Many people feel picture framing is an intricate and time consuming task. We want you to know that it doesn’t always have to be! We know often times the endless amounts of matting, framing, and glass options, picture framing can be overwhelming. Based on the outcome you’re looking for though, there a few tips and tricks you can follow to make picture framing easier.
The picture frame should complement the image it is housing as well as the space where it’s hung. If you’re hanging artwork in a modern looking room then you’d want to avoid using an oddly shaped frame. On the other spectrum, if the room has a more classic feel, then the best advice would be to stay away from shiny, polished metal or modern looking picture frames.
Color picture frames can be instrumental in bringing your artwork to life. Choosing a white picture frame or a gold picture frame is a guaranteed way to make your art pop, you just have to be mindful not to select a frame that clashes with what’s being hung.
The type of picture frame you opt for is just as important as your color selection. Wood picture frames are the most popular and traditional frames due to their versatility. Wood can be stained in a variety of colors and already come in various themes such as the rustic wood frames or the driftwood picture frames. On the other end of the spectrum, metal picture frames are more practical based on their material and tend to last a lot longer.
Be aware of how you hang your pictures:
Frames ideally should be hung at eye level, not too high and not too low, about 60 inches (or 5 feet) above the ground.
When hanging a picture above a table you want to leave 4-8 inches of space between the bottom of the picture frame and the top of the table.
If you’re hanging a picture frame above a couch or other piece of furniture there should be a 3-6 inch space between the furniture and the picture frame.
Try to avoid hanging your artwork in direct sunlight. The purpose of framing art is to make it look nice and protect it, sunlight and moisture are detrimental to this.
Place your framing wire as close to the top of the picture frame as you can. Doing this helps keep your picture flat against the wall by raising the pictures center of gravity.
When choosing a mat for your artwork, the basic principle is that the mat should be lighter than the artwork or picture but darker than the wall. The mat is there to provide visual space between your picture, the frame and the wall. People often make the mistake of getting too fancy when choosing a mat which in turn takes away from the artwork.
Put these tips into action when framing your next picture and find out how easy picture framing really is. If you have any questions, we over here at Frame USA would be more than happy to assist you. Good luck on your next project.
Most of us have a favorite t-shirt. It might be one that is from the State Championships for football from high school, a t-shirt of our favorite band from one of their concerts, or maybe just one that fits just right.
At Frame USA, we have the perfect option for framing your t-shirt. Our Frame-A-Tee comes in 3 sizes, and is available to frame a t-shirt in any size from small to extra large.
While a black t-shirt frame is the most popular, this series also comes in a great natural and walnut color option to frame your t-shirts. Our t-shirt frames also include easy instructions for assembly upon receiving them.
Valentine’s Day is all about letting someone special know that you’re thinking about them. One way to do that is by getting them a gift. You can buy something expensive (like jewelry), or something you know they need (like a gardening trowel) but the gifts that leave the biggest impression are the ones that have meaning behind them. The thoughtful presents that you create yourself that shows your valentine how well you know them. A great way of doing this is by putting significant photos or mementos from a special moment into picture frames and then customizing those frames.
At Frame USA we have a number of different frames that would be perfect for creating this kind of unique Valentine’s Day present.
This is an unfinished picture frame with a flat profile that comes in 3 different widths (1.5″, 2″ or 3″). It is created especially
for crafting. You can paint it, glue on it, and use a wood burning pen, anything you can think of to decorate the frame. You could get small wooden hearts or other Valentine’s Day items (even those little candy hearts) and affix them to the frame with an inside that reminds the person of a fun time you’ve had together.
This frame is another unfinished wood frame (as the name might suggest). Like the Decorate It, the Unfinished series comes in 3 different profiles, but these are more decorative with some scoops and beveling in the frame. This picture frame could be painted in a rosy, reddish or dark pink color with a picture of you and your valentine together held within it. A classy way to celebrate your relationship.
