News Archives

SWPP & BPPA Convention, 2008

Once again the SWPP & BPPA is holding its renowned convention in London this year. It has become the event for professional photographers, guaranteed to bring you into contact with some of the most important names in the business.  There will be a vast range of exhibitors and real opportunities to pick up new ideas as well as the latest product lines.

Dates: Friday 18th January 2008, Saturday 19th January, Sunday 20th January

Venue: Novatel London West, 1 Shortlands
Hammersmith International Centre
W6 8DR

This will be our third visit to the convention.  We will have expert staff available to offer advice on how to develop framing as a very powerful extra to existing business portfolios.  There will also be support for all levels of photographer, offering guidance on tools, equipment and materials, to create stunning presentations of your own work.

Whether photography is an interest, your profession or both, you shouldn't miss this show.  We'll see you there.

For more detail about the show, click on this link: SWPP Convention website

Posted on: 11 Dec 2007@15:26:14, updated on: 12 Jan 2008@09:20:22.


Ultimate Framing Weekend In Exeter

Ultimate framing weekend, Exeter

A great chance to cover a massive amount in one, long weekend in Exeter, 26th - 28th January 2008. The Ultimate Framing Weekend is a package made up of our Basics of Framing, Mount Cutting & Decoration and Stretching Canvas Based Artwork courses (click on highlighted titles for more detail).

You can either book the full 3 days or sign up for any individual part. Ideal for artists and photographers alike - zero to talented picture framer (hero?) in just 3 days!

Posted on: 17 Dec 2007@09:26:16, updated on: 9 Jan 2008@10:51:54.


Experience the Totally Ultimate Framing Course


Totally ultimate framing weekend, basics of framing, mount cutting & decoration, Frame finishes, canvas stretching, picture framing

Made up of four key elements of our training package, this exciting workshop programme gives you all you need to frame artwork and photography behind glass, on board or on canvas. An experience not to be missed and arranged in an easily accessible, central location in the midlands: Nuneaton, 18th - 21st January 2008.

The building blocks for the package are: Basics of Framing, Mount Cutting & Decoration, Stretching Canvas Based Artwork and Frame Finishes courses (click on highlighted titles for more detail).

You can either book the full 4 days or sign up for any individual part (or combination). Ideal for artists and photographers alike - do the full Monty (hats on of course!).

Posted on: 17 Dec 2007@09:41:15, updated on: 29 Dec 2007@15:17:00.


Framing Canvases - Now Its Personal

There is nothing more exciting than seeing your own artwork hanging on a wall.  Framed canvases make a big statement and are capturing everybody’s imagination as a way of personalising a room, making it look more exciting.

Imagine being able to do that with your own photography.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a keen amateur or renowned professional; whether you are hanging a holiday snap or creating a wedding portrait – you can frame it for yourself.

All you need to do is learn how to plan and make a stretcher frame, stretch and attach your photo-canvas and then finish it off, as a canvas wrap or using a box / tray frame. Sounds complicated?  Many people take the time and invest in training to develop their imaging skills.  Why not do the same with learning how to frame?

“It is not just because it saves you money in the long term,” says DIYframing CEO, Duncan McDonald, “Doing your own framing makes you totally in control of how your artwork looks – no compromise!”

Among the latest additions to the DIYframing training programme is The Ultimate Art & Photography Framing Weekend.  Three days that take complete novices through a whole series of picture framing and mount cutting activities, culminating in how to work with canvas prints. 

Most recently DIYframing has worked with specific businesses, to market, jointly, “bespoke” training days.  As a commercial enterprise it makes good sense. It can help to promote a particular way of working for staff and franchises, or to show customers how they can make best use of an exciting service. 

“If you print images, why not help customers learn how to frame them?” Duncan goes on to say, “We know we can offer the best training, in all aspects of picture framing.  We are really interested in making these commercial links.  Working with specific businesses, we can market training directly to a new customer base, giving them exactly what they really want.”

This is an area that is becoming increasingly more relevant to a whole range of artwork and linked services.  Until recently it would be assumed that canvas stretching and framing are associated with oil and acrylic painting.  The modern trend for digital imaging means that more and more artwork, especially photography, is now being printed onto canvas.  As a result many more of us are becoming used to working on a larger scale to create exciting pieces of artwork.

In our Articles library we have a feature providing general guidance linked with stretching and framing canvases, and the key areas to consider.    To read the full article click: Introduction To Stretching Canvases

Also, if you are interested in pursuing canvas work further, find out about training available: click – Stretching & Framing Canvas Based Artwork.

Next dates are:

18th February, Beaconsfield (day 3 of) Ultimate Art & Photography Framing Weekend

Posted on: 20 Dec 2007@09:35:51, updated on: 20 Dec 2007@09:35:51.


Get In The Groove

A stylish way to add a decorative feature to a mount is by creating a v-groove.  What this does is to remove a bevelled section, in a line, out of the front of the mountboard, revealing a cut-away section of white core.  This sculpted line has mainly been only accessible through a skilful system of a normal bevel edge cut followed by a reverse bevel, either side of a line, or by using specialist cutters, attached to the more expensive board mounted, cutting systems.  In other words, whichever way you look at it, v-grooving was a more specialised technique.

There have been other types of hand-held v-groovers that have tried to corner this market for the “home framer”.  However, these can be an acquired taste if they are to be used successfully and consistently.  Snags in corners of line runs and difficulty setting the blades accurately for clean cuts were some of the more frequently cited complaints.

So for Logan to launch a new bit of kit aimed exactly at that market could be seen as quite a brave move.  The Groovy mouse is their solution to attracting the home market into this type of mount decoration.  It has a “fun” design rooting it more in the “creative” rather than the formal end of the market: it even has its own tail. Joking apart though, it is a relatively simple gadget to use.  It has its own corner gauge, not only allowing you to locate marks for the start and finish of each v-cut, but it also helps you position where to line up a Logan Adapt-a-Rule (or similar), along which it can run.  Initial efforts show that the scalpel style blades used to make each side of the v-section cuts are of a good quality, leaving a clean edge to the groove.  It also has a “cut-off” blade so that when you come to the end of a run, a push on the magic button and you have a clean-cut end to the line - no more puckers and tears.

