Thursday, December 6, 2018

Creating a Double Mat Framing Treatment

Using multiple mat boards can add color, interest and dimension to your artwork or photography. Our “Design Your Package” system allows you to easily create your multiple mat board design.

Once you have decided on your color combination, you can create your unique framing treatment with our framing engine. With this tool, you can experiment with different frame profiles or even upload a previous image of your artwork to see how it would look with your framing treatment.

To start the framing engine, first browse picture frames from the picture frame tab, choose the one that best suits the artwork, then click “Customize this Frame” and the framing engine will automatically begin

Enter in your art size or frame size. Then, if you’d like to upload your own artwork to see how it would look in the frame treatment, choose “Upload Preview Image” from the “Size” tab and follow the prompts. If you’d like us to print and frame your work for you, click here.  If you don’t want to preview the treatment with your own art, move onto choosing mats by clicking on the “Mat” tab.

First, choose the mat board by clicking on the “Change” button. We have different types available (e.g., general purpose, conservation, 4 ply, 8 ply). From within the mat board type, choose a color. We opted for a black mat board with a black core. 

Next, choose your border sizes. We recommend 2” or more depending on the size of the work. Larger works may require wider borders. Keep in mind, the first mat board configured will become the bottom mat in your design.


To add a mat on top of the first one, click “add mat.” Decide on the offset and then choose the color for the top mat.

We chose a Spanish White 8463 to accent the black mat. If designing a triple mat, this second mat will become the middle mat and the third mat that is added will become the top mat. If you change your mind, you can click on “Remove This Mat” to eliminate mats.

Once you are satisfied with your mat board treatment, you can continue choosing glazing, mounting, and accessories and complete the order.

Finding the perfect mat board treatment might seem challenging, but with our “Design Your Package” tool, anybody can create a simple or complex framing treatment.
Have questions? Our customer service team has answers. Contact us.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Choose Heavy-Duty Hanging Systems

Sometimes, a wire isn’t enough. Heavy wood and metal frames, mirrors, large canvases, and other weighty art pieces need extra support. The Hangman® Hanging System is the perfect solution.
Available in three styles, the Hangman® Hanging System employs a French Cleat style method, which uses a 30-45 degree slope that doesn’t bear the full weight of the item, but still sits flush against walls. Its interlocking design assures mounting stability, and its high-strength aluminum construction won’t rust or corrode. All three styles are easy to install and include a level, mounting screws, anchors, and packaged instructions, and hold from 40 to 200 lbs, depending on the style.

Item #F8110 - Extra strong wall mounting hardware designed for wood picture frames. An aluminum bracket attaches to the wall then into the wood frame. The bracket is 5 inches long and provides easy leveling with its built-in bubble level. This system holds up to 40 lbs when secured properly into a wall.

Item #F8100 – This item is the same extra strong wall mounting hardware, but designed for metal picture frames. It also features an aluminum bracket that attaches to the wall then into the metal frame channel. The 5” long bracket provides easy leveling with its built-in bubble level. It can also hold up to 40 lbs when secured properly. (Not compatible with Neo Florentine, Reflections, Standard Plus One, or Techline frames)

Item #F8010 – This is the strongest hanging system we offer. Featuring a built-in level and an 18” long bracket, this system holds up to 200 lbs when two screws are fastened into wood studs.
With a Hangman® system, you’ll have peace of mind that your art won’t slip off or damage the wall so it can be enjoyed for years to come.

For step-by-step installation instructions, watch this how-to video.

Have a question? Give us a call. Our expert customer service team is ready to help.

An In-Depth Lesson About Framing Canvas

Depth can be an important part of your frame display. Whether you’re layering frames and mats for visual impact or framing a thicker item, knowing the depth you need is paramount.

Recently, we received this question from a customer regarding framing canvas.

I'd like to purchase a wood frame to fit an oil painting on canvas. Painting is stretched on wood support stretcher boards 20 x 20 with a 7/8" thickness.

Before placing my online order, I'd like to verify the thickness of inside frame - the place where the canvas will sit inside the frame. The website tells me that width and height will be 20 inches, but not the thickness. When I mount the framed painting on the wall, I don't want the frame to float away from the wall (half-inch or so) because the canvas support boards stick out beyond edge of the wood frame. I'd like the thickness of the canvas support boards to be flush with the thickness or back of the frame.