Maybe you don’t have a lot of time or are just not good at crafting, painting or applique. You can still customize a frame for
your sweetheart to create a special memory. At Frame USA we are able to laser engrave names and even logos onto certain frame series that are found in the Laser Engraving category. You can engrave on any or all of the frame rails, oriented how you like. The laser burns away the finish to show the wood (or metal) beneath. You can engrave their name, maybe dates or a special quote or song lyrics. The possibilities for making your valentine go, “Awwwww!” and look at you with puppy-dog eyes are endless.
Remember that time you and your valentine went to the___(theater, restaurant, beach, etc.) and they kept the___(ticket stub, receipt, shells you found, etc.)? Wouldn’t it be a great Valentine’s Day
surprise to put those in a nice display? Frame USA has several different shadowboxes that are just right for showing off mementos. In our Shadowbox Elite, Shadowbox Showcase or Barnwood Shadowbox (for those who appreciate a rustic look) you can mount those items to the foamcore backing and give your special someone a gift that is both stylish and thoughtful.
Not all valentines are ready for something so meaningful. Maybe it’s someone you’ve been dating for a short while–long
enough to get them something but not long enough to make them a memory box–well we still have you covered. You can always pick them up a poster from Posterservice and put it in one of Frame USA’s poster frames. We have music posters, movie and TV posters, humor, art prints, and scenic–anything anyone could have an interest in. You can find something they would like. This still shows that you know what they like and want without over-doing the sentiment.
So as February 14th gets closer, consider giving your valentine something they can hang on their wall and cherish for many Valentine’s Days to come.
Believe or not, before started working for team Frame USA, my family was (still are) loyal customers to this fine picture framing establishment! I especially adore the Custom framing department we have. There is an array of styles, from traditional to modern to myriads of different mats to create limitless framing combinations to help your artwork integrate into the luxury of your living space. And as a recurring visitor to our retail store, I’d like to welcome you to join the virtual tour of “The Art at Fort Kelley.”
I take great value and deep appreciation for pieces that preserve the good memories in my life. Here is a Shepard Fairey print I bought at the Contemporary Art Center when he was in town exclusively performing DJ at the CAC after party. It was also my first time interacting with the artist and letting me try out his custom made OBEY vinyl records, a fun experience that is hard to forget! Well, for sure now that I have this piece hanged and to view on a daily basis.
I also collect prints that revolve around my interests and inspirations, it might be remotely apparent to see that I may have
a geeky nature with the pop culture and sci-fi universe. This one is a Doctor Who illustration by Adriana Melo, a Brazilian artist. I admire her pin-up comic book cover style, among the composition and subjects involved, it exhibits a great summation of my favorite season of the show! The blue confetti frame style I chose out of our custom collection emulates the iconic blue TARDIS, the time machine that takes the characters on myriads of adventures by traversing through time and space.
As a bunch of artists living under the same roof, we have no shame in hanging up our own artwork around the
house. Well, maybe it’s just we have parents who like to express how proud they are of their kids. Here we exhibit a mixture between mine (far right) and my sister’s (middle and left) pieces we’ve done in college. As the maker of some of these pieces, I can support the fact that these were preambles to my current body of work. But it’s immensely interesting to see the personal growth from then to now. Here is
another painting I created back in ye olden college years: a master’s painting based on the one of the artworks at the Cincinnati Art Museum’s permanent collection. Maybe you’re wondering why there’s no face, well I’m sure there’s was a perfectly good reason back then for which I have none now.
Whenever I go to FrameUSA to get framing done, it’s just like going mall shopping for a dress. Attempting to find the best look to your artwork is imperative, regardless. Out of the wide variety of styles of frames and shades of mats they have, they can create countless of designs in order to cater to your preference and tailoring to your artworks figure. As my photos can attest, FrameUSA has done an excellent job helping me find the right dress for my artwork.
At Frame USA/Posterservice, we’re a creative bunch, and have a unique and diverse group of co-workers. We all celebrate each other’s interes
ts and talents. It’s in this spirit that we created the “Favorite Hobby” blog post; to highlight some of the special things our friends do when they’re not making, marketing or selling great picture frames. This time around we talk to our Marketing Director/Sales Manager Kelly Ackerman about what it is she loves to do when she’s away from the office.
