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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

Home Decor Trends 2019

Top Home Decor Trends for 2019

Trends change year after year, and with 2019 just beginning that means new home decor trends! Picture frames are a big part of many homes, but decorating the rooms around them are just as important. Keep your home up to date with these top trending styles for the new year.

Natural Decor

Home Decor Trends 2019
Photo by Geneva Vanderzeil

Living in the 21st century means always being surrounded by technology. We’re excited to get a little break from this as bringing natural elements into the home is becoming a hot trend. House plants are growing ever more popular for their aesthetic and natural air purifying qualities. Plants are bringing us back to nature, but the internet is giving us access to unique containers, plants, and information!

Home Decor Trends 2019
Photo by Boa-Franc

Wood Furniture Decor

Another way to incorporate natural decor into your home is adding furniture or objects made from natural materials. Wood frames are an option, along with wooden chairs, tables, or shelves. Stone or granite tables, counters, or walls are another way to add natural elements into your home. Floral wallpaper, fabric, and artwork coming back into style as well.

Boho Decor

Boho decor trends
Photo by Wicker Paradise

Boho clothing and the general style has been trendy for a while. However boho interior design is just recently making a comeback in 2019. Bringing bright colors, patterns, and whimsical pieces into your home sets up a unique design. You can achieve this look by layering, using soft lines and curves, and combining both vintage and modern decor. Personally, I’m excited to see a more colorful trend after a year of rustic everything. Check out our Pop Art and Colori frames for colorful inspiration!

Canopy Beds

Decor Trends
Photo by Mazzali

Canopy beds haven’t been in style for decades. However in 2019 we’re seeing a huge increase in their trendiness. They allow for hanging and decorating around for sleeping area. This makes ultimate comfort and style at the same time. Modern canopy beds are slimmer and take up less space than in the past, allowing them to fit in apartments or smaller rooms.

Jewel Toned Decor

Jewel Tone Home Decor
Photo by homestilo

Deep jewel toned colors are in style in 2019. Greens especially are trendy, matching the natural decor vibes. These rich colors are thought provoking and mystifying. Green in particular hasn’t been particularly stylish for almost a century! However today’s eco-friendly movement has brought it back into our minds and into our homes.

If you’re looking for more eco-friendly decor, check out our eco-friendly wood frames.

 

Home Decor and Apparel on Etsy

Frame USA is supporting small businesses by featuring Etsy shops throughout the holiday season. As an all-American company, we believe it’s important shop small! If you’re looking for home decor or apparel for your loved ones or yourself, check out this list of shops.

Apparel

Scrappin’ Twins

We offer t-shirts and mugs for twins and their families. All our designs are created by a twin mom for other twin families! This is the perfect gift for the twins/triplets, families of twins/triplets, or those expecting twins/triplets in your life.

Visit their shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScrappinTwinsShop

Corporate Arts

Corporate is a home based studio in Pennsylvania.  Our primary product is Auto Art using digital imaging techniques We market Car Show Boards, Canvas Art and T-Shirts. Shop owner Barry Cleveland holds numerous graphic and photo awards in U.S. and worldwide competition. His artwork has appeared in national publications and numerous galleries and shows.

Visit Corporate Arts here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/corporatearts

Home Decor

Treasured Maps

Treasured Maps are framed magnet maps of the USA that teach geography while stressing the importance of personal connections with friends, family, and special places of interest.  Each map comes with printer labels and 18 magnets that you can use to customize with your own images of family members, favorite vacations, and other memorable moments.

Visit their shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TreasuredMaps

Creative Glass by Becky

Sitting around our country kitchen table, I learned to do crafts as a young girl with my Mom and my sister. My Mom always had great ideas and it gave us quality time together. I LOVE creating things! Not everyone is “crafty”, so being able to create things for others to enjoy makes me happy and I feel blessed. Working with glass in all shapes and sizes has really let my creative side come out to play. If you love colorful home decor, come check out my shop.

