DIY Print Framing and Frame Sources

Framing your own prints isn’t difficult, it just takes some patience and doing it yourself can save you a bundle over your local frame shop. To do your framing, you will need a few things (most of which the typical hobbiest may already have on hand):

  • An X-acto knife
  • A razor knife
  • A long straight edge (a drywall square works great for this)
  • A matte cutter (if you plan on cutting your own matte)
  • Dry mount or tape mount
  • Matte board
  • Backer board
  • Glass
  • Frame pieces

American Frame has some terrific YouTube videos that walk you through each step from choosing the right size frame pieces to mounting and matting your print. I highly recommend them as a guide to the first time framers.

On-line framing supplies are available at:

To keep you costs to a minimum, I suggest buying your frame pieces and any of the sundry items on-line and purchase the bulky things like the matte material, backer board, and glass through local sources. You can even have your local framer cut your matte(s) for you if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself (it does take a bit of practice to get the hang of the matte cutter) or just don’t want to buy another tool that you may only use once.