My favorite hobby is scrapbooking, and I started in 2011.
One of my friends made a scrapbook of her and her husband’s first year of marriage to track the memories. I loved the idea, so pretty much copied it J. I’ve been scrapbooking ever, since on and off. What’s great is that I am creating and saving great memories along the way. It is easy, years later to forget some of the little stuff, but I have it saved in a scrapbook. My most memorable experience with it was Showing my husband our first complete year of marriage through pictures, quotes, and reliving our memories.
Several of my friends thought it was crazy that I was
scrapbooking, and I did too at first. I’ve been able to tap into some creativity that I didn’t even know I had. It’s been a lot of fun! It can be challenging, though. It can get pricey for sure, and it takes a lot of time. I usually try to buy materials when they are on sale to help. Most weeks I don’t have time to scrapbook at all, unfortunately. When I do have time, I usually spend several hours and put together a bunch of pages. Right now, I’m probably about 10-12 pages behind of what I want to put together.
If I had any advice to give someone interested in scrapbooking it would be this: Pick a goal! Don’t just randomly say one day that you are going to scrapbook. Choose to scrapbook something in particular and take it from there!
Every page is different depend on what I am scrapbooking. I’m not sure you can master it per se, just have fun and create unique and fun pages.
Post by Lindsay Allen, Inside Sales Representative for Frame USA
I recently had the opportunity to join a class at Painting With a Twist. Let me tell you, this was by far THE BEST Wine and Canvas workshop that I’ve been to (if you aren’t familiar with these workshops I HIGHLY recommend them to anyone)! Now, I am an absolute novice when it comes to painting, but at the end of the class I felt like Van Gogh (metaphorically speaking of course)! So, when I brought the canvas home, I was so excited to find the perfect spot to hang it but something just didn’t seem right, it was almost naked on my wall. Something was missing on my beautiful canvas, but what?
A frame of course!
I used our sleek Build-A-Frame feature on Frameusa.com to upload an image of my piece and, voila! I found the perfect picture frame for my one of a kind canvas! For those who have stretched canvases at home, and love to frame your pieces, here are some quick framing tips!
Always make sure you order frames with no materials (shell only)
Since the canvas is painted, this actaully seals the fabric and prevents deterioration of the fibers. So glazing is not a necessity when it comes to framing canvas. This will save you money rather than having to pay for a frame that comes with a bunch of materials that you don’t need. However, make sure that you have hardware to install the canvas on your own. Off set brackets can be found at any frame shop, or hardware store.
Make sure you pay attention to the depth of the “rabbet” in comparison to the depth of your stretcher bars.
For example, if your stretcher bar is ½ inch deep, the rabbet of the frame must be at least ½ deep. Otherwise the canvas will not be flush with the back of the frame.
Make sure you have the appropriate hanging hardware for the size of your framed canvas.
The biggest mistake a lot of people make is attempting to hang their canvas on too thin of wire, or anchors that are not compatible with the weight of the frame. This is very dangerous, not only for hanging a framed canvas, but for hanging any type of frame. If you are unsure of what type of hanging hardware to use, please ask a professional to assist.
Also, if you’re one of those crafty people who like to step out of the norm when it comes to framing, another great frame option is our Floater Series! What makes this frames stand out from the others is that it is a front loading frame, making your canvas appear to be floating inside of the frame. It also has a ¾ deep “rabbet”, which is deep enough for most stretched canvases.
I am so excited to get my canvas framed and hung on my wall! It will truly be a work of art!
Hi, my name’s Clair. Quality Control Specialist for Frame USA by day, Artist by night.
If you’re like me, you love art. You love books stores, pop-up art shows, old classic movies and home remodeling TV shows. Most importantly you love creating and decorating your home/work space with the images you love. Be it posters, reproduction, original art, or family photos. You surround yourself with what makes you happy; with what makes you, uniquely you.
If that sounds about right then you might agree that there is no better feeling in the world than finishing or buying a piece of art that you love. However, there’s no worse feeling than the one that usually follows when you ask yourself, “how am I going to hanging this?” and quickly realize your spending is not over.
