Picture Framing

Picture framing is an art. Before you start getting into the business of trying to frame your own photos, it's important that you take a moment to really think in-depth about the various skills you need to perfect to frame photos well. After all, a cheap professional framing job can cost you roughly $150. Here, you'll get an idea of what types of skills are necessary to frame your own photographs and some tips on framing your photos with store-bought frames.

Store-Bought Frames

People most commonly purchase store-bought picture frames as an alternative to having custom frames made. These frames can be an attractive and economical choice if you get them from a respectable vendor that sells quality frames. However, buying a cheap frame will absolutely make your frame look cheap. While there are some very nice pre-made frames out there, you should always inspect any frames you buy in a store very carefully.

Custom-Made Frames

You can either make your own custom frames or have a custom frame made for you. If you don't consider yourself to be an experienced woodworker, then you may not want to attempt making your own frame right away. You may want to start with some practice pieces before you try to make something for an actual photo you want to display or sell.

Having frames made by a custom frame designer can be pricey. The extra cost can be really worthwhile when it comes to framing special photographs. Any respectable framing shop will be able to offer you a wide selection of materials and styles for your frame.

Framing with Store-Bought Frames

The first thing that you need to consider when you a framing with a store-bought frame is that you want something sturdy. Only buy a sturdy frame that is made out of durable materials. PET plastic frames may feel sturdy at first but they become warped with age. Look for metal or composite wood whenever you are searching for picture frames in a store.

Next, you need to decide whether you're going to create a matte box for your photograph. A matte is essentially a piece of paper that you will cut an opening into for displaying your photograph. Mattes are commonly used to create negative space between the edges of your photo and the borders of the frame. You will want to make sure that the matte paper you select highlights at least one of the major color tones of your photograph. You may also be able to find matte boards that are pre-cut to save you the hassle.

When selecting a frame, you should always consider where you're going to be placing it. If it will be hung, you need to make sure that it will not be too overtly conspicuous. When overly conspicuous frames are hung on a wall they tend to look out of place. Try finding a frame that will complement your furniture and the overall tone of the room you will be hanging it in.

Building a Frame

This will take some experience on your part and you should not assume that making a frame will be simple. It's important that you have an understanding of how to evenly cut angles and that you have the equipment necessary to give a clean cut. Due to the thinness of most commonly used framing materials, you should not attempt to use a regular hand saw for this. You should use a small-bladed saw like a coping saw. This way you can avoid creating friction that will snap your frame slats into pieces.

You should make sure that you have clamps on hand and that you have enough glue and woodworking staples. Wood lamps are a very good choice for making frames because they are less likely to leave accidental indentations and scuffs on your frame material.

You should also have a carpenter's compass and know how to use it. Creating complimentary angles with a saw is an absolutely necessary skill when it comes to making your own picture frames. If you make even one angle too shallow or obtuse, then the entire frame will fall out of balance and you'll have to start all over again.