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How to Frame Your Print in 7 Easy Steps

Now that you have your Fresh Food print, you need to frame it.  This is where you can bring your personality into the finished piece.  Before you run out to buy a frame, please see my page, "Framing Tips and Info". To get ideas on where to get frames, see my page called Framing Resources. 

I'm sure you had a place in mind to hang your Fresh Food print when you picked it out.  Think of that space and the print and decided what color you want your frame to be.  The frame should not distract from the print.  I suggest picking a white, black, or natural wood frame.  Each of these frames will go with any environment. 

You'll always see some frames that are really bright with crazy colors.  I'm not a huge fan of these for photographic art.  I find them to be very distracting.

Fresh Food Prints Framed ArtWhen I don't have something specific in mind for my frame, I bring my prints to the store with me and hold them up next to the frames.  Look at the frames in the picture to the left.  I have never framed anything quite like this before.  I ended up with these frames because when I held my prints in front of the frame, I loved how they looked.  I was very surprised actually.  AND, the store I got them in was having their buy one get one for a penny sale - Aaron Brothers.  So I just had to get them. 

As I've mentioned in my Framing Info page, if your frame doesn't come with a pre-cut matboard, you'll have to buy one. 

Once you get your frame and your pre-cut matboard, you are ready to put this all together and make this a unique art piece for your space.I'm not a professional framer, I've just been framing my own work for 30 years. There are several ways to frame prints. I find this the easiest.

Supplies and Tools Needed:

Framing Supplies | Fresh Food Prints

  • Pre-cut archival matboard with the opening made for your print
  • Same size archival matboard without any opening to be used as your backer board - this can be any color.
  • Archival mounting tape and photo corners, if you'd like to use them instead of tape.  You will need the tape to put the two matboards together
  • Glass for your frame, if it didn't come with it
  • Hanging hardware, if your frame didn't come with it
  • Scissors to cut the archival tape if it's made from linen
  • Canned air, or a static free soft brush
  • A heavy small object to use a a weight wrapped in something to protect the print - I use two small books wrapped in napkin
  • If your tape needs water to activate the adhesive, then use filtered or distilled water with a small clean sponge (not shown)
  • Pencil
  • Glass cleaner and a lint free rag
  • Flat head screw driver (if your frame has metal framer points that need to bend to open the frame)
  • You might need a ruler if you have to attach hanging hardware (not shown)

You'll need a larger clean surface area to work on.

1.  Assemble your matboards together

I line up my top mat next to the bottom mat at the top, then I use archival linen tape to tape them together.

Then I hinge the two boards closed to make sure they are lined up properly.

2.  Line up your print inside the mat

Get your print, open your mat and place the print on the back mat, close the mat and see if it's positioned properly.  If it needs to be moved, open the mat a little, put your hand in and reposition the print by just touching the white edges of the print.  All my prints have 1/4" white borders for this purpose.  Lay the top mat down again and see if it's where it needs to be. 

3.  Put the weight on the print and mark it

Now that your print is in the right position, with the top mat closed, gently put your covered weight onto the print.  Just make sure to use something as a weight that won't damage your print, like a few small books wrapped in a napkin.

The weight will make sure it won't move while you are attaching it to the backer board.

If you like where you positioned it, gently mark the two edges of the print with pencil on the backer board

4A.  Tape the print down or 4B. use photo corners to hold the print into the mat.

If you are using linen tape, this is one of the most secure ways of mounting a print permanently.  If you don't want to use tape, then see 4B below.

You will need four pieces of tape.  Keep the weight on the print so it won't move. Take two pieces of tape and tape them to the print from the back at the top as shown below.  Wet the tape with clean filtered water, do not lick the tape.  I stick the tape on the back of the white border area of the print - I do not let the tape go into the image area at all as you might see a bump from the front.

Make sure not to move the print.  If you do move the print, just re-position it again to match your pencil marks on the backer board.  That's why we put them there.

Now take the other two pieces of tape and glue them down on top of the linen tape you just applied to the print, gluing them to the backer board.

It's hard to see as it's white tape on white board, but you are taping down the tape that is stuck to the print.  This makes for a very secure mounting.

4B. Use Archival Photo Corners to Attach Your Print To Your Backer Board

If you don't want to tape your print down, you can use photo corners instead.  Make sure they are archival.  With your weight on your print, gently glue down your photo corners onto the backer board and slip your print into the corners.

 

They have archival paper corners in all colors and they have clear plastic ones too.  If the package does not say that it is archival, then it is not archival. 

5.  Clean Your Frame

I'm going to assume that you have a frame that has glass and a back on it as most ready made frames do.  The frame I am using has a think plastic piece instead of glass.  I had to peel the plastic protection off both sides of the sheet and this made it REALLY static-y.  So I had to use canned air to get the dust off of it.

Clean the front of the glass of your frame.  Then turn it over, take the back off your frame and set that aside.  Some frames have metal framer points that need to be bent up to remove the back.  Other frames have movable framer points that slide out of the way to open the back.  Remove any paper or cardboard spacers they used to keep the frame tight for shipping.

Now clean the inside of the frame really well.  There can be a ton of dust in these things so I use glass cleaner and canned air and really clean the frame well.

6.  Put Your Matted Print in the Frame

Now that your print is matted and your frame is clean, you're ready to frame your print! Put your matted print into the frame, with your image facing the glass of course.  I use canned air to blow in between the print and the glass to make sure there's no dust in there.

Once your matted print is inside the frame, pick up the frame holding it together and have a look at it from the front to make sure no big pieces of anything got in there.  If you see stuff on the matboard, lay the frame down, pick up the matted print a little bit and gently shoot more canned air in there in the area you saw the dust.  If you are working in a dry dusty environment you might need to do this a few times.

Put the back of the frame on top of the matted print and put it back together by moving the framer points back into the closed position.

7.  Attach the hanging hardware if needed

If your frame came with hanging hardware that isn't already attached, you'll need to do this now and follow the instructions for that.  You might need a hammer to attach small pieces that the nail goes into or you might just have to hand screw in some metal eyelets that will hold hanging wire. 

8.  Hang Your Print or Install a Photo Ledge

Obviously, you're going to put your print on the wall somehow.  You can hang it, or put it on a nice looking photo ledge with other artwork.  Enjoy your new print!

Print Framing | Fresh Food Prints