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.


Frame It!

by Tonia Davenport



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


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




Give "depth" to your framed arts...

framed acrylic painting

When you frame an art, a simple mat can "crush" the view of the finished frame...

To give to your framing a sense of depth, to beautify the art and highlight it... you need a "french bevel" who comes interposed between art and mat.

First, you've to make your mat (we call in France passe-partout)…

Then you'll make the "right bevel" also called "french bevel".

It is easy to realize and, with a little care, the results will be reach your hopes.

It is necessary to cut it out a thick paperboard having same external dimensions as the mat and open on it a window which the interior edges will be covered with printed paper.

Cutting of the bevel

Place the mat on the cardboard (thick paperboard 0.08... to 0.16", you can also work with foamboard very easy to use).

Using the mat as a gauge, draw carefully with a pencil external edges on the cardboard.

Cut out then the cardboard with a cutter : make straight cuts ! We name this "FRENCH BEVEL".

cutting the french bevel (90° bevel)

Now, you have to trace and cut the window in the French Bevel.

If you like, you can make this opening a little bit smaller than the mat opening : French bevel can have the same window dimension than the mat or a window slightly smaller. In this last case, it will overflow of 0.2" under the mat.

Trace with a pencil the opening you want for the "bevel" and open it with the cutter to the measurements you will have chosen : you must straight maintain the cutter during the cut, perpendicular with the paperboard : for that, take support on the rulers's edge.

Now you have to cover the interior edges of the straight bevel with creative printed paper you choose.

First of all measure the thickness of your cardboard : in the example, suppose it measures 3mm.

Cutting of the paper bands

Choose the printed paper which will be used to equip the edges of your bevel then cut out in this paper, four bands measuring 0.6" + 0.12" + 0.6" ... 1.32" of width. These 4 bands must be longer of 3cm than the edges they must cover.

You will give them, AFTER FITTING, the form indicated on the caption below. With the ruler and the back of the cutter blade, score the 2 folds corresponding to the thickness of the bevel.

how to cut papers to wrap french bevel

The angles with 45° will be traced with a 45° square and cutted out with the cutter.

The back part must fit exactly in the opening of bevel. Fold up the bands.


The installation of the bands

On the photograph below you can see : the bevel (white) and two bands to cover the interior edges of the bevel. The metallic square with 45° angle was used for to trace and cut out the angles of the bands of covering.


before dressing bevel

With a brush, spread out some glue over the front face of bevel, where the bands will be stuck. Let us recall on this subject that it is always preferable to put the glue on the carboard and not directly on the paper, which could soften it and deform it.. !

dressed bevel

Present the first band, check for a good fitting and stick it. MaKe in the same way for the 3 other bands. Check how the angles with 45° are well connected !

(It is easier to see than read... So look at the photographs ...Only 2 bands are put)

example of bevel
(click to enlarge)

Turn over bevel and stick the bands on back: do not put glue on the section of bevel because if you had a defect of cut, the adhesive, while drying, would accentuate this defect by plating paper on him!

If your interior angles are not clean… look at “equipping the interior angles” on the TRICKS AND EASY WAYS page and give them a light sanding.


 Mounting the french bevel

On the table, put first the backing, then the art, the "French bevel", the mat and the glass pane... and achieve your "package"...

Look here to see a french bevel achieved...