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shadow box frames

Shadow Box Frames as Fine Art – Exploring Dioramas

Shadow Box Frames and Fine Art Assemblage

Recently, we’ve seen a great shift between the realms of 2D and 3D art. Not quite paintings and not quite sculptures, these art pieces are more of an assemblage of 3D objects meant to be viewed on a 2D-plane. You may have even made these in school at some point.

Today, we are talking about dioramas.

Not your average middle school project

While popular for school projects, this Alice in Wonderland piece is proof that dioramas are every bit as capable of being fine art.

 

Before you get skeptical, these are anything but your average diorama. Shadow box frames are typically used to hang sports jerseys and personal memorabilia, and custom framers are great at arranging these objects to fit whatever the customer may need. Using shadow boxes for fine art, however, requires much more creativity and artistic know-how. You will need to experiment and try different methods of mixed media and sculpture to get the effect you’re looking for.

shadow box frames

Don’t be afraid to experiment, though! Experimentation is how you become more advanced in your art, and trying a slew of different things is necessary to become more creative and technically skilled. Find our shadow box frames here to get started!

For a great inspiration board from pinterest, click here.

To see how Audra Krunkle from Oddities: San Francisco does her work, click here.

DIY framing

DIY Craft Ideas – Picture Framing Projects

Frame USA Offers Craft Kits for those who Love to “Do It Yourself”

We get it, we get it! Projects that start with a broken couch and an old rusted locomotive engine often DO make some of the coolest home design pieces. Just like we can’t get enough of lightbulbs turned into gardening fixtures or christmas wreaths made out of coat hangers. It’s fun, stylish, cheap incredibly creative.

We make it a point to offer a few lines of products that our customers can tweak and edit to their heart’s desire. Below, we’ll list some sources of great products that you can use to make your own custom frame designs — but first, a video that should clarify the whole DIY process for beginners!

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the inspiration – create – share phases, you’ll be churning out great projects in no time. Here are some products we offer that have inspired some great customer creations in the past — we’re sure you’ll find them useful, too!

Unfinished Picture Frames: The ultimate favorite when it comes to complete personalization, the unfinished series can be oiled, glossed or stained to create the perfect look you’re trying for.

Decorate – It Picture Frames: A favorite for the kids, the Decorate-It series  has always been a great success for ourselves and customers alike. The highlight of this frame is the totally open, flat surface which you can use to decorate in any way you’d like. We’ve really enjoyed taking these to local festivals and fairs, bringing craft supplies and letting kids decorate their own frames. You really can’t go wrong with Decorate-It, as a professional or as a craft-lover.

DIY framing
Just one example of the crafty things you can create with Decorate-It, such as this “gesso / painted coral” look.

U-Frame Kits: These metal frame kits are unique in that they do not come assembled, rather, they arrive to you in two pieces per item purchased. What does this mean for you? Total framing freedom! Our easy-to-use kits come with assembly instructions and come with two pieces of moulding per item bought. What this means is that you can buy a 24 inch U Frame Kit and a 36 inch U Frame Kit, then assemble them to create a 24×36 frame! Aside from the freedom in assembling your own way, you also have the ability to mix colors if your art piece calls for something outside of the traditional frame.

Shadow Box / Jersey Frames: Being in the home town of both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds, we see a pretty great amount of business from Shadow Box customers. Shadow box frames are also commonly referred to as “Jersey frames” among athletes and sports fans. These are good for many other purposes, however — dioramas, antiques, art installations and 3D assemblage pieces are among many other ways to use these frames to their fullest.

Acid – Free Mat Tape “Frame”: A relatively new method (popularity-wise) that involves wrapping the outside of the frame in tape, creating unique designs where the only limitation is your own creativity. Our mat tape is perfect for things like this! See some awesome examples here!

DIY Frames
Custom Picture Frame Mats: We also offer custom mats to fit any frame you may already have built. Using MatDesigners, you can order mats that can fit into almost any picture frame with the exact style and opening you’re looking for.