It doesn’t actually end there.  The Groovy Mouse is a versatile little creature.  As well as the straight line, traditional v-groove borders, it can perform a few other tricks.  First of all, because it is a hand-held system, its movements are not restricted to straight lines. You can create any type of border around an aperture: it is a good idea to practise the design first and even lightly mark a “travel-line” on the board you intend to decorate.  As with all things, practice makes perfect.   The last of its talents is to let you use it as a freestyle aperture cutter.  If you want to create a “reveal” in a mountboard, that isn’t rectangular (or a circle / oval), then Groovy Mouse is the beast for you.  By simply removing one of the blades and setting the other so that it cuts completely through the mount board, you are then able to cut a “window” from the mount board in whatever shape you like.

All in all then, the Logan Groovy Mouse does seem to be a good little gadget to use.  Its versatility is not the only thing it has going for it; priced at just £24.99, it is not going to break the bank.  At the moment it is also available from us in the Groovy Mount Kit, which includes some other mount decoration gear and mountboard.

For more information or to order click: Logan Groovy Mouse

Posted on: 15 Dec 2007@11:32:50, updated on: 15 Dec 2007@11:32:50.


Opportunity to Take on Framing Work

Calling all framers who have trained with DIYframing. On offer is a rare opportunity to earn money from your framing. We have had a request from a Mr Kevin Butters who is developing a new business project involving bespoke framing of comics as works of art. He is looking for best quality framing for this work, with the framer able to offer advice on how best to present these pieces.

If you have trained on one of our framing courses and would like to discuss this project with Kevin directly, please pass contact details to us ( and we will, in turn, forward them to Kevin

Posted on: 16 Nov 2007@08:28:49, updated on: 16 Nov 2007@08:28:49.


Calling Scottish Photographers & Artists

framing erskine bridge 27th & 28th October Glasgow
Calling all Scottish Photographers & Artists. There are just one or two places left on our framing weekend in Glasgow at the Erskine Bridge Hotel on 27th & 28th October 2007. Ideal for photographers but also excellent for any artist wanting to mount and frame their own work.Availble as a Photo Framing Weekend package or single days: (click for details) Basics of Framing and Mount Cutting & Decoration


Posted on: 9 Oct 2007@10:27:27, updated on: 9 Oct 2007@10:27:27.


Product Guide: Ever Increasing Circles

The problems with cutting circles and ovals are that you want the cutting blade to move around, in some cases, quite tight curves and, at the same time, cut cleanly at an angle of 45º. The solution is to use the tip of a scalpel blade so that the width of the blade does not prevent “cornering”. Then by making the blade repeat the cut, each time at a deeper setting, the tip will eventually complete a cut through the thickness of the selected board. A final issue is to ensure that the axis around which the blade turns remains in the same place. Quite an engineering conundrum. However, what you end up with is a machine such as the Logan oval and circle cutter. This hand held tool is actually quite a fine piece of engineering and because of the restrictions on how it has to behave, is not something to be handled roughly.

For more information about cutting circles and ovals and what they can be used for, click: Ever Increasing Circles

Posted on: 5 Oct 2007@09:56:51, updated on: 5 Oct 2007@09:56:51.


Product Guide: Ever Increasing Circles

The problems with cutting circles and ovals are that you want the cutting blade to move around, in some cases, quite tight curves and, at the same time, cut cleanly at an angle of 45º.  The solution is to use the tip of a scalpel blade so that the width of the blade does not prevent “cornering”.  Then by making the blade repeat the cut, each time at a deeper setting, the tip will eventually complete a cut through the thickness of the selected board.  A final issue is to ensure that the axis around which the blade turns remains in the same place.

Quite an engineering conundrum.  However, what you end up with is a machine such as the Logan oval and circle cutter.  This hand held tool is actually quite a fine piece of engineering and because of the restrictions on how it has to behave, is not something to be handled roughly. 

Once you have set the cutter up, it is worth being careful with how you store it.  Used with the recommended “light touch” you will have no problems creating wonderful looking circle and oval mounts: singles and doubles.

Why would you want to use one?  Here is a list of just a few uses.

  • Traditional style portraits (vignette) where you want to focus the attention on the person not the background
  • Remounts of images – where a picture has previously had a circle / oval mount you will need to refit with similar mount otherwise faded areas will be evident
  • Recreating a traditional look on watercolours
  • Mounts around circular objects – such as framing a crocheted dressing table mat
  • Needlecraft – sometimes the design is circular or oval. Other times you might want to focus on a central area of sewn work
  • Raised circle / oval – again with needlecraft as well as the central focus, raising the mount with foam strips behind gives a simple, clean cut look plus the depth away from the glass for beadwork
  • Memorabilia – some pieces require a circular surround (plates etc) or an oval (medal cluster)
  • Photography – as well as portraiture, you can also take out areas of uninteresting surroundings (zoom study of a central feature) and it can give a zoomed in feel – like looking through a telescope or camera lens.
  • In a multiple opening presentation, a circle or oval aperture will give a high quality finish to a framed piece.
  • Combination cuts – half circle with rectangle beneath gives and archway  … cut the circle first, hold in place with masking tape, then cut the rectangle.

As with all Logan kit, there is a good set of instructions in the pack as well as an owners’ manual being available on-line for download as back up.  When planning the aperture position, plan for a rectangular cut with surrounding border (usual method) so that you can cut mount board to the “glass size”.  The position of circle or oval can be marked up as in the instructions of the cutter.  If creating a circle, the diameter is set on the cutting arm.  An oval is created by adjusting the movement of the arm around the central axis: the offset is the difference between the circle diameter and height of the desired oval.  You may be surprised to find that it can make a circle cut up to 20” across. 

As with all mount cutting, you need a piece of mount board under the panel being cut – that also needs to move with the panel being cut. The secret to good cuts is to use the left hand to hold down the central “foot” of the cutter (rotating it anti-clockwise) whilst the right hand lightly rests on the cutting arm (thumb over the cutter) and without any downward pressure as such, guides the arm in a clockwise direction.  Aim to maintain contact between the cutting head and the board rather than pressing the blade in.  After 4 passes, lowering the blade each time, the cut should be complete and the core can easily be removed.

Whether framing other people’s work or your own, this cutter can give an extra dimension to how you present artwork.  Once you have practised a few times, you will have no problems with this precision kit.  Friends, family and customers will be impressed with the finesse of your work. 

