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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

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!

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!

Happy Autumn! All Things Barnwood (Free Printable!)

If your state is anything like Ohio, you have had a pretty hot summer. While summer is great and arguably way better than winter (at least for those of you that live in a state that has snow), there is just something so special about Autumn. It’s cool enough for a sweater or sweatshirt but not so cold that you need gloves hats and scarves; Football starts back up and your weekends are spent doing activities like corn maizes or tailgating. Autumn also starts the beginning of home decorating season. Which for us here at Frame USA, is one of our favorite times (How could you blame us we sell Picture Frames!). The pumpkins have descended upon the store shelves and according to our sources, farmhouse decor is continuing to rise!

Lucky for us we have a whole line of products that fit right in with that farmhouse aesthetic. This line started with a simple product made from reclaimed wood that was taken from barns and fences in Oklahoma and Texas and it has grown to be one of our most popular lines to date. We’re talking about none other than our Barnwood Frames.  To date we have 6 wood frame series, a Shadowbox and a specialty frame in this popular line. We also have an additional specialty frame that utilizes some of our Barnwood wood frames called the Baby’s First year Collage Frame, however it also comes in one of our other popular series, Corporate.

Barnwood Product Line

Barnwood
The Barnwood picture frame is the original frame that started it all!
American Barn
American Barn features a narrow and a wide frame in three patriotic colors
Appalachian Barnwood
Appalachian Barnwood features the look of reclaimed wood with a smooth profile.
Barnwood Signature
Barnwood Signature features the same look and feel as our OG barnwood but with a kicked up a notch flair and elegance in two new profile widths.
Farmhouse Barnwood have the rustic look of Barnwood with a modern flat profile.
Timber is the newest addition to the Barnwood line is made from real Spruce Wood grown in America.
The Barnwood Shadowbox combines the build, depth and profile of a shadowbox with the rustic, reclaimed look of barn wood.
The most versatile product in our line of Barnwood is our Barnwood Tray

Current Trends

While we love all the products in our Barnwood line, there is one in particular that we want the world to know about. This product features everything we know and love about picture frames with an unique twist. It doesn’t hang on the wall and you can display things ON it as well as IN it. You may have guessed it but we’re talking about our Barnwood Tray. Based on our home decor trend research trays seem to be making a comeback. Not only are people opting for smaller gatherings at home with family and friends but they’re using trays as part of their decor. Trays are no longer thrown into the cabinet only pulled out when company comes knocking they’re out front and center on coffee tables, bar carts and fire place mantles.

Our barnwood trays feature the same rustic charm that our picture frames have but come in two different types. The first type comes in five colors: Grey , black, brown, white and traditional Barnwood finish and features a mirror in the center. This mirror is perfect for reflecting the room on a mantle making it seem bigger. The second time is the reason we’re here today gushing about these rustic beauties. It is also available in the same five great colors but this one has the same function as a picture frame, you can remove the insert and place photos, quotes, patterned paper in with the season. Whether you go with the mirror or the traditional picture frame style, this tray can last through every season!

Free Printable!!

Since yesterday marked the first day of Autumn, we thought we would celebrate by giving you the a little something to use in your decorating! This free downloadable printable is available in two sizes — 8.5×11 and 11×14. Those sizes just happen to be a perfect fit with our Barnwood Tray. Love what you see here? From now until Thursday, September 26th, all of our barnwood products are 10% off with coupon code BARNWOOD.

 

 

 

 

 

Hello Autumn 8.5x11
Hello Autumn 8.5×11

 

Hello Autumn 11x14
Hello Autumn 11×14

 

How to Frame a Puzzle — 6 Tips From an Expert Framer

Some framing projects are fairly easy, involving 2 steps — put art in frame, hang frame on wall. There are some projects however that require a bit more skill. We like our customers to be well informed so we went to the people that know those projects the best — our talented custom framing team in our retail store.

This team not only completes the requests of our local customers, but they are also the ones who turn your imagined Design a Frame orders into reality!

This team has had the opportunity to work with a lot of creative materials. One of the most unique products, also happens to be one of the trickiest for the everyday person to frame. We’re talking about America’s favorite rainy-day activity — Puzzles!

There is nothing worse than spending weeks completing a 1000+ piece puzzle to just take it apart. That’s where we come in! Laurie, who has been on our custom framing team since December of 2016, has compiled 6 tips to help turn that loved puzzle into your home’s decor.
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Framed Puzzle of Sea Creatures

Securing your puzzle

Since puzzles by definition include multiple pieces the first task when framing it is securing it:

  1. There is puzzle glue that can be used to permanently keep a puzzle together.  By gluing it, it makes it easier to frame.  Be sure to give the puzzle plenty of time to dry properly before inserting it into a frame.
  2. When you pour the glue over top of the completed puzzle, it can be a little messy. Use a piece of cardboard to spread it out but make sure to have something underneath to catch the excess glue.  But be careful that you don’t glue your underneath board to the puzzle itself!

Not interested in permanently altering your puzzle? Here’s Laurie’s tip:

  1. If you decide not to glue the puzzle together, use real glass in front of your puzzle instead of acrylic or flexible plastic called Styrene.  This allows you to hold the puzzle together tighter.

Framing your puzzle

One of our customers favorite things about us is that we offer a wide variety of frames to choose from. Whether your décor is comprised of wood, or you have more of an industrial vibe with metal, we have tons of options.

  1. When you are going through the many options, choose a frame that will accent the puzzle

Not sure what size frame would be the best for your puzzle? All you have to do is measure your puzzle and go from there!

  1. Some puzzles will fit into a standard size frame; for example, a 16×20 frame or 18×24 frame. Others will need to be put into a custom size frame.

