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Real Wood Frames

Real Wood vs MDF Wood Frames

What’s the difference between real wood frames and MDF wood frames?

In the world of moulding you will find different types of materials used to create individual styles. It might seem as simple as wood vs plastic, but the real story is much deeper. We’ll start at the beginning of the manufacturing process to see how frames start as trees in a forest, but become our beautiful mouldings.

Real Wood

Real Wood

Let’s start by talking about real wood. Personally, my favorite part about real wood is the visible grains on the frames. It gives the frame a unique and personal feel. The texture can really show off the craftsmanship that goes into making these frames.

So real wood – what is it made out of? Most of our frames that feature real wood come from 2 types of trees: Ash and Pine. Pine is the most common. It’s also featured in one of my favorite series, In Depth. However, Ash is my favorite wood since it’s also used to make baseball bats for the major leagues.

There are big pluses to purchasing a natural and real wood frame. The wood will look amazing and give a rustic and modern look to any room and it is sturdier than an MDF frame!

Real Wood Frames

MDF Wood

MDF is an abbreviation for Medium Density Fiberboard. It is the byproduct of wood chips and sawdust which is then pressurized and held together. Because of this every single piece of MDF looks exactly the same. During the manufacturing process, we add a moulding wrap to the frame. Since every piece of MDF looks the same, it insures that it will always look exactly the same no matter how frames you purchase.

MDF Wood Frames

No matter what you cannot go wrong with choosing one over the other because they both have the biggest plus! They will make an amazing frame!

-Zach Giesting

Tips for creative block

Tips to Overcome Creative Block

How to Get Rid of Creative Block

Creative block happens to every artist no matter how professional they are. We all go through times where the inspiration isn’t there. It can be super discouraging to be a creative person with no ideas of what to make. As an artist, I’ve had plenty of ups and downs. There are times when my imagination goes so wild that I can’t get it all out, and other times when I can’t come up with an idea for anything. Here are some ideas of how to get past the slump of artist block and get back to being creative.

Pinterest

pinterest inspiration
Pinterest is full of inspiring photographs, art, tutorials, videos, etc. When I’m struggling to find an idea for a project, one of the first things I do is make a Pinterest board with relevant images. It’s an easy way to find and store inspiration for your work. Whether you’re looking for a drawing reference or interior design ideas, it’s a great resource to get the creative juices flowing.

Sketchbooks and Journals

creative block
No matter what kind of creative person you are, keeping a journal or sketchbook can really come in handy. During those times that you’re full of ideas, you can jot them down for later. When you’re having trouble coming up with something, just revisit those old notes and sketches for inspiration. I’m a firm believe that you should always have a notebook with you. You never know when a great idea (or even a funny comment or sentence you overheard) is going to strike. You’ll thank yourself later for having written it down.

Mix Up Your Routine

Tips for creative block
Sometimes doing the same things every day can put you in a rut. If you’re moving through the day repeating tasks on auto-pilot, your brain isn’t working to its full potential. This doesn’t mean you need to switch your whole schedule. Making even small changes like going to a new coffee shop or reading a book on your porch instead of your couch will wake up your mind. Sometimes it only takes going a little ways out of your comfort zone to ignite the spark.

Don’t Wait For Inspiration

Creativity
Waiting for the inspiration to come to you doesn’t always work. Even if you’re proactively trying to find inspiration, it might not happen for a while. That’s why it’s important to keep working on projects even when you don’t want to. Even the greatest artists can make bad art, and sometimes it’s essential to the process. The process itself can even be more important than the end product. We learn from our mistakes, so don’t be afraid to make them!

Framing Art
And once you’re out of your creative block and back to making great art, don’t forget to proudly display it in a picture frame!

Matting Art Tips

Tips for Matting Artwork – Color, Size, and Display

Matting Artwork

When looking at a piece of art, matting can really brighten or enhance the image. People often ask if you should mat a picture based on the image itself or based on the room it will hang in. It’s actually a little of both. You don’t want to have a mat, frame, and picture totally clash with the wall it’s hanging on. But you also want to highlight some of the colors from the art. I like a mat to pull out some of the subtle colors in a picture. You can use just one mat or multiple! We’ve matted up to 4 times on some of our framed art in the retail store gallery.

Matting Artwork Tips
We also play with spacing the mats differently so there is a small gap between one mat and the next. It’s fun to try and pull colors out that you are drawn to or would like to feature. Mats can help draw your eyes to the uniqueness in a piece of art. You can play with the reveal (amount of each color shown) for each mat. Typically we have the bottom mat show 1/4″ and the top mat is 2″, but this can be customized depending on the art and the customer preference.

