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How to Frame and Display Your Horror Movie Posters Like a Pro: A Step-by-Step Guide

Horror movies have a unique ability to captivate our imaginations and leave a lasting impression. And what better way to celebrate our love for these cinematic chills than with a collection of iconic horror movie posters? These pieces of art not only evoke memories of spine-tingling moments but also add a touch of macabre elegance to any space. However, framing and displaying horror movie posters effectively can be a challenge, especially if you want to create a truly chilling atmosphere. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step-by-step, ensuring your posters are showcased with the same chilling impact they deserve.

Table of Contents

Choosing the Right Frame

Selecting the perfect frame for your horror movie posters is the first step towards creating a professional-looking display. The right frame can enhance the poster’s aesthetic appeal and create a captivating focal point. Let’s delve into the key factors to consider:

Understanding Frame Types

  • Wood Frames: Timeless and versatile, wood frames offer a classic touch that complements both modern and vintage posters. The choice of wood type, from rich mahogany to rustic pine, can significantly influence the overall feel.
  • Metal Frames: For a contemporary and minimalist look, metal frames are a great option. They offer a clean, sleek aesthetic that can accentuate the bold graphics and typography of horror movie posters.
  • Plastic Frames: While often overlooked, plastic frames are surprisingly durable and affordable. They come in various colors and styles, making them a budget-friendly alternative to wood or metal.

Matting for Depth and Dimension

Adding a mat board between the poster and the frame creates visual depth and separation, enhancing the poster’s impact. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Mat Color: Choose a mat color that complements the poster’s tones and creates a visually pleasing contrast. A black mat, for example, can amplify the darkness and intensity of a poster, while a white mat can create a clean and crisp look.
  • Mat Size: The width of the mat board should be proportionate to the size of the poster. A wider mat can emphasize the poster’s central image, while a narrower mat can create a more understated look.

Glass Options

The type of glass you choose for your frame can significantly impact the overall appearance and protection of your poster.

  • Regular Glass: The most common and affordable option, regular glass can create glare and reflections, making it less ideal for showcasing delicate artwork.
  • Non-Glare Glass: This glass features a special coating that reduces glare and reflections, ensuring a clearer and more enjoyable viewing experience.
  • UV-Resistant Glass: Essential for protecting your posters from fading caused by harmful UV rays, UV-resistant glass is a worthwhile investment, especially for vintage posters.

Budget Considerations

While the ideal frame might seem costly, there are ways to balance quality with affordability:

  • Shop Around: Compare prices from different framing shops and online retailers to find the best deals.
  • Consider DIY Framing: If you’re comfortable with basic framing techniques, DIY framing can save you money, but remember to use archival-quality materials to ensure proper poster preservation.

Preparing Your Poster

Before framing your horror movie poster, it’s essential to ensure its condition is optimal. A little preparation can make a significant difference in how your poster looks and lasts.

Condition Assessment

  • Check for Damage: Examine the poster for tears, creases, or any other damage. Small tears can be carefully repaired with archival tape.
  • Wrinkles and Fading: If the poster has wrinkles, consider professional restoration or use a steam iron with a pressing cloth on a low setting to gently smooth them out. Fading can be more difficult to address and may require professional intervention.

Cleaning and Preservation

  • Dust Removal: Gently brush the poster with a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth to remove dust and debris. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
  • Handling with Care: Always handle your poster with clean hands, wearing gloves if necessary, to prevent smudging or transferring oils.

Professional Restoration

In cases of significant damage or fading, it’s advisable to consult a professional restorer. They can handle delicate repairs, color correction, and other restoration techniques to revive your poster’s beauty.

