Metal Frames: How to Place and Space Spring Clips

Metal frames are a sophisticated and contemporary option for frames and offer various benefits, such as durability.  They also require clips to hold the glass, matboard, or other material in place. However, placing and spacing the clips frames can be a challenge. When selecting the glass, mat board, or other material, consider the size of the metal frame. 

While a medium-sized frame goes up to 24″ x 36″, an oversized frame is only limited by your imagination! In addition, the frame of your choice may present problems in locating a pair of clips that will not crush and buckle while securing the materials to the metal frame. Here are the steps for placing and spacing spring clips on metal frames.

Step 1. Place a Spring Clip on Its Side with the Top Edge Against the Frame.

When placing clips on the side, start from the corner and place the clip close to the corner of the frame. The distance between each clip should be equal. The clips should be parallel with each other and completely cover all four edges of the frame. Make sure that you place a spring clip at both ends for double strength and protection. Also, the clips should be equally separated from the other clips.

Step 2. Open the Clip by Pressing the Ends Back Toward the Frame.

The distance between the spring clip and frame will be more lengthwise by pressing the ends, allowing for a portion of the glass or matboard to fit inside. So, if you were placing a matboard in the frame, you would want the mat to be inside the clip. Observe that clips are made in various widths. Choose the width based on the size of the metal frame and your preference.

Step 3. Slide the Clip Underneath the Frame and Rotate it, So the Top Edge presses Against the Frame.

After pressing the ends of the clip against the frame, you can now slide it under the frame. Make sure that you slide the clip to the ideal position and rotate it so that its top edge presses against the frame. The clip should be placed around a corner if such is possible. Do not push down on the metal frames or clips with excessive pressure as this could cause them to become distorted or even break, making them completely useless for holding glass or mat board in place.

Step 4. Close and Tighten the Clip-on all Four Edges of the Metal Frame. 

Once the clip is slid underneath the frame, you can squeeze the ends together. By squeezing the ends, you will hear a click. This click indicates that the clip has been closed and secured on all four edges of the frame. Be sure to tighten all the clips evenly. Securing the clips evenly prevents the frame from damaging the glass or matboard or damaging the frame itself.

Step 5. Place Additional Clips if Desired. 

Although two clips are sufficient for a medium-size metal frame, you may place additional clips on larger metal frames for an even more secure hold.  However, do not place too many clips on the frame as excess pressure could bend or damage the clip and cause it to fall off. Moreover, you will be creating greater stability and support for the glass or mat board that has been inserted into your metal frame.

When placing and spacing clips on metal frames, remember that the frame is the central component of your creation. Therefore, carefully consider the space between each clip and each angle before you begin placing them.

Thus, as you place and space the clips and press down on them with a firm hand, make sure you have the utmost confidence in the security of your frame. For example, the centre of the frame should be tight to hold glass or mat board firmly in place. Likewise, securing clips at both ends prevents glass or mat board from falling out of the frame during transport or display.

Metal frames can be a great way to hold glass or mat board in place on a table or shelf for a display. Performing steps such as replacing clips and spacing the clips correctly are key to ensuring that your frame continues to offer support and stability for your glass or matboard.  First, however, you must make sure that the frame’s corners are not crushed or damaged by clips. This can be achieved by placing the clips equally on the four sides of the frame and tightening them evenly with pressure applied to the middle section of each clip.

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