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DIY Custom Picture Framing Tips

DIY Custom Framing Tips 

We have created an education channel on YouTube with demonstrations on how to use our picture framing tools, and we are constantly adding videos with more information on individual framing projects as well as the use of picture framing tools and materials.

We believe strongly in education and teaching our customers as much as we can. If there is anything that you cannot find information on or would like us to help you with please email us for FREE advise,

Some useful other tips we have come across;

Joining a large, wide frame with v-nails

Can't find v-nails long enough? Using a deep rebate moulding? Using the PushMaster simply stack 2 v-nails on top of each other!


Visible joins

Make sure you can't see the joins of a frame by colouring the inside of each join with a permanent marker in the same color as the frame.


Choosing a frame

A frame should enhance the color, style and look of an image. Have a look at what you're framing, where it will be hung and the amount of space you have to hang it in.

For instance, if you're framing a seascape consider a silver or rustic white frame. Tribal images lend themselves well to natural wood, black & white photos look great in black, white or silver. These are just a guideline - remember that what's one person's taste is not always another's.


Choosing a mat

Look for a color that's in the picture for your mat color. Alternatively, use a double mat with the outer mat being a neutral such as white and the inner a color that appears in the image (showing 3-5mm).

If you want to stay neutral have a play with double mats in the same color - a great way to enhance your image.

Make sure you use acid free mat board to avoid discoloring of the white bevel.


Mat width

We recommend a minimum of 40mm for a mat. But do experiment, a wide mat really accentuates the image and can make a great statement. Bare in mind the wall space you have!



Picture framing glass generally is 2mm glass.

If you're having to post a frame, you are framing something for a kids room or framing an image that is particularly large consider acrylic instead of glass. It is lighter, just as clear and not as fragile.

Read our blog on glass too - it'll give you the complete lowdown.


Cleaning glass

Use a good glass cleaner and a lint free cloth to clean your glass.


Where to wire

Hang the wire one third of the way down, two thirds of the way from the bottom of your frame. Use d-rings instead of screw eyes as these will damage walls and other frames if you have to stack them.


Which wire

We recommend you use a plastic coated wire.


Hanging accessories

We recommend you use d-rings instead of screw eyes as screw eyes can damage other frames when stacking them for storage.


Hanging frames

Hang frames at adult eye level, not really high up so no one can see the picture. This roughly means that the centre of the image should be 170cm from the floor. This rule does not apply if you're hanging pictures above bed headbboards or fire places.

If you hang pictures in direct sunlight they will fade over time, even if you use non-reflective glass. Beware that non-reflective glass will dull the image slightly and is more expensive.


Using Spacers to make deep frames

"I was just wondering how you go about inserting spacers or something to keep my artwork away from the glass..."
There are several ways to create a space between the glass and your artwork.

The most common method is to use a mount surround on your artwork. Most times a single or double mount creates sufficient depth or space. This is all the space needed to frame needlework, pastels, photographs etc. If a deeper space or gap is needed then one or more mounts can also be used with fome core fillers between the layers of the mounts. This is the best method for paper tole, ribbon embroidery, and framing memorabilia.

Another method is to insert a thin piece of fomecore board cut to the depth you require, into the frame rebate between the glass the artwork. Usually 3mm fomecore board fits neatly under the rebate where it is not visible from the front of the frame. The fomecore strip is kept in place with double sided tape.

The third method is to use a premade extruded plastic spacer made from acid free inert materials. This can be be cut to the length of the frame side and then adhered with double sided tape to the inside of the frame. As the spacers are made from clear or opaque plastic and are thin enough to fit under the rebate of the frame lip, they are not visible from the front.

Making a 5 sided frame

"Can you tell if it is possible to bend frame moulding? I need to make a frame with an arched top, to hold a special project. How do I go about making such a frame?"
Picture frame moulding can not be steamed to be bent out of its original shape. A lot of frame moulding is made up of several pieces of timber all finger- jointed together, then milled into the finished shape. So bending the moulding would break these joins.