Framing Techniques

Once you’ve chosen your frame, mat board, and glass, it’s time to assemble your framed masterpiece. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure a professional finish:

  • Placing the Poster on the Mat Board: Carefully position the poster on the mat board, ensuring it’s centered and aligned with the frame opening.
  • Securing the Poster with Archival Tape: Use acid-free archival tape to secure the poster to the mat board, avoiding the edges of the poster to prevent damage.
  • Inserting the Matted Poster into the Frame: Gently slide the matted poster into the frame, ensuring it fits snugly.
  • Attaching the Backing Board: Secure the backing board to the frame using archival tape or clips to create a stable and dust-proof enclosure.
  • Hanging Hardware: Install the appropriate hanging hardware on the back of the frame based on its weight and the type of wall you’ll be hanging it on.

Displaying Your Collection

Now that your poster is beautifully framed, it’s time to showcase it to its fullest potential. Here are some tips for creating a visually stunning display:

Wall Arrangement

  • Grid Layout: Create a symmetrical and organized display by arranging your posters in a grid pattern.
  • Staggered Layout: For a more dynamic look, stagger your posters at different heights, creating a visually engaging arrangement.
  • Themed Groupings: Group posters based on themes, directors, or genres. For example, a grouping of classic Universal monster posters or a collection of Hitchcock films could add a thematic touch.

Lighting Considerations

  • Natural Light: While natural light can illuminate your posters, it’s crucial to avoid direct sunlight, which can cause fading.
  • Artificial Light: Use track lighting, spotlights, or LED lights to create a focused and captivating display. Ensure the lights are positioned to highlight the posters without creating glare.

Maintaining Your Collection

Just like any treasured artwork, your horror movie posters require proper care to ensure their longevity and beauty.

Dusting and Cleaning

  • Regular Dusting: Dust your framed posters regularly using a soft, microfiber cloth.
  • Avoiding Harsh Cleaners: Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners that can damage the poster or the frame.

Avoiding Direct Sunlight

Direct sunlight can fade the colors of your posters. Position your display away from windows that receive prolonged sunlight, or consider using UV-resistant glass in your frames.

Temperature and Humidity Control

Extreme temperatures and humidity can cause damage to paper and framing materials. Maintain a stable environment with moderate temperatures and humidity levels.


Q: What are the best frames for vintage horror movie posters?

A: For vintage posters, consider wood frames with a classic finish that complements the age and style of the artwork. Look for frames made from solid wood, such as oak or mahogany, which offer durability and a rich aesthetic.

Q: How can I prevent my framed posters from fading?

A: The most effective way to prevent fading is to use UV-resistant glass in your frames. Additionally, keep your framed posters out of direct sunlight and avoid displaying them in areas with excessive heat or humidity.

Q: Is it necessary to have my posters professionally framed?

A: Professional framing offers the best protection and presentation for valuable posters. Professional framers have the expertise and equipment to ensure your posters are properly matted, secured, and displayed with the highest quality. However, if you’re comfortable with framing techniques and are willing to invest in archival-quality materials, DIY framing can be a budget-friendly option.

Q: What are some common mistakes people make when framing posters?

A: Some common mistakes include:

  • Using non-archival materials: Avoid using regular tape or acidic mat boards, as these can damage the poster over time.
  • Improper matting: The mat board should be properly sized and cut to ensure a professional and visually appealing look.
  • Poor mounting techniques: Ensure the poster is securely attached to the mat board using archival tape to prevent sagging or shifting.

Q: Where can I find quality horror movie posters for framing?

A: Here are some reputable sources for finding high-quality horror movie posters:

  • Online Auction Sites: Sites like eBay and Catawiki often have a wide selection of vintage and modern posters.
  • Vintage Poster Stores: Specialty poster stores often have curated collections of classic horror posters.
  • Specialized Online Retailers: Several online retailers specialize in selling horror movie posters, offering a variety of options.


Framing and displaying your horror movie posters is a labor of love that allows you to showcase your passion for the genre while creating a truly immersive and chilling atmosphere in your home. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your posters are presented with the same chilling impact they deserve, becoming captivating focal points in your horror-themed haven.