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Simple L or Float Frames for Miniature Canvas Paintings

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What is a Floating Frame?
A miniature floating picture frame ready to be finished stands beside a stretched canvas.

A miniature floating picture frame ready to be sanded and finished stands beside a stretched canvas.

Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Floating frames or L frames are simple modern frames where the artwork appears to float in the center of the frame, rather than having the frame edge hold the edge of the art behind it. Floating frames do not normally have a glass front or a mat. They are also known as L frames, or float frames.

Best Uses for Floating Frames

Floating frames can be used for many types of art, but are especially useful for modern acrylic or oil paintings done on cradled wood panels, canvas stretched over bars, or canvas panels where the canvas is stretched over a wood backing. They are also good for mounting photographs or prints attached to foam or wood backings. Floating Frames are easily made from L moldings common in lumber stores, but can also be made from custom L shaped moldings made of decorative stacks of lumber or plastic, or from simple combinations of ready cut wood.

The techniques shown here are for framing a miniature canvas or canvas panel, but the same technique is used to make larger floating frames.

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