Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You Can Frame It

I'm always coming across antique hand-colored book plates,
architectural prints, and other vintage ephemera that is too lovely not to save and frame. 
 Framing can be pretty costly, but I've found a few ways to display the treasures in not so expensive ways.

One of the easier ways to frame your "art" is to simply use a picture frame.  I find that picture frames  have much more interesting designs and also find them to be much less expensive than custom frames.  I also like to use the frames because you have the option of hanging them on a wall, or displaying them on a flat surface like a mantel, table, or bookcase.  I always try to purchase them with both options.  Similar to this.

Recently I bought a pair of frames.  I loved them because they looked like patent leather.
  I decided to contrast the contemporary frames with old world architectural prints. 
I like to find a frame very close to the measurements of my artwork.  If you need to trim the artwork, I use the glass in the frame for a pattern.  You can see through it and know exactly where to cut.  I trim with a small exacto knife and use the edges of the glass as a straight edge.  I use a cutting board under the print I'm trimming.  It's always a perfect fit.

Old World Meets Modern
I also like to recycle unique vintage picture frames.  I found this wonderful print of a man's face.  It was the cover on an early French magazine.  I loved his face and the french words surrounding him.

It fit perfectly into this ornate vintage metal frame.  The only expense was the frame and the magazine.  No need to pay for a custom frame and mat.  And, the look is unique.

 Many possibilities for this framed print.

If you really like the look of a matted print, I have another solution.  Most of the framing cost is in the frame itself.  If you already have the frame, you can have a custom mat cut for your art for less than $20.  For example, I bought this beautiful antique gilded frame with metal ornamentation.

I wanted to frame an antique hand-colored book plate of a stork.

Stork Book Plate

I had the frame shop cut a mat to fit the frame and the art.  The mat only cost $16.
I usually pay a little more to have the frame shop install the mat and print.

Here's the final result.

Here it is on my bookshelf in my family room.

One last example.  I had an antique bird print and antique frame.  Again, I had a mat cut to fit the print and the frame and had it installed.

Here it is on the shelf of the other matching bookcase.

Please share your framing successes.


To see a previous post about how I styled this pair of bookcases, go here.