How to Make Frameless Picture Frames

Written by drea christopher
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Whether you want to showcase a picturesque photograph, a stunning painting or an eye-catching poster, display the piece in a frameless picture frame to keep the focus on the artwork. By using inexpensive glass, particle board and metal clips, you'll be able to design a "frame" without the typical wood or metal border that can detract from the beauty of the image. Use the proper materials and tools to assemble the open frame to ensure the best-looking results.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Photo or artwork
  • Pencil
  • Wood or aluminium T-square
  • Craft knife, box cutter or mat-cutting tool
  • Acid-free tape
  • Glass or plexiglass sheet
  • Particle board
  • 6 Swiss Clips
  • Nails or screws and wall anchors

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  1. 1

    Use a ruler or tape measure to measure the photo or artwork you wish to "frame." Measure the wall space where you'd like to hang the artwork, ensuring the spot is large enough to accommodate the artwork.

  2. 2

    Cut a piece of mat board to fit the space you measured on the wall. Use a pencil to mark the dimensions on the mat board, and then hold a wood or aluminium T-square atop the mat board as a guideline where you wish to cut. Draw a craft knife, box cutter or mat cutting tool down the length of the T-square to cut the mat board.

  3. 3

    Place your photo or artwork on the mat board where you want it to appear. Use a pencil to make light dots at the corners of the artwork. Line the T-square up with two of the dots and cut from dot to dot with your cutting tool. Repeat the process with the other three sides until you have cut an opening in the mat board to accommodate the artwork.

  4. 4

    Secure the photo or artwork behind the photo mat with small pieces of acid-free tape.

  5. 5

    Write down the dimensions of the mat board and have a piece of glass or a plexiglass sheet cut to the exact dimensions at a home improvement warehouse store. Have a piece of particle board cut to the same dimensions, as well.

  6. 6

    Assemble the frameless artwork by placing the piece of particle board on the bottom, the photo and mat board in the middle, and the glass or plexiglass on top. Use six metal Swiss Clips to hold the layers together. Place two clips on each side of the "frame," each about two inches in from a corner.

  7. 7

    Hang the artwork by holding the piece in the desired place and using a pencil to mark where the top two Swiss Clips rest. Drive nails or screws and wall anchors into the wall one-quarter inch below each pencil mark. The head of each nail or screw will sit "inside" the opening in the back of the clip to hang the artwork.

Tips and warnings

  • Mat board is available in basic white and black, along with additional colours, finishes and textures. Choose a style that complements your artwork and the room decor. You can also embellish the mat for a customised look. Coat the surface with craft chalk for subtle shading, add rubber-stamped designs along the bottom or write a famous quote, song lyric or photo caption below the image.

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