Another way to mat artwork is to do what is called “floating”. When you float something, the mat is solid behind your artwork. This is really cool when you have a signature that is right at the edge. Some artwork has rough edges and it would be a shame to hide the unique effect this creates in the piece. This is when floating can really help finish off the art.

Using Mats For Non-Standard Sized Images

Matting is also a great way to put an odd size picture into a standard size frame. For example, you want to fit your 10×12 picture into an 11×14 frame. We can cut a mat that will fit both the frame and the exact size needed for the image. We have tons of mats in stock in several colors. Plus we have a large selection of mats that we can order for customers.

Matting Art Tips Art Matting Tips
If you are framing artwork as a gift for someone, it is best to keep the colors and frames neutral since you don’t know where they may be hanging the gift.

Occasionally, we’ll have a customer bring in their framed artwork looking for something to spruce it up. Just changing the mats can totally change the overall look of your image. It can make it look like a completely new piece! We have so much fun playing with colors and finding what looks the best to make the art really pop!

-Laurie Meurer

New Frame Series - Timber Barn Wood Brown

New Series Spotlight – Timber Barnwood Frames

Hello fellow framers! As we all know, summer is quickly coming to a close. And with that, comes all the fall things (HAPPY DANCE!). This season we’re introducing a brand new series to the Frame USA collection called “Timber”. Our new series Timber Barnwood is a great way to spruce up that She Shed, or dust off those old time, sepia-toned photos to hang around the house. It’s perfect for bringing the tranquility of outdoors inside your home. You’ll thank us for it once the weather gets cold!

She Shed
Rustic framing, or shabby chic, is becoming a major trend in home décor! With three different colors to choose from in this series (black, white, and light brown), you won’t have any trouble at all finding a place for these frames in your home. This series is made from real Spruce wood, but gives the illusion of reclaimed wood without the imperfections. The moulding gives a natural appearance with distressed ridges. Whether you’re stuck in the city and miss the country life, or you’re in the country and want to bring that feeling indoors, these frames are exactly what you’re looking for!

New Frame Series - Timber Barnwood Black New Frame Series - Timber Barn wood Brown New Frame Series - Timber Barnwood White
Just like all of our frames, the Timber series is American-made in our warehouse in Cincinnati, OH. Buying from Frame USA means supporting an American company and getting the best quality products! Now through 8/26/18 you can try these new Timber frames for 15% off. Just use coupon code “TIMBER” at check out to take advantage of this awesome discount!

Dry Mounting Art

What is Dry Mounting and Does Your Image Need It?

Does your image need dry mounting?

Dry Mounting Art   Fine Art Prints
The process of dry mounting adheres your image to foam core using a heat press. Sometimes when art is printed, the paper will have slight imperfections. The process isn’t reversible, but it will remove any bends, smileys, creases, or curls that may be in your art work.

Dry Mounting for Paper creases

The best way to determine whether your image needs to be dry mounted or not is based on the value of your piece. It is highly recommended by our team that photographs, posters, prints, and newspapers are dry mounted before framing. This is because they can be reproduced, since the dry mounting process is permanent. The paper they’re printed on can also be prone to creases or bends. Another reason to dry mount a piece is if your artwork has been stored in a tube for an extended time. Dry mounting will smooth out the curl in your artwork.

Signed Posters

If you have a signed or numbered piece, it’s best to opt out of dry mounting as it does decrease value. Foam core is not archival. And once your art has been dry mounted, it is not able to be removed from the foam core.

Dry mounting is a way to make your art smooth and flat. The materials that we use are PH balanced, so your artwork will not yellow over time. Knowing the process of dry mounting will help you determine whether or not it’s the right process for your artwork.

If you ever have questions about our process or what is best for your artwork, feel free to reach out to us! You can contact us or visit our retail store in Cincinnati, OH with your questions.

 

– Manda Hill
Frame USA Retail and Specialty Lead

Print On Demand Art Prints

Print On Demand Fine Art Prints

The Frame USA Print on Demand team is always hard at work.

Every week we get tons of orders for art prints that we process, print, and frame. We’re able to complete about 300 images in a day! We currently have about 28,000 images from artists that we license and sell through Amazon.