Other fun series: Barnwood and Corporate always produce fun results for our customers, just because of their versatility and price. Barnwood is naturally a very earthy look, so this frame already fits the DIY description!

Follow us on Pinterest for more on some fun “DIY” projects. We would love to see what great things you’ve created with our frames!

Pinterest DIY Projects

DIY Art Projects

Sometimes, you need an extra little bit of motivation to get started with a new year – especially if you’re a creative type. Luckily, we have Pinterest to keep us in the know about simple DIY Art Projects throughout the year. If you haven’t joined the Pinterest community (or worse, haven’t heard of Pinterest), it may be time to crawl out of the rock you’ve clearly been under and join! Pinterest is a great resource for creatives, anyone from stay-at-home moms to small business owners and Etsy merchants.

Many of our Pinterest followers enjoy posting and sharing different DIY projects that they have done, or they’ll share ideas that we’ve shared. Framing is an art in itself, and there’s no doubt that many art projects of this type involve wall-mounted displays.

Monochrome Photo Wall
You’ll find many great inspirational images like this on craft blogs and Pinterest.

DIY Craft Materials

Etsy is a great place to find a supplier to get you started for materials. Depending on what you need for your project, you can find things for pretty cheap. Another great place to look is Amazon, but be wary about constantly-changing prices.

We also have some great products and accessories that give you the freedom to display in any way you want. From posterhangers to frame connectors; matting tape to mounting tape — we have it all. Find them here: http://www.frameusa.com/hangers-accessories

Unfinished/DIY Picture Frames

Along with having the right materials, you’ll need a starting point for a frame. If you’re the type to create a frame by hand, then big kudos to you! There are several great ways to do this. For the rest of us, though, it’s great to have a starting point.

  • Unfinished Picture Frames: These are shaped like a standard frame, but do not have any finish or stain to them (hence the name!) With these, you can alter the color, finish, neatness and anything else you can think of!
  • Decorate-It Picture Frames: This series has the sole purpose of being decorated. Perfect for fun crafts with the kids or for total customization. Several of our customers love them for Etsy and Pinterest projects!
  • U-Frame Kits: Made of metal and made to last, these metal picture frames come to you ready-to-assemble. Simply grab your closest screwdriver and start assembling! These babies can hold much larger artwork than the standard metal frame and look great for gallery displays.
  • Shadow Box Frames: The pinnacle of the “DIY” theme, shadow boxes give you the power to conceive the ultimate creative project. The challenge of creating a 3D composition for a 2D display can be tough, but is always rewarding. Use this for sports collectibles, historic documents, wedding ornaments, dioramas, or contemporary art pieces.

DIY Art Projects Inspiration

For all things creative and art-oriented, you can never go wrong with Pinterest and Etsy. Pinterest is the best place for discovering projects and (if you’re lucky) walkthroughs on how to complete the project. Etsy is great for seeing other completed projects and comparing them to your own. It’s a good milestone in reasoning and comparing whether your finished product could be received well on Etsy or not. Of course, if the DIY art project is for yourself, then you don’t even need this step! Create away!

Pinterest DIY Projects
Pinterest is always a good place to start.

What sorts of projects are on the horizon for February? Follow us on Pinterest and share what you have planned!

Etsy Artists Spotlight – Small Business Saturday Gift Guide

We’ve received some great feedback on our Small Business Saturday Initiative, and we’re more than excited for the opportunity to promote these wonderful artists and small businesses! If you have yet to make your holiday purchases, consider these wonderful artists and craftsmen for your holiday shopping. Remember, shopping small and buying local helps our local and overall US economy! At Frame USA, we’re 100% behind products that are made in the United States.

Susan Monty Fine Art

“I am a fine artist specializing in equine art. I draw and paint whatever captures my eye, but horses will always be my favorite subject. I strive to capture a realistic, but artistic and expressive, likeness of my subjects.