We do demonstrate and give students a chance to use these cutters during our Mount Cutting & Decoration training days as well as having them on show at the various exhibitions we attend.

For product details click: Circle / Oval Cutter

Posted on: 5 Oct 2007@09:38:42, updated on: 5 Oct 2007@09:51:44.


Art Materials Live Show

Although we will be attending other shows before the Art Materials Live Show at the NEC Birmingham, this one is the last of the year, where we will also be running seminars and demonstrations.  Art Materials Live has rapidly grown into one of the top national trade shows for the arts industry and individuals alike.  We will be running 3 daily events: 2 on our own stand and a third in one of the main exhibition lecture theatres.  Sessions will run each day of the show (8th - 11th November, NEC Birmingham).

Titles and detalils are:

How to Frame a Picture – in just 45 minutes  (Lecture Theatre 11.15 – 12.00)
This year DIYframing goes back to basics, showing you the skills, tools and resources needed to complete a framing project.  Using a range of simple table top framing tools, we will demonstrate the sequence of steps needed to create a frame, working from the dimensions of a mounted image in order to cut and trim moulding lengths, right through to cutting the glass and how to tie the cord for hanging it.  Alongside the practical demonstration will be a commentary offering explanations of each step and useful tips to bear in mind.  And all in just 45 minutes.  Bring a notebook and pen – you’ll need it.

Making Framed Artwork Look Fantastic – 10 Ideas to Try (STAND 13.00 – 14.00)
We have launched a suite of new courses ideally suited to artists framing for themselves or framers wanting to do more creative, bespoke work.  This presentation draws together some of the ideas developed in these sessions to highlight some cunning little projects you could try for yourself.  Come and sit on our stand over the lunchtime period and go away inspired with some clever ways to liven up your framing. As a taster of what we are intending to do, here’s a few of the ideas covered: the use of slips and fillets; colour lines and colour fills. That should be enough to whet your appetite. 

Making The Most of Mount Cutters (STAND 14.30 – 15.30)
If you want to cut your own mounts, you don’t have to limit yourself to single mounts. As well as reminding you how to make a simple, single aperture mount we will use a range of different mount-cutting tools to illustrate 5 different mount styles: double mount; angled corners; off-set corners; shadow mount; circle / oval mounts.  This session is packed with practical ideas and hints for everybody interested in the presentation of artwork

Posted on: 5 Oct 2007@09:51:10, updated on: 5 Oct 2007@09:51:10.


Far Out Framing

Whenever we design and run a new course, there is always a "first night" feel.  Timings have not been tried and new kit may need to be explained.  However, from the moment our newest endeavour, Custom Framing, started it was clear that it had the right feel. 

The main idea behind this work is to encourage people to be a bit more inventive and find their own approach to deliver stunning and unique framing projects. Up until this point we have tended to offer up samples of moulding and mountboard to the artwork, make decisions about the colour scheme and perhaps add the odd flourish with double mounts or a deep bevel mount.  In Custom Framing, we get people to design a final look for the piece and then to see what is available to help produce that look. If there isn't a ready made solution then you have to adapt some existing materials and use combinations of others to achieve what you want.

The course is spread over two days.  The first thrust is to develop your armoury of framing skills a bit further by teaching you some more aspects of creative framing.  These include:

  • using shadow mounts and float mounted artwork;
  • using a frame within a frame;
  • working with slips and fillets;
  • working with colour lines and fills.

Next you have the chance to set up your own framing project, but with just a few restraining factors.  First of all, there is a design brief based on the lifestyle and preferences of a particular client (different one for each student). The second issue is one of budget: it would be easy (and costly) to spend as much as you want on materials, but although you might produce something exciting, you may well not receive the financial return on it you need.  You could even make a net loss. 

Finally, rather than letting the artwork dominate, each student has the same piece of artwork, so it is important that each final outcome is different yet matches the initial project brief. So, a bit of a challenge then.  One thing is certain, all of the students on our first course were easily up to the demands of the two days.  Their two "apprentice pieces" (small framed examples), completed using the range of new skills being taught were stunning. They would grace any room in any household and would actually represent over £100 of framing. 

The group also entered into the whole notion of designing a project for a customer, taking their "homework" (artwork & design brief) away at the end of day They came back in the morning refreshed and with a good idea of what they were hoping to create.  No excuses of dogs having eaten papers, although some did try to make out that their client had contacted them overnight to let them know that, "Money is no object". Worth a try I suppose. 

The end results were brilliant and totally unexpected - we set the challenge, please don't expect us to have any solutions as well.  Mind you it was a huge relief that each piece was so different and totally conformed to each of the limitations we had set.

The notion of Custom Framing also struck a chord with those of you able to attend our Open Day on 15th September at Beaconsfield.  The workshop we ran was based on some of the key elements of the Custom Framing courses.  Although a one hour session cannot do justice to what is learned over a two day period, it did fire the imagination and, in some cases, provide enough of a practical demo to try some new ideas out in the privacy of their own workshops (ie kitchens, garages, sheds).

Because of the success of the first run out of this new programme, we have decided to run it again this year. We have gone for a weekend this time:

1st & 2nd December in Beaconsfield.  Please note, it is a two day course and the days cannot be bought separately. Those attending the Open Day had a head start, knowing the dates a week ahead of everyone else, so if you fancy a go, don't leave it too long to be in touch with the office.

For more detail about this course, click: Custom Framing

Posted on: 24 Sep 2007@13:12:46, updated on: 24 Sep 2007@13:12:46.


Open Day

Our Open Days have become a very popular feature of the calendar.  Our summer open day will be September 15th 2007, at our Woodlands Farm headquarters, Beaconsfield. It will run from 10.00 am - 4.00 pm, with free parking available on site. As always there will be a number of special features and attractions.

SEMINAR:  Add Fantastic Features To Your Framing  If the creative side of framing appeals to you, or you are looking for some new ideas for presenting your artwork, or you want a few extra ideas to offer your customers, then this seminar could be for you.  It covers a number of elements associated with the more inventive and dramatic side of framing.  Once you get the hang of these separate elements, then using them in combination can have some outstanding results.

The session will run twice during the Open Day: 11.00 am – 12.00 am; 1.30 pm – 2.30 pm.  There will be plenty of time after each session for questions and for you to ask about other aspects of framing. 

