Books Advises

How to Make Your Own
Picture Frames

Ed Reinhardt, Hal Roger


Here is the most complete, practical handbook available on making and finishing over 60 frame styles...

The best book for the beginner. Clear and concise. Step-by-step instructions with photos for each and every step.

Covers all aspects of frame construction, painting, mats, glass-cutting and usage. A great book to trigger your own ideas to create custom frames.

Frame It!

by Tonia Davenport


Framing isn't something one has to leave to the professional.

With Frame It! readers will learn how to use ready-made frames and inexpensive framing materials to create frames perfect for their favorite photo, piece of artwork, canvases or souvenir.



Matting and framing made

Janean Thompson



Since the cost of framing often exceeds the price of the artwork itself, it pays to know how to do it yourself.

Even if you're not ready to invest in specialty tools like a mat cutter or miter box, you'll find useful instructions on working with ready-made frames using simple tools (a ruler and utility knife)...


Framing a watercolour: French Bevel with a ready-made framework


The "french bevel" is also called "Right" Bevel...

Right bevel is an “additional mat” in the picture frame. It is made out of thick paperboard (2 or 3mm) and comes to be placed between the painting and the upper mat.

framed acrylic painting

It gives much of depth and elegance to the framings of photographs or paintings and emphasize them particularly.

It is very easy to implement this right bevel also called "French Bevel", his cutting not present any difficulty. Launch you in this realization, you will not regret it!

Custom-made or Standard ready-made?

According to the result that you wish to obtain, you will first initially build the “package” (backing paperboard, art-work, bevel, mat…) and you will then make your frame and your pane with your measurements. It is usually what it is advisable to do .

But you can also work with a ready made frame bought for some bucks in a department store at a very moderate price : the measurements of this framework then constituting a constraint of which you will have to adapt your work at the time of the realization.

It is the solution which I chose for this example.

The example.

I bought a ready-made framework of dimensions 5.2"x7.2", blue and gold, to frame a mini-portrait of “woman with amethysts” recovered on the advertisement of exposure of a friendly painter.


woman with amethyst acrylic painting


The image itself measures 2.2"x3.6" and is surrounded by a white edging. I preserve 0.2" in all directions of this edging.

I thus envisage, for bevel, an opening of 2.6" x4". It is what i call the image-window.


Plan encadremlent

On the bevel, in “last layer” the mat will come which will leave discovered 0.1" bevel in all directions. The opening of the mat thus measures: 2.8" over 4.2".

Thus, bevel will overflow very slightly under the mat and will accentuate the effect of depth.

Making the French Bevel.

All pieces, backing, bevel, mat and glass must have the same external measurements : 5.2"x7.2".

First cut out the mat in a light paperboard to dimensions 5.2"x7.2". Then open with the cutter the "image window" 2.8"x4.2"… what will leave side margins of 1.2".

For the bottom and top margins, it is necessary to adapt… I chose 1.4" in top and 1.6" below. A margin a little larger in bottom is not awkward : it is even required when you want to suggest an impression of depth and enhance the artwork.

Now cut out the "right bevel" in a thick paperboard or foambord (0.08" to 0.12") to dimensions 5.2"x7.2". Pose the mat on this paperboard and, with a fine pencil, use it as a gauge to draw.

Recall then by decreasing the margins of 0.25" everywhere, thus when the mat is placed on bevel, this one will exceed slightly.

how to wrap the mat

With the cutter (or best : the cutting ruler) , open the right bevel window by cutting out the opening. Don't worry if you exceed the angles because they will be then covered later with a printed paper. If your cuts miss clearness, you will slightly sand them with a fine sandpaper (as they will be then covered with paper, your sanding will not be visible!).

Cover the mat with selected paper (for me, I remain faithful to the cream-coloured paper, color who agree in the majority of the cases). The photograph above shows the lower part of the covered mat.

Cut out then bands of contrasted paper to equip the interior edges of the bevel. Choose a color which agrees with the artwork you frame… Here, I did not have the choice, the frame is blue, I can find this blue in the picture… I thus chose "night" blue . (see tricks and easy ways to cover the right bevel)

 The angles of the french bevel will be visible under the mat... so be careful to cut the paper bands with 45° angle for a good and aesthetic fitting. The photo shows the dark blue covered bevel and the cream coloured mat.

mat and right bevel (french bevel)


Stick the art-work behind on the backing using small pieces of adhesive acid-free tape . Be careful with it centering.

Clean the glass-pane of the framework, position it back then lay out mat, bevel and drawing on the backing.

Finish by the frame backing (generally made of paperboard) the small grips stainless of the framework tighten the unit well. No risk of shift.

Hang your frame : you've did it!