Here’s how to ensure you’re ordering the right size frame for your canvas.  First, measure the depth of the canvas you’d like to frame. Once you have that measurement, click the frame you’re considering to go to the frame description page. Now, compare the canvas depth measurement to the “R” measurement, or the rabbet depth, as listed on the left side of the frame description page.

The rabbet depth measurement indicates much it can hold, so you know how thick your art stack can be. As long as the rabbet and the canvas are the same size, the piece will be flush to the back of the frame. If the rabbet is larger than the canvas, it will recess in the frame. You’ll want to make sure that the rabbet isn’t smaller than your frame. This will cause the piece to stick out of the back of the frame making it difficult to secure in the frame or hang on a wall.

Have more questions about frame depth? Our customer service team is ready to answer them. Contact us.

A Quick Guide Using to Non-Glare Acrylic

Displaying artwork involves more than just choosing an eye-catching mat and frame. It’s also a perfect opportunity to add protection to your work.

Acrylic glazing is great for preserving your art or photography against damage from dust, U.V. rays, smoke, and other contaminants. American Frame offers four kinds of acrylic glazing: Standard, U.V Protection, Non Glare, and U.V.Non Glare.

Many artists prefer using Non-Glare or U.V. Non-Glare acrylic so their audience can easily see the art as they intended it, without much visible distortion. But placing it in your frame is somewhat different than using other types of acrylic.

Non-Glare and U.V. Non-Glare acrylic glazing contain two sides: one shiny and one matte.

We’ve included stickers to let you know which side should face the artwork. That makes inserting the acrylic into your frame easy and worry-free.

If you’ve removed the stickers before installing the acrylic, just look for the shinier side of the acrylic. That side should face the artwork, while the matte side should face the viewer.
Excess space between the art and the acrylic can cause image distortion. So we recommend against using spacers with Non-Glare or U.V. Non-Glare acrylic.

Have more questions about acrylic glazing? Contact our customer service experts.

Introducing Our New Art Assistant™ Program

You love creating art or photography. But when you turn your passion into a business, it also comes with extra tasks. There’s preparation for art shows, display of your work, and printing and shipping orders to customers. And all of that takes away time you could use to create the work that inspires you.
If only you had an assistant who could handle all that while you focus on your real passion.

Now you do. American Frame has just launched the Art Assistant customer support program. It’s a personalized custom frame service that helps make your artistic vision a reality. Use the online form to tell us a little about yourself and your project, and we’ll assign a design and framing expert to guide you through it. They can help you create a framing treatment, assist you with volume framing, offer framing advice, or frame your work for you and mail it back. Fulfilling customer orders? Your Art Assistant can handle that as well, through drop-ship or white label fulfillment.
Whatever your project, your Art Assistant will ensure you’re satisfied every step of the way. And the best part? This service is free. You only pay for the frames, mats, prints, shipping, or other materials and services you order.

So go ahead, keep your eyes on your artwork or the images you capture behind your lens. We’ll take care of everything else.
Connect with your own Art Assistant here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Deck the Halls with Framed Creations

Christmas decorations usually bring to mind lush evergreen wreaths, sprigs of holly, and – of course– decorated trees.
And although these bits of nature can beautifully transform your house into a winter wonderland, there is another decorative touch to consider. Frames can do so much more than display photographs. They can add holiday charm to any room – without all the dead needles.

Here are a few clever options we love.
Frame Wreath

Instead of hanging the same old wreath on your door this year, opt for a playful alternative. A frame decorated with bows, ornaments, or other holiday trinkets can act as a whimsical wreath stand-in. You could also build a tree shape out of classic round ornaments and accent it with a frame of your choice.

Shadow Box

With a deep frame and acrylic glazing, you can create a festive shadow box to hang on the wall or stand upright on a table. What do you place in it? Whatever you’d like. Add tiny faux trees and cotton to create a wintery landscape. Fill it with treasured holiday ornaments that may be too delicate or oversized for your tree. Or use it to display favorite holiday photos. You’re limited only by your imagination.