However, we suggest that you make a 5 sided frame which will give you some shape to the top. The procedure to make the frame is .... Decide what width you would like the frame, then cut two side pieces "C" to make up the width. The mitres are at 60 degrees at the top and sides.Then determine the height "D" and cut these two lengths. The top mitre is 60 degrees and the bottom mitre cut at 45 degrees.Measure the space between the two sides and cut a bottom side to fit that space.

We do not have a formula for this frame, but the method just described will work. You can make this frame using your Proman saw, the FrameCo Measuring System and Mitre Mate multi-angle gauge . The Mitre Trimmer can also be set up to cut the 60 degree cuts.

Deep sided moulding for object framing

Making a memory frame. I need some thing 4" deep to clear the object. I have heard of extension molding but do not know where to find it. Do you have any suggestions how to go about getting the material to make the frame.
Usually it is not necessary to find a special deep sided moulding to frame objects such a baseball hats, florals, jerseys, medals etc. You can use any frame with a standard recess by making a box to house the items to be framed. This box sits at the back, and the frame is cut to width and height of the box opening. The best way to make the "box" is out of fomecore...see our How To Note for more information. The box can be made any height and the inside covered with material, such a matboard, velvet, lined, silk, or painted a special colour. By using this method you do not have to hunt for special frames and you then have a much wider choice of frame styles to finish the project.

Framing Football Jerseys

We have a set of instructions on how to frame football jerseys, but the instructions presume you have all the tools necessary to make the frames.  You will need a mat cutter, a strap clamp to hold the frame together and a v-nailer to join the frame, as well as jumper tacks to hold the jumper in place.

Have a look at our 'how to' blog.

Making Hardwood Frames

Some people like using hardwood frames such as old fence posts. You will be able to make the frames from those hardwoods with the FrameCo tools. Here are some suggestions for the project.

1. Cutting really hard timber with a hand saw is ok just slow as you will have to take your time sawing through the hard timber. Cutting with a power saw is faster but can present a few problems..but the FrameCo Mitre Trimmer can correct any miscuts to give you a fine tight joint. The wider the profile you are cutting the more the problems will show up especially in hardwoods. If you are milling the frames yourself then keep the frame width to a minimum.

2. For joining you will have to use a hardwood v-nail to join those timbers. That's no problem, but you will not be able to "push" the v-nail into the timber by hand pressure alone. You can tap the end of the PushMaster tool with a hammer, but the frame will need to be held securely. So the FrameCo Strap Clamp is essential for good joints, because it will hold the frame tightly whilst you insert the v-nail.

3. If you wish to make a number of the frames then invest in the BenchMaster to insert the v-nails. With the BenchMaster you are able to apply a more even pressure to insert the v-nail. This pushes the v-nail into the timber more easily, but also it is a more gentle action than hammering so there is less stress on the join.

Natural timbers make very attractive frames, but they do present a few more challengers than cutting and joining commercial picture frame moldings. Because the FrameCo tools require a little more care and time to operate, you do get a better job when tackling special projects.

Framing a Jigsaw Puzzle

Jigsaw puzzles can be framed with any style of frame. These can be framed with a protective layer of glass or acrylic.

An alternative to glass is to "Brush Mark" the surface with Texturing Cream. This makes the image appear like an original oil painting. It also seals the surface so glass is not necessary, and the cream penetrates around the edges of the pieces of the puzzle which helps keep them firmly in place. Here is the method we used to frame our jigsaw.

- First, the puzzle needs to be mounted/glued down so that the pieces do not move. Place a board over the completed jigsaw, and turn the whole picture upside down
- Spray the back of the puzzle with Spray Adhesive, then place a piece of fomecore onto the back and press onto the adhesive.
- Turn back, and the puzzle pieces are now glued into place.
- Brush the Texturing cream onto the surface, leaving brush strokes. Frame when the cream has dried. Glass or Acrylic is not necessary.