How to make clip picture frames

Written by f.r.r. mallory
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How to make clip picture frames
Frameless picture frame enclosing money. (Bildrahmen image by Angelika Bentin from

Clip picture frames are sometimes called frameless frames, because clips are used to hold the picture materials and glass together, with no edging materials. This type of frame makes the artwork appear to float on the wall, without a border made of conventional framing materials. To achieve this floating look, a type of clip called a Swiss clip is used. The clips attach to the glass and picture materials at regular intervals and are held together on the back side using cording.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Glass
  • Art
  • Backing board
  • Swiss clips

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  1. 1

    Assemble the picture you wish to frame. Use a sturdy backing (not foam core or chipboard) and glass cut to size. You can get sturdy board at art supply stores, and glass custom cut to your requirements at glass supply stores. Make sure your glass edges are sanded so that they will not cut you.

  2. 2

    Place the glass on your work surface. Clean the glass to remove all smudges and debris. Position your artwork face down on the glass. Place your backing over your artwork.

  3. 3

    Attach Swiss clips at least 2.5 cm (1 inch) from each corner (5 cm (2 inches) is better). The clip should hold together the glass, art and backing. Some clip designs require that the individual clips be attached to each other on the back side of the artwork using cord or wire.

Tips and warnings

  • Weigh your art, backing and glass prior to selecting the type of clip you wish to use to ensure that the clip system is designed to carry the weight of the art.
  • Exposed edge or edgeless frames allow dirt, debris and insects access to the art material.

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