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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.

How To Install A Sawtooth Frame Hanger

 

There is nothing more frustrating than receiving your picture frame order and then realizing you have no idea how to hang it on the wall! At Frame USA we offer two options for hanging the picture frames that you purchase. All of our picture frames that are 9×12 or larger will automatically ship with a sawtooth Frame hanger. We also sell a wire Frame hanging kit separately if you are more interested in this route. Since the sawtooth Frame hanger is not something that customers typically see when purchasing from your chain store we thought we would give you a step by step process in installing this handy dandy hanger.

 

Picture frames
The back of our standard picture frame. Taped to the top is our sawtooth hanger. Poster frames come with a hanger attached to the backing, and wire hangers can be requested for larger pieces.

Materials Needed:

Total Install Time: 40 Seconds

Sawtooth Install Materials

  • Hammer
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pen or Pencil
  • Sawtooth Hanger
  • Picture Frame

Instructions:

  1.  The first step in  installing the sawtooth hanger is to decide which orientation you want the frame to be in. The sawtooth hanger can be installed either vertically or horizontally.
  2. Once this has been decided and your materials have been gathered lay your frame on a flat sturdy surface. We recommend using something that you can comfortably stand at such as a kitchen table.
  3. You will want to use the measuring tape to find the halfway point on the back of your frame. both vertically and horizontally. This is to ensure that the sawtooth will be centered on the frame.
  4. Mark this with your pen or pencil. This mark will be where you will sit the center of your hanger on.
  5. Now that you know exactly where the sawtooth will be adhere you want to use the hammer and tap the hardware into the frame. You want to make sure that your taps are firm but not too firm so that you don’t damage the picture frame itself.

Now that your sawtooth is fully inserted, your frame is ready to hang!

If you prefer to follow along to a video vs reading written instructions check out the video below! Interested in purchasing additional sawtooth hangers now that you have become an expert installer, click here!

Frame USA’s Gift Guide, Part 3

The clock is ticking, but you are almost there! You are almost completely done with your holiday shopping. To check off the rest of your list, Frame USA’s Gift Guide has a few more wonderful gift ideas that your recipients are bound to adore!

In-Laws

Barnwood Trays being displayed for Frame USA's Gift Guide

It’s sometimes difficult to find the right gift that you know your in-laws will adore. But we have a great idea, whether you are extremely close with them or still trying to get there. Our Barnwood Tray is a unique, and classy, piece that they will most definitely appreciate! You can buy it with a mirror to make it more decorative, or you can get more personal and add a family photograph that can be seen by all!

 

New Parents

Baby's First Year Collage Frame displayed proudly for Frame USA's Gift Guide

Help honor the new parents in your circle, and focus on their adorable new baby! Our Baby’s First Year Collage Frame and My First Year Frame are excellent gifts for parents that just had a new child, or their kid just turned a year old. These frames are a precious way to document the newborn’s first year, month to month. Both of these frames have twelve same-size openings, and one separate opening for another photograph. As an extra bonus, our Baby’s First Year Collage lets you engrave the baby’s name on the top of the mat. How cute?!

 

Teachers

Colori picture frames being used for high quality teacher prints, as per Frame USA's Gift Guide

Teachers can be tricky because you don’t always know them extremely well, but you know they deserve something truly special. Gift your children’s teacher a framed, high-quality print that they can hang in their room! We can even help with our Colori Medium or Large Picture Frame. These frames are simple, yet trendy, with all of their colorful options. You can try and match the teacher’s room or match your print. But what better way to say thank you to those that help raise your children?

 

Now that you have the full Frame USA’s Gift Guide, you are ready to go and start wrapping these affordable frames that are also high quality and make for fabulous home decor! We have shown you custom and personal gifts for your family, friends, and all those people that impact your lives on the daily! There is no doubt that this holiday season is sure to be special!

 

Happy Holidays from our family, here at Frame USA, to yours! 

Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide, Part 2

Now that you already have some of your shopping done, using our Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide Part 1, you can move on to the next people on your list! Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide Part 2 is here to show you some more wonderful, custom gifts that your friends and family are sure to love!

