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Category: Picture 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

New Series Spotlight – Chalked Picture Frames

New Picture Frame Series Spotlight – Chalked Frames

It’s finally summer, which means it’s time for some brand-new picture frames here at Frame USA! Our first brand new series to our Frame USA Collection ­­­­— the Chalked series. With the emergence of new series means two things:

  1. You have another great option for those old photos that you might have laying around.
  2. That piece of art that you’ve been searching high and low for the perfect frame to compliment it will finally find its mate.

Our new Chalked series offers a rustic look with a lot of warm earth tones that will compliment any wood tone in your house. We will be adding this series to our already large selection of eco-friendly frames. Similar to our current eco-friendly frames, Chalked is made of recycled material and then wrapped with a high-quality color wrap which allows the moulding to be blemish free.  This frame will come in a 1.25” profile, and available in 4 brand new colors: Greige, Natural, Shagbark and Coffee. Each of the colors feature a unique take of the rustic and very popular chalkboard look.

Chalked Greige
Greige
Chalked Natural
Natural
Chalked Shagbark
Shagbark
Chalked Coffee
Coffee

This series will be released on FrameUSA.com in July, so check back soon to order your picture frames online with Frame USA. We have a few more new series up our sleeves so be on the look out for a brand new series spotlight!

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.

Real Wood Frames

Real Wood vs MDF Wood Frames

What’s the difference between real wood frames and MDF wood frames?

In the world of moulding you will find different types of materials used to create individual styles. It might seem as simple as wood vs plastic, but the real story is much deeper. We’ll start at the beginning of the manufacturing process to see how frames start as trees in a forest, but become our beautiful mouldings.

Real Wood

Real Wood

Let’s start by talking about real wood. Personally, my favorite part about real wood is the visible grains on the frames. It gives the frame a unique and personal feel. The texture can really show off the craftsmanship that goes into making these frames.

So real wood – what is it made out of? Most of our frames that feature real wood come from 2 types of trees: Ash and Pine. Pine is the most common. It’s also featured in one of my favorite series, In Depth. However, Ash is my favorite wood since it’s also used to make baseball bats for the major leagues.

There are big pluses to purchasing a natural and real wood frame. The wood will look amazing and give a rustic and modern look to any room and it is sturdier than an MDF frame!

Real Wood Frames

MDF Wood

MDF is an abbreviation for Medium Density Fiberboard. It is the byproduct of wood chips and sawdust which is then pressurized and held together. Because of this every single piece of MDF looks exactly the same. During the manufacturing process, we add a moulding wrap to the frame. Since every piece of MDF looks the same, it insures that it will always look exactly the same no matter how frames you purchase.

MDF Wood Frames

No matter what you cannot go wrong with choosing one over the other because they both have the biggest plus! They will make an amazing frame!

-Zach Giesting

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!

 

 

 

Barnwood Frames

DIY Projects Using Picture Frames – Tips and Ideas

DIY Projects – Tips and Ideas using Picture Frames

 

DIY Projects
Do it yourself projects are a huge trend right now. They’re a great way to bring out your creative side, manage stress, or decorate on a budget. I look at a picture frame and think the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of styles and sizes that can be transformed into exciting DIY projects!  We’ll start small and work our way larger.

Let’s take a 4×6 frame and place a photo in it. It might seem DIY Gift Ideas obvious, but this could make a great gift for grandparents or other family members. You could also use that same frame and place a gift card inside – now there is a great gift idea! Using a picture frame instead of a greeting card is not only more exciting and unexpected, but many frames are more affordable than the average greeting card. They can also reuse the frame themselves.

Frames make for great wall decor just by adding printed craft paper or chalk board material. Check out this photo below of one of our customers who decorates the outside of our frames and sells them on Etsy! Our Decorate-It frame series is perfect for this kind of project. These unfinished frames are great for your DIY project like painting or collage.

 

DIY Projects Frames

One of my favorite DIY ideas is to add mirror glass to picture frames. Large or small, they can sit on a table or hang on a wall. This makes your frame a one of a kind wall decoration. We have frames that can be stained, painted, any custom finish that one can think of.

Barnwood Frames
Another favorite is the versatility of Frame USA’s natural Barnwood frames.  This series has a great rustic look and can be filled with any style of photo, or decorated with paint or collage. We have even turned them into serving trays that can be customized by simply adding a seasonal paper or family photo.

Last year the employees at Frame USA had the opportunity to make a project from their favorite frame. Each project was unique, creative, and awesome!
We are always adding new mouldings to our frame lines. The possibility of new ideas for creative DIY projects is endless! Get creative and send us your photos of any projects you use our frames for on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! We love seeing how creative our customers are!