Being both an online picture frame company and retail store location, we’ve learned the ins and outs of the framing business. This is not to say that we know everything — far from it! However, we do know a good deal about the difference of the custom framing process. When we released Build A Frame, we changed how custom framing operated.
In our store, retail and online custom framing are of equally high importance. Both orders are assembled with utmost care, attention to detail and design sensibility. The main difference is price point, which is different with every framer out there. Our Build A Frame process and price in the store is the same as it is online. The main difference? Customers in the store can physically see the products in person.
Have you had a great experience with either a retail or online custom framing experience? Let us know in the comments what made it unforgetable!
This month, we check Pinterest for some great DIY projects for framing and “Around the House” decor.
Doing big projects yourself can save you and your family hundreds of dollars — particularly when it comes to home renovations and making your decor stand out. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive, and really, that’s what crafting your own projects is all about. In this blog, we’ll show you some great ways to make an ordinary frame into something far more extraordinary. You can find these ideas and more by visiting our Pinterest page!
Use a picture frame shell to hang your keys
If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that frames aren’t just for framing pictures! Take this example, where a crafty DIY-er screwed some basic wall hooks into the interior of their frame. Search around online and you’ll find plenty of uses for frames besides hanging art: chalkboards, mirrors, hangers and more have been crafted from any standard frame.
Give your frames a new look with dipped corners
Need to spice up a frame, or add a better focal point for your image? Try (carefully) dipping the four corners of your frame into a can of paint! The result takes on the appearance of what is shown above. The tricky part is knowing how far to dip, but a good rule is to measure about 1-2 inches on each side, mark it with a pencil, and then proceed to dip. This is great for matching more than one color in a room, or spicing up your simple black picture frames you may have around the house.
Spray-paint an ornate frame for a more simple, subdued elegant picture frame
While the burlap letter art within the frames are great, we’re more impressed by the paint job on the frames themselves. Some ornate, some simple–a decent spray paint job can entirely changle the look of a frame for the better. While we take pride in our premium wooden frames, we could definitely see series like the victorian and napoleon working very well in the style shown above.
As always, don’t be afraid to think outside the box (or frame)!
Framing is oftentimes most interesting when there is an experimental element added on. Take the image above for example: the separation of the branch is unified throughout the three frames. The aesthetic of the piece is phenomenal, and the crafter only used three frame shells and a branch!
Have something else unique that we haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment below and tell us about your projects!
Crafts can be a great way to pass the time on a rainy day, and it’s important to teach your child how to do crafts when bored instead of always watching television or playing on the computer.
Crafting with your children is also beneficial for your relationship with your children and for them as individuals. The following are four reasons you should do crafts with your kids.
1. It allows you to spend quality time together.
Everyone’s lives today are busy, and it’s hard to sit down with one another and truly enjoy each other’s company without some type of distraction. Crafting allows you to be with the ones you love and create projects together. You can spend the time making crafts and talking about anything you want, such as their likes and dislikes and what they’ve been doing in school or with friends. Quality time is extremely beneficial to your relationship with your children, and it’s something that doesn’t come around very often, so you should make sure to use crafting as a way to be together.
2. It teaches your children to be creative.
Creativity is important, and it’s a skill that many people lack. When you craft with your children, you’re allowing them to express their creativity. They can make something by following the directions, or they can take matters into their own hands and decide which colors to use, which products to use and what to make. Being able to express creativity is important to your child’s overall development, and it can help them realize that they have an imagination and a unique talent that they may have otherwise overlooked.
3. It can teach your children to be frugal.
With all the technological advances children have today, most children are growing up assuming that money grows on trees and that entertainment only comes in the form of spending money. Instead, you can teach your children the value of a dollar by crafting with them. Teach them that instead of spending a fortune on entertainment, they can be entertained at home by creating something. You can also teach them that instead of going to the store and spending money on a product, they can use objects around the home to try and build it themselves. Not only will your child learn about money, but also they’ll feel a sense of accomplishment when the craft is finished.
4. It can start a tradition.
You want your children to have memories of time spent with you, and you want to teach them things that they can pass down to their children. Crafting is a way to do both of those. Your children will certainly remember all the things they made with you during craft time, and they’ll be able to recreate these memories and these crafts with their own children someday. Then, their children can pass the tradition along to their children, and your time spent crafting with your own children has suddenly turned into a family tradition for many years to come.
Jessica Brown is a freelance writer and mother of four who loves frugal crafting. She has recently been sharing some creative kids’ crafts online via blogging.
Thanks to our friends at the PPFA for retweeting and designer Fred Gonsowski, we found a great guide to hanging picture frames! Not only were there plenty of written instructions, but illustrations to help explain the best practices.
The first step in the process is to find the natural lines in your environment. How do the lines appear in your design space? Do they align well and lend themselves to aesthetics? If not, is there anything you can do to change the lines surrounding your frames? While not necessary. it will make your framing look much more professional.
Once you’ve found the lines, be sure to note the lines on illustration 4 through 6. The lines created by the frames should not be on the same architectural lines as the doors and windows — rather, your installations and furniture should create the lines you’ll be using for your framing. Cabinets, cupboards and vases can be used to make this.
What are some hanging tips that you have found in your interior design experience? Let us know below in the comments!
Artistic framing is precise framing, guiding the customer with their ideas to make the total composition fit their exact needs.