Perhaps like me you’ve tried to cut corners when it comes to framing. Let’s be honest, Framing can be expensive. So, you own several bulging portfolios and enough cardboard tubes to build the world’s largest telescope. I mean, it’s not enough that we as artists and art coinsures have to spend money to make art and acquire art, but we must also spend money if we plan at all to enjoy it.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in all my years of arting and framing, whether you’re selling or buying there’s simply no arguing the effectiveness of a fantastic framing Job. I see it all the time in our Custom framing shop. Customers bring in old sentimental images probably worth nothing more than something you could find at a yard sale. But, because it’s special to them, they invest, and the final product is always breathtaking. Just imagine the effect quality framing has on something truly unique and timeless. It’s magical. Just ask our Raving fans!
I promise, nothing will enhance the appeal of your artwork, whatever it is, more than a beautiful frame. And let’s face it, appeal is essential if you ever want to be a professional artist, impress your in laws, or get that promotion you’ve been working so hard for.
That’s why we at frame USA pride ourselves in not only the quality of our frames, which I personally see to on a daily basis, but the affordability of our picture frames. Each woods frame at frame USA is cut, joined, filled, and hand quality checked right here in our American home base facility ensuring not only quality and affordability, (like I’ve mentioned) But also that your money stays here in our wonderful U.S. of A.
We know the importance of arting and framing and the impact it has logistically and visually in your homes, offices, studios and galleries. Let us be the ones to make your art something really special; something that demands to be noticed. It’s what we do best.
To mat or not to mat? That is a valid question when putting art and photos into picture frames. When should you use a mat? What color mat should you use? Do I need acid free matting? There are no wrong answers (well, when it comes to mat measurements there can be wrong answers) to these questions but there are some typical things that people tend to do that might be helpful if you’re wondering what you should do about matting your piece before framing it. So let’s do a quick, easy-breezy run down of some common mat ideas.
WHEN SHOULD YOU MAT?
Not every picture you put in a frame needs a mat. If you just want to pop in one of the kids’ 5×7 or 8×10 school photos into a picture frame of the same size, and you’re just going to change it out the following year–those probably don’t need matted. Matted photos are usually ones that you plan on keeping framed indefinitely and that you want to give a little extra oomph to. The purpose of a mat is to give the picture some extra space in the frame so that you can use a larger picture frame to add dramatic weight to whatever the artwork is that you’re framing. A family portrait that you’re hanging in the living room, or a special art print that you’ve purchased and want to put in a nice, righ frame. These are the typical kinds of pictures you want to mat. Of course, you can mat anything you like but if you’re wondering, “Does this need matted?” this is a good rule of thumb.
Also, when you have a piece that is an unusual size but you’d like to try and get it into a standard sized frame–that is a time you’d want to get a mat. The mat will go to the inside edges of the frame and the opening then can be centered and made the size of the piece. The only caveat with this is that the vertical sides of the mat may be different than the horizontal so that one dimension has more space than the other, but this is a solution to that problem.
WHAT SIZE MAT AND OPENING SHOULD I GET?
Again, with sizing, there is no one right thing to do. If you’re basing the size of your frame on the size of your mat you start with the mat width. That is how much matting you want around your photo or art. A good safe, round number is 2″. A lot of people use this number. It’s not too much matting or too little. If your photo is small-ish (5×7) and you don’t want the frame to be much bigger, you can drop this down to 1″. And of course if you’re going for a certain look where you want a lot of space, or just a thin edge, you can do those too. The thinnest you can go, however, is 3/4″ because you must account for the lip of the frame taking up a little on each side. And speaking of accounting for the lip, you will also want to take into consideration making your mat opening slightly smaller than your piece (unless your piece has already built in a border around it to accomodate matting–in which case you can make your exact image size the opening size). For this example we’ll assume your piece has no border. You need to make the opening at least 1/4″ smaller than your actual paper or whatever physical medium your image is on. This is so the piece has something to fall against when put up to the opening and can be taped to the inside of the mat. We recommend 1/2″ total (which works out to be 1/4″ per side because there are two sides). Once you have your opening and how wide you want your mat, you can come up with your outer dimensions. Again, because the lip of any frame will take up a little of the mat, it’s nearly impossible to get the exact amount of space (unless you have the frame in hand and can measure the lip exactly), So for example, if your piece is an 11×14 photo and you want 2″ of matting you would:
Take 11×14 and remove 1/2″ from each side to get 10.5×13.5. This is your opening size. Then add 4″ to each side (this is taking both sides into account) to get 14.5×17.5. This is your outside dimensions and the opening size of your frame. Or, if you want a standard sized frame, a 16×20 would give you about 3.25″ of matting all the way around.