The seminars will illustrate several ideas for making your framed pieces look stunning. Three broad areas will be covered:

  1. Slips, fillets and second frames
  2. Colour lines and fills
  3. Shadows and depth.


As well as guiding you through the basic principles involved in each of these, there will be detailed demonstrations of:

  • Creating art lining on mounts using a lining pen and acrylic paint / inks
  • Adding a slip to a mount
  • Creating shadow mounts

Some audience participation may be invited so get there early for a front seat.  The ideal follow up for the session would be to join the next session of our full Custom Framing course running in Beaconsfield.  Places at the seminars are free, but they must be reserved by contacting, Judy, either with email: (marked OPENDAY SEMINARS) or telephone 0800 801061

Other OPEN DAY features include

  • sales showroom - open with 10% off many of our catalogue prices (offer applies only to direct sales at the Open Days)
  • bargain and clearance sales - mouldings from as little as 50 pence per metre and ex demo tools.
  • demonstration area - next to the sales showroom,
  • surgery for solving problems

We look forward to seeing you here.

Posted on: 31 Jul 2007@06:16:33, updated on: 29 Aug 2007@08:48:02.


Exhibition Circuit

From September onwards, the show calendar starts up with a vengeance.  We will be attending a whole range of exhibitions, backing several of them up with complete training weekends or workshops within the exhibition itself.  In fact, we are going to more shows than ever before which means we could be at a place near you before the end of the year.

For us, some venues will be completely new, which adds an exciting extra dimension to our diary.  These shows are very important to us because they help to keep DIYframing ahead of the rest, as the first port of call for all of your framing needs ... but they also work for you.  Here are 5 reasons why you should come along:

  • a chance to pick up all sorts of tips, direct support and general, expert advice
  • always offers to be had with bargain prices on much of the stock
  • opportunities to see kit demonstrated and make direct purchases
  • chances for you to have a go through workshops and trying out the kit on our stand
  • get to meet DIYframing staff in person (always a pleasure).

Ok, so that's really 4 good reasons...and a fifth one.

You can pick up details of these shows from our training zone where they are featured as part of the training programme.  Below is a list to get you started:

EXETER: Hobbycrafts 27th - 30th September
HARROGATE: Hobbycrafts 5th - 7th October
SECC, GLASGOW; Hobbycrafts  26th - 28th October

CARDIFF: Hobbycrafts 2nd - 4th November
NEC, BIRMINGHAM: Art Materials LIVE 8th - 11th November


Posted on: 31 Jul 2007@06:06:41, updated on: 31 Jul 2007@06:21:32.


Mount Cutting Reaches New Heights

By now you have already worked out that the pun picks up on the extreme framing video currently running on our home page.  The truth is however, you should never underestimate the versatility of the Logan 301 Compact mount cutter.  It is a brilliant starting point for mount cutting, allowing you to make good quality cuts without having to spend a fortune.  If you currently use a hand-held rule and cutter system, you would notice a huge difference in the ease of use, the consistency and accuracy of corner cuts. The kit actually covers a whole range of individual tools that you would have to buy to match what it can do: border width marker, cutting rail; bevel edge mount cutter; straight edge cutter.  Price those items up individually and then compare the combined cost with that of the 301 kit and you will be surprised how close they are.  The very fact that it is a compact system also means that it is easy to store out of the way, is easily portable and takes far less time to set up and start using than finding all the individual bits and getting them organised.  For full specification click: Logan 301

You are now thinking, 'The Logan 301 Compact system is the chap for me.'  Now is a good time to buy.  In a moment of extreme self-indulgence (we are so pleased with the production quality of the video), we are running a special promotion. 5 free sheets of mount board, worth £15.00 (you can choose the colours) with your 301 cutter, just to get you started. Please note that any flat surface is suitable to set up the cutter - a “snow table” is not essential nor is it supplied.

Posted on: 5 Jul 2007@08:20:36, updated on: 5 Jul 2007@08:20:36.


Got It Taped

There's an old saying: 'There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad choices of clothing.’ In the same way, there is no such thing as a bad tape, it’s just inappropriate usage. Ok, not quite so snappy, but it does make a point.

Broadly speaking, we use 4 ranges of tapes in framing (click on highlighted areas for more information):

  • Temporary
  • Permanent
  • Reversible
  • Decorative

Temporary tapes: here we use a low-tack quality to hold things in place while we support elements of a project until it is complete. This will usually be masking tape. In large mounts, multiple opening mounts, combination mounts (double & triple mounts) we put tabs of tape across cuts (on the back of the mount) we have made to hold the core in place. This means that the cut edge is protected from damage as the work is manoeuvred until all cuts are made. The low-tack nature of the tape means that it can be peeled off easily without damaging the work.

HOWEVER these tapes should not be used for attaching artwork (except budget or temporary pieces) into mounts as they will allow the work to drop, over time. Also the qualities of the adhesive used may cause staining to artwork.

Permanent tapes: these are tapes that have a high-tack adhesive coating, which will hold work firmly on contact. Permanent adhesion might be difficult to prove, but it does mean that pulling stuck-down items apart will cause damage. These tapes are ideal for use in all parts of mount construction (ie layers in double mounts, making a hinged mount and some attachments of artwork).

White, self adhesive paper, hinging tape is the most commonly used tape to attach artwork into a mount system. Also look for other tapes, such as linen tapes and tissue tapes for working with different weights of artwork.

Double sided tapes (ATG tapes) would only be used in heavy duty contacts and only occasionally attaching artwork to a mount board. These attachments are likely to be to the back of a secondary surface onto which the artwork has already been bonded (dry mount, foam core etc) or where the work is sturdy enough (or not of any great value) to take later removal.

All of the tapes are available in a standard quality or conservation standard. Conservation hinging tapes or ATG tapes have been treated to ensure that they are PH neutral. This means that they will not leach out damaging acids into the artwork or mount package.

Brown adhesive tapes (Eco Kraft Tape) are used to ‘tape in’ the backs of frames.

