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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

Military Spouse Retreat Charity

October Charity of the Month – Chris Kyle Frog Foundation

Every month, Frame USA chooses a different local or national charity to support. Community involvement and helping those in need is super important to us. We contribute to charities by donating money, time, and resources. For every order placed on frameusa.com, we donate $0.75 to the charity of the month.

Chris Kyle Frog Foundation

October 2018’s Charity of the Month is the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF). This foundation focuses on helping marriages and families of military staff, veterans, and first responders stay together. They offer a variety of resources and programs to strengthen family units and marriages, with the goal of helping future generations. CKFF was founded by Taya Kyle in honor of her late husband, Chris Kyle.

“Chris and Taya knew first-hand the challenges military and first responder families encounter from their lives of service. Prior to Chris’ untimely passing in February 2013, he was developing his vision for CKFF programs to support active duty military, veterans and first responder marriages and families. Today, Taya and the CKFF team are fulfilling Chris’ vision through the development and delivery of life-changing, impactful programs and services to service couples across the U.S.” –www.chriskylefrogfoundation.org

Some of the programs that the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation currently offers are:

Date Night Out – a program for military couples to spend time together and also with other service couples. It’s important to share common experiences and have fun spending quality time together.

Revitalization Retreats – Married service couples can apply or be nominated for a special retreat. The retreat provides accommodation for transportation, meals, activities, entertainment, and child care.

Empowered Spouses Retreat – a weekend retreat in a remote place where spouses can get together and meet people with similar experiences. They also offer professional guidance and a variety of fun activities.

Mastering Your Marriage – This is a Capstone program that combines a retreat and online curriculum to teach service couples new skills to support their marriage.

Military Spouse Retreat Charity

Remember that for all of October 2018, each order on frameusa.com contributes a $0.75 donation to the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation. We also allow you to make an additional donation if you choose at checkout!

 

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

Dorm Room Decorating

Dorm Room Decorating Tips for Back to School

Tips for Dorm Room Decorating

Dorm Room Decorating
When decorating your dorm room there are a few things to keep in mind. Make sure you’re having fun, get creative, and let your personality show through!

Times have changed since I graduated college ten years ago. However I recently helped my younger cousin move into her dorm at the University of Cincinnati. We decorated her walls together.

Whenever I decorate any room, I like to start by drawing a template. My cousin and I drew a little sketch of her room before we started. We positioned her bed and desk first because we were unable to use the wall space above them. Next we drew the areas that we wanted to decorate and decided what to put in these areas.

Most young adults going off to college are on a tight budget. The money they do have they’re trying to save that for food and fun activities, not room decorations. One inexpensive way to decorate your walls is with posters, either by themselves or in frames. This is what we did for my cousin. My cousin loves art, animals, and music so when we went to posterservice.com we shopped mainly in the art and music categories.

Since dorm rooms can be small, plain, and often have little to no natural light, we wanted to stick with colorful posters. An important interior design tip for decorating walls is to hang things in odd numbers, never even numbers. So on her smallest wall we chose 3 posters and hung them in a “V” shape. We called this “Marc’s Wall” because we only used posters by Marc Allante.

Chai Marc Allante Two Step Marc Allante A Portrait of Hong Kong Marc Allante
 

On the left of the wall, we hung up the poster titled “Chai” by Allante. In the middle bottom of the “V” shape, we used the poster “Two Step”, and on the right we hung “A Portrait of Hong Kong”. Some other great posters that are colorful and also very popular are Lion Rasta, Circulation, Melody of the Night and one of my favorites Let That Sh*t Go.

Pink Floyd Masse Golden Road Grateful Dead
Summer Tour Grateful Dead
 

My cousin has an old soul and is a fan of classic rock music, so on Bob Marley Guitar one of her other walls we did a music theme. It was hard for us to narrow down our choices because Posterservice has such a great selection of music posters! We ended up going with Pink Floyd Masse, Grateful Dead – Golden Road, and Grateful Dead – Summer Tour in one area. We also used our black corrugated poster frame to hang The Beatles Yellow Submarine. My cousin also loves Bob Marley, so right above her bed we put a popular poster titled “Bob Marley Guitar”.

