Picture framing with John Hill

Picture framing, gilding, decorative finishes and upholstery

Ref: S4D12518

Book now

Places available

About this course

Experience and practise all aspects of the picture framer's craft. Using basic equipment, learn techniques for creative mount cutting, mitre cutting, joining mouldings, choosing colour, proportion and glass cutting .

Course Description

Learn all the basics of the picture framer’s craft during this practical course. This will include tuition in: planning and measuring, mount cutting and design, mounting techniques; selecting mount board and mouldings, mitre cutting and joining moulding, glass cutting, framing memorabilia, needlework, paintings and box frames can be covered, if requested. Conservation/preservation issues and the correct choice of equipment and trade information will also be given.

During the first evening, after an introduction and demonstration, the tutor will discuss and select each work project that you have brought.

Depending on your level of experience, it should be possible to frame up to four items during the course. Guidance will be given on how to overcome practical problems and, on this longer course, you will be able to build on your knowledge and confidence.

Group demonstrations, based around framing projects brought in by students, are given, while relevant and detailed practical guidance from the tutor is given on a one-to-one basis. This course is structured as a workshop for students of all levels, who wish to develop their creative skills in all aspects of the picture framer's craft.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • A half sheet of mount card to practise mount cutting skills

What students need to bring

  • A selection of at least four items to frame: prints, photographs, watercolours, needlework, memorabilia, etc. Please be aware of the sensibilites of others when selecting the images you bring to frame.
  • Pencil, rubber
  • Tape measures/rules
  • Craft knives or scalpel
  • Scissors and any tapes mentioned, if you have them
  • Framing materials e.g. frame, mount card, backing material and glass, as suitable for beginners, may be purchased from the College Craft Shop. However, if you have previous experience of picture framing and wish to use a specific type or colour of picture frame – or colour of mount card, you need to purchase this in advance to bring with you, or you can order from a framing supplier to be delivered to the West Dean College’s Technical Resources team, shortly before your course is due to run, clearly marked with your name and course code.
  • Tools and equipment are provided by the College and the tutor, but bring any picture framing related items/equipment if you already have them.
  • Wearing sturdy covered footwear is essential in this workshop.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • A limited selection of picture frame mouldings and a limited selection of acid free mount boards (approx 20-30 most versatile shades)
  • Hand mount cutters (Logan 2000)
  • Glass cutters
  • 2mm Standard picture framing glass
  • Conservation clear UV glass
  • 2mm Backing board: Artbak and MDF
  • Framing accessories
  • Craft knives and measuring rules
  • Tapes (masking tape, acid free, double sided, wide brown and decorative)
  • Art supplies


John Hill

John is a picture framer and experienced teacher. He has worked as a framer in the UK and Bermuda, and has a keen interest in conservation.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

Courses of interest

Sign-up to be the first to know

Sign up to our Short Course enews to hear about new courses, late availability and get creative inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.