Books Advises

Basic picture framing

Basic picture framing 

Step-by-step instructions for matting, mounting, and framing with many color photos to illustrate each step.



Complete photoguide
for framing and
displaying artwork


Guide framing pictures

Step-by-step color photos for all areas of matting and framing; the information is complete, accurate, and up-to-date.




How can I do to frame the portrait I Marylin frameworkjust received?

It is a question I am often asked, at least once by two people who order me pencil portraits from photographs... 

These portraits are drawn on very heavy C Grain 225g paper format 24x32 (CANSON format) and there are several options for framing.


Order to a picture framer

This is the simplest way and at the same time the most expensive ... You bring the portrait, you choose your moulding and the color for the mat ... and you take everything a few days later, ready to hang!

The cost depends on the materials you want ... the price of mouldings up quickly depending on their decorative sophistication ... Then say to frame a portrait, it will cost between 50 € (for the simplest models) to ... 120 € and more if you ask the picture framer for a very elaborate work .

But with this solution, you are sure of the quality of work that will be provided, there will be no (bad) surprise if you request a quote. And you have no hardware to buy: for "non-yourselfers" is the ideal!


Using a ready-made picture frame

This is a way which I recommend because, for a lower price, you will obtain practically equivalent results.

In supermarkets (Carrefour, Leclerc, Casino ...) there are specialized in frames departments where for less than 10 € glazed frames are proposed "ready-made" in various formats ... from 24x30 to 50x80. But you have to adapt them to the art you want to frame.

Obviously, the choice of mouldings remains too limited but generally sufficient to accommodate all types of interior decoratings.

I suggest you format 30x40 which seems particularly well suited to portraits 24x32. You will build the "mat" and after the only thing you have to do is to hang your portrait in the chosen location.

Avoid always "anti-reflecting" glasses which are more expensive and that the disadvantages far outweigh the benefits.

How to adapt a 30x40 ready made frame

First calculate the dimensions of the image-window... ie the dimensions of the part of the picture that will be visible: 20x28 is a reasonable size for the pencil portrait ... Build now a 30x40 mat with a window of 20x28!

- Method 1 ... The simplest and most economical! In a large sheet of colored Canson (choose according to the moulding frame you purchased, the colors of your home ...) cut a rectangle 30x40.


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Now draw the window mat after calculating the margins:
left and right sides: (30 to 20): 2 = 5cm
Top and bottom: (40 - 28): 2 = 6cm

Cut the window sized to ... it's over! Open the frame. On the glass, place the mat, center the drawing and attach it with small strips of adhesive. Put to finish the bottom plate (the backing), attach it ... and hang your frame on the wall!

- Method 2 ... more elaborate and probably more decorative! Make a "genuine" cardboard passe-partout The dimensions are the same as in Method 1 but this time you have to "dress" the mat with a fancy paper of your choice, possibly built with "dépassants" that emphasize and highlight the art work.


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For the technical part, I refer you to pages Window Frame (1) or Window frame (2) detailing the making of a mat.


Or make a frame to your measurements

This is an intermediate between that of the Picture framer and that of the standard frame. You will learn some (simple) things about Picture framing and get a few basic tools ...

The principle is as follows: starting from the art, you calculate by yourself your margins so the final dimensions of your frame. You do not have to adapt to a ready-made frame!

You trim your cardboard background, you dress your mat in your size ... and when everything is ready, you order your wooden frame and glass on your Internet store or in a specialized in framing store.

The cost is then intermediate, and for a beautiful frame, the cost should be around 60 euros ...


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The advantages are obvious: you determine by yourself the dimensions of the final frame and choose your moulding among a large number of models.

And this may be your opportunity to start a framing activity ... to take courses ... to buy a home book ... to obtain the necessary material ... you will find good advices in one of this excellent book :