Introduction: Suspended Picture Frame

About: I'm an engineer. I problem solve all day, problem solve all night. I LOVE learning, and I love teaching what I learn. I want to post more, but time constraints stop me.

I received several paintings from a friend (Bryan Norton from his college days - I thought they were pretty nice, so I thought I'd come up with a method to show them off a bit.

I found frames at Ikea that are for mounting canvases, and I thought i'd go a round about way of using them on a canvas. The paintings are done on boards, and I wanted to make them look like they were canvases that were being stretched.

Step 1: Whatcha Need:

Here's the materials that I needed to make this frame. If you have most of these tools, it greatly drops the cost.

I happened to have quite a bit of it, so the total cost for this project was the Tyglosa frame - about $5 from Ikea.

The Tyglosa kit comes with nails and screws, so you don't need to purchase those.

Step 2: Makin' the Majick Happen:

Assemble the frame.

Put it on something flat so that you control one degree of movement. Next, use your hand to hold the parts together to control the other 2 degrees of movement. You won't be able to get it perfect, but the Ikea frames are pretty well made, so you don't have to worry about them not being perpindicular when they're assembled.

If you decide not to use Ikea frames, skip this step.

Step 3: Mark It All Up! Nail It All Down! Drill Away!

Using a pencil, mark 5 points on the frame to show the nail points.

NOTE: I chose to go with 1 nail in each corner. Hindsight being 20/20, this wasn't such a good idea. I should have gone with 2 nails in each corner, not just for aesthetics, but also because it makes it easier to sink the nail into the wood without hitting the screws that hold the corners together.

The frame is a 50 cm x 50 cm frame. I placed marks at a halfway point of the frame (25 cm), half of the distance to the sides (12.5 & 37.5 cm) and eyeballed the corners so they missed the frame screws.

Do not put the nails all the way down. leave about 1/8" or so to give you room to tie the fishing line.

Do the same to the artwork.

Step 4: Center the Picture

I cheated a bit.

The first time I put this together, I laced it all the way around. This ended up being a bad idea since everytime I tried to tighten the fishing line, it caused the painting to rotate.

This is not good.

I then decided to tie the corners first. So that's what I did.

once the painting is centered in the frame with the corners tied down, you just need to run the line around the rest of the frame.

So, start by pulling off about 3-4 yards of line. Too much and you've got a lot of twine to get tangled. Too little and you'll end up short.

It's up to you.

Make an X on the back of the frame by running the line thru the corner holes. when you get to the nail, wrap it twice. Fishing line is really slick, so the best way to make sure your painting stays put is to wrap the line 2x around the nail. It's still adjustable, just harder to move.

Tie the final end to one of the nails ONLY when you're certain the painting is centered in the frame. It doesn't have to be perfect, just close and level. with my tying method, you'll be able to pull the painting around somewhat to center it/ensure it's level in the frame.

Step 5: Final Stringing:

Here's where you get to make it like a tight trampoline.

Tie off the line to the back of one of corners and feed it thru the hole to the front. Lace the line around the nails, again, loop the line 2x around the nail.

Loop all the way around - tie off on the last nail.


(see pics for more instructions)

Step 6: Second to Last Step: Nail It Down!

Once you've got the painting centered and level and tied off, hammer the nails all the way down. This will help keep it look flush, and make sure the lines stay tight.

Try not to hit the nails too hard - you may sever the line if you drive the nails in too deep.

Step 7: Hang It Up!

mark the center of the frame and put the hanger in the back on the top.

These sawtooth hangers are the cheapest, easiest ways to hang the frame up.

TADA! done!