How to Frame Prints. My Ultimate guide to Framing Prints at Home.
I often get asked how best to frame the prints I sell. While you can of course take a print to the framing shop- this is not always an affordable option. I chose to produce my artwork at either 8x10" OR 12x16" because these sizes are very common for photographs and are therefore very easy to pick up frames for in the shops. As photographs are almost always printed in and inch format, this instantly means the frames on offer in shops follow suit.
WHERE TO PURCHASE FRAMES:
Many high street shops sell frames, but my favourites are:
The Range carry a wide range of frames from low to mid range in price. There are lots of colours and styles to choose from as well as a good selection of frames with or without mounts.
Next have very recently upped their frame offering and have a range of colours to choose from. They are mid range in price and are good quality.
Ikea frames are very affordable but you will need to mindful of conversions as they sell frames in centimetres rather than in inches. Their 40x50cm Ribba frame is a great option for my 12x16's as the mount inside is 11 1/4 x 15 1/4. To date im not sure if they offer a frame size for 10x8's however.
Dunelm have recently upped their offering of frames and now stock a good range of sizes and styles
Habitat have a gorgeous selection of modern frames. They are not as cheap as others but you get what you pay for! Check out their Ontario range.
Wilkinsons are also very low cost, but be aware sometimes they replace glass with acrylic sheets to keep costs down.
Tesco have less choice than others but their frames are good quality and mostly come with mounts. They carry a good choice of 10x8's but nothing suitable for 12x16's unfortunately. Best viewed in store!
B&Q. Lots of choice here again, with or without mounts. Just take your time to read the paper inserts.
Once you know the size of your print, look for frames either at that size or larger with a mount inside that will fit your print. Mounts give a more traditional look and instantly make the overall finished article feel far more substantial and expensive. The addition of a mount also helps to fill wall space and prevent the print from looking a little lost. For example, you can purchase frames that are 20x16 in overall size with a 16x12 mount inside. When shopping around you will notice that frames always state the size of the frame and the size of the mount aperture (or window!) inside. Take time to read these before making your decision.
FRAMING YOUR PRINT:
You will need to have your frame, your print and a roll of either framers tape, or for a cheaper option, use masking tape.
Remove all packaging from your frame and lift up the metal clasps on the back. Take out the backing board, paper insert and the mount. Take a look at the glass inside. Does it look dusty or have any marks? give it a quick clean down with glass cleaner. You'll be glad you did! There's nothing worse than framing your print only to discover a mark INSIDE the glass!.
Taking the mount, place on the table face down and lay your print over the aperture also face down. Using your tape, cut 4 small slithers to tack the corners down. Hold up your print to see if its sitting straight within the mount. Not quite even? readjust and restick.
Once your happy with its placement, cut long strips of masking tape and run these along the edges of your print and onto the mount, ensuring that the tape does not sit further in than the over lap of the print and mount. Make sure the tape is nicely smoothed out and adhered before popping it back into the frame. Replace the backing board, discard the paper insert and push the clips back down to hold in place. TA DA! you just framed your print!
DISPLAYING YOUR PRINT:
One thing I must stress when choosing where to hang or display your framed print is be mindful of direct sunlight. Prolonged, direct sunlight will have an adverse effect on the chemicals within the inks and cause the print to fade. As an example, my favourite wedding photo was on display in my previous home for around 6 years in the same spot. It was set on top of a shelf in a fairly bright room but didn’t receive bright sunlight to that area of the room. I moved house 2 years ago and placed the photo on a window sill in a south facing bedroom. Within 6 months, the photo had faded drastically. The moral of the story is, take the time to consider how much direct, intense sunlight that wall or shelf receives before you make your final decision.
My prints are produced using genuine canon inks that boast Chromalife 100+ technology. This ensures a long life for the print as long as they are displayed correctly.
Got any tips or pointers of your own for framing prints? Leave a comment below!