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Offering picture frames, posters, art and more for over 30 years! www.frameusa.com has a great selection, low prices, fast delivery and friendly staff.

At Frame USA, we champion our craft. We make all of our art, frames, and more inside our warehouse. All wood frames produced from Frame USA are 100% made in America! We take great pride with that because not only are we able to produce everything in house, we are still able to offer highly competitive prices.

Shadowbox Assembly Tips From The Experts

The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you can do with a Shadowbox. We’ve highlighted everything from the traditional to the unique on the blog. If the dates on the blog posts we’ve linked are any indication, shadowboxes were and still are a popular choice when it comes to picture frame design.

We’ve given you the ideas on what to put in them, now we’re back with tips on how to accomplish those projects. We got with our retail team to give us their top best tips on shadowbox design.

Materials

If your ultimate goal is to create a one of a kind shadowbox, then you must have the proper materials to get the job done. According to Ethan Clifton, Frame USA Retail Manager, these are the must-have materials for your shadowbox project.

Jersey in Shadowbox

  1. Sewing Kit

A traditional way to use our shadowbox is to frame jerseys or clothing items. When you are framing these fabrics, you want to be able to adhere them to the back of the frame. If you don’t, they will end up in a jumbled mess at the bottom of the box as soon as you try and hang the frame.

Sewing kit & Straight Pins

 

There are three ways of accomplishing this task, the first is a method that has been done for years but requires time and patience. It involves a regular old sewing kit. You will want to choose a thread that closely matches the fabric colors where you are planning on sewing. You will sew the fabric directly onto the foam core back. Another thing that you can do is order a solid sheet of matboard in a color that compliments or allows for the jersey or fabric to stand out. Whichever backing you decide allows you to accomplish your goal you will want to sew your fabric

Depending on the size of your piece you may find it easier to sew if you wrap it around a piece of foam core. This will allow for the fabric to lay totally flat inside the frame.

  1. Tag Gun

Tag Gun Hidden Tag tag inside Shadowbox Jersey

A more modern way of adhering fabrics is to use a tag gun. You know those annoying little plastic pieces that come on new clothing and attach the price tag to it? That’s what we’re talking about! You can purchase a gun from most craft stores or Amazon and the tags come in a variety of different colors. When you use the tag gun the actual tag can be almost invisible within the finished piece. If for some reason you are only able to find a certain color, you can always disguise the tag within the folds of the fabric such as the crook of the arm.

  1. Straight Pins
Sleeping Cap in a Shadowbox
1920’s Sleeping cap Framed in our Shadowbox Elite with a linen mat.

Shadowbox Straight Pins

For those fabrics that may be too fragile to sew or too important to sew you will want to choose a deeper shadowbox that has room for you to stick the piece with straight pins. This allows for there to be very little alterations to the delicate piece. The pins also serve as an interesting element to the overall design, almost as though you have a piece of a museum right on your wall.

  1. Archival Glue

Jersey’s or fabrics aren’t the only thing that can be framed inside a shadowbox so what about things that can’t be sewed or pinned? Ethan recommends using archival glue on the back of those items. Surprisingly, you probably already have this glue lying around your house; we’re talking about super glue!  A little dot on the back of the item goes a long way to ensure that it stays secure.

Composition

Now that you have the materials to secure your pieces you’ll want to decide on a layout. When in doubt, center your pieces inside. If you are adhering multiple items, the best way to accomplish a unique composition is to utilize that foam-core again. Choose foam core with a variety of depths. Doing this will allow you to elevate the different pieces to new levels. This tip is especially useful when you are using a shadowbox as a unique art piece to your home vs the traditional fabric framing.

Whatever your idea is, these tips will allow you to frame it like the pros. If your piece is delicate and you don’t want to even attempt to frame it, take it to your local frame shop or if you’re near Cincinnati, stop by and let Ethan and his team do

Custom jersey frame

A Jersey Frame For A Special Jersey!