Reversible tapes: these can often be the true conservation tapes. They can be used in direct contact with artwork if they are conservation grade as they can be removed at a later stage. The notion of being able to reverse all actions in the framing process is the essential feature of conservation framing – these tapes will often be described as archival tapes. The white gummed tapes can be used in the same way as the hinging tapes mentioned in the previous section. The gum is activated using a damp cloth. It is important to allow time for the adhesive to 'go off' so that the full effect of the adhesive is active. To remove the tape, simply dampen the back and peel away. This will leave artwork free of tape and therefore in its original form.

Brown, gummed tapes are also available for ‘taping in’; these have been the traditional, 'trade-standard’ for completing a project.

Also note that there are other specialised ‘archival’ systems for attaching artwork, such as hand made paper strips and starch adhesive pastes.

Decorative Tapes: the most obvious use for mount decoration tape is in the making of deep bevel mounts, where the bevelled edges of 5mm foam core strips have a decorative faces provided by these tapes. This is a traditional French mount style (Foam Bisceaux). If you have not already learnt how to do this on a mount cutting course, click on Deep Bevel Mounts and scroll to the relevant Handy Hints sheet.

Sometimes, people will use marbled and coloured tapes to provide a colour strip on the face of the mount rather than using ink lines with a pastel infill.

For more notes about using tapes click the following:
Tapes: Dos and Don’ts
Handy Hints: Mounts

Posted on: 8 Jun 2007@10:33:19, updated on: 8 Jun 2007@10:33:19.


Finished Framing?

Not all finish effects have to be massively flamboyant. Some ideas can be simple and similar to some of the ready finished mouldings. Where these finishes can be useful to do for yourself is when you want a bit more depth and texture to a look. In fact we have just completed another, very successful, Adding Finishes to Frames course (click title for details). These sessions take you through a whole range of guiding, fundamental principles when undertaking this type of project. They also illustrate how you can use a whole range of colouring agents and finishing products in combination to produce stunning, individual finishes. By joining one of these days, you get to try the products out before you choose ones that you might buy to match your particular, favourite styles.

Also check out our whole range of finishing products and click Finishing Kits to see some money saving packages.

Just to show that we know how to treat our customers here are a couple of free ideas in black and white.

BLACK FRAMES are very popular and there are many very good commercially available finishes. If you like the look of real wood and want to shown the depth and texture of the grain as well as the strong lines of a square cut moulding, try this. Make the frame, fill, sand and brush with bronze brush. Brush onto the frame, either Liberon, ebony palette dye or a water based acrylic, blackboard paint to provide a black base. After a few minutes, wipe away excess colour with a rag. Leave the colour base to dry. If you like a distressed look, use steel wool (0000 grade) to rub away colour on edges and some areas of the grain. Apply a coat of Liberon, Dark Oak Black Bison wax using a short bristled brush or steel wool. Leave for 10 minutes before buffing up to a real shine with a soft cloth.

FOR A WHITE FINISH which doesn’t make the moulding look like plastic, this is effective and provides a more intense white than liming wax on its own. It is also a finish that works well on ash and oak mouldings, as well as the usual obeche. Again make the frame, fill, sand and brush with bronze brush. Apply a brilliant white emulsion paint, or a white Liberon colour dye, to the frame using a cloth. Work it into the grain until there is an even coverage without masking the grain completely. Leave this to dry (see drying times on the colouring agent container). Now apply Liberon liming wax to the white frame, again working in well before buffing it to a sheen.

Posted on: 8 Jun 2007@10:24:02, updated on: 8 Jun 2007@10:24:02.


Step Up A Gear

The name DIYframing may suggest that we are only interested in supporting people working on a small scale or producing occasional frames. Nothing could be further from the truth. We believe framing to be a highly creative process and top quality should be achieved no matter how few or how many framing projects you take on. Admittedly, we do have a lot of customers, who have found us because we can accommodate people only needing small amounts of materials and smaller scale tools.

However, the truth is we have a number of people joining us who are moving into the bespoke framing business or are looking to add unique elements to their existing range of services. So here are a few thoughts to show how we can help your business to thrive.

FRAMING: Many people will be familiar with the standard styles of framing. However, bespoke work is a bit more time consuming, which means that not all framers are willing to take it on. Offering specialist services will increase your customer base. They will choose a skilled framer who can work with their ideas rather than being persuaded to choose from a narrow range of options that the framer is comfortable with. So extend your repertoire and look at some of the courses we have on offer:

Make something look extra special and they will tell friends and be back for more.

ADDING TO YOUR PORTFOLIO: As well as using our training programme to help you add a little bit of creative drama to standard framing, consider how you can create new products /services, which you can then offer existing customers. Wedding and portrait photographers can take advantage of the latest fashion for stretched canvas blocks – unframed or with a simple tray frame. You could then think of other items for framing:

  • wedding cake decorations;
  • invitations and place settings; the wedding bouquet (once correctly prepared);
  • wedding shoes ....

Or how about combining photos of events and trophies all in one frame? Again check out the course range above to see if these might help you. If you are stuck for new ideas, find out about the Business Day 2 of our Business Development Week. It works very well as a stand-alone, ideas day.

OUR PRODUCT RANGE: We offer a complete range of top quality professional kit that won’t break the bank. A good way of moving up from small scale to a framing workshop (or adding framing to current premises) is to see what our Series 100 Pro Workshop kit has to offer.

All of our product range is available in bulk quantities but without having to buy and store by the palette load. You can keep your workshop and storage space smaller so you don’t have to pay to operate from large premises. The whole range is also more focussed, which means you don’t have to trawl through massive choices for each area of framing: we have already selected good, value for money products.

Our moulding range can be ordered by the pack, passing on huge savings without having to make new trade contacts. The same applies to our range of mount boards available in full and half sheets – you don’t have to buy a pack of each colour that you might want to use.

Of course, if you do more bespoke work, the chances are that you will not want to order vast quantities of some items just to complete an individual project – and that really is a DIYframing speciality.

Posted on: 8 Jun 2007@10:18:36, updated on: 8 Jun 2007@10:18:36.


Chop Service (as recommended)

There are advantages of using a CHOP SERVICE.  For some it will be because you only do occasional framing and by ordering pre-cut lengths of moulding, it means that you won’t need to buy one area of kit right away: saws and mitre trimmers.  It also makes framing even easier as a table-top activity.  Click for more>>


Posted on: 21 May 2007@07:31:36, updated on: 21 May 2007@08:07:51.