Visit Creative Glass by Becky here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/CreativeGlassByBecky

Debbie’s Music Boxes

Debbie’s Music Boxes and Etched Glass has been making unique music boxes and other artwork on Etsy since 2008. Support small businesses and artists and visit their shop at www.etsy.com/shop/Musicbox4u

Autumn Drift Flies

I am Dave P. Fisher, a professional fly tier, specializing in trout, steelhead, and salmon fishing flies. In recent years I have added Fly Art Works to my line of fishing flies. The art works are framed, and feature vintage post cards, (some over 100 years old), or conservation, state, or international stamps depicting trout or salmon. With these are added flies specifically tied for the piece. I tie each fly individually, I never use mass-produced flies. The pieces are created by me start to finish. I also create small individual framed pieces with a single fly mounted in the frame to be displayed on desks of shelves.

Visit Autumn Drift Flies shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AutumnDriftFlies

Fanatic Frames

Fanatic Frames uses new and vintage sports pennants, street signs, and other memorabilia, combined with your favorite players or teams sports cards to make a collectible for any fan. Each piece is designed, cut, and assembled by hand, and is one of a kind!

Visit their shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/fanaticframes

MMB PhotoGraphics

MMB Photographics sells canvas wall art and other home decor. Their work focuses on colorful photos of animals and nature.

Visit their Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/mmbphotographics

Places Interpreted

Places Interpreted sells canvas, fine art, framed, and metal prints of “a memory, an emotion, a personal connection to places we’ve lived, loved, traveled or dreamed of traveling to.”

Visit their Etsy shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/placesinterpreted

Shop Small on Etsy This Holiday Season!

Frame USA is promoting Etsy shops this holiday season! Small businesses and artists are important to us as a company. We encourage everyone to shop small for holiday gifts this year. Here are the first of our featured shops leading up to the holidays.

Framed Art

AgedPage

Images from AgedPage Photography speak softly to the soul by capturing moments in time, conceived with a nod to the past and a touch of vintage charm. The AgedPage print shop features photographs of country landscapes, still life images and rustic barns.
An Etsy shop since 2011, visit their shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/agedpage

Alphabet Art Photos

At Alphabet Art Photos we love to bring people closer and help them celebrate life’s major milestones through our personalized artwork. Our passion and purpose is to continually create art that brings enjoyment into the home while offering a customer experience that we would want for ourselves.
Have you browsed our store and read the reviews?
Don’t worry if you haven’t cos here’s the news…
Our artwork is designed with you in mind
Each item is personalized, all one-of-a-kind.
So, pick out your letters and choose a font
We’ll take the time to create the look you want.
We’ll send you a proof to look over and consider
A thumbs up from you and we’ll print, pack, and deliver
A personalized gift that is made from the heart
Your name spelled out with our Alphabet Art!

Visit their shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlphabetArtPhotos

Burning For You

Burning for You is a collaborative effort between a graphic designer and an artist/architect. We offer you custom handcrafted laser engraved wood and hand dyed leather goods and accessories. We really have a passion for creating! Each piece is made with care; from the conceptual stage all the way to the finishing table. Our hope is that you enjoy our products as much as we enjoy making them.
Visit their shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BurninForYou

CT Costa Photography

CT Costa Photography has been an Etsy seller since 2011 and continues selling fine art nature photography worldwide. They create inspiring photography of majestic landscapes and serene seascapes, and frame them with Frame USA products! Visit their shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CTCostaPhotography

Faith Wickey

These adorable glass art pieces would make great gifts while supporting a small business! Faith Wickey creates whimsical fused glass art pieces, then creates shadowboxes using frames from Frame USA. Visit their Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FaithWickey

RibbonMade

RibbonMade on Etsy has some great items to gift this holiday season! They hand decorate Frame USA frames for all sorts of occasions, along with offering children’s benches, keepsake boxes, and other decor! Visit their shop here

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

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

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!