About a month ago, I purchased a very special custom jersey frame, here at Frame USA. I finally decided that it was time to frame an important jersey that I have had for years. The jersey belonged to my dad, who was a pretty good athlete when he was younger. He was a three sport athlete in high school, and went on to play both football and baseball at Kent State before moving on to the NFL. His last two years in college, he was an all American offensive lineman and even kicked a little. In 1991, Kent State inducted him into their Hall of Fame.

From the 1930’s until the mid 1970’s the college football, all-star team would play a game against the reigning Super Bowl champs. This jersey is what my dad wore during the 1967 edition, against the Green Bay Packers. In 2007, my dad passed away unexpectedly, and I have had his jersey ever since. Knowing that Frame USA offers jersey frames, I decided that framing my dad’s would be really nice and I already knew the perfect place!

Between the frame mats, which our retail manager Ethan helped me pick out, and the custom paint job to match the jersey, the final product looks great. Before this process, I actually did not know that Frame USA could do custom paint jobs for the frames. They even put foamcore inside the jersey just to make sure it stays unwrinkled and flat. Frame USA did a fantastic job with the jersey frame. If my dad was still around today, I know that he would be very impressed as well. This jersey really means a lot to me and I am so glad to finally have it framed!

Custom jersey frame

 

Written by Jonathon Brooks, e-Commerce Markets Analyst at Frame USA

Frame Matting Basics

When it comes to framing a photo or artwork that you created, frame matting plays an important role. Frame matting is responsible for providing that extra “pop” to your artwork or photo, without losing focus of the work itself. At Frame USA, we offer not only a variety of colors, but we also offer a range of mat corner cuts and various grades of matboard. When trying to determine what size matboard you should order, think of how much matting you want to be shown. Typically this is about 2 inches on each side of your piece. However, this reveal can be as narrow, or as wide, as you’d prefer! Another thing that you need to remember when matting your artwork is that in order for your image to not fall through, there is a slight overlap of the mat and printed piece.. This will usually deduct about ¼ inch from each side. Or if there are some markings that you’d like to cover, we can make any custom opening to do so! This is done so your artwork will sit securely behind the mat.

Carefully choosing the right frame and mat to go along with your artwork adds more character, and can really help the whole frame pop!

Without frame matting

Framed piece without frame matting Framed piece without matting added Framed piece without adding a matboard

with frame matting

Framed piece with frame matting Framed piece with frame matting Framed piece with matboard added

 

Mat Designers – NEW and IMPROVED mat ordering!

One of the things that go hand in hand with picture frames is mat board. A custom mat adds another level of style to your artwork. This is one of the reasons we launched Matdesigners.com. We wanted there to be a place where customers could order both high-quality picture frames as well as custom mats to go along with their frames. When we launched the new frameusa.com last year the plan was always to upgrade mat designers along with it.  Today we are happy to announce that we have upgraded matdesigners.com.

OLD MATDESIGNERS.com

Old MatDesigners.com

NEW MATDESIGNERS

Mat Designer Feature

 

We have taken out the .com and integrated it right into Frameusa.com. You are now able to order your picture frames, your accessories, and your mats all in one transaction.

 

Mat Designer Logo

Mat Ordering Process

The functionality of our new MatDesigners is very similar to how Design A Frame works. The first step that you will do is to enter your image size. Make sure to enter the exact size of your image, so if you have an 8 x 10 image you will enter in 8×10. The color of the default mat is the same one that all of our readymade frames that include mats, come with.

Mat Designer Step 1

When we cut the opening for your image we will cut it slightly smaller to ensure that your image won’t fall through the opening. We explain this in a pop up before you are able to continue to mat width. The next step is where you will enter how wide you want the mat to be. This dimension also determines what size frame that the finished mat will fit inside.

MatDesigners Step Two

The next step is probably the most anticipated, you get to choose which color you want the mat to be! You are now able to filter by color all of our mat types. If you know you want a blue mat, select blue and it will show you every blue option available in each of the 5 types.

Mat Designers Step 3

This is also the section where you can decide if you want a double or triple mat and if you do how much of each you want to be revealed.

Mat Designers Step Four

The Final Step

The final step is to decide if you want to stick with the standard rectangle or go with something different. In addition to the three basic corners, we offer 22 different corners. Please note that hese will not show in the right-hand size preview image.

