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Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Hi there and welcome to my simple picture framing tips. If you add a frame to your art without breaking the bank, you will find this simple tutorial easy to follow. After taking a framing class once, I discovered there was roughly a 400% mark up on framing.

As a rule of thumb, I do not frame my paintings due to various individual tastes and preferences that will affect a framing style choice. However, in my opinion and through experience, art is much more appealing when framed.

I am going to share with you some simple steps to get you on your way to framing your work. But first, you must know and understand framing dimensions. It's pretty simple with a pre assembled frame. Please do not to never cover an oil painting with glass or acrylic. It must breathe.

Most picture hanging supplies can be found at your local hardware or arts and crafts store.

For a sawtooth hanger, the tools you will need are: 
(This tutorial is geared towards sawtooth hangers)
1. Screwdriver
2. Hammer
3. Offset Clips
4. Sawtooth hanger
5. Picture Hook
6. Tape measure
7. Ruler (tape measure will work)
8. Pen or Pencil

If you prefer to hang by wire, you will need 

  1. picture wire
  2. D-Rings
  3. Wire Cutters
  4. Hammer 
  5. Screwdriver
  6. Ruler/tape measure
  7. Pen/pencil


IMPORTANT: There is the outside dimension, and an inside dimension. The inside dimension, where the painting actually sits inside a lip or a recessed edge inside the frame, is called a rabbet (see illustration below). The frame size will correspond to the whole inside measure of the rabbet so it will sit inside. This is the part of the frame you need to fit to your canvas. The marked frame dimensions should correspond to the rabbet.

*Please note the dept of the Rabbet. The standard size is 3/4", so if you have a deep canvas, it will not fit flush against the frame when you mount it. 


1. Local arts and crafts stores-they usually have a stock of standard 3/4" rabbet frames.

2. Art stores such as: and

Alternatively you may do a Google search. I have found frames at the following sites:

Once you have found your frame and gathered your supplies, you will need to carefully secure your canvas to the frame. 


This is where you will need your offset clips. They should correspond as close as possible to the rabbet depth. 

Step 1: Gather your supplies

Step 2: With a screwdriver, you will fasten one end of your offset clip to the back of the frame and the other to the back of your canvas. (see examples below.)  You may do one on either side or choose all four sides. 

If you chose to use a sawtooth hanger, you will center that to the top of the back side of your frame, or canvas if it protrudes the frame, then secure with a hammer. These nails are very tiny and difficult to hold, so I find using a fine tooth comb helps tremendously. 

Step 3: Center your sawtooth hanger horizontally by using your ruler or tape measure.
Step 4: Mark the holes on either side with a pen or pencil.

Step 5:  Drive the tiny nail into the sawtooth hole to fasten it to your canvas. 

Congratulations! You have now successfully framed your painting. 


You will need to mark a spot for the D-ring on either side of the frame about 1/3 the way down from the top. Once you have them marked, you will fasten the D-ring into the back of the frame. The wire is secured firmly using a slip knot method, then twisting off and using wire cutters to remove the remaining wire. Make sure your wire is secured taught to avoid loose wire showing above the picture when it is hung. 

Here is a helpful link to a video that you may find useful. 

written by Tina A Stoffel