As a lifelong horse lover, I am pleased to donate a portion of sales from my Second Chances series to Pure Thoughts, Inc. Horse & Foal Rescue (www.pthr.org) or New England Equine Rescues (www.newenglandequinerescues.com). Both of these groups have saved the lives of numerous horses, and I am proud to use my art to help. Many of the prints in my shop are from my Second Chances series, an ongoing project in which I paint portraits of rescued horses and tell their stories.

I am also passionate about saving America’s wild horse and burros. I have started a series of paintigs of these magnificent animals. Unless something is done to protect them, wild horses will only be seen in photos and paintings. I will donate a portion of all sales of these mustang paintings, cards, and prints to Journey’s End Ranch Animal Sanctuary (www.jersanctuary.org).”

Click here to view Susan’s Etsy shop.

etsy art christmas
Susan’s fine art painting is phenomenal! Be sure to check out her painted ornaments – perfect for the holidays.

 

Few Kind Words

“Everyone needs just a little time and a few kind words! Shop our monogram quote prints for yourself or as unique and personalized gifts for weddings, nurseries, or friends. We print on high-quality card stock and frame in a white driftwood with an antique white mat. We can customize any order with different letters, quotes, fonts, and colors.”

Click here to visit this Etsy shop.

Shop Owner Mary Ellen uses our White Driftwood frames to create her simple, yet elegany Monogram framed prints!
Shop Owner Mary Ellen uses our White Driftwood frames to create her simple, yet elegant Monogram framed prints! These prints are also great for the holidays, particularly as gifts for infants, weddings, or for those you want to inspire!

Junebug’s Creative Concepts

“Decorative photo frames, wood letters and more. Great personalized gifts! Decoupaged and distressed so each item is unique. Any item can be customized.

Looking for a gift? I can mail items directly, and I’ll even gift wrap it and include a hand written note for free. Mark my shop as a favorite and come back often. I’m always adding new things. Thanks for visiting and be sure to “Like” me on Facebook to be the first to know about new items and promos. “

Click here to visit Junebug’s Creative Concepts on Etsy.

Etsy Art
Stephanie Bruno, owner of “Junebug’s Creative Concepts”, uses our frame moulding to create beautiful decoupaged frames!

 

Name On Your Wall

“Name art photography, from Name on Your Wall, uses elements found in nature, architectural details and every day objects to create unique and personal works of art. They are the perfect solution for creative wedding gifts, shower gifts, housewarming gifts, new baby gifts, holiday gifts or for any other occasion. They are also the perfect way to showcase your name, or any word that is special to you, on your own wall. With so many different options for each letter, your creation will truly be unique.

My framed name art is elegantly designed with high quality photographs, custom cut mats, and custom made wooden frames. Your project will receive personal and professional attention from me, incorporating all of your preferences. These details will result in breathtaking and elegant works of art that both you and your loved ones will enjoy for a lifetime!”

Find these prints and more at their Etsy shop!

Name On Your Wall is a [text]
Name On Your Wall is a [text]

William Supko Photography

“I’m a freelance photographer that specializes in outdoor entertainment and events.  I have been a professional photographer for over 5 years.  My main focus includes amusement parks, carnivals, ski areas, beach scenes and nature.”

Click here for a link to his Etsy shop.

DIY
Beautiful photography – particularly for the rollercoaster enthusiast or nature-lover!

 

Tides Of Eternity Art by Chrissy Schroeder

Chrissy Schroeder is a Cincinnati, Ohio local who creates a great amount of baseball-related artwork. Cincinnati is a great place for it to, since we’re also the home of the Cincinnati Reds!

chrissyblog

You can find her work by clicking here.

 

We’ll be sure to keep updating this list as we continue to take submissions. Thanks for joining us in our goal to put America’s small businesses at the forefront of our economy! Small business owner? Leave a comment below and we’ll see what we can do for you!