Introduction: Duplex Frames for Your Artwork

About: Retired, doing art work now. Great. Have the time and the money to spend doing what I want to do.

I came up with this idea because I was trying to figure out how to display more of my artwork, as I had a limited amount of wall space. Duplex simply means both sides of a frame are used to mount various artwork. This concept allows me to rearrange displays by simply flipping the picture whenever we get tired of some paintings or if we just want to change a theme. Types of artwork include prints mounted on heavy cardstock (commercially available), enlarged photos, canvas board paintings, paintings on masonite or pressboard, 1/8 in. thick, and even nice corrugated cardboard can be used.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Used to Create Frames

I use my power tools to make things easy: table saw, cut off/miter saw, brad nailer, etc. Other basic supplies include glue, acrylic craft paint, mounting tape, t-square, pencil, etc. I used lumber I had on hand, but did buy some 1x2 pieces and 1/2x1/2 in. pre-cut molding which speeds up the process.

Step 2: Cut Frame Pieces to Size

As shown, lumber is ripped to size: 1 and 1/2 in. for outer frame pieces and 1/2 by 1/2 in. for inner rails. I did cut some inner rails to 3/4 by 3/4 inches so either size will work fine.

Step 3: Assemble Frames With Nails, Screws, and Glue

See narratives on pictures. The entire process is quite simple and by using basic shop skills and available tools and materials, dramatic results can be obtained.

Step 4: Paint Frames to Prepare for Mounting of Prints or Other Formats

I chose a flat black acrylic craft paint for my frames as I felt this color best enhanced my artwork. Dark browns, greens or even white could also be used. Acrylic paint dries very rapidly so there is virtually no waiting in the process.

Step 5: Glue or Use Double Sided Mounting Tape to Secure Artwork in Frames

Mounting tape comes in varying widths and holding powers so your selection depends on your usage. If tape is used, pictures could be changed out whereas using glue makes the installation more or less permanent. Regular white PVC or the tacky type glue can be used. I prefer the tacky glue as it is easier to control. When glue has dried, paintings can be hung on wall.

Step 6: Arrange and Hang Completed Artwork

Depending on needs, pictures are arranged and changed whenever you choose. I like this approach as I have two pictures in the same frame, and as stated earlier to change out the decor, pictures are flipped and a whole new ambiance is created!

Step 7: Gallery of Framed Artwork

I try to stay busy creating's a good way to stay young! Some of the work is very good and some can certainly be improved. So it's the journey that is important and it's nice to display works of art: acrylic paintings, art marker renditions, pencil or graphite drawings, watercolors, and great photographs. Printing technology is amazing, and I take advantag e of it often. I wait for sales, as one source has sales of 20 to 70% off, so patience is the keyword.

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