Custom framing involves enhancing, protecting and displaying. The frame could be of your artwork, photograph or sentimental items. It might even be a football jumper, a vinyl record or other memento.
Five Reasons to Custom Frame Your Item
- Your art is a reflection of you, your style, and interests. Would you buy a dress that did not fit you? Then why do so when framing your art? Your frame should not be so noticeable. Your art is what you want people to focus on. Your custom-made frame will match your item. It will even match your home’s decoration style.
- Custom frames protect and preserve your item for the future. This means your art will always look its best. Your piece will look amazing, professional, and without any defects. Without a custom frame, it will deteriorate and turn yellow over time. Acid-free and archival material, essential when custom framing, will prevent this from happening.
- Any items that are not standard dimensions, would be impossible to frame yourself anyway. So why bother attempting this?
- High quality materials and workmanship are very important. Cheap frames definitely make your art look cheap as well. The right frame also means your art will go up in value.
- Custom framers are also useful because they can:
- Take your personality, and the wall, floor and furniture of your home into account etc.
- Assist with frame designs that are suitable for the art period of your item.
- Solve any installation or display location problems. As well as concerns about moisture and humidity etc.
- Explain oil, acrylic, watercolour, pastel, or other medium options.
- Discuss glass or acrylic glazing, mediums, preservation, mounting, matting, frame construction, and canvases.
- Suggest paper mats, rag mats, buffered or unbuffered rag mats, reversible mounting or neutral materials etc.
- Help you decide on colours, spacers and frames and why you should use them for your item.
The Custom Framing Process
- What is being framed?
- Where will you place it in the room? Will it be the room’s central element?
- What are the colours and the décor of your room?
- Why are you framing it and why is it important to you?
- Will the frame provide enough space and support for your item? Will it protect your item?
To begin with, pick your frame for your item. Take your time with this decision. This is when you can find the best materials, colours, textures and styles for your piece. Now you can decide if the frame matches your room’s decor.
Style, materials and mat boards are the next step. This includes thin, wide, black, white, off-white mat boards or no mat board at all. Look at different sizes too. You may decide on a thinner frame than your mat. Standard mat width is usually four inches. Wider moulding is wonderful if you would prefer not to use a mat.
Colours and contrasts are another aspect to think about. Colour charts can help you imagine opposite colours and how they might look. Examples: black-and-white art works with white mats and black frames. Warmer colours and blues can work with a wooden frame and orange tones together with a blue mat.
Custom framers can measure everything, tailoring the correct fit and size. Once you have settled on all the design options, your custom framer will construct the frame. Your framer will cut and join mats, glass, and all materials, and then mount your piece.
Custom Framing Tips
- With so many different shades of ‘white’, it can be confusing. There are cool whites, warm whites, red toned whites or green toned whites etc.
- Whatever touches your piece must be acid-free. This is because decay and yellowing will start to appear. PH-neutral mat boards will stop this yellowing. A medium density fibreboard foam core backing will also block dust. Use the foam core behind your item, but inside the frame.
- Glass on canvas art is not advised. This is so that your canvas can breathe. (There is no need to frame it in glass unless it will be around fire or smoke all the time.)
- Examples of materials: hardwood, soft wood, MDF medium density fibreboard, polystyrene frames.
- You may wish to discuss UV-protection and anti-glare options.
- Use acrylic, not traditional glass for glazing, otherwise the glass may break.
- Do not use plastic or MDF. Use single mats rather than triple mats with spacers.
- Screw eyes or saw-toothed hangers are not recommended. Consider Tyvek or blue-grey dust covers, and neutral pH paper.
- Your item should not continue behind the back of your frame. If this occurs, your rabbet (sunken area of your frame where your art sits) might be too narrow.