Developing Your Framing Skills

In the same way that we have improved our presentation of the moulding section of our site, we are currently reviewing how we show the full training programme to our members and customers.  One area we know has been confusing is access to the next layer of courses  that follow our "entry level" workshops (Basics of Framing and Mount Cutting & Decoration).  Because we run the "development level" courses as part of the Business Week, it has made it difficult for people to find out a bit more about individual sessions and what sort of people will benefit from them.  In fact each course, not only teaches skills applicable to specific areas of art, they also greatly increase your repertoire of skills, so that finding ways to deal with other bespoke work is much simpler.

3D Framing - is ideal for those of you interested in finding ways of framing memorabilia and items that need depth behind the frame. Whilst we specifically look at how to build a box that the item is mounted and presented in, we also deal with essential skills, such as how to support and sew items onto a presentation board and how to create box style mounts.  At the end of the training people leave with their large 3D Frame and knowledge of how to frame such diverse things as: sports jerseys; mugs; combination of golfing memorabilia; cricket bats; books and so forth.  Click 3D FRAMING for more detail.

Next course: July 10th, Beaconsfield

Conservation Framing - this works for anybody doing bespoke work either for themselves or others.  It is important to recognise that this type of work is not restoration work and can be undertaken by anybody working carefully, employing the correct knowledge base.  The training is based totally on the Fine Arts Trade Guild standards for Conservation Work.  It means that you will learn about procedures and materials required to preserve the condition of any special work.  This does not mean purely expensive pieces: it can also include items such as a wedding photo of grandparents that cannot be reprinted or a friend's signed painting (could be the start of an amazing career).  Apart from the obvious things it teaches, the day also gives an overview of other methods of attaching artwork onto board and best quality work methods elements, any of which you might use with any bespoke framing project.  Apart from anything else, you really do discover a deeper insight into the range of creative and practical skills used by framers working at a top, professional level. Click CONSERVATION FRAMING for more detail.

Next course: July 11th, Beaconsfield

Framing Fabric - this will clearly appeal to those of you working with your own fabric based artwork whether sewn, painted or using ethnic styles of working (Batik etc).  Its central feature is how to prepare work for mounting and framing.  The main input is to demonstrate a number of methods of securing work onto a firm panel, using methods (lacing, pinning), which suit the style of artwork and which leave your work undamaged.  It then means that we can let the creative juices flow to generate a whole range of methods of presenting the artwork.  If you want to have a truly creative day, then this will suit, because you really get the chance to develop a project how you want, using the trainer's expertise for guidance.  In its simplest form, you could bring a simple printed fabric and leave with a beautiful piece of artwork that will have interior designers beating a path to your door. Click FRAMING FABRIC for more detail.

Next course: July 12th, Beaconsfield

Posted on: 21 May 2007@08:02:41, updated on: 21 May 2007@08:02:41.


Chop Service (as recommended)

There has been a real upsurge in orders for mouldings since we redesigned the web pages.  Not so much based on direct feedback, much more on orders placed, the new design is much clearer and is obviously providing you with the detail you need to make the right choices.  A number of you have already found the "pack order" service invaluable, but the meteoric rise of a little star (sorry about the mixed metaphors) is the use of the chop service. 

There are advantages of this type of service.  For some it will be because you only do occasional framing and by ordering pre-cut lengths of moulding, it means that you won’t need to buy one area of kit right away: saws and mitre trimmers.  It also makes framing even easier as a table-top activity. Some of you will want to do most of their own work, but some mouldings may be a bit too heavy, wide or ornate to work on with your current set up.  A third group will be those, who occasionally use an expensive moulding and therefore are a little bit wary of making mistakes - at £1.00 per corner it works out cheaper than messing up with a £7.00+ per metre moulding.

One definite convert is Paul Blanchard, who does do his own framing, but currently does not want to carry a wide range of stock.  Here are his comments about the chop service.

"Hello all, sorry you've not been able to get hold of me but I've been on the dreaded night shift! (I do have a 'normal job too!) Just taken delivery of yet another big box! So I thought I'd give some feed back for the first lot of chop service mouldings - superb!  Well worth a quid a corner and the time saving is great.  Definitely the way to go for me as I don't (can't!) hold any stock. That’s not to say I won't be making any frames from scratch though. I have been buying moulding oddments … great for one off jobs... I've attached a few pictures of a job I've just finished for a friend (with the last order of mouldings), he's a rock climber (as am I) and wanted these sunset pictures doing - they look great don't they?"

IMPORTANT NOTE: the largest length we can package for sending out in the chop service is 1.4 m OUTSIDE EDGE.

Posted on: 21 May 2007@07:29:03, updated on: 21 May 2007@07:38:53.


Back To Basics

Many people find out about DIYframing from web searches or exhibitions. After looking into it in more detail people often want to take a step further, leaping into the world of framing. However, it really is daunting knowing what to do first.  So here are some notes for guidance.  Click for more >>

Posted on: 21 May 2007@07:38:17, updated on: 21 May 2007@07:38:17.


Back To Basics

Many people find out about DIYframing from web searches or exhibitions and start off mainly being interested in mounting their own work.  They take a more detailed look at DIYframing on line, receive a few newsletters and start to be consumed by an overwhelming urge to take a step further, leaping into the world of framing (that's how we like to see it anyway). However, it really is daunting knowing what to do first.  So here are some notes for guidance.

To start with you need to think of the tools you could use to start with, at each step of the process.  For details of individual items, click on highlighted words and phrases. 

  1. MOUNT CUTTING: The simplest method is to use the Logan Team System, which is basically a special rule onto which a simple mount cutter can fit.
  2. CUTTING MOULDING: a good quality saw which allows you to cut mouldings at 45 degrees - we stock the Nobex Proman and the Logan ProSaw 
  3. CLAMPING; there are several systems for clamping all 4 sections of moulding together st the same time (Adjustable Four Corner Clamp or a Strap Clamp) ready for joining.
  4. JOINING: a simple joiner system is the Hobby Joining Kit or the next step up is the Studio Joiner, which is also incorporates a high quality clamping system. 
  5. GLASS & BACKING BOARD: glass cutting really isn't difficult especially when using a good quality glass cutter. Two other alternatives might appeal more. The first is to use a perspex alternative (Styrene) which is easily cut using a special cutter (Fletcher Score Mate).  The second option is to use a glazier to cut glass to your specification.  A simple craft knife, rule (use the Logan adapt-a-rule for safety) and you can easily cut MDF backing board to fit. 
  6. ASSEMBLY: use either the Logan Frame Fitter or the Charnwood tab-gun to keep all layers of the framed package in place.  Use Kraft tape (or similar) to seal the back in place and then d-rings (or screw eyes) and hanging cord and it is ready to hang. 

