Framing a print

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in Blog, How to ... | No Comments



Clip Frames come with a glass front, masonite backing and small chrome clips to support the frame. They are frameless frames that expose the print to full view giving it a simple and elegant character.


What you need:

Clip Frame (I bought this at Michaels for $3.99)

Fine point pencil

Cutting mat


Exacto knife

Soft clean eraser



1. Start by pulling the clips out of the back to disassemble the frame. You should find a visual explanation on the frame’s instructions.

2. Get your print and make sure the surface you are working on is clean and dry.

In this case, this print comes with trim marks. These serve as guides when trimming for the specific dimensions.

What it means is that this print is to be cut to fit an 8 x 10 frame. The image is 6 x 8 with an inch of white border all around it. All extra white space out of those marks is supposed to be cut off. Having this extra border gives room for any alteration, plus the option for custom framing.

3. Place the glass (this glass is very fragile, so be gentle and careful when handling it) on top of the print aligning the edges of the glass with the trim marks. You should see an inch of white border surrounding the image.


4. NOW, this is where we are going to do our own professional custom job. If you have visited a museum or an art gallery, I am sure you have noticed that prints are framed in a way that the bottom border is wider than the top one. The reasons for this practice is that aside from having to compensate the space that the title and signature take, it is visually pleasant to have a wider space on the bottom.

So, gently pull the glass down a bit until you see you have a wider bottom. Remember it should look pleasant. I gave mine about 1/8 of an inch. I ended up with 1 inch on the left, 1 inch on the right, 7/8 of an inch on the top, and 1 and 1/8 of an inch on the bottom.


You can also do this type of alteration if your print measures 8.5 x 11. You’ll have that extra space to work with.

5. Once you have established the placement of the glass, hold it gently while you mark the four corners with a soft point pencil (try to mark them softly, you’ll erase them later).

Remove the glass and get a cutting mat. If you don’t have a cutting mat you can use some sort of a slick cardboard, just make sure it is thick enough to withstand the knife.

Position the ruler exactly aligned with your marks and while pressing steady slide your knife along the ruler. Don’t take the ruler off the print until you are sure is completely cut. You may need to press the knife more than once depending on how sharp your knife is. Always be careful when handling sharp knives. Continue throughout all four sides.

Once you’re done cutting, use a soft clean eraser to get rid of the pencil marks.


7. Place the print on top of the backing of the frame. Clean the glass gently with a soft cotton fabric and place it on top of the print.

Holding everything together, flip it upside down and place the top clip first so you get a perfect fitting on the top. Continue with the bottom and the sides.

8. Clean any finger prints, and find the perfect spot for your art to hang  🙂

I decided to hang mine right next to my desk where I keep my calendar, cutouts, postcards and inspirational images.

I love the frameless quality of this frame. It displays the print to full view, exposing the richness of the velvety cotton paper.