Friday, February 4, 2011

Frugal Framing

  I'm always coming across vintage prints--botanicals, architectural prints, or other ephemera.  While the prints are relatively inexpensive to purchase, the framing can cost ten times the price of  the prints.  What works for me is to find an empty frame I like that is larger than the print. 
I then take the print and the frame and have a mat cut.
 Here's an example of how this worked for me.

Last Fall I went to The Big Flea in Chantilly, Va. on a antiques shopping trip with Eddie Ross and 
Jaithan Kochar. What fun and so informative. I always look forward to reading his blog.  He has so many talents and one of those I totally relate to is the way he shops vintage and then creatively makes vintage work for today's style.  You can find out about all his creative accomplishments here
Sorry, back to the post.  While shopping,  I found some fabulous old book plates of shells and fossils.  

I knew that they would be perfect with some vintage frames I had found in the summer.  I purchased the frames with no particular plan in mind for them, which unfortunately is how I frequently do things.  I fell in love with the snakeskin and the mini red leather border and knew I would eventually use them.
Pretty wonderful.

I took the bookplates and the frames to Michaels, selected a mat color, and had them cut a mat to fit the artwork and the frame.  Each mat was only $16.00.  I know the frames had their flaws, but they were so unique that I wanted to use them. 
Here's how they turned out after matting and framing.

I think they fit in perfectly with my other shell stuff.  What do you think?

I'm working on styling some shelves in a cabinet that I just updated with paint.  Make sure you stop by next week for some tips you can use to give your bookcase a designer look.



  1. Great frames and they work perfectly with the book plates.

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  3. Great redo with the prints and frames!! I am wanting to put a little seaside in my decorating for spring- love the prints

  4. Fabulous job. The colors blend so nicely with everything else on your mantel.

  5. Hey thanks for stopping by! I have used this trick too, in fact have a print at the art store right now with the mat being cut and finished for a custom look!

  6. Great deal for a very expensive end result.
    Mary Ann