For more details click The Basics:Starting in Framing for a suite of articles to help with early stages.


Posted on: 21 May 2007@07:36:06, updated on: 21 May 2007@07:36:06.


Learn to Frame in the South West


If you live anywhere in South West of England or South Wales, this could be the chance you are after. We are running a framing weekend at the foot of the Cotswolds, between Cheltenham and Gloucester.  The venue, in Witcombe Gloucestershire, is just a few minutes drive from junction 11a of the M5 and just off the M4, M5 link road which runs between Swindon and Gloucester.

The training programme takes place over Saturday 19th May and Sunday 20th May.  It covers all aspects of framing as detailed in our two 1 day courses:(click titles for details)
Basics of Framing 
Mount Cutting & Decoration.

It promises to be a great weekend amongst beautiful scenery.  For more detail follow the links from the courses above or contact us directly.

Posted on: 25 Apr 2007@13:02:54, updated on: 25 Apr 2007@13:02:54.


Spring Time Madness _ SPECIAL OFFER

The excitement of chicks, bunny rabbits, sunny weather and the thoughts of skipping through new grass to have picnics by the sea or on the hillside has filled us with a light-headed sense of kindness.  In other words a spring time, special offer has been set up for the whole of April.  We know that not everyone, who wanted to, managed to visit the Hobbycrafts exhibition at the SECC, Glasgow:  rail strikes certainly made the exhibition halls quieter than usual.  So, we thought, as there is a bit of lull coming in the exhibitions circuit and because not everyone can get to the exhibitions when they are on, why not let you benefit from show prices anyway?

So here’s the deal – MOUNTING MADNESS
All board system mount cutters will be offered at show prices during April (prices listed include vat):
Logan 301 S Compact   - £99.00 (was £115.00)
Logan 401 Intermediate - £165.00 (was £ 185.00)
Logan Simplex 750 - £299.00 (was £330.00)
Logan Framers Edge 655 - £499.00 (was £599.00)

In addition, we are offering a show price, mount board package:
20 sheets (56 cm x 81.5 cm) of any colour combination white core boards £40.00 + pp … that’s just £2.00 per board!

20 sheets (56 cm x 81.5 cm) of any colour combination black core boards £59.00 + pp … that’s just £2.95 per board!

Also, you can buy 40 sheets, any combination of white core & black core boards: white core will be priced £2.00 per sheet, black core £2.95 per sheet (+ postage and packaging)

We doubt that this deal can be beaten during under normal trading conditions, but remember the it only applies on orders received before the end of trading on 30th April 2007.

Posted on: 10 Apr 2007@09:09:31, updated on: 10 Apr 2007@09:30:24.


What's The Story From Glasgow

Here’s the story, then, of our first, 2007 Scottish Adventure.  Our seven-day mission was to run a photo framing weekend, a complete Business Development Week, offer 1 day training workshops to those not looking to do the  business week and then exhibit for four days at the Hobbycrafts show at the SECC.  Did this involve a highly trained team of skilled craft workers and show staff?  No – one trainer, one “exhibitionist”, a van and, oh yes, a third bloke who popped in from time to time to tell us he’d bought a kilt and was having fun walking the hills (part-timers!!).

The serious point of this first part is to mention the three who completed the business week, because their “stories” illustrate the variety of people joining our business weeks as well as demonstrating their range of ambitions and aspirations.

MIKE stayed with the group for the whole week (7 day programme).  He has had a career in the forces, joined a major supermarket chain and is now taking advantage of a package to leave that line of work, to develop his arts and crafts work.  For many years, Mike has been designing and making decorative mirrors in the style of Charles Rennie McKintosh, one of the most important names in the early 20th Century Arts & Crafts movement.  Mike has sold the mirrors through craft fairs and has also developed a couple of retail contacts for regular sales.  His aim is to see if he can extend his product range further and open up new markets by offering framed pieces as well as the usual style of mirror.  He also has ambitions to add bespoke framing as an additional income stream and wanted to develop a more complete range of framing skills.  Mike clearly already had a lot of the knowledge about marketing and selling his work, so the emphasis for him was more about the practical side of setting up a framing workshop and how to create a healthy, framing order book.

ALAN completed the 5 days, which form the core of the business week.  He has worked in IT until recently and has followed his career working both in the UK and the USA.  His reasons for change are, as for many people, all about improving his quality of life … BUT bills still have to be paid.  Alan has already set up a framing workshop and is trying to develop a service, which will mean visiting customers over quite a large area of West Scotland.  As a talented photographer, he also has ambitions to exhibit and sell his photography all year around, as well as tapping in to the seasonal, holiday market.  Having already undertaken quite a lot of framing, he was particularly keen to extend his knowledge of framing through the three 1-day, more specialised framing workshops, which form the core of the business week.  Even though his skill levels are clearly very advanced, there are always the little “handy hints” that you pick up on these days.  Alan’s big challenge was how to make sense of working across a large geographical area, develop work routines that allow him not to spend so long on the road and how to give the operation a really high profile, bringing business to him.

JOHN completed 4 of the 5 core “business week” days … 1 day off for a football match in Milan – this does actually tie in with business, as you will see.  Here is somebody who has had a career in sales (management level in a major electrical stores chain), a second career in the police and is now looking ahead to turning a hobby into a means of earning an income.  The football is a vital ingredient in these new plans, as John is a part of the whole fan / memorabilia world for his chosen team.  As well as the practical issues about setting up a workshop and getting to grips with the tools and skills of the trade, he was really keen to think about how to develop a product range within his area of interest, how to market it and how best to reach his core customers.  Even after his sleepless night, having returned from Milan in the early hours of the morning, you could still see a glint in his eye when he framed the logo and writing from an old t-shirt – it was a masterpiece! 

