Picture of Replacing Picture Frame Glass with Acrylic
This Instructable shows how I replaced a broken picture frame glass with a sheet of transparent acrylic. This was prompted when the glass of a picture frame I valued much was broken when we were moving house last spring.

What we call acrylic is actually the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. It is an excellent replacement for glass in a lot of situations, like the picture frame being repaired here. It has an impact strength exceeding that of glass (meaning it is less likely to shatter), and has only half the weight. Its only disadvantage here is, it is much more easily scratched than glass. See the Wikipedia article on Acrylic glass if you want more details.

  • Cutting small pieces of acrylic is not particularly dangerous, but be careful using the cutter knife.
  • Cut acrylic may have sharp edges
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Step 1: Tools and materials

Picture of Tools and materials
You will need tools to take apart the frame, and tools to cut the acrylic to size (unless you can get it exactly the size you want).

My frame didn't need any tools to take apart, so I'm only going to list what is needed to cut the acrylic.

  • Pen - any ball-point or thin marker pen should do
  • Ruler or straight edge - better if it is steel, but wood or plastic is OK
  • Acrylic cutter or craft cutter - use one strong enough for the job
  • Cutting mat - to place the acrylic on when cutting
  • Sandpaper - to smooth the cut edges.

Step 2: Disassembing the frame

Picture of Disassembing the frame
03. frame rear.JPG
05. frame disassembledd.JPG
My picture frame was made so that the picture can be easily replaced, so the glass was easy to remove. This step will vary, depending on what kind of frame you have. In the worst case, it will be a wooden frame nailed shut, and you will have to extract the nails to get at the glass.

lcwmoore5 years ago
This is really helpful! I am hoping to cut down some big poster frames to fit some cheap art that I have. Thanks!
indivara (author)  lcwmoore5 years ago
Glad to know you found it useful. Thanks for the comment!
gmarrs, Thanks for the information. I plan on cutting some for the old frames I found.
sdartnut3 years ago
I like the idea of clamping the sheet in a door frame. Thanks.