Art frames provide a decorative border to showcase your favourite art pieces. Making an acrylic frame at home is a relatively simple process and is more cost effective than purchasing the frame from a shop. The material is durable and lightweight, making it ideal for those larger art pieces you want to frame without being too heavy on the wall. Acrylic frames are also less delicate than glass frames as they are shatter resistant.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Acrylic sheet
- Circular saw
- Measuring tape
- 4 bolts
- 4 nuts
- 4 washers
- Double-sided tape
- Hanging wire
- Glass cleaner
- Mylar photo corners
Choose the type of acrylic you want to work with. Standard acrylic has no coatings, no matt finish, no tint and is extremely translucent. This is ideal if the art work will not be in direct sunlight and it does not necessarily have to last 10 years. UV filter acrylic blocks 98% of UV radiation and has a slight yellow tint. This finish will help to protect art work to last beyond 10 years. Non-glare acrylic has a matt finish on the face to reduce glare. This is a more expensive acrylic with no UV protection, therefore no tint, and results in a loss of art sharpness. There is also a UV/non-glare combination for acrylic sheets.
Measure the art work you wish to display with a measuring tape. Make sure to allocate enough room along the edges for the border. Two inches will work just fine, but you can go smaller or larger if you like depending on the size of the art work. With an acrylic marker, mark the dimensions of the outside border.
Cut along the marked edges using a circular saw. Clamp the sheet to the work surface and use a long piece of wood to distribute the clamping pressure and guide saw. Once you have the acrylic sheet with the correction dimensions, smooth the edges with sandpaper. Repeat this once more for the back sheet. If you are not comfortable cutting acrylic sheet yourself, you can have the vendor cut it for you for an additional fee.
Position the art work on one sheet of acrylic so that it is properly centred. If you chose the non-glare acrylic, place the face of the artwork on the non-matted side. Dot a small mark on each of the four corners as well as a central dot between the corner of the art work and the corner of the acrylic sheet. Mimic these dots with the other sheet of acrylic.
Drill a hole where you have marked the dots. Work carefully and slowly as the friction will cause the acrylic material to heat up.
Clean the acrylic sheets with a microfiber rag and glass cleaner before sealing in the art work.
Attach the art work to the first acrylic sheet using double sided tape or mylar photo corners and then lay on the back acrylic sheet. Make sure the drilled holes are well aligned.
Add the bolt, followed by the washer and nut on the other side. In the back of the frame, attach a hanging wire with another screw. The art work is now ready for display.
Tips and warnings
- 1/8 inch is the typical thickness for acrylic sheets. Thin acrylic sheets may sag due to the gravity of its weight. If the art work is large, consider a 3/16 or 1/4 inch thick acrylic sheet.
- Acrylic material is easily scratched so for cleaning, use either a 100% cotton fabric or microfiber cloth.
- Exercise caution when working with Acrylic sheets. They can have sharp edges which can cut you if you are not careful.
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