Tag Archives: fabric matting

Easy DIY Ways to Frame Art

I woke up this morning to the sound of a torrential downpour.  The rain lasted all morning and the light was flat and gray.  Intimations of the Oregon winter to come, for sure.  It was a cozy morning to be inside, and I sat in the living room with Dean on my lap and coffee in hand.  I am very pleased (and a little bit relieved) to report that the Crystal Ball paint did not turn cold or stark, but was bright and cozy and reflected what little natural light there was.  I have a feeling I’m going to be choosing to spend a lot of time in there this winter, and I’m motivated to get the stacks of art off the floor and onto the walls.

Just the tip of the neglected art iceberg

Just the tip of the neglected art iceberg

I have some really lovely pieces that are already framed, but I’ve also amassed quite a collection of art from thrift stores and garage sales that are irregularly sized and don’t fit into standard mats and frames.  Custom framing is out of reach, so I decided to get a little creative with how I display things.

You might remember seeing this pretty lady when I showed you the living room paint last week:

oil portrait 2

I bought the little oil portrait on eBay awhile ago, but hadn’t found a good way to display her.  I had a brainwave when this incredible room popped up in our Pinterest feed:

farrow and ball wallpaper

Man, Farrow & Ball really has my number.  This photo is from their recent collection of wallpapers, and it manages to instill in me an ineffable longing.  Let’s zoom in:

I decided to try and recreate this on a much smaller scale – to slake my yearning and quell my avarice by creating a little vignette reminiscent of this beauty. I carved a stamp and printed an old piece of mat board I had laying around.

Stamping the background

close up of piping

The frame is one of many I have dragged home from thrift stores, and I used a piece of piping to border the painting and give it a little depth.  I just used scotch tape to affix it to the back of the portrait:

attaching the piping

Then I used double-sided tape to stick the portrait onto the mat board, put a little plant in front to mimic the one in that original image and voila!  A very inexpensive Farrow & Ball-inspired moment.

Red House West//Inexpensive ways to display art

I bought this abstract pen and ink drawing for $0.99 and really like it, but it was stuck in a closet for ages while I waited for inspiration to strike – which it finally did!

framing supplies

Using poster board, black fabric, spray adhesive and a cheap thrift store frame, this little baby is finally ready to see the light of day.  To start, I cut the poster board to fit the frame then cut an opening to display the drawing.  I read somewhere that matting looks best when it’s slightly wider on the bottom than on the top – something about the eye seeing it as centered – so I did that and I’m happy with the result.

cut frame

Next, I cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the poster board.  I took everything outside, spread out a sheet, and sprayed the poster board with spray adhesive (below left).  Then I flipped it onto the fabric and smoothed out all the wrinkles.  I trimmed the edges then cut an ‘x’ in the middle opening so there were four triangle-shaped flaps (below right), trimmed the excess and used spray adhesive to glue the edges.

Red House West//Inexpensive framing

I waited for it to dry then reassembled the frame (full disclosure: I actually had to reassemble it three times because not once but twice I noticed cat hair trapped beneath the glass).  I’m really happy with it!  I like the texture of the fabric and think the depth of the black looks nice with the drawing. The edges look far better than any  of my previous attempts at cutting mat board at home.

Close up of the fabric mat taken without the glass.

Close up of the fabric mat taken without the glass.

Red House West//inexpensive ways to frame art

I’m happy to have these images on display, and feel inspired to get to work framing some more things.  I know we have some artists who read the blog – do you frame your own art?  Any tips you can pass on?  Thanks so much!