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Custom framing links; plus a framing lesson
Matting And Framing
Many home decorators and at-home framers have discovered procedures that mimic those of the professional picture framer. Many of the methods used are easier than you think and can save you money while allowing you to frame and enjoy your collection of treasures, rather than leave them in a box under the bed or in the closet.
Perhaps the most daunting items are those with some mass to them--perhaps a plate that belonged to a family member or a collectable sign, a piece of art on stone, a decorative tile or an architectural element purchased at an estate sale. All of these items can be framed if certain aspects of the presentation are taken into consideration at the onset of the project.
Three major considerations are important to remember. First is the thickness of the item. Your frame should accommodate more than the thickness of material since there will be glass and backing included in the calculations. The second consideration is the method of attachment. Some adhesives and attachment methods can cause damage to the item and should be avoided. The attachment method should be as invisible as possible so as not to distract from the finished mounting. Third, be sure you are careful to properly clean the item and background of any dust, lint or debris so that the finished presentation is not marred. If these three things can be mastered, your project will turn out perfect and you will be proud of the results.
For preservation of family history and the enjoyment of items that are important, you may want to frame one item or a collection of items to display. With proper care, no damage will occur to these and everyone will get to enjoy them for years to come. That is surely preferable to having those items boxed and stored out of sight.
Choosing a frame is the first step. There are usually selections at most art material locations that are suitable for shadowboxing of 3D items. Art supply catalogs can be another great source of frames. Look for frames that are designed to display stretched canvas for possibilities or frame kits with around an inch of acceptance space. Measure the thickness of your item and add to that measurement the thickness of the backing material (usually mat board), the substrate (usually foam board) and the glass. The backing, substrate and glass added together usually come to approximately « inch. If your item, say a pair of dress gloves your Grandmother wore, is about 3/8" thick, your frame would need to be 7/8" deep to handle the project.
Attachment of the gloves (or other fabric items) is best achieved by sewing them into place on the backing mat board. With an instrument such as a tapestry needle or a push pin, create pilot holes just under the edge of the item so that sewing is easier to complete.
For items that will not be affected by glues--such as coins, stone, tiles and the like--use liquid adhesive to hold them in place. Sometimes you may want to sew a fabric item onto a separate sheet of acid-free foam board, and then glue the board down rather than allowing glue to come in contact with the cherished keepsake.
For any given item, there are dozens of ways to present it. You are in total control of every aspect of that presentation--the color and texture of background, the mounting method, the frame choice and the glass type. You may select whatever you want and that makes the completed project even more special.
With these quick guidelines, you might be ready to tackle a very special mounting and framing project. If so, gather up a few ideas and collect your materials. You will have great fun planning and executing the completion of this project with the certain knowledge that it will remain part of your legacy forever. Get busy!
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