Friday, October 9, 2009

DIY Tutorial to frame ACEOs and small works on Paper using Photo Corners

Here is a simple and affordable DIY tutorial that anyone can do!

Here are the materials you will need:

1. 5"x7", 6"x8" , 8"x10", or larger sized ready-made frame.
2. Acid-Free Mat board.
3. Exacto or utility knife.
4. Four acid-free Photo-corners.
5. Ruler or straight-edge.
6. Pencil.
7. Cardboard or mat to protect cutting surface.

Use any ready-made frame that comes with glass/plexi and cut a piece of mat board (preferably acid-free) with a utility knife to the same size opening.

My personal preference is to use inexpensive thin black frames and a light colored mat (white or beige) as it seems to match well in various home decor environments; but it's really is up to your creative personal preference.

For this tutorial I used an 8" x 10" inch frame with a beige colored mat board.


On the backside of the mat board  measure 8" inches wide and 10" inches high with your ruler and draw pencil lines as cutting guides.


Cut the mat board with a utility knife along the cutting guidelines using the ruler or straight edge. Remember: to use a piece of cardboard or foamboard underneath the mat board to protect the surface you will be cutting on.

Take the 4 acid free photo-corners and place them snugly along the corners of your ACEO or work on paper. Using photo-corners allows one to securely display work without having to use harmful tape or glue adhesives. Also the work can be safely removed in the future.


Take the mat board and mark the center on the displayable surface.

For an 8" x 10" mat board, the center would be 4 inches equidistant from the left and right sides and 5 inches equidistant from the top and bottom.

I use this technique so I can center mount the work properly on top of the mat board. If you rather just eyeball it - then this step is optional.

If for any reason the work needs to be re-centered and re-mounted on the mat board i've found you can still carefully and safely remove the photo-corners from the matboard.

After you mount the work on top of the mat board it is almost ready to be inserted into the frame.

Before you insert the mat board into the 8" x 10" frame make sure that the glass is smudge and debris free. Clean the glass with a damp cloth and a little Windex and let it dry for a few minutes.

Insert the mounted work into the frame and hang on the wall. Voila!

There a unlimited ways to display art and 2D work, have fun with it!

With this technique you can mount more than one work and make interesting visual arrangements, like a diptych, triptych or create geometric shapes. Let your imagination run free. Enjoy!

These are the photo-corners I use, made by Canson. 

You can also find a whole range of styles and colors on Amazon.

Canson Website: Here you can find retail shops near you that carry this item.

I would try to look for them in retail shops where you live first - it's not worth paying the online shipping for such an inexpensive item  - Scrapbook - Photography Stores - Arts & Crafts stores and even Office Supply Stores might carry them.

I find photo-corners are a great way to preserve cherished art, memorabilia, and photographs.

I hope that helps. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask. Thanks for visiting!


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing all that information!

  2. What a lovely way to present small pieces of art, I'll have to try that. Thanks for sharing!

  3. That looks amazing; it really sets the ACEO off beautifully.

    Your work is really amazing by the way!

  4. That is a great tutorial - I have never bought ACEOs because I wouldn't know what to do with them... now I know! I can't wait until I move out in August so I can start hanging this kind of stuff everywhere... bookmarking your post for then.

  5. I have lots of tiny works (ACEOs) that need to be framed. This was very helpful - looks like you put a lot of effort into it.
    Daily Paint Journal

  6. Great step by step instruction!
    I've learned the hard way of not using Acid-Free Mat board...they are turning color after I framed them! Thanks & have a wonderful weekend Daniel! xo*

  7. Thanks for following the blog Daniel, youve got some good tips here.
    Jeff Lafferty

  8. Thank you for this information - great blog!

  9. Great instructions - thank you. I used this same technique last year on card stock for my Christmas cards. It was a card and an ACEO gift as well.

  10. Lovely, work, Daniel. Thanks for stopping by my blog too. :)

  11. Great way to mat and frame without having to cut the opening on the mat. Framing is getting way to expensive so thanks for the idea!


  12. Very nice tutorial!

  13. Good information, Daniel ~ that's a nice way to display ACEOs =)

  14. Amazing paintings Daniel Well done!
    x Julie x