Framing polaroids

Palma Allen shows us how to Slit-Mount Polaroid Time Zero Mono Prints in a professional manner, framing polaroids.

Writer and photography / Palma Allen

These instructions are based on a Time Zero type Polaroid print being centered within a square opening of a mat. After you do one or two of these, you can apply the method to your own preferences.

After I make a picture I emboss my name with an embossing tool and write the Title and ID number near the bottom of the wide edge of the Polaroid for storage/retrieval purposes but I eventually want to mount it without that information showing. The edges of the print don’t have enough room for over matting so I discovered a slit-method of mounting Time Zero Mono Prints that is simple and archival.

I used this method to mount and frame an exhibit of my mono prints.

Materials needed for framing polaroids

  • Heavy archival art paper (textured black is nice)
  • Utility knife
  • Ruler/straight edge
  • Archival glue pen
  • Pencil
  • Cutting board or mat cutter (optional)

1Measure and cut archival black art paper to fit the frame. You can also trace the frame glass or backing. Unless you are skilled with a utility knife (I’m definitely NOT!), use a mat cutter or cutting board to ensure an accurate straight cut.

2You will need to center your picture on the back of the paper according to the edges of the picture, not the white border. To do this, quarter the paper by gently marking with lines on the back.

3framing polaroidsCenter your picture by centering lines with the center of the print.

4framing polaroid photograph printsNext, you are going to cut a slit in the paper to slip the wide white border of the Polaroid under it. Make 2 marks (A and B) with a pencil on either side of the wide side, equidistant to the rest of the white border. This is where the slit will start and end.

5Set the picture aside. With a straight edge or ruler, cut a slit from mark A to mark B with the utility knife.

6Flip the paper over right side up keeping the slit on the same side. Insert the wide end of the Polaroid into the slit until enough of the white border remaining matches the rest of the picture’s border.

7Dab a small amount of archival glue on the underside corners of the picture and gently press into place. Tape the back with a small piece of framing tape.

8tools for framing polaroidsTo frame the piece, use a stiff mat or foam core behind the art paper before inserting into the frame. When I cut mats I make a 1 inch/2.54cm distance between the print and the inside mat edge.

Framing polaroids
A framed polaroid

Palma Allen is originally from Finger Lakes area of NY but currently lives near Washington DC. She is a self-taught photographer with a background in music and art.

2 thoughts on “Framing polaroids”

  1. Eureka, I’ve found it! … I have several time-zero manipulation photos that need to be mounted. Every time I picked them up to appreciate, I put them away again for being at an impasse about how to mount them appropriately. They’re going up! THANK YOU!!!

  2. Palma–I am from the Finger lakes also & would like to know where to get some inferred film developed. Can you help me? Thank you.

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