From Frames

Decorate It 2" Frame

Framing Up Valentine’s Day

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.

The Decorate It Frame

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

Decorate It 2" Frame
Decorate It 2″ Frame

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.

The Unfinished Frame

Unfinished Profile 1
Unfinished Profile 1

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.




Laser Engraving

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

Corporate Wide Red Mahogany
Corporate Wide Red Mahogany

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

Shadowbox Elite Honey
Shadowbox Elite Honey

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.





Posters & Posterframes

Not all valentines are ready for something so meaningful. Maybe it’s someone you’ve been dating for a short while–long

Terminator in a Budget Saver Black Frame
Terminator in a Budget Saver Black Frame

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.



The Art I Frame at Home: Megan Kelley

Hello art enthusiast and frame prospectors!


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.”

patti smith 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 doctor who 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 various triptych 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 winter picture 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.

california triptych


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.


Best Kitty Cat 2016

Framing Excellence: Certificate and Diploma frames

Recognition is something we get all too rarely in this world and it’s something to be cherished. A verbal compliment or note of appreciation can really pick up your day, but when you receive a tangible, hard copy of an accomplishment–than can last forever. You can look to those when you’re not having such a great day and maybe remember that you earned that accolade. Awards, certificates, diplomas–they should be framed and hung where you can see them, in a nice picture frame that shows off your accomplishment. At Frame USA we have a large selection of frames that are designed specifically for this purpose.

Boardroom Certificate Black w/Gold
Boardroom Certificate Black w/Gold

If you’re looking for a more ornate wood picture frame to hang your certificate in, a great frame is our Boardroom Certificate Frame. The Boardroom Certificate picture frame comes in 4 colors; black, walnut, cherry and gold. They all feature some scoops and beveling and include a decorative beading along the inside edge. All of them come available with gold beading but the black and walnut also have versions with beading that matches the finish of the frame.

Another great frame with a sense of nobility and honor is the aptly named Diploma frame. This series is somewhat simpler than the boardroom certificate. It has a sloped profile with a smaller

Diploma Narrow, Windsor Pecan
Diploma Narrow, Windsor Pecan

inner slope that acts as an inner accent. Diploma frames come in two profiles, a 1 1/4″ and a 2″. These frames are really ideal for your degree or certificates of merit.

What if what you want to frame is not for personal achievement? What if you want to display your restaurant’s Board of Health certification or OSHA regulations in your workshop? You don’t really want a decorative frame for those kinds of documents but you still want them to look nice. Frame USA has you covered there as well.

Deluxe Certificate Frame, Walnut
Deluxe Certificate Frame, Walnut

For when you want customers to see that your business has received a certification or an accolade–something you want above the register or counter–a good frame to choose would be our Deluxe Certificate frame. These picture frames have a slim profile, just a 3/4″ wide, with a gentle scoop inward and a gold foil accent along the inner edge.

Maybe you just have some simple rules you want to hang in your warehouse though, or the number of days you’ve gone accident free. You really don’t need anything fancy and just want

Metal Certificate Frame, Silver
Metal Certificate Frame, Silver

the most basic of frames. A perfect choice would be our Metal Certificate frames. These are thin (3/8″ wide) with a 7/8″ depth. They come in a wide variety of bright colors, some of which have both shiny and flat finishes. An eye catching but unobtrusive and affordable way to your certificates seen.

So when you’re wanting to frame that symbol of excellence, visit and let us help you make it shine.





Superfriends Poster

Nostalgia Trip: Superfriends Poster

“Meanwhile…back at the Hall of Justice…”

Does that phrase cause chills of excitement for the adventure that’s about to happen? Then you were probably a kid in the 70’s or 80’s sitting cross-legged, eating cereal and because it was Saturday morning and you were watching the Superfriends.

