Using IKEA Frames for Un-stretched Canvas

Framing Unstretched Canvas with IKEA frames

I've used IKEA frames in international installations as I knew the frame in Canada would be available at my show location. Because of this, I want to share some print installations using IKEA frames as I know they will be most likely to be accessible near you. They are affordable, easy to install and look great.

Below I talk about the HOVSTA frame and then the RIBBA frame. I also recommend Custom Frames Canada, you can learn more about them here.

HOVSTA FRAME

Here I install an 8"x10" Shades of Green II print into a birch-colored 12"x16" HOVSTA frame. At the time I am writing this tutorial the HOVSTA frame is $14.99.

The HOVSTA frame comes with a mat that has a 7.75"x9.75" opening... perfect for an 8"x10". One thing that is beautiful about this frame is that it has a spacer that adds distance between the clear acrylic and the painting so it elevates the print.

Hovsta Frame with the Shades of Green print

First you must unpackage the frame by removing the plastic packaging. Then use a flat head screw driver to lift the tabs around the back board.

How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame
How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame

You can remove the acrylic plexi-glass and remove the film that protects both sides.

How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame

I now recommend putting a small piece of painters tape above the print with sticky side up. You will be able to mount the mat to the print. Because the mat is 1/4" smaller than the print you will want to center it. I personally like to make sure my signature is fully included in the mat opening.

How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame
How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame

Now carefully flip the mat + painting over and put painters tape all the way around. I use painters tape as it is removeable if I want to reframe the piece.

How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame
How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame

Now you can place the mat back into the frame knowing that the painting is secure. When putting the rear panel back in (the one with the hook), make sure the hook is oriented to the top of the painting. Then use the flat head screwdriver to push the tabs back in place. 

How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame
How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame

And you are done. Your new print is ready to hang:

How to install an unstretched canvas print into an IKEA HOVSTA frame

If you have questions or comments about framing please contact me via email or my contact page.

  • To purchase this print, Shades of Green II, click here.
  • To see my entire canvas print collection, click here.
  • To see the HOVSTA frame on the IKEA website click here.

IKEA RIBBA FRAME

IKEA RIBBA frame has been around for awhile - and is a great option if you are looking for a affordable frame for your print.. At the time I last updated this post they have sizes including 8x10", 12x16", 16x20" on their website, which will work for many of my print sizes.

In this tutorial I will frame a Sea to Sky 8"x10" print into a 12"x16" Ribba White Frame that has a white mat, it retails for $7.99CAD.

How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
First start by unpackaging the RIBBA frame from its plastic film. Then use a flat head screw driver to lift the metal tabs all the way around from the backing.
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Removed the cardboard backing and the white mat with the cutout. Then remove the plastic plexi-glass so that you can remove the protective film from both sides.
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Next you will tape the print to the mat board. Use painters tape, which releases more easily from the mat and canvas print if reframing is necessary. I recommend adding a small piece of tape to secure the print, checking and then checking its orientation before you secure the print with tape all the way around.
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Here is my check before securing the print...
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Now that you are happy with the print's location you can add more tape to secure the print.
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Now the print + mat is ready to install into the frame (on top of the plexiglass).
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Use the flathead screw driver to bend the metal tabs back down. To save time, I always double check that the hook that needs to be oriented at the top of the frame is at the top side before securing the tabs.
Tabs are now secure.
And your frame is assembled and ready to hang:
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame
Here is the print, Sea to Sky installed in the IKEA RIBBA frame:
How to install a unstretched canvas print into an IKEA RIBBA frame

If you have questions or comments about framing please contact me via email or my contact page.