To make an insert, cut your chosen material 3/4" wide and a little longer than the frame, trim the edges to follow the miter of the frame, put a spacer under the insert, such as a little strip of 1/4" upholstery foam, and slide the insert in the frame channel.

Hints & tips:

  1. Before you miter or adhere the foam spacer, slide the insert into the channel to make sure it fits. If it is too wide it will get stuck when you try to push it through. If it is too narrow, when you have the insert in the channel and give it a little twist and tug it will dislodge from the channel.

  2. Miter the insert by holding it firmly in the channel. Use a sharp razor blade up against the frame to follow the miter to cut off the insert. If you notice you are getting gaps in the insert corners try cutting the insert a tiny bit bigger than the frame, so the insert kind of squishes into its mate in the other frame rail. You can easily do this by letting the first miter hang over the frame a bit when you are lining up the other side for cutting. Or you can bevel the insert miter so when they match up in the corner they ever so slightly ride over one another.

  3. If you have a large TopnotchFrame you may want to make your foam spacer much narrower. If your foam is the full width of the insert, it gets harder to push the insert into the frame the farther you have to go. Instead of making your foam spacer a full 3/4" wide, make it about half as wide and center it on the back of the insert. The insert will push through a lot easier. This will prevent “cracking” the insert when pushing it into a long channel.

  4. For frame shops & those of you that may use large quantities of the TopnotchFrame, you may want to invest in a little hand held miter cutter. You can find them on ebay and some frame supply companies. They usually cost about $30.00.

  5. In my opinion anyone can easily make an insert. But if you don’t want to, take your TopnotchFrame to your local independent frame shop. I am sure they will be happy to do it for you for a small fee. These days, I seem to be making inserts almost every day and I think it is kind of fun. The thing I love most is if that I make a mistake, or change my mind, it is easy to make another one.