Mat Corner Options

You have now successfully gone through the brand new MatDesigners and are ready to add your selections to the cart and check out! If you have any questions about the new MatDesigners or Mats, in general, give us a call at 1-800-577-5920 or email us at [email protected]

The Honor Flight Network — February Charity of The Month

Every month Frame USA partners with a different local or national charity. We give to each charity through donating time, money, exposure, and resources. For every order placed on frameusa.com, $0.75 is donated to the charity of the month. The charity for February 2020 is Honor Flight Network

Honor Flight Network

History

Earl Morse and Jeff Miller co-founded the Honor Flight Network. Morse, a retired Air Force Captain, worked in Springfield Ohio at the Department of Veteran Affairs as a physician assistant.

Many of Morse’s patients would never have the chance to visit the National World War II Memorial. Morse pitched the idea to about 300 private pilots at his local Air Force aeroclub. He proposed that the pilots themselves would personally escort the veterans around the city. 11 additional pilots formed a board in January of 2005. On the 21st of May in 2005, six small planes flew 12 veterans to Washington, DC for the very first Honor Flight. 126 WWII Veterans had the opportunity to visit their monument in that first year using a combination of commercial airlines and small planes.

Similarly, Jeff Miller, a dry-cleaning company owner, in Hendersonville North Carolina had the idea but on a much larger scale. He wanted to charter entire commercial jets! Miller formed HonorAir and began flying great numbers of WWII veterans from Asheville to D.C. Due to his great idea, by the end of 2006 HonorAir had flown more than 300 veterans to Washington D.C.

 

The pair met at their first “Summit” and merged Honor Flight and HonorAir and created The Honor Flight Network in February of 2007. Today, the network has escorted over 200,000 veterans to their memorials.

Mission

Recipients of the Honor Flight Network

The mission of Honor Flight is to transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honoring those who have served and sacrificed for our country.

The Honor Flight Network

According to their website The Network:

“…is a national network comprised of independent Hubs working together in furtherance of the Honor Flight mission. “

The Honor Flight Network has the opportunity to show our nation’s veterans the appreciation and the honor that they deserve. It allows them to share a momentous occasion with individuals with similar experiences. They can come together to remember friends and comrades that they’ve lost and share their stories with other veterans.  Honor flights are available to veterans who served in the WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War eras. Most noteworthy, all honored veterans travel at no cost.

In conclusion for the entire month of February 2020, $0.75 of every order on frameusa.com is donated to The Honor Flight Network. You may also choose to donate additional funds when you place an order.

Custom Picture Frame Upgrades

As a wholesale and custom picture frame expert, I work with many different customers on many different jobs. These orders can range from 5 custom picture frames all the way to 5,000. Over the time I have spent here, I have found that a good amount of customers are not aware of all the added upgrades we offer to any custom or standard frame that we sell.

Custom Picture Frame Backing Upgrade

A common upgrade that we offer, that is also economical, are our backing upgrades. For any flat back or easel back frames (frames 8×12 and smaller), we offer the choice of a Black or White Foam Core upgrade. This would be to replace our standard Corrugated (Cardboard), black cardboard, or easel backing. Foam Core is thicker, sturdier, and has a more professional look that a lot of our picture store gallery and photography customers choose to improve the overall look of their frame. Not only does Foam Core improve the sturdiness and appearance of the back, it also applies more pressure to the mat and picture to fit more snug against the glass. This is an upgrade you can choose for any frame online when you click the custom button. You can also call in and ask for a Foam Core upgrade.

Custom picture frame options for all frames Frame USA backing options

Frame Glazing Upgrade Options

Another common upgrade that we offer is glass. As many customers know, we do not offer real glass on any frame size over 11×14. This is due to shipping concerns and the overall fragileness of a glass sheet bigger than 11×14. We use styrene for any frame larger than 11×14, but we also offer an Acrylic glazing upgrade. This gives the frame a real glass look without the worry of it shattering during shipping. Acrylic is 1/8th of an inch thick and resembles the weight and appearance of real glass.

