Hi everyone! I know at least a few of you are like me. You enjoy buying miscellaneous frames and art whenever you find good quality pieces. The goal is to always have “stash” of frames to shop from whenever you find a stunning piece of art at a yard sale or thrift store. Sometimes your stash begins to overwhelm you. Sometimes you get motivated and take some time to match up said frames with said art. Well, I just went through one of those “motivational periods,” and I thought I’d share the results with you. First I’ll share “how” I go about framing, and then I’ll reveal some of the finished projects. How does that sound?
It’s not all that uncommon for me to come across a pile of (or box filled with) old frames at a sale. I guess they are easily accumulated, and then the owner just gets plain sick of them and boom. They’re out at a yard sale for next to nothing. I actually bought this box, just as you see it, at an estate sale for three dollars. I’ll remove most of the photographs and sell them separately. Then I’ll store the frames until just the right piece of art comes along.
Like this piece, for instance. I bought it not too long ago at an estate sale for $4.00. I think it has a very charming Grandma Moses feeling about it–minus the blue backing and the beige matte. Since the artwork had been glued to the blue backing, I simply cut the blue portions off and the 9″ x 12″ art remained. I love it when the art comes in a standard size.
Eventually, the right frame came along, and all that was necessary was to give it a couple of coats of black matte spray paint–my go to paint for frames. Usually the glass is in dire need of cleaning, so it gets a nice bath prior to framing.
Once the glass is dry, insert the art, and then a piece of cardboard to protect the art and hold it in place. Sometimes a frame comes with metal prongs that can be bent to remove or enclose the glass and art, as you see here.
Otherwise, you can use small nails, like these, to hold things in place. [Note: use the ones without the big heads. Sometimes the heads end up poking through your paper backing, and you don’t want that.]
I bought a big jar of these small nails at an estate sale a long time ago — probably a lifetime supply(!). You can get all fancy and purchase glazier points at a hardware store (and google how to use them), but I prefer nails myself.
Lay it perpendicular to your frame.
Push the nail [hard] into place with the end of a hammer. You want them in there good and tight, placed about 3-4″ apart. On this 9″ x 12″ frame, I would place three on the long sides and two on each of the short sides.
Next, you want to glue some paper onto the back of your frame to give it a finished look. You can buy brown paper in the shipping department of an office supply store or use brown paper bags. I scored this roll at a garage sale several years ago for three bucks–another lifetime supply(!).
Measure your frame to determine the size to cut your paper.
Apply glue to the edges.
For years I used tacky glue, but now I prefer liquid glue, like this Staples brand.
Here’s a view of the top.
After applying the glue, then simply adhere to your frame.
If your frame has pre-drilled holes, then mark their location so you can reinsert eye screws for hanging.
Use your drill to pre-drill if necessary and screw in two eye screws on opposite sides of the frame. I usually place them about a quarter to one third of the way down the side of the frame.
Run the hanging wire (available at the hardware store) through the eye screw once (1), then through it again (2), pull tight (3), then wrap the end of the wire around the part that will be doing the hanging for you.
And you’re ready to hang. My “Grandma Moses” looks nice in a simple black frame, doesn’t it? (Available in my Vintage Blog Shop soon for $32.00.)
I was in the framing “mood,” and so completed several projects at the same time. This Saratoga County Fair poster frame also received two coats of black matte spray paint.
This frame, holding a vintage atlas map of Africa, required no painting.
Nor did this patriotic book plate.
I think this framed bookplate of the human body is my favorite. I’ve scanned it so you can download it for your own personal use. Download the human body bookplate here. Print it on matte photographic paper or [cheaper] presentation paper and it will look fantastic.
I liked the pairing of this shabby chic frame with the sweet vintage cross stitch. (Available in my Vintage Blog Shop soon for $35.00).
These two pieces (frame and cross stitch) came together but the glass was filthy and it had neither backing nor a means of hanging it. I’m hoping to find a spot for it in my home 🙂
Final Piece: I’ve been waiting for just the right frame for this black and white photo I took at the Albany Rural Cemetery a couple of years ago. This handsome angel guards President Chester Arthur’s grave site. (Available in my Vintage Blog Shop soon for $32.00.) I hope I’ve inspired you to do a little framing of your own. I must say, it’s a very satisfying DIY project.
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