Hosting a holiday party? Small, festive frames add an elegant touch to seating cards. For a larger gathering like a company party, they’re also great for holding signs that direct guests to the bar, the coat check, or other areas.


A countdown to Christmas is one of the most exciting things about the season, especially for little ones. Frame a chalkboard so the children can tick off the days until Santa’s arrival, or write their own holiday messages.
Holiday Items

Framed wrapping paper is a fast and unexpected way to decorate for the season. You might also frame the sheet notes or album cover for your favorite holiday song. We even offer record and CD display kits to make it easy. Perhaps your child has a pair of holiday mittens or a Santa hat they can no longer wear. Maybe you have some unusual holiday greeting cards from years past. They’d all look right at home in a beautiful frame.

Which frames should you use for your holiday décor projects? It depends on the look you’re going for. Brightly colored red or green metal frames create an eye-catching modern look. For a more timeless effect, opt for a gold wood frame, or a natural deep cherry finish. Looking for a bit of country charm? A rustic frame conjures images of crackling fireplaces and cozy flannel.

Share your holiday creations with us. Tweet a photo of your creation to @AmericanFrame using #AmericanFramed or email it to

Have framing questions? We’re here to help. Contact our customer service experts.

For tips and the latest offers, sign up for our e-Tip newsletter.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

EVAC Project Brings Veterans’ Stories to Life

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

And when it comes to stories of battles, life-saving actions, and other snippets of life in the military, a painting or drawing is worth just as much.

The Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations (EVAC) Project pairs artists with veterans to bring their firsthand accounts of their time in the military to life. American Frame is proud to host the EVAC Project in our showroom November 5th through November 30th.

Attendees can read the stories of Veterans from every branch of the military from World War II through the Post-9/11 era, then see the artist’s interpretation of the same story.

For veteran Michael, the Army was a chance to test himself and improve his skills. He served from 2005 to 2013 and was stationed in Iraq for some of that time. What started as a four-month deployment there eventually stretched into 18 months.

“It’s interesting the way the mind and the body all works together,” he said. “You don’t think you can carry that much weight or exist in that much heat. And then you do.”

Participant Ernest served in the Army from 1970 to ‘71. He recalls saving a fellow soldier injured by a landmine by sticking his fingers in the man’s chest wound to stop blood loss. He put him on a helicopter but assumed he had died until he encountered him years later at an Army reunion.

“The only way I would know you is if you had a bunch of holes in your chest,” Ernest told the man. “He looked at me and unbuttoned his shirt and pulled his T-shirt up.  I put my fingers back in those holes. He had lived. But for 29 years I thought he had died. Stuff like that gets burned into your mind and it just doesn’t go away.”

Artist Susan Chouteau’s painting depicts Ernest and the man he saved, both of their hands covering the holes in his chest.
Lauren, who also told her story as part of the project, served in the Army during Vietnam and remembers the hatred she faced upon her return from the unpopular war.
 “I expected a welcome. I thought that's what it was all about. When our plane landed, there was a gaggle of women on the other side of the chain link fence. And I thought ‘Wow this is great. A welcome.’ Well it was welcome in terms of jeers, accusations of “baby killer,” of spitting. Being gone one month short of four years, I hadn't had any knowledge of the animus that existed against Vietnam. It was exceedingly painful. People around me acted like I had leprosy.”
Nick remembers joining the Navy in 2002 to escape a hard life as a gay man in a small town. He said eventually, hiding who he was became even harder.

“It takes a toll on your energy and your soul,” he said. “Just lying about yourself and who you are every single day for five years is pretty exhausting. Even if you have friends who know and don’t care, you still have to lie.”
Leonard, who also told his story, served in the Army from 1944 to 1946, starting when he was just 18.

“The Battle of the Bulge was first. My first real combat. I crossed the Rhine River on my 19th birthday,” he said “From there, we went down to these concentration camps, and that was something.  Humans stacked up, some of them half dead, some of them dead. Something I don’t want to see again. There were some in their bunks that we took out that were still alive, but they didn’t know it.”

See more of the stories for yourself when the EVAC project comes to American Frame. A reception will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, November 9th, with a silent auction running until 7 p.m.
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