DIY: Matting & Framing My Fantasy Art
Tools & Materials
DIY metal frame
Picture hanging wire (any wire will do, even tough string)
This is the final part of the tutorial. Previously I had completed the matting of the art, and now I assemble the frame and put the artwork in it. I buy my frames from American Frame, Graphic Dimensions, and sometimes from the art suppliers like Dick Blick, Pearl Paint, or AI Friedman. I like American Frame because most of the time I'm framing artwork for conventions and I expect the art will do some traveling before it sells, so I prefer metal frames for toughness. I use plexiglass, which American Frame will cut for you as well, instead of glass because it is much lighter, and may crack but not shatter as glass will. I like color in my mats but a clean, austere look in my frames.
I assemble the frame as per the instructions, leaving the top open for insertion of the art.
I insert the corners at the top and the piece for hanging wire about 5" down.
I dust off the top of the matted artwork so there is no lint. The plexiglass comes with sticky paper on both sides. I peel off one side and place it quickly on the matted art so there is minimal chance of getting dust on that side. Then I peel off the other side, revealing the artwork. I scan for lint and specks. If I find anything, I carefully lift the plexiglass and use a bit of masking tape on a finger to trap the lint and remove it.
Now I'm ready to slip the matted artwork and plexiglass in together into the 3 sided frame.
And slip in the final top side of the frame.
I turn the whole piece over and screw the sections in tight.
I don't know the technical name for these curvy things, but they apply pressure between the frame and the backing board to keep the art in place. Slip them in along the edges, about 4 or 5 to a side.
They don't fit in all the way, and they occasionally pot out, but they do the job.
Cut a length of wire about 4" longer than the width of the frame and put them through the holes of the frame's wire hangers. Wrap the ends around the wire.
Finished and ready for show!
This painting was the illustration for the cover of "House Wars Book I: The Hidden City" by Michelle West.