbs. while a 3/8-inch toggle bolt can hold 100 lbs. They require drilling a hole in the wall slightly larger than the size of the folded wings.
Toggle bolts are harder to use than plastic anchors. To use, you thread the bolt through the mounting hole of the piece you are attaching, thread the toggle onto the bolt, raise the piece into position and push the toggle through the hole in the wall. The wings should spring out. Pull back on the bolt until the wings grip the back of the wall, and keep pressure on as you tighten the bolt. When the bolt is almost fully tight, put the item in final position and complete the tightening..
Another solution for hanging things on Sheetrock walls is the plastic expansion anchor. Although far weaker than toggle bolts, plastic anchors are much easier to use. Plastic anchors are good with light loads, under 10 lbs. Plastic anchors come in a wide variety of sizes. When a screw is driven into a plastic anchor, it expands to grip the material surrounding it. Plastic anchors are only as strong as the material in which they are installed.
Plastic anchors can be used for light loads that are perpendicular to the anchor. They have no strength for loads parallel to the anchor and can pull out easily. To install a plastic anchor, drill a hole in the wall just slightly smaller than the maximum width of the anchor. Insert the anchor all the way into the hole, position the piece to be mounted, insert the screw and tighten it. Variations on the basic plastic expansion anchor include toggle anchors that spread plastic wings as the screw is tightened and screw anchors that have screw threads to help hold the anchor in the wall.