Superfriends Poster
Superfriends Poster

Actually, it could have been Saturday morning or any afternoon during the week depending on what year it was. Hanna-Barbera’s Superfriends ran, in one form or another, under various titles from 1973-1986. New episodes aired on Saturdays but reruns were on all week long during “cartoon time” (the time after school, before the news came on–duh). The show featured DC characters from the Justice League of America comic books–Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman and Robin, Aquaman, Green Lantern, the Flash, and Hawkman. It also featured some characters created specifically for the show, Zan and Jayna (the wonder twins) and their space monkey Gleek, as well as the well-intentioned but racially dubious Black Vulcan, Samurai, Apache Chief and El Dorado. They all came together to battle aliens, monsters, mad scientists and most importantly–The Legion of Doom. The Legion of Doom were the arch nemeses of the Superfriends made up of classic DC villains like Lex Luthor, the Scarecrow, the Riddler, Brainiac, etc. Their base was a cool flying dome shaped like Darth Vader’s helmet that rose out of a spooky swamp. No matter how powerful or bad the Legion was, however, the Superfriends always managed to prevail. Usually do to some deus ex Machina solution that came out of nowhere near the end of the episode. It was colorful, bright, silly and full of the best sound effects ever.

That’s why we here at Frame USA and Posterservice are very excited to be getting in a new 22×34 Superfriends poster featuring the heroes outside of the iconic Hall of Justice (which coincidentally was designed based off of the Union Terminal building which is here in Cincinnati). This will be a great addition to any of you nostalgia nerds, cartoon lovers or DC completist’s collections. Perfect to put in a picture frame and hang in your office with all of your other movie posters and framed art.

And what kind of picture frame or poster frame would complement your Superfriends Poster? On we have just about any frame you could think of to house your poster. There are a couple in particular though that might suit it best.

Deluxe Poster Frame Silver
Deluxe Poster Frame Silver

If you’re thinking cheap picture frames (financially speaking) that are still sturdy and look good, your best option might be our Deluxe Poster Frames. They come in black, gold and silver, and for your Superfriends poster, I’d suggest silver to give it that sci-fi feel.

Maybe you want a more substantial frame to hang your poster in though, there are some good metal picture frames and wood picture frames that we offer that would show off your Superfriends art nicely.

Our Metal I series comes in a number of simple colors (red, white, blue, gold and silver) and has a shiny

Metal I Blue
Metal I Blue

finish. The red and blue especially would set off the poster seeing as how many of the characters costumes contain those colors.

Colori Medium Yellow
Colori Medium Yellow

For a great wood picture frame option, our Colori Medium comes in a number of bright, solid colors (red, blue, orange, yellow green) that, again, go with the childlike, cartoony feel of the poster. I would still probably go with a red frame or a blue frame although a yellow Colori frame would also make the Superfriends poster pop.

Whatever you decide, if you want to recapture a little of that innocence of your lost youth, or you’re introducing your kids (or even grandkids!) to the Superfriends, picking up a poster from Posterservice and putting it in a nice picture frame from Frame USA is a great way to do it. It will make you feel like a hero.



Lindsay ALlen

Adventures in Canvas Framing

Post by Lindsay Allen, Inside Sales Representative for Frame USA

Lindsay ALlen

Lindsay Van Gogh
Lindsay Van Gogh’s Masterpiece

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 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.


Floating Frame
The Floater Frame

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.

Lindsays framed canvas


I am so excited to get my canvas framed and hung on my wall! It will truly be a work of art!




freestore fb

Charity of the Month: Freestore Foodbank

Hunger. It’s something we’re all familiar with; something we’ve all felt. If you go too long throughout the day without eating it makes you start to feel bad, even sick. It’s nice to be able to just run somewhere to get a quick bite, or to grab a snack out of the fridge or pantry and make that go away. Unfortunately, some people–many people–in this country can’t do that. Their hunger can go on and on because they’re unable to get food form themselves or worse, for their families. The reasons are varied and irrelevant. No one should have to go without food. In 1971, a Cincinnati man named Frank Gerson thought that same thing and began keeping food and household items he saw being discarded at his work to give to disadvantaged families. This act of kindness grew into one of the largest foodbanks in the state of Ohio. This is Frame USA‘s Charity of the Month:

The Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati.

The Freestore Foodbank of Cincinnati

The Freestore is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that collects food and household goods that most of us take for granted, and distribute them throughout 20 counties across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. They purchase, solicit and collect food donations and provide 20 million meals a year. They work with 250 different community partner agencies to make this happen. They are a member of the Feeding America network of food banks and rescue programs and their mission is simple:

“We provide food and services, create stability, and further self-reliance for people in crisis.”