SHOULD I GET ACID FREE?
Most paper products contain some acidic chemicals. The amounts are minute, but over time they can discolor or damage a piece that they’ve been attached to for a long period of time. If the piece you’re matting and putting in a picture frame is not particularly special to you or is not valuable or will never be removed from it’s frame then you can probably safely use any standard or premium mat. It takes a long time for any damage to occur, if it ever does. However, if the piece is a one of a kind, a limited edition or something with sentimental value, you may want to consider acid free. Acid free mats are a little more expensive and don’t come in as many colors but they will not mar or damage your piece, even after years and years. If you are going to choose an acid free mat you’ll also want to be sure and affix your piece with acid free tape.
There are a lot of other questions that can go into matting; multiple openings, double and triple mats, color choices and textured mats. When you have specific questions about matting, you can always call the customer service department at Frame USA (800-577-5920) or live chat them through the website and they will help you choose and size the right mat for your piece. You can also use our Build-A-Frame service to do a step by step process that shows you what the mat and frame will look like (and you can even upload an image and compare it against your wall color to see how it will look) to make things even easier. Or if you know exactly what you want, feel free to go straight to Mat Designers and put in an order.
Matting may seem complicated once you get into it, but don’t overthink it and always ask questions. Your framed art piece will be better for it.
October is here. Pumpkins, warm apple cider, a chill in the air and falling leaves. Lots and lots of falling or fallen leaves. When the foliage turns color and begins to drop from branches, it might be fun to preserve some of the more beautiful specimens you can find. There are hundreds of crafts that can be done using autumn foliage that are great for kids and adults, but we will just talk about two very simple ones that you can do using picture frames from Frame USA.
Before you get to the frames however, you have to get some leaves. The first week of October is prime foliage collection time. Everything has had a chance to change to those beautiful red, yellow and orange hues and have hit the ground but are still supple and haven’t really started to dry out and turn brown and crumbly. Try and get as many different types and colors of leaves as you can, large and small. A variety of shapes to choose from will make your crafts more interesting. Plus, it’s just nice to be out in the crisp autumn air. When you get them home, if you’re not going to use them right away, be sure to store them in a cool, dark place. It wouldn’t hurt to put them in sealable, airtight plastic bags either.
Once you have a good selection of leaves, you can start the first project; framing fall foliage as a picture. There are a lot of ways you can arrange your leaves, but the two that are easiest is to frame one large leaf by itself, or create a collage of different leaves, almost a mosaic. The first thing you’ll want to do, either way, is to preserve your leaves a little. I suggest starting out by drying them. You can do this very easily by putting them between two pieces of wax paper and then closing them in a large book overnight. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to spray your leaves with a UV resistant acrylic sealer. This will help keep their colors from fading over time. You’ll want to do one side, then when that dries, flip them over and do the other. These are both spray-heavy projects actually, because I also suggest using spray adhesive (for this first project) and you can also use a glossy spray finish if you want to give your leaves a shiny look. Once you’ve treated your
leaf or leaves, and they’re dry, you can spray a piece of white foam core (all of these supplies are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local craft/hobby store and the leaves are free) with spray adhesive and quickly (but gently) affix the leaves or leaf in the position you want them/it. The adhesive dries quickly so you won’t have much chance to rearrange so you will want to plan this out first.