So three completely different people, each with their own future paths, but all having several important features in common:

  • Enjoyment of working creatively and practically
  • A good “aesthetic” eye
  • An existing product in mind, as well as offering a bespoke framing service
  • Individual, existing skills and knowledge which transfer very well to setting up as a bespoke framer
  • A real interest in what they intend doing and an openness to new ideas
  • A great sense of fun and many tales to tell … believe me I could write a book.  Another time perhaps

Read on for details of next Business Development Weeks

Posted on: 10 Apr 2007@09:24:43, updated on: 10 Apr 2007@09:30:11.


The Next Big Chance

We should also mention that you can sign up for any of the specialised training days as workshops.  In fact, Margaret and Gillian did just that and worked with us on the Framing Fabrics day.   Gillian is also building up her own framing business and has completed basics courses with us as well as having a go at this day and at an earlier “Adding Decorative Finishes to Frames” in Manchester.  More about Margaret in the next item.

If you want to have a go at a Business Week or join in on any of the special days, individually, the next batch of dates is listed below.  Click any of the titles to find more information about the sessions or to book.  All sessions are in Nuneaton, (near to Coventry & Birmingham) easy access from major motorways.

May 5th -  11th  Business Development Week
May 5th:  Basics of Framing

May 6th: Mount Cutting & Decoration
May 7th: Business Day 1
May 8th: 3D Framing
May 9th: Conservation Framing
May 10th: Framing Fabrics
May 11th: Business  Day 2

Please note there are other dates and venues available for each of these later in the year.  For details visit the web site Training Zone.

Posted on: 10 Apr 2007@09:27:51, updated on: 10 Apr 2007@09:27:51.


Back Ache? Get A Workbench!

The first thing to “go” when doing more than just the occasional bit of picture framing is your back.  This is frequently as a result of working at the wrong height.  Kitchen tables and even workmate style benches allow you to do the job, but try staying there for 5 or 6 hours, for a couple of days and the problems start.

Ideally, you should have work surfaces at roughly hip-height … yours of course.  Even kitchen work tops are at a more comfortable height than tables.  Finding a suitable workbench which doesn’t cost a small fortune is not easy and making your own may not be an option.

The best solution we have found is a self assembly workbench, which uses metal legs, supports and bracing.  Everything taps into position with no need for nuts and bolts; although the occasional whack from a rubber mallet helps to make joints tight.  It has an adjustable shelf, which also provides added stability to the finished structure. Surfaces are made from thick, chipboard: the panels just drop into place.  DIYframing has used these at the last 4 trade shows, which we have attended.  We found them to be sturdy, spacious and very comfortable to work at. They are especially appreciated when demonstrating the mount cutters, which is always a killer on the back after 4 or 5 hours.

During our training sessions we always identify the size of work table as being a prime limiting factor in the size of framing project you can undertake. Two of these workbenches together give you a firm work surface 1.4m x 1.2 m, accommodating any job using sheet materials at the maximum dimensions readily available. 

These workbenches may not be the most elegant pieces of workshop furniture but they do the job perfectly, much better than many other solutions, and only cost £59.57 (+ vat) per unit.

Click the following link to see the benches on our website:  WORKBENCH

Posted on: 7 Feb 2007@12:35:00, updated on: 7 Feb 2007@12:39:13.


Extreme Framing

Ever heard of extreme ironing?  This is where people take an ironing board, iron and a bit of washing to bizarre places and have pictures taken of them ironing.

Not to be outdone, somebody here had the bright idea that this could be something to try out with framing.  Some reservations about transporting a mitre trimmer up a tree naturally spring to mind.  However your first view of extreme framing is currently underway, with pictures to follow, in the very next newsletter.  Believe me this will not be for the faint-hearted!

Posted on: 7 Feb 2007@12:38:55, updated on: 7 Feb 2007@12:38:55.


The Final Stretch…Latest Course From DIYframing

Whenever you try something for the first time you are wary.  You know what some of the difficulties might be, but other problems catch you broadside, completely unforeseen.  When we start a new training session, we try to minimise these issues, but inevitably things change after the first session. A prime example was on the Frame Finishes course, run for the first time in 2006.  Everything was planned to let people try different products on separate moulding samples.  Everyone was so keen to get started, that they immediately started putting one product on top of another.  The solution was, in the next session, to cut out that tester stage and allow more time for people to build up their own range of “complete” finishes, on a range of moulding chevrons.

However, whether it was the make-up of the group, or the nature of the session, our first run at Stretching and Framing Canvas Based Artwork went really well: apart from the lack of a dynamic course title.  A bit of careful explanation, about how to plan each of different projects, and everybody just got on with it.

The concept behind this day came from our experience with the Framing Fabric courses.  We suddenly started to have people join that training day, who really had very little interest in how to work with cross-stitch and embroidery.  They were looking at stretching larger canvases (mainly photo prints on canvas) and wanted to know how to build those, increasingly fashionable, canvas blocks.  The Fabric Framing days are designed around planning and completing your own project in the afternoon session, having heard all about different methods of preparing fabric based artwork for framing, in the morning. So, for these photography-minded individuals, the afternoon became all about stretching and framing a canvas.

The main problem was that a lot of extra information needed to be passed on informally;

  • How to make a stretcher without using pre-made stretcher bars
  • How to create the blocks where the image “wraps around” the stretcher
  • How to create a tray frame etc

It became increasingly clear that this could be a training day, in its own right.  In fact, what emerged was a day that also attracted people other than purely photographers; although those were in the majority. There was also interest from those who wanted to find out about framing oil and acrylic pieces, painted on canvas. Some others, who wanted to increase their framing skills, anticipating setting up a framing service in the future, also seemed to benefit greatly from the day.

In many ways, it is not the most demanding style of framing: however, with a bit of support and inside knowledge, the results are really stunning. Everybody completed two projects in one day: a stretched canvas block; a framed canvas on a stretcher.  Some took it slightly further, producing a shadow frame.  Here the stretched block is set a little way from the edge of the frame, revealing the image “bleed” around the stretcher and then the narrow moulding edge.

From our point of view, there is not a lot that needs changing, and we are looking forward to the next run, in April, at Beaconsfield.

Why not check the website for more detail?  Click Training Zone: Search Programme and look for Stretching & Framing Canvas Based Artwork.

Posted on: 7 Feb 2007@12:27:05, updated on: 7 Feb 2007@12:27:05.