No matter what size, standard or custom, we can make your dreams come true. All of our series are offered in 32 standard sizes and the ability to be made into custom sizes!

Since this puzzle is meant to be part of your home décor, there is a very real possibility that you have a frame size already in mind for your space, regardless if your puzzle will fit. Here’s Laurie’s tip to make it work:

  1. You can use a custom cut mat board to make it fit into a standard size frame.  For example, if the puzzle is 16×22, you would have a 1 inch mat around the puzzle to fit it into an 18×24 frame.

We hope that these tips help you turn your rainy day activity into a beautiful home décor. Share with us your finished puzzles framed with Frame USA Frames!

Open Back Frame DIY Projects

In case you weren’t aware, we sell picture frames of all varieties. One of those varieties happens to be picture frame shells, sometimes called open back frames. Almost all of our series are available as shells, which essentially means all you’re getting is just the frame, no glass and no backing. There are a number of reasons why you would order just a shell, in this blog post you will find 5 different magical projects that you can complete with our open back frames.

Wild Flower Holder

 

 

It’s obvious that you can use our frames to frame artwork or family photographs but why stop at traditional? Use our frame shells as a way to make wild flowers pop against your living room wall. Featured in this picture is our Farmhouse Barnwood in Charcoal. The wild flowers in this picture are tied around the frame but you can also just mount the vases on your wall and then use our handy sawtooth hanger to hang the frames around them. Our recommendation is to purchase a frame about 5 inches wider than the vases you have to make them really stand out.

Farmhouse Barnwood Charcoal Frames Wild Flower Vases

Light Fixture Boarder

It seems like not only is June the month for weddings, its also the month for new construction. If you are building a new home or even renovating a kitchen, don’t use just plain old wood, fill it with our reclaimed barnwood picture frame as a way to set your lighting fixture off.

 

Barnwood Light Fixture Boarder

Photo Collage Board

You might have recognized this next piece on our DIY Picture Framing page on our website.

White Timber Photo Board

This particular project uses not one but two of our products. We took one of our wire hanging kits along with a shell and made a DIY photo board. This versatile DIY project can be used as a creative way to finally display the thousands of pictures you’ve taken of your baby or pet or as a central message board in an entry way.

 

This particular frame that we used is our Timber series in White. We spray painted a pair of clothes pins black to add a contrast against the bright white frame. Even the most beginner DIY-er will be able to accomplish this.

Arts & Crafts Nature Scene

Appalachian Barnwood DIY Nature Scene

If you’re familiar with our products you might be aware that we have a few unfinished frames. While these are a great choice to have on hand for a

rainy-day activity with your kids, if you’re looking for a less hands on approach, purchase any of our frames as a shell and dollar store toys or even found objects around your yard and DIY a nature scene.  This particular frame is our Appalachian Barnwood.

 

Wine Cork Message Board

Calling all wine lovers! This fifth and final project is perfect for you. Instead of tossing out those corks, repurpose them as a message board in your kitchen.  Purchase a square picture frame shell such as this Corporate Black and go to down hot gluing corks. You’ll never forget to buy that needed agreement with this handy project on your island.

Corporate Black Cork Board

These are just a few projects using picture frame shells. If you’re interested in more check out our  Creative Use of Frames or our DIY Inspiration Pinterest boards. Have some examples of our you’ve used our shells or picture frames in an unconventional way? Post them in a comment or send them to us on Facebook

Art Exhibition Mockup

How to Prepare for an Art Exhibition

As an artist, getting accepted into an art exhibition can be super exciting but also overwhelming. You’ve put the hours into creating your artwork, but now it’s time to make it presentable. The work itself is what got you accepted into the show, but your presentation is what will help you sell.

Arranging Your Work

One of the first things to consider is how much space you have. If you know the dimensions of the wall or room you’ll be displaying in, you can make a mock-up of how you want to arrange your pieces. This way you don’t have to worry about whether or not everything will fit once you’re ready to set up. You can do this by measuring each piece and drawing a to-scale diagram of the space. Or if you want to see how it will really look, you can measure the actual size in your home or studio, arrange your pieces in that space, and take photos to reference when you’re setting up.

Art Exhibition Mockup

Photograph Before Framing

Before getting your art display-ready, you’ll want to make sure you have high quality documentation of each piece. Depending on the kind of work you’re showing, you should photograph or scan it before adding a frame with glass or any other distracting display materials. This way, if you sell any pieces during your exhibition you’ll still be able to use it in your portfolio.

Art Exhibition

Create a Price List and Business Cards

You’ll want visitors of your art exhibition to be able to easily find prices and information about your work. Before your show starts, create a list with each piece’s title, size, media, and price. This list should be displayed somewhere that is accessible to the audience. Depending on how big the show is, you might want to print multiple copies and set them in different places.

Business cards are also important to display at your show. This way if someone is interested in your work and wants to get in touch in the future, they’ll know how to contact you. People might walk into the exhibition on a whim without the funds to purchase something. However, if they have your business card it will remind them that they enjoyed your art, and they’ll be able to easily find you.

Frame Your Work and Prepare for Display

If your art is 2-D you’ll want to make sure it’s framed and ready to hang. There are tons of options for picture frames for your work. However, it’s important that the frame doesn’t out shine or distract from your art. Keep it simple so that no one is paying more attention to the frame than your art. Black or white frames are usually a safe bet. Depending on how you choose to use a frame, or if you go without one, you might need additional hardware to be able to easily hang your work.

Art Exhibition

Be Personable!

One of the best ways to make connections is to have genuine conversations with your audience. Let them know that you’re the artist and you’re open to answering questions. If they don’t have questions for you, ask them how they heard about the show or what made them stop by. If someone seems interested in your work at all, let them know you have business cards. Being likable in general will make people more engaged with your art.

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