I always highly recommend Acrylic upgrades for any customer concerned about not being able to have real glass in their larger frames. The cost of Acrylic varies by the size of the frame, but most upgrades won’t break the budget! This upgrade is not offered as a one click on our website, unless you are using our “Design A Frame” feature. You will find both of these upgrades while creating your own custom picture frame. Otherwise, they can be easily quoted by myself or any sales representative.  All you have to do is give us a call and we can break down all of the custom picture frame upgrades we offer!

Glazing and backing options for your custom picture frame

Written by Alex Himes, Inside Sales Representative at Frame USA

Our Different Kind Of DIY Frame

When you hear the term DIY frame you probably think of constructing a frame or repurposing a frame. But what if we told you that we have a different kind of DIY frame? One that is all about you breaking out your crafting skills and getting real artsy? Our Decorate-It Picture Frame Series is perfect for all kinds of decorating, and can even be a fun project for children!

What are Decorate-It Frames?

Decorate-It frames are unfinished, unpainted wood. This makes it super easy to paint on, glue on, wood burn, or use anything that you might want to on them. They also come in 3 different widths so depending on what you want to try, you can choose which one works best for you!

           

How can I use them as a DIY Frame?

Some of the most common ways to decorate these frames is painting, staining, doodling on them, using stickers, or gluing interesting objects to the frame. You and your children have the opportunity to paint these frames in any way that you would like. You can paint colored blocks, floral borders, or even splatter paint.

Another artist take on these frames is doodling or drawing onto the wood. A unique drawing of random shapes and figures is going to look awesome anywhere that it ends up. You can use it to frame photographs of friends or family. Or you can use it to frame something simple and make the frame itself the focal point. Either way, you can’t go wrong and you are sure to love what you made!  One of our personal favorites is gluing objects to the frame. Such as sticks found on a spiritual hike or all the corks that you and friends saved from wine night. This gives the frame an eye catching 3D look that looks great framing a photo or even hanging empty.

Display of the Decorate-It Picture Frames after being used as DIY frames

Whether you want a DIY frame for you or your children, the Decorate-It Picture Frame Series is going to be perfect for you! Your kids will love using it for their craft project! And you will have a blast transforming this unfinished picture frame into a masterpiece to display!

But don’t forget to send us photos of your picture frames displayed for all to see!

#AUSTRALIAFIRES

One thing that is currently all over the news, and social media platforms are the Fires in Australia. Even though it is currently the season of bushfires in Australia, this is unlike any bushfire season that Australia and especially the United States have ever experienced. The damage that is occurring due to these fires is catastrophic; more than 22 people have lost their lives; homes, wildlife, ecosystems and land have been destroyed.  There are whole entire species are suspected to be extinct due to these fires. They have been burning since September 2019 and have scorched over 25 million acres — an area larger than the state of Virginia. The season of wild fires generally lasts through March and as fires continue to spread the likelihood that they stop any time soon is nonexistent.

NSW Rural Fire Service

Firefighters all across the globe have been working nonstop alongside their Australian counterparts to help fight the blaze. Celebrities, influencers and even crafting communities have all come together to donate what they can. We want to join the fight by making NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) our January Charity of the month.

NSW Rural Fire Service

According to their website, NSW RFS is the lead combat agency for bush fires in New South Wales. NSW is Australia’s oldest, largest and most cosmopolitan state. What makes this organization so unique and one of the biggest reasons we chose them for January is that they are widely acknowledged as the largest Volunteer fire service in the world. You read that correctly the people on the front lines fighting a blaze that if happened in the United States would destroy over half of the states, are volunteers. They are choosing to risk their life fighting the blaze without any monetary gain.

Australia Size Compared to US

(Courtesy: ABC News )

We are taking our charity reach international to help with the devastation that Australia is facing. During the rest of January, for every order placed on frameusa.com $0.75 will be donated to NSW Rural Fire Service.

Checkout Page Charity Donation

We ask you to consider donating as little as $1 when you check out to help us, help Australia.

Custom Framing Online — Holiday Memories Edition

The build up to the holiday season is always so exciting. Once New Years passes and you get to that first week back on a normal schedule… that excitement is gone. In this technology filled world sometimes its hard to keep the memories alive. Sure, you probably take hundreds of photos to remember the events. Those photos probably are also shared on social media or through online photo albums, but ultimately, they are forgotten about until you stumble across them a few years later. What if there was a way to keep that excitement alive? Custom Framing is the answer!