Spouse / Significant Other

Shadowbox showcasing memories for a loved one

What could be a better gift than memories, for your other half? If you have a ton of movie tickets, postcards, photo booth photos, or other types of souvenirs sitting around, then you finally have a way to organize and showcase them! With the help of our Shadowbox Frames, you can create the perfect box stuffed full with all of your amazing memories. They are the perfect frame to display items because they are deeper than a normal frame, and can hold wider objects.

 

Friends

Poster Frames on on display, showing off posters

Sometimes shopping for all your friends isn’t as easy as you might think. Either you have too many complicated ideas or you are just drawing a blank on what would be their perfect gift. Don’t worry. We have a fabulous idea that you can personalize to each friend, and they’ll love it! Use one of our stylish Poster Frames to frame a poster that fits your friend’s interests! You can find art posters, educational posters, inspirational posters, TV / movie posters, and so many more at our Posterservice website. Once you have picked out a poster, or a few, that your friend would appreciate, you have to get a poster frame that’ll make it more modern and sophisticated. All your friends will love their gifts and leave with a smile!

 

Niece / Nephew

Specialty T-Shirt Frames showcasing school spirit

If you are looking for a great gift for your niece or nephew, look no further! Our T-Shirt Frame is the perfect option! You can frame your niece’s old dance t-shirts that don’t fit her anymore, but she just can’t seem to throw away. Or you can frame your nephew’s favorite team jersey. This gift is personal and fun, and there is not a chance that they won’t be excited unwrapping it!

 

You can’t top these creative and personal gifts, can you? I didn’t think so! These custom frames are super fun, and look great hanging on your walls! So continue enjoying all your holiday shopping, and make sure you keep updated for when Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide Part 3 comes along. We will make sure that everybody has a check mark on your list!

Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide, Part 1

It is that time of the year again! Where half your friends and family send out their Christmas lists and the other half give you zero hints as to what they would like this year. So what are you supposed to do? What do you get them? Well you’re in luck because we can help give you some awesome gift ideas for everybody on your shopping list! Our Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide will glide you right into the holidays!

 

Mom and Dad

If there is one thing that parents love, it is their children. And they enjoy showing them off! If you really want to give them something they’ll smile about and truly love, consider gifting them one of our Specialty School Years frames. These frames make it super easy to showcase your school photos from every year, and witness the transformation from year to year.

 

Your Children

Whether it is your four-year old’s finger paintings or your high schooler’s landscape drawing, everybody appreciates some praise and encouragement. Framing your kid’s masterpieces make priceless gifts! They are an amazing way to let them know that you support and love their work. A perfect frame for this would be our Architect Picture Frames because they are thinner and have a simpler design that won’t take away from the piece being framed. They also come in a variety of colors so you can easily compliment your child’s creation!

 

Brothers and Sisters

Does your sibling have a favorite artist or album? Do you two have an album or song that bonds you together? Well then our Frame an Album series is the perfect gift for them! You can choose between our black and natural frames to compliment the record cover or artwork. It’s a great way to honor their favorites or the connection you both share!

 

Now that you have Frame USA’s Framing Gift Guide, you can begin your shopping! But make sure to come back for part 2 and part 3 of the gift guide, to finish off ALL of your shopping!

New Series Spotlight – Gun Metal Picture Frames

A few months back we introduced our brand-new Chalked Series. As of today, our Chalked series is now available and ready to be purchased. In addition to the launch of Chalked, we are also launching a second brand new series called Gun Metal.

Despite the name Gun Metal, this is not a brand-new series that we’re adding to our Metal Line. This new series comes in 3 unique profiles in wood. All of which feature the cutting-edge wood frame color: Gun metal. This series is great for a muted metallic look for any picture that you might want to put in them. They would look great for those beautiful black and white wedding or event photos. Gun Metal comes in three profiles: Narrow, Divet, and Wide.

Gun Metal Divet
Divet
Gun Metal Flat
Narrow
Gun Metal Wide
Wide

Just like all of our other frames, Our New Gun Metal series is American-made in our warehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. Buying from Frame USA means supporting an American Company and getting the best quality products! Stay tuned for more new series and great blog posts!

 

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

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

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