We have several wood picture frames that are ideal for autumn inspired framing project. The first is one of our rustic barn wood frames. Our Appalachian Barnwood to be exact. I would recommend it in the rustic brown color to give it that real outdoors-y, fall feel. This is a real wood frame with a 3/4″ recess and a 7/16″ usable depth. This is a good frame for any DIY type of project and perfectly shows off homemade art and photos.
If you’re looking for something a little more whimsical and bright, I would suggest our Colori Large picture frame in orange. This frame is made from an eco-friendly wood composite and finished with a colorful wrap. It has a flat 2″ profile and a 1/2″ usable depth. This frame is great if you’re doing this project with kids and want to maybe hang the piece in their room or in a classroom. It also comes in yellow and red, if you’re doing multiple frames and want to represent all the fall colors.
Now that we’ve framed leaves, it’s time to put leaves on the frame itself. After treating your leaves you can choose a bunch of different ones that you like to affix to the outside of our Decorate-It wood picture frame. The Decorate-It frame is made specifically for crafting and comes in 3 flat profiles; a 1 1/2″, a 2″ and a 3″ width. For this kind of project I recommend the 2″ width to give you more room to play with.
You can use spray fixative for this again but because it’s wood I would actually suggest using a very thin layer of wood glue to hold the leaves really tight. Arrange them in any pattern you like around the edges of the frame and after you’ve glued them in place I suggest spraying them with the gloss finish, and a layer of spray adhesive, just for good measure and to make them look good. After everything dries you now have a nice autumn picture frame that you can maybe put halloween photos or Thanksgiving photos in.
Autumn is maybe the prettiest season of the year and you’ll be glad you have something in your home that reminds you of it all year long.
Sometimes you want to reinvigorate the interior design of a room that’s maybe gone stale. Maybe you still like the color scheme and the furniture but it feels like it needs a little…something. Something to give it some new life. One trend that’s hot right now in decor is Gallery Walls or frame clusters. This is a method of grouping picture frames of varying sizes and profiles, though similar in style, on a wall or in an area to give that spot a theme. The idea for your frame cluster can be broad or specific. You can use framed posters, art or photos to create a sort of mini-environment; a photo wall that feels like a special part of the room. Using frames this way helps to give the room a bit of purpose and personality.
Maybe you don’t have a spare room to set up as a home office, so you’ve pushed a small desk into a corner of your bedroom or dining room from which to do some work. It just feels a little out of place and intrusive just stuck in there like that because it’s so solitary. Use the two walls that form the corner you have it in and put together your Office Gallery Wall. At Frame USA we have a number of different wood picture frames that would be perfect for creating this effect. Three frames that would be ideal for this would be our
Diploma Wide in Mahogany, our Classic series in black and our Executive in Library Mahogany.
Making sure to choose different sizes and orientations (some portrait, some landscape) choose images that are calm and neutral. Maybe black and white photos of landscape and architecture. Illustrations and line art in muted colors are also good for creating an office feel, and of course, any business certificates you may have that you like to display. Then, working at about two thirds up the wall from the surface of your desk, begin arranging your cluster of picture frames. With sizes ranging from 5×7 to 11×17 (probably not much bigger than 16×20) you can put your biggest in the center and put your smaller frames along the outside. You can do the opposite approach and put your biggest frames on the outside and get smaller as you near the center. There are an infinite number of ways to arrange your picture frames. If your office is in the corner, use both walls that create the corner. This gives your spot the feel of a separate space, not just a haphazardly placed desk shoved into a room for necessity.
Using wall gallery picture frame clusters can create interest in different settings. In the kids’ room there might be a lot of posters and colorful, whimsical art. Our
Colori picture frames come in many fun, vibrant colors and putting a wall gallery above a child’s bed would give them a place all to themselves where they can daydream happily.
In the dining room, maybe you have a bare wall that could use a little something. A cluster of frames showing family photos in a rustic picture frame like our Appalachian Barnwood frames might be just
the thing to give it the warmth you’ve been looking for.
Picture frame clusters are a fun and easy way to turn any old room into a unique gallery that says something personal about how you like to enjoy that space. Create a photo wall that reflects what you want that room to say.