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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

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]

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.

Melanoma Know More – August 2019 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 August 2019 is Melanoma Know More

In August of 2010, the world lost a wonderful young man named, Andy Caress, to Melanoma. During his fight, Andy fought to spread awareness and educate people on the dangers of melanoma. After his passing, his loved ones continued this fight by forming The Andy Caress Melanoma Foundation.

If you’ve been customers with us for some time now you probably recognize that name. The Caress Family is local to Cincinnati and are family friends with our CEO, Dan Regenold’s family. We’ve written about them before, every year in fact since we started this blog, however this is the first time that we have referred to the charity as Melanoma Know More.

Here’s why, in January, the foundation joined forces with Melanoma Know More. The union resulted in a single nonprofit organization in Cincinnati focused on melanoma awareness, outreach and research. As a result, their total combined resources make a stronger and more effective organization. Most importantly, they continue to move towards one common goal: wipe melanoma off the face of the planet.

Melanoma Know More History

Health Screenings Melanoma Know More

Dr. Philip Leming along with families of his patients and other melanoma advocates formed Melanoma Know More (MKM) in 2007. MKM has developed successful program initiatives, brought awareness to this relatively unknown disease, and continues to raise thousands of dollars every year to continue the fight against melanoma.

Fundraising Event Charity

MKM has a variety of program initiatives such as Skin Cancer Screenings and School and Youth Education. They also started the Greater Cincinnati Melanoma Warrior Support Network. Throughout the year they also host fundraising events, for instance their event Music for Melanoma is happening in Cincinnati on August 9th. 

Music for Melanoma Charity

To learn more or to get involved with Melanoma Know More, please visit their website.

In conclusion for the entire month of August 2019, $0.75 of every order on frameusa.com is donated to MELANOMA KNOW MORE. In addition to this contribution, our new website now offers the ability to increase your donation on the checkout page.

Wedding Decor

Wedding Photography Framing Tips

Tips for Wedding Photography and Framing

I grew up believing there are a few important stages in life: graduating from college, finding your first “big kid job”, getting married, and then all the fun stuff that follows marriage. So when those steps fell into place perfectly in my life, I was over the moon! Right after getting my first big kid job post-college, my boyfriend of 3 years proposed to me. I could finally put that lengthy Pinterest board to good use.

Since I’m the baby of the family and all of my siblings had already been through wedding planning, I had plenty of help. Growing up, I remember being surrounded by wedding photos of my parents, siblings, and grandparents. So as I began planning, I knew immediately that finding a fantastic photographer was one of the most important things for me. In fact, it was the third thing I finalized.

 

So the question is – once you’re back to your normal routine after your wedding, what is the best way to display the hundreds of photos?

My personal favorite is a gallery wall! It’s a great way to display photos of all the people you love. Choose your favorite photography of you and your family, husband, or bridal party to display. Then mix them with action shots from the reception, like this lovely cake-in-the-face shot or your first dance.

Wedding Photography Wedding Photography
The frames you choose for your gallery wall don’t have to all be the same. In fact, most of the time it looks best when you select frames of different sizes, textures, and styles. Here’s a tip for using our picture frames. If you love the style of a frame but the color doesn’t fit your needs, don’t be afraid to paint them! Painting the different frames all one color is a great way to take your wedding photographs and turn them into a conversation piece.

How Can Frames Be Used While You’re Still Planning?

If you stumbled on this post while you’re just beginning your wedding planning, don’t fret! You can still use our frames BEFORE you actually have the photos to put in them. Our specially crafted frames are perfect for decorating your reception. Print out your favorite love related quote or song lyric in a fancy font and frame it. Then you can place it on a table of other framed photographs of your family, your in-laws, or photos through the years of your relationship!

The latest craze right now is signature drinks. If you’re thinking of having one at your wedding, print out the recipe and stick it on the bar! This way when your guests love the drink, they know how to make it!

Framed Wedding Photos Make Great Gifts!

Use frames to gift family members the special photos from your big day for their birthdays, holidays, or just because. Something I’m going to do for my niece (who holds a special spot in my heart) when she’s older and getting married is give her this framed photo of her wearing my wedding shoes to her as her ‘something old’. I will tell her how for the entire summer leading up to my wedding she practiced her walk down the aisle for her wedding.

Wedding Photography
On your wedding day you are surrounded by not only the person you vow to cherish until your last breath, but also everyone who has shaped and molded you into the person you are. There really is no better feeling than being surrounded by love. After the buzz wears off and you go from the fantasy bubble to the real world, your wedding photos will be what brings you back to that love filled day. So don’t let those beauties get tucked away in a box and forgotten. Take the tips shared here, display them, and remember the love.


– Brooke Sanders

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!