Aluminum Frame Resurgence

by Dave Veilleux, VP Business Development

We at AS Hanging Systems read the recent article by Amy Sudol, “Metal Makes a Comeback” that appeared in the May, 2013 issue of Picture Framing Magazine with great interest. Our message to the metal frame manufacturers, “Welcome back. Long live the metal frame!”

For all the reasons this article listed as to why metal frames are regaining popularity, we are excited. Perhaps that is also due to a unique piece of compatible hardware that we offer – Aluminum Frame Hook.

Aluminum Frame Hook by AS Hanging Systems

This hook is quite clever in design. In fact it is patented and there is nothing else like it in the industry. As you can see in the illustration that follows, the hook is actually mounted to the frame itself. This makes the connection between our hook (and picture hanging system) and the art frame, very secure, stable and intimate. It is unlike any other hanging system-to-frame interface.

This is very easy to accomplish. Step 1: Rotate the hook 90-degrees to oppose the side rails of the frame and insert the foot into the channel on the rear side of the frame. Step 2: Rotate the hook to a parallel orientation with the button towards the top of the frame. Step 3: Tighten the small screw in the hook until it tightens against the frame. (Repeat these steps with a second hook on the other side rail.) Now the frame is ready to hang. Step 4: Insert our hanging cables into the top of the hook and adjust the location of the frame on the wall.

Aluminum Frame Hook Installation Photo Guide by AS Hanging Systems

What you now have are two hooks supporting the weight of the object that offer a combined capacity of over 65 lbs. This is a limit that you will seldom exceed with typical aluminum framed objects.

Position adjustment is easy. This is a self-gripping hook design. This means all you must do to raise the object is to apply upward pressure on the hook. To adjust in a downward direction, press on the button at the top of the hook, releasing the gripping mechanism. While holding the button, adjust the height of the frame and then release the button. The hook automatically grips at that new location.

If security or anti-theft is a consideration in your usage, suspend the hanging system cable from our Click Rail Track with a T-End Cable. Additionally, add a Cable Stop to each cable end after it exits the Aluminum Frame Hook. This provides a secure hanging solution where the frame is secured to the hook, the hook is secured to the cable and the cable is in turn secured to the track. This same approach could be applied to a suspended cable or a tensioned cable. However, if you use a Tensioned Cable solution, you may eliminate the Cable Stops.

Susan Gittlen MCPF of “Whispering Woods Gallery” in Bucks County, PA, describes her success in using metal frames for her multiple schools framing projects. In this article she explains the success is based on aluminum frames being “priced right”. Her deployment of aluminum frames in this application is for student artwork.

I would augment those observations with feedback I was given several years ago. A designer was using aluminum frames for a similar “student art” application and for the same main reason – budget. She consulted with AS Hanging Systems for a couple additional elements in her check-off list. She needed the art frame and hanging solution to be secure, as the display space could not always be monitored and the art was the result of higher education aged students.  Yet, she was not a fan of the industry standard 3-point secure mounting hardware. She found it too difficult to use because of the frequency at which the displayed artwork would change. The solution she settled on was our Aluminum Frame Hook and Tensioned Cable System, as described above.

Lastly, she needed to reuse these same frames but also allow for a fairly wide range of art sizes. Supplying the school a wide selection of frames would, however, defeat the “economics” argument. The solution involved providing the school with an inventory of pre-cut mat boards where the openings included the expected range of art sizes. In this way, the display coordinator could simply deploy mat boards as adapters between the oversized frames and the artwork. Mission accomplished.

Aluminum frames were perfect for this use because their design makes it so easy to remove and add art to the frames.

This same approach could be used in commercial and residential spaces alike. Parents can purchase a couple good-sized aluminum frames and simply change the mat board as needed to fit the current artwork. Retain any prior mat boards, as you are likely to double back to that size again. Your little artist can have his/her own bedroom gallery wall. Your refrigerator will thank you. And, if you hang the frames from a hanging system, you can avoid all those holes in your walls caused by nails and other conventional hardware. Hanging art without nails is a very good thing.

Do you find the resurgence of aluminum frames inspiring? Let us know how you see “metal” fitting into a future design project. We love hearing your ideas!

If you have questions or would like to learn more about how our products can be beneficial in your project, please contact our Customer Support at, or give us a call at 866 935-6949 (toll free) or at our local number 450 619-7999.

When you hang with AS Hanging Systems, you Hang with the Best®






  1. What an absolutely brilliant idea for young home artists! And others – I am going to forward this to our local after-school art program and to the high school art program.

    • Thank you for the wonderful compliments and for passing this information along to others. If someone has specific questions about this product or application, please feel free to share our toll free number for Customer Support, 866 935-6949, with them as well. Additionally, if an installation using aluminum frames is created, be sure to share pictures with us. We love seeing how others create displays!