Mounting and Fitting for Easier Art Changes

Here is a way to design mounting and fitting of art to allow relatively easy change of the displayed piece inside the frame. This can be useful for those things you want to display, but perhaps not necessarily forever. These might be things like your personal photographs, school pictures, children’s art projects, and so on. Or you might have some prints but don’t necessarily want to custom frame every single one.

If the pieces to be changed out are the same size (easiest) or similar in size, here is a way to combine custom framing with the ability to change out the art without bringing it back to the shop. You could purchase a handful of high quality frames and use them repeatedly.

(Note that because this method does not seal the back, the environment is considered “open” and therefore, is not up to conservation standards.)

This is a matte white custom frame (15×12) with a 8-ply white mat cut to display a 13×10 size photo. It does use a conservation glass in front, so it will block 99+% of UV light.
The mat, art, and backing board package is held in by turn buttons, easily loosened by unscrewing. Again, because the back is not sealed, air, environmental pollutants, dust, and humidity may affect the art.
It is easy to switch in a different photograph of the same size. The photo is held in place by four acrylic corner mounts. The mat/backing board is hinge mounted so that they stay in place and aligned with the corner mounts.
Installed and ready to fit back into the frame.
Just a few minutes and voila! Completely different look.
This is a different mat package with a smaller opening. The outside is still 15×12 but the opening is now cut to display 10×8 sized art.
The same 15×12 frame is displaying a smaller image, with a completely different mat design.

One way of accomplishing the art changes is to have a single mat/mounting package into which different art is installed. This works when the new art is the same size as the one being replaced.

The second way of accomplishing art changes is having multiple mat/mounting packages. This allows different sized art pieces to be used with a single frame. You might also have multiple packages with different mat color designs to better match the art pieces.

A third way, a little more costly, but far easier is to create individual installation packages for each piece. So if you have ten photos, you would have ten separate mat/backing board packages of the same size. At the time of this writing, each 15×12 sized package is estimated to run $30 to $50 depending on number and type of mat boards used. It is easier to store multiple mat packages out of the frame than the same number of framed pieces.

This is not meant to replace framing for artwork that has any kind of value: monetary, sentimental, etc. that you want to preserve. This is meant more as a way to allow you to change a room’s decor with temporary installations.

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