In many cases, the design of a picture frame (as well as the mat pairings, v-grooves, bevels etc.) make as much of an artistic statement as the artwork itself. Framers use design principles such as color theory, geometric correctness, depth perception and texture to decide what will compliment your artwork to the best of their ability. This is, of course, all done with the artwork and your own personal preferences in mind, and a good framer will walk you through the entire process.
It’s also an impressive feat when a framer will not only custom frame your piece to perfection, but engrave and/or carve your specific designs into the wood. While we don’t specialize in custom framing to that degree, we do offer personalization services, laser engraving and a fully-staffed custom framing department that can answer any questions you have about making your artwork even better with a frame job that completes the composition.
Unlike other custom framers (both online and in our retail store located in Cincinnati, Ohio), our photography and art-creating customers see much higher sales and return by framing with us. How, you ask? Lower price points for all of our items and labor! In one example, we had a customer call in from a local big-name hobby shop that wanted to charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 for a relatively small frame job (and that was with 50% off!) For the same service (and better quality, in his opinion!) we worked with him to frame his total order for only $479.
You can follow our instagram account to see just what kinds of artwork and memorabilia we’ve been framing, from guitars signed by the “Goo Goo Dolls” to movie posters, sports jerseys to ornate wedding photography. Fill out our custom quote form today to see how we can make your art preservation dream a reality (while also saving you money!
Some of the best frames are also the most simple. That’s the idea behind this week’s picture frame sale of the week.
Whether you’re looking for a standard 2″ (or more) 8×10 frame or a cheap, high-quality frame to handle a large amount of your work, you won’t be disappointed with this week’s frame sales. The theme this week is simple and cheap framing; or frames that will bring out the best look in your art without taking away from the look of your art. There is a fine balance between “simple” and “accenting” that you must find, so minimalist pieces will always look good in the CBG frames.
If you’re going for archival, museum quality framing, you may want to have a look at the premium wood 8×10 closeout frames. They are indeed Closeouts, and therefore very cheap to begin with, but also feature our more substantial mouldings.
So, which sale would be best for you? That’s a decision that you’ll have to make! You can combine them both in the same order though, if you prefer. These sales come out every Monday, so be sure to check in regularly and stay up on the latest deals from Frame USA and FrameCloseouts!
Create and preserve memories with Frame USA’s Personalization options
So, we all know that personalization is a huge factor when it comes to finding the perfect gift. Maybe you’re looking for a new piece of jewlery for your significant other, or looking to get something special engraved for your parents. Personalizing these items will provide a constant reminder of why you find them to be an extra-special part of your life.
Personalizing isn’t just about words, though. Using different colors, imagery and personal flair can mean just as much as words. So how can Frame USA help you with personalized picture frames?
Build A Frame:
Perhaps the best personalization feature on our website is the Build A Frame web application. Our app will walk you step-by-step through the custom framing process, whether you’d like to upload your own image, give us your own dimensions or pick an image from our wide selection of Posterservice images.
Engraving is a classic way of personalizing a wide variety of items. Literally anything with a wood or metal surface can be engraved with great effect. Our customers have been very impressed with the amount of detail our engraving machine can create, especially with our signature Engrave-It series. This is definitely the route to take if you’re commemorating a special event, remembering a wedding, or for anniversaries.
Unfinished Picture Frames:
Both our Unfinished and Decorate-It lines have the crafty folk in mind. These are great for both kids and adults alike, but you’ll definitely get your money’s work when you use these as kid’s craft projects. You can use all of your favorite crafting materials to make it, and a trip to your local art and craft store should inspire you to make some great artwork.
For when you want something that looks like it was professionally framed at a fraction of the cost, look no further than our U-Frame 1 and 2 kits. These require assembly upon arrival, but we promise it’ll take no more than 5 minutes to put together. We also include instructions on assembly (Just 3 easy steps). Then all that’s left is to drop in your art!
What are some clever ways that you personalize your items? Let us know!
Being primarily a wholesale framing business, we don’t make it a point to emphasize custom framing quite as much as our great deals and high-quality product. However, we do have a custom framing department both for our Build A Frame feature and our retail store in Cincinnati, Ohio. While not our main focus, we still offer the best deals around with the best service on the market! (For instance, did you know we were recently nominated for “Best Frame Shop” in Cincinnati?)
Today, we thought we’d share four quick tips on how to not only get the most mileage out of your framing, but also how to best select the materials for your work.
1. If you’re going to be matting an art piece or a print, there’s really no reason to restrict yourself on mat size. Use as much or as little space as you need… However, the mat should not be the same size as the moulding it’s inside. Larger/smaller is fine, but not equal.
2. While we love showing off our frames, the primary purpose of a frame is to showcase your art. Matting or not, you’ll want to choose a picture frame that highlights your art, not something that will “blend in” with it. This in mind, choose textures and colors that make the art stand out on its own. This will generally create a better composition.
3. This is a tip for the interior design-minded out there. While framed art is a great way to decorate a room, you should match colors and textures the the art first, THEN try and match to the decor of your room. Rooms will change over time, or you’ll find yourself moving things around at times. The framed art, however, will always remain the same. (And wouldn’t it be rather silly to re-frame your art every time your room changes?)
4. Don’t be afraid to “mix it up” if you have several different frames in one place. Part of the fun of owning or curating a gallery is knowing how to arrange the pieces, so be sure to experiment with what sorts of frames can hang together.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!