Custom Framing Online

We know what you might be thinking,

“I would love to be able to get my holiday photographs custom framed, but finding a shop that won’t cost a fortune and give me a high-quality finished piece is hard!”

We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be hard. There is a way for you to get a custom framed piece without ever leaving your couch. Our Design a Frame feature was built with this particular predicament in mind, it specializes in Custom Framing Online. It takes you through each level of custom framing that you would go through at a framing shop, from the comfort of your home.

Picture/ Image

The first Design a Frame step is ultimately what prompted you to get a custom framed piece in the first place. In other words, The Photo! We give you the option to either upload a photo and have it printed or just order the frame and mat for an already printed photo. Your first step in the process is to enter in the image size. This can be the actual size of the image or your desired size of the image if you are having us print it. If you are having us print your image for you, the easiest way to determine the actual size of the image is to print it out on regular copy paper and measure it with a ruler or tape measure.

 

Once you have the image measured you will input that size into Design a Frame. If you are having us print your picture for you upload that image into Design A Frame. The orientation of your photo will determine which measurement goes in which box. For instance, this particular image measured at 5.75 wide by 11 inches tall. The length measurement is where you will put the height of your image and the width is the width.

The best part about using our Design A Frame feature is that you only need to know two measurements—the measurement of the image you are framing and how wide you want the mat to be. The custom frame size is automatically formulated from those two measurements. Design a Frame defaults to a black frame with a standard 1” smooth white matte. The next step is for you to decide if you want to keep the default frame or choose a different option.

Frame

You have the options to filter by Metal, Poster or Wood Frames. If you have a specific color in mind you can also choose a color filter that will give you all the frames that have an option within that color family.

Mat

Once you have the perfect frame selected you will move on to your mat selection. We offer Standard, Premium, Black Core, Acid Free, and Suede mats in a number of different colors. During this part of the process you have to enter in how wide you want the mat and decide if you want to add a second or third mat as well as how much of them you want to be revealed. The default is 0.25”.

Glazing/Backing

Once your mat colors are selected you will move on to the fourth and final step in the online custom framing process: Glazing and Backing. The particular glazing options offered are determined by the size of your overall frame. The three options available are Glass, Styrene, or Acrylic. Glass is only offered on frames that are 11×14 and smaller. The three backing options are white foam core, black foam core and the default Cardboard.  Once you have decided between them you are ready to add it to your cart and finalize your order!

Finished Masterpiece

You have now successfully made it through the online custom framing process. The next step is to find the perfect place for your finished masterpiece. Your new piece will serve as a constant reminder of your precious holiday memories whether sitting on a shelf or hanging on the wall.

BONUS:

We have a Design A Frame sale going on RIGHT NOW. Use the coupon code MEMORIES for 15% off your order until January 9 , 2020 at 11:59 PM EST.

Recap: 10th Annual Fill The Truck Charity Initiative.

10th Annual FillTheTruck.Org Charity Initiative Results

During the month of December we take on a charity of initiative called FillTheTruck.org. In 2010, Dan Regenold, CEO of Frame USA, started this initiative. Every year since it has continued to get bigger and bigger. For more information on the history of this initiative check out our recent blog post here. This past December marked the 10th annual FillTheTruck.Org. Throughout the month, our employees as well as outside volunteers and businesses came together to help bag and box items. These items went to 7 different charity organizations around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Ultimately, a Charity initiative as big as this one couldn’t have been possible without this help.  We truly appreciate each and everyone of our customers who chose to donate both online and in our retail store during the month of December. No photo description available.

2019 Totals

We counted up all of the items inside the boxes and have our final numbers.  In a total of 29 days the following was collected:

  • 52,013 items 
  • 756 boxes 
  • 44 skids 

On December 23rd the first truck of items was delivered to The Healing Center.

Our Lovely Delivery Crew!

In conclusion, we want to thank everyone who contributed to our charity initiative to make it a record breaking year.