How hard is mounting and framing a poster?
October 13, 2004 2:03 PM   Subscribe

How hard is mounting and framing a poster? Are there good guides (preferably online) for covering the basics? [mi]

I have several posters that I'd like to get framed, but I don't want to drop $100+ each on them. The curmudgeon in me says, "It boils down to cutting and gluing." I've never done this before, but I can use an Xacto knife without bleeding. I live in NYC, so I have easy access to the raw materials.

Should I suck it up and let a "pro" handle it? I don't want to cut my own glass, so I recognize that there's going to be an expense there- how much of the cost of framing is that?
posted by mkultra to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
I recently mangled a Kraftwerk poster (the white border, not the artwork, luckily) with an Xacto while trying a DIY foamcore mount. Moral: practice with someone you don't care about first.
posted by lbergstr at 2:46 PM on October 13, 2004

hardware stores will cut plexiglass to the size you want or you can do it at home with an exacto knife. i've done it; it's not that hard and the plexiglass at the home depot is nice and thick (not like the stuff in the poster frames at the bed, bath & beyond).

here's an online guide to plexiglass framing posters. there's also a DIY framing site.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:52 PM on October 13, 2004

it's pretty easy.
there are two hard bits, both involving 45 degrees. first, if you are making a frame then the corners need to be at 45 degrees pretty much exactly. to simplify things, use a thin frame and buy some kind of saw guide. second, if you are going to have a mat (i think that's the name - the thick piece of carboard that makes an inner frame around the picture) then you are going to have a hard time making the edges bevelled. i just come them vertically, but that won't look so good unless your matt board is white (ie has a core the same colour as the front).

variations on the theme:
1 - instead of making a frame with glass, get a hardboard rectangle very slightly smaller than your poster, add wooden strips behind so that it looks (vaguely) like a thicker piece of wood the same size as the board, then stick the poster on the front (and trim the edge). this looks good for posters, but doesn't offer much protection.
2 - buy a cheap framed picture and replace the picture. this saves you making the frame - you can often find cheap junky pictures (bad prints of out-of-copyright paintings etc) for less than you'd pay for the glass alone. get something bigger than you need and use a mat.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:04 PM on October 13, 2004

It'll probably be cheapest to just buy a frame that seems about the right size, if you value your time at all. Frames in standard sizes are cheap, and you can just get the size that holds your poster most purtily.

Matting and mounting a large print is easy. You need a matboard, a mat cutter and knife, a straightedge, and a surface to do it on.

There's a guide to matting at luminous landscape. Or here.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:45 PM on October 13, 2004

Thanks for the info everyone, and especially the links!
posted by mkultra at 7:50 AM on October 14, 2004

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