One of their core values is a commitment to the idea that “we will not accept hunger.” And they don’t. They have a “Customer Connection Center” in downtown Cincinnati where people in need can go to receive help. And not just with food–they provide clothing assistance, help with money management, bus tokens, housing and rent assistance and a homeless outreach program. In addition to this they seek out families in crisis who aren’t close enough to come to the Connection Center but still need their help. In addition to this they have other food related programs to help stamp out hunger:

Cincinnati COOKS!
The Giving Fields
Rosenthal Fresh Food Initiative
Power Pack
Kids Cafe

Please go to their website to learn more about how you can help, not just in Cincinnati, but in your own hometown. Also, if you’d like to donate you can click on the “donate” button on your checkout screen to send a donation to the Freestore (we also donate $0.75 of every frame order to our Charity of the Month).

With Thanksgiving coming up, eating will be on most of our minds. Let’s try to get everyone fed, not just for this month, but every month.



The Walking Dead are Shambling to Frame USA

Halloween is approaching and that’s a time to start talking about spooky things. Ghosts, vampires, werewolves and…zombies. Which are of particular interest to us here at Posterservice and Frame USA because, not only are we fans of AMC’s hit horror/dramas “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” but because we also happen to carry posters from both shows. Posters that would look good in picture frames hung up, perhaps for a Halloween party or as a gift to your favorite horror fan.

Fear the Walking Dead--"Gloria"
Fear the Walking Dead–“Gloria”

Our newest poster in our Walking Dead collection is from the newer of the two shows, “Fear the Walking Dead,” which just ended its first season two weeks ago. “Fear the Walking Dead” takes place at the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, when the outbreak first starts. It features an entirely new cast of characters who don’t start off with the benefit of knowing exactly what is going on. They have to navigate their way through acceptance of the situation and even just believing their own eyes when the hungry dead rise to feast on the living. Our new poster features the first walker we see in the series, “Gloria” after she’s just fed.

No need to be sad that “Fear the Walking Dead” is over till season 2, though, because picking up for it is the original, “The Walking Dead” which just started its sixth season. If you’re not familiar, it’s the story of a group of people banding together to survive after the zombie apocalypse has brought civilization to its knees. Based on the wildly popular comic series, created by Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore, it deals with issues of holding on to your humanity in a world where you must be ready to do anything just to survive.

We have a number of great posters from the original “The Walking Dead,” featuring walkers, Daryl, Rick, Morgan, Glen and Maggie.

The Walking Dead--"Season 5"
The Walking Dead–“Season 5″
The Walking Dead--"Season 4 Daryl"
The Walking Dead–“Season 4 Daryl”
The Walking Dead--"Season 6"
The Walking Dead–“Season 6″
The Walking Dead--"Season 3"
The Walking Dead–“Season 3″









Simply Poly White Poster Frames
Simply Poly White Poster Frames

Once you’ve chosen the posters that really stoke your Walking Dead fever, you’ll want to

Metal I Picture Frame
Metal I Blue Picture Frame

frame them (no bare paper edges for the baddest survival group in post-apocalyptic America!). All of the posterframes that can be found in our poster frame category would work well for these, particularly our Budget Saver and Simply Poly poster frames. However, maybe you want to go that extra mile for these posters and house them in something more permanent. We have some slim metal frames and wood picture frames that work really well as posterframes too. Our Metal I and Metal II series of frames are perfectly suited for this purpose. But if you don’t like a metal finish

then our Architect wood picture frames are probably the best bet for you. With a sturdy 3/4″ profile, and a wide selection of colors they show off your posters with class.

Architect Natural
Architect Picture Frame Natural

So hurry, Sunday will be here before you know it (week 3!). You want to make sure you have Daryl and his trusty crossbow watching over you in case any bloodthirsty, flesh-hungry walkers try to get in at you. So head on over to to pick up a couple of posters and then just click the tab at the top to go to and get frames for them. Then you’ll be zombie safe and ready to watch.


Clair Shaw

Arting and Framing

Hi, my name’s Clair. Quality Control Specialist for Frame USA by day, Artist by night. Clair Shaw

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.

What mat is right?

Talkin’ Bout Mats

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.


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.

What mat is right?
                                                                                          What mat is right?

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.


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.

Mat Diagram



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.

Decorate-It 2"

Framing Fall Foliage

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 Autumn 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

Colori Large Orange
Colori Large Orange

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.

Appalachian Barnwood Rustic Brown
Appalachian Barnwood Rustic Brown

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.

Decorate-It 2"
Decorate-It 2″

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.