A great alternative to the traditional method can be created using acrylic spacers. The space provided — sans mat board — offers a minimalist look that highlights the artwork. Follow along to learn how to create this look using a metal frame and acrylic spacers!
Before we get started, make sure to pick out the spacers you want to incorporate into your frame. We offer three varieties of acrylic spacers: one-fourth-inch black, one-fourth-inch clear, and one-eighth-inch clear. We suggest using black spacers for dark or black frames.
- Make sure your artwork is secure by hinging or dry mounting it. You can take your artwork right to the edge of the frame or you can create borders by floating your artwork on a larger board. In either case, spacers alone are not able to hold your artwork securely for long.
- Begin assembling the metal frame by attaching three of the sides together. Put aside for now.
- Carefully cut lengths using scissors or a box cutter to prepare the spacers for use in a metal frame. You will need to cut fours spacers total: two for the length and two for the width. They should measure just under one-eighth of an inch of the acrylic glazing’s measurements.
- Place the spacers onto the glazing before you adhere them to make sure they fit.
NOTE: For a metal frame, the spacers will need to rest just under one-sixteenth of an inch off the edge of the glazing, creating a small, even lip. Naturally, the glazing will be loose and move slightly inside the frame. To prevent the spacers from being seen, they have to be strategically placed to ensure they stay hidden behind the rabbet when the glazing inevitably shifts.
- Peel back the protective cover of the glazing for the art side once you are confident the spacers are correctly placed and measured.
Peel back the sticker on the acrylic spacers to reveal the sticky side that will be placed onto the glazing.
- Carefully place the spacers down in a clockwise pattern. Remember to go over the edge of the glazing a bit. Do not press down on them too hard in case changes need to be made before the frame is put together.
- When all four spacers are placed, slide the glazing into the partially built frame to test the placement and make sure it fits.
- Take the glazing out and remove the other side of protective paper. Clean both sides of the glazing and place it with your artwork into the frame. The spacers should be on the inside and pressed against the artwork side of the mounting board.
- Slide the entire art stack into the partially built metal frame. Close the frame by adding the fourth side of metal and check it. Inspect for debris and make sure the spacers are not visible. When you’re satisfied, tighten up the screws, clean the glazing, add wall protectors, and add a wire or sawtooth hanger.
- Enjoy your beautiful artwork! Well done!