The final poster we hung in her dorm room was on her door. We decided for this spot to use one of her favorites, Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”. Once we were finished with her room, it went from looking like a prison cell to a comfortable, inviting, and fun living space!

The Wall Pink Floyd No matter what your style is, Posterservice has something for all personality types, interests, and hobbies. If you’re having a hard time deciding on a poster or poster frame, just call me – Jen Riggsby, Posterservice Manager at 513-250-4135. I would LOVE to help you out. As long as you send me a before and after picture – that is the most rewarding part!!

And if you’re in need of a frame for your new poster, Frame USA’s feature frame of the month for August 2018 is our poster frame series! You can view our selection here and use coupon code “SCHOOLRULES” for 10% off all poster frames through the end of August!

 

 

 

Favorite Frame Series - Decorate It

Favorite Frame Series By Dan Regenold, CEO Frame USA

Our CEO’s Favorite Frame Series

Frame USA CEO Dan Regenold

Favorite Frame Series - Gold Wow, it’s a hard choice for me to try and name my favorite frame series. But, if you put me under pressure, I will give you some personal recommendations of what I would choose to frame my favorite image.

If you are looking for a GREAT gold frame, the American Value #797 Large has always been one of my favorites. It is manufactured at a value price and will look good anywhere. This frame is also very substantial when displayed on your wall.
If you have more of a simple taste in gold, like for a smaller print, maybe for the bathroom or kitchen, I would try American Value Gold #802 Thin—you will not be unhappy with the results.

 

Favorite Frame Series - Corporate Someone told me early on  that with Framing simplicity is usually best. You cannot frame an image more simply that with our Corporate Series. I like the Corporate Narrow frames for just about anything. Corporate is the series you will find that architects choose most frequently for a business setting. It doesn’t take away at all from the artwork and instead enhances the product. A few of my favorite colors—Black, White, Canadian Walnut, Red Mahogany and Brazilian Walnut. You can’t go wrong.

To compliment the corporate frames I might try the Café Collection. The Expresso and Mocha Narrow are colors that are very popular and these choices look great in Narrow or Wide. The Black Series is a profile that will never go out of style. Next to the Corporate Series, the Black Series it is my favorite.

Favorite Frame Series - Clean Cut

 

Under real wood frames—I love the Grande Series Frame in Black or Cherry.  Grande is perfect for doing a lot of the same prints for resale or giveaway. The double finish that the Grande Series offers you will present you with the presentation vs. price you are looking for. The Clean Cut Series is remarkably good—in any color. The green, the blue, the red, the white, they all overachieve with a true “shaker” look. Also, they are at a great price point.


 

Decorate-It Series (especially 1.5 and 2” flat) for a real wood frames offers so many opportunities. Take a look at the “Stem Girls” image that we created where we have lasered the logo on this unfinished frame. It looks great!

Favorite Frame Series - Decorate It IMG_6657

We can laser on the Decorate-It frame or you can have your team decorate the frames themselves with glitter, color, markers, stick-on’s. We can create custom matting. The unfinished segment of our products offer many choices.

Rounding out my favorite series I must tell you I’ve always enjoyed the “stateliness” of our Napoleon frame. Napoleon would be perfect at the Biltmore. It is an old style which is something that never goes away.

Trying for a more contemporary look? Think about the True Depth series. The finish is Favorite Frame Series - Napoleon stunning—white or black, you will not go wrong. At a custom framing shop you would easily pay 3 to 4 times our price.

Finally, Verona Narrow is a handsome frame with a smooth rounded edge. Verona is a little upscale if you are trying for that look. The elegance of our Verona Series will turn heads.

Oh sorry, I’m out of space…I could go on and on…. If they let me write another article I’ll talk to you about our incredible Barnwood and Shadow Box frames.   Until then, happy framing!

Signature

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.