Our Print on Demand team goes through the orders and resizes images to fit properly in our picture frames. Once the images are sized, we print them on our large format inkjet printers. Some art prints are printed onto canvas, while others are printed on semi-gloss paper. We then carefully trim the prints and organize them by the type of frame the customer purchased. Next our framing team takes them for the final steps. Larger art prints need to be dry mounted, while smaller prints are ready to be framed.

Print On Demand Art Prints

Working for the Print on Demand department at Frame USA keeps us busy and is always exciting. It’s a fun mixture of working with technology and art. We get to work with beautiful images while exploring creative solutions to make the department run smoothly. Each of us puts a lot of care into what we do because we enjoy it.

I’m excited for our department to continue growing. I enjoy producing home decor for our customers. We’re one of the newest additions to the Frame USA company, and I’m proud to be a part of it!

-Carrie
Print Lead at Frame USA

Creative Uses of Frames

Creative Frame Uses by Frame USA Customers

We love seeing creative frame uses by our customers!

creative frame uses

Here at Frame USA, our customers are our top priority. However, they are more than just important to our business – they inspire us! Seeing our products used in such a variety of creative ways brings out the artist in all of us.

For instance, the photo above was sent to us by the owner of an Etsy shop called CreativeGlassByBecky. Becky uses frames from Frame USA to create faux stained glass artwork that she sells in her shop. We love that our American-made frames are being used to create art and help an American small business owner run their company.

creative frame uses

Above is another piece of art made with a Frame USA Wood Frame. This reverse glass painting was also made by an American Etsy shop owner whose shop is called KRAM Gifts & Crafts. Reverse glass painting consists of painting in layers on the back of a piece of glass and viewing it from the other side. It is a technique of painting that has existed since the Middle Ages.

 

10922567_827679290607306_5225431918033211832_n Custom Framing

These next photos are examples of our custom frames. Frame USA offers a wide variety of standard frame sizes, however sometimes customers have pieces they want framed that are not standard sizes.

This customer had these beautiful posters they wanted to display, but needed a custom size to fit them.

All of our standard frames can be made in custom sizes by using the “Custom Sizes” tab on our site.

The Design a Frame section of our website is also an option for designing your own custom frame.

 

creative frame uses

Our Decorate-It frame series is another popular frame that leaves room for creativity. These wood frames come unfinished so that you can decorate them yourself however you please! These photos are examples of how one customer decorated their Decorate-It frames. This series is great for painting on or using to collage onto like this artist did.

 

creative frame uses

Weddings are also an occasion where having the perfect picture frame is important. This customer used one of our frames to commemorate their big day in 2011. It’s a great way to decorate a wedding ceremony or reception, or to show off photographs from your wedding afterward. Jared and Diana spelled their last name “Thompson” in a photo collage and displayed it as a decoration.

We love seeing all of the different creative ways our customers use our frames. If you’ve purchased a frame from us, we want to see your photos! Contact us on social media – Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or email us at [email protected]. We will gladly give you a shout out.

 

Floater Frames

Floater Frames and Our New Print-On-Demand Service

Floater Frames for Canvas Prints

Frame USA has recently added to our growing list of services an Amazon.com print-on-demand site. As we mentioned in our recent blog post here, this meant adding a new large format printer to our team in order to increase our productivity.

We offer a huge selection of beautiful art prints and photography that we can now quickly print on high quality canvas. One of the most popular ways our customers choose to have their canvas prints displayed is with our floater frames.

Floater Frames

We stretch the canvas over the floater frames, which gives a sleek and clean look to your art prints. Since the frame is underneath the art, there are no distractions and the image is completely visible! Floater frames make it easy to hang art in your home with a professional look. Many artists and photographers even use floater frames to display their original work.

Using a floater frame for prints or artwork also adds a three dimensional look to the piece. Floater frames get their name from the illusion of floating that they create. The extra dimension it gives your art will really make anyone viewing it even more interested!

Visit our amazon store here to purchase art prints displayed on floater frames, or to get a floater frame for your own artwork visit the floater frame section of our website here.

Floater Frame Prints Floater Frames Floater Frames

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.

 

Kids room Wall Cluster with frames from Frame USA

Gallery Walls Interior Design

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 Windsor Mahogany
Diploma Wide Windsor Mahogany

Boardroom Certificate 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 Medium Yellow
Colori Medium Yellow

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

Appalachian Barnwood Grey
Appalachian Barnwood Grey

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.

Kids room Wall Cluster with frames from Frame USA
Kids room Wall Cluster