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How To Put Pictures Together


how to frame pictures

This article is about how to put all the pieces of your picture framing project together to complete your finished picture. Doing your own picture framing and putting pictures together is lots of fun and it gives one a great deal of satisfaction to see the project completed, especially when you have done it yourself!

This article assumes that you have already put your wood picture frame together. To learn how to make picture frames you will find a link about making picture frames on the left. 

I am also assuming you have cut your mat, mounted your picture, placed the glass on it and sealed it. If not you will find links on matting and mounting pictures on the left.

What I am showing you in this article is called FITTING by professional picture framers and every time you have a professional frame shop frame a picture for you they will include a Fitting, or Fit charge. This pays them for their time, some of the insurance and rent on their shop, the light and phone bill. Believe me the list goes on and on. If you want to have fun do your own picture framing and never open a retail frame shop! You would still have fun, but an awful lot of new headaches to go with it....

All the tools and materials used are sold here on this web site. You may want to check out the Picture Framing Supplies pages for more instructions, ideas and to learn more about the products and tools. Many of our product pages now contain really nice articles about using the products sold.

making a picture frame
The first step required is to take your mats/glass/picture combination and starting at the top edge of the picture frame, slowly let it slip down into place into the rabbet of the picture frame. You do the same thing with canvas paintings. If the picture frame was cut right your assembled glass, mats,mounting board should drop right down into the picture frame easily.

pushing in push points This picture shows how to insert push points into the walls of a picture frame to hold the mats and glass in the frame.

For canvas paintings we recommend the use of our offset clips with screws, which we sell right here on this web site. Actually these offset clips with screws are the best way to put canvases into picture frames. We also have Frame Clips which many people use for a quick faster job. The Frame Clips make changing canvas into different frames much faster.

Putting ATG tape on

This lady is putting on Adhesive Transfer Tape. ATG tape. She is preparing to put on the paper backing. She is pressing the ATG tape onto all four sides of the frame, around the whole edge. ATG tape is extremely useful for many purposes. Once you've used it you will always want some around.

ATG tape can be applied with a special applicator, or you can purchase Hand Held ATG tape that you can put on by hand as this lady is doing.  You don't need no applicator to use Hand Held ATG tape. 

peeling atg tape off

After the ATG tape has been pressed down on all four sides of the picture frame, you will need to remove the paper backing. Just start it at the edges with your finger nails, then peel if right off the frame and throw the paper backing away. You now will find a nice neat layer of pure glue lying on top of your picture frame moulding. This works really neat! And it is super easy to do!

putting paper on picture framessmoothing the paper down
The two two pictures above show how the paper backing has been torn off a roll, placed down onto the back of the picture frame. The second photo shows the lady smoothing down the paper. After she has the paper nice and smooth she will press it down onto the glued edges very firmly. The home picture framer doesn't need the large rolls of paper we use. That is why we sell the smaller rolls on this web site These smaller rolls have enough paper for a number of pictures, depending on the size and amount used of course.

triming picture frame paperPeeling Paper off picture frame
The first of the two pictures above shows the paper being trimmed all the way around the picture frame with a special knife. This knife cuts through the paper, just inside the picture frame molding. Then the paper is pulled away as in the second photo. This knife is a must have, for this operation. It lets you professionally trim the paper off the backside of the frames, without damaging the molding. It is made special for this purpose and is not very expensive. Don't ever try using a regular knife, you will end up damaging the moulding every time.

tighting screw eyes This image shows how we use an awl to start a hole, and then tighten down the screw eyes we sell. These screw eyes should be put into the thickest part of the picture frame, one on both sides, about 1/3 of the way down from the top of the picture.

Don't tighten the eyes all the way down to the wood. Let there be a small space under each eye opening for the wire. When finished you should not be able to turn the screw eyes by hand. (Don't be macho and use every bit of strength you have). If the eyes can be turned by hand easily, you should remove and put in a bigger screw eye.

wiring picture frameswrapping the wire
The photos above show the proper procedure for connecting the picture framing wire. First off, always use picture framing wire. It is made for pictures, there are many things wrong with using other wires I won't get into here. To properly do the wiring: Insert one end of the wire into the screw eye hole, starting from the middle of the picture, not from outside. Push the wire through the hole, then wrap it around the base of the screw eye under the first piece of wire, then go back into the hole and come out the same side you went into the hole. The first picture shows the wire ready to go back into the hole. When it comes out, you wrap it around the first piece of wire as shown in photo number two. This gives you a nonslipable connection. A professional connection!

bumpon on a picture frame

This photo shows the last step in finishing your framed picture. Putting on the Bump on! These little pieces of silicone rubber keep the pictures from slipping around on your wall so you won't be forever straightening pictures.

Although all the instructions above are given for a matted picture with glass. We do the same exact things for canvas paintings. The paper backing stops dust from collecting in the back of the picture.  But it also really helps to preserve your canvas paintings another way. Did you know that when a canvas painting is hung on the wall, it moves in and out every time your entry way doors are opened. The increase/decrease of the air pressure in your rooms when your doors are opened and closed causes the canvases to move in and out and flex. This over a long enough period of time can cause wear in the very cloth fibers of your canvas painting. By placing paper over the back sides of your paintings, it greatly reduces the flexing and movement of the canvas, reducing the wear.

Thank You for visiting
Sincerely, Reimond Grignon