The Finishing Touch: How to Frame Your Artwork

7 June 2024

Framing your own artwork can be a rewarding experience that adds a personal touch to your creations. It not only protects and preserves your art but also enhances its visual appeal. Whether you're an artist looking to showcase your work or someone who wants to frame a special piece, this guide will walk you through the process of framing your own artwork.



Step One: Gather Your Materials


Before you start, make sure you have all the necessary materials:


  • Artwork: The piece you want to frame.
  • Frame: Choose a frame that complements your artwork. Consider the colour, style, and size.
  • Matboard (Optional): Adds a professional look and prevents the artwork from touching the glass.
  • Backing Board: Provides support and protection for the artwork.
  • Glass or Acrylic: Protects the artwork from dust and damage.
  • Framing Tape: For securing the artwork and backing board.
  • Hanging Hardware: D-rings, picture wire, or sawtooth hangers.
  • Measuring Tape and Ruler: For accurate measurements.
  • Utility Knife or Mat Cutter: For cutting the matboard if needed.
  • Pencil: For marking measurements.
  • Clean Cloth or Gloves: To handle the glass or acrylic without leaving fingerprints.


Step Two: Measure and Cut the Matboard (if using)


Matboard is optional but highly recommended for a polished look:


Measure the Artwork: Determine the dimensions of your artwork.


Cut the Matboard: Using a ruler and utility knife or mat cutter, cut the matboard to fit the frame. Leave an opening slightly smaller than your artwork to hold it in place.
Align the Artwork: Place the artwork behind the matboard opening to ensure it fits properly.


Step Three: Prepare the Frame


Clean the Glass or Acrylic: Use a clean cloth to remove any dust or fingerprints from the glass or acrylic.


Assemble the Frame: If the frame comes disassembled, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to put it together.


Step Four: Mount the Artwork


Attach the Artwork to the Matboard: Use acid-free framing tape to secure the artwork to the back of the matboard. Place a small piece of tape on each corner.


Add the Backing Board: Place the backing board behind the matboard and artwork. This provides support and protection.


Step Five: Insert the Artwork into the Frame


Place the Artwork in the Frame: Carefully insert the matted artwork and backing board into the frame.


Secure the Frame: Use the frame’s clips or points to secure the artwork in place. Make sure everything is tightly secured and aligned.


Step Six: Attach the Hanging Hardware


Install D-rings or Sawtooth Hangers: Depending on the size and weight of your frame, attach D-rings or sawtooth hangers to the back of the frame. For larger frames, use D-rings with picture wire for better support.


Attach Picture Wire (if using D-rings): Thread the picture wire through the D-rings and twist it securely. Leave a little slack to make hanging easier.


Step Seven: Final Touches


Clean the Glass: Give the glass or acrylic a final clean to remove any smudges or dust.


Inspect the Frame: Check that everything is secure and aligned properly.


Hang the Artwork: Use appropriate wall anchors or nails to hang your framed artwork.



Tips for Framing Success


Choose the Right Frame: The frame should enhance, not overpower, your artwork. Consider the style and colour of both the frame and your art.


Use Acid-Free Materials: Acid-free mats and backing boards prevent yellowing and deterioration over time.


Consider UV Protection: UV-protective glass or acrylic can prevent fading and damage from sunlight.


Handle with Care: Always handle the glass or acrylic with clean hands or gloves to avoid fingerprints.


Framing your own artwork can be a fulfilling and cost-effective way to display your creations. By following these steps, you can ensure your art is beautifully framed and well-protected. Whether it's a drawing, painting, or photograph, a well-chosen frame can enhance the impact of your artwork and make it a focal point in any room. Happy framing!