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Old 03-20-2012, 01:08 AM
crewlozie22 crewlozie22 is offline
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Smile Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

I am new to showing my art work and realizing just how expensive trying to make my art "look" right in that particular fram and mat's

I'd really appreciate all that you can give to a first timer. Thank you
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Old 03-20-2012, 10:13 AM
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wsrea wsrea is offline
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

Hi, Crewlozie22, and welcome to WetCanvas. I've been making my own frames for a while. Without the proper equipment and a lot of practice, the frames can look amateurish and detract from the art. (I'm often still in that stage!)

Other suggestions:

1. Collect coupons from art supply stores like Michaels, AC Moore, Pearl, etc. You can go to their websites and get the coupons emailed to you for 40-60% off, or get them from the Sunday newspaper. I frequently would buy a single $3 mat for $1.80. To do this you have to cultivate a state of mind in which you do not think of what the cashier might think. Pretend you're on a scavenger hunt. In fact, the cashier doesn't care.

2. Hit the remaindered bins.

3. Hit yard sales.

4. Create your art the size to fit your inexpensive frames.

5. Look on Craigslist under "arts and crafts" for framing/matting equipment. I got a professional mat cutting system and my miter saw that way. Be patient.

If you want to make your own frames you're better off with a clean contemporary look; you'll need an accurate miter saw, right angle clamps, and ways of mounting the work in the frame. You can search for "making frames" in the search box in the upper right corner of the WetCanvas menu bar--a cursory search found 500 threads.

If you want to make your own mats you'll need, at a minimum, a mat bevel cutter, a really accurate straightedge/ruler, and, in my experience, a whole lot of matboard to mess up while you're learning.

I started making frames to save money. I continue to make them just because I enjoy the craft. If you think you'd enjoy framing, try it! If you enjoy making your other art more, go with the above suggestions.

So, tell us or better show us, what kind of art do you do?
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Last edited by wsrea : 03-20-2012 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:10 PM
Aires Aires is offline
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

Auctions and flea markets are another good place to watch for solid wood picture frames at low prices; avoid the resin and plastic ones as you need to be able to tighten miter joints and alter the color to enhance your painting.

As mentioned above, be prepared to make your work fit the work rather than the other way around because a lot of the frames will be "odd" sized measurements rather than even numbers, like 11 3/8 inches rather than 12 inches. If you find a real treasure in an ornate frame, it is well worth sizing your artwork to fit the frame. Don't look at color, you can change that; instead look for a well made frame or one that can easily be repaired, like a hanger no longer intact, etc. or scratches that can be covered with paint. Even small damages can be repaired quickly with a little wood putty. I find that an elaborate frame is well worth some work to restore it as it is more a matter of using "elbow grease"rather than money to repair them ---- the reason to stick with solid wood frames.

Watch for local charities having annual rummage sales to raise money - sometimes you can hit the jack pot at those type of sales, helping both yourself and them by buying something.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:32 PM
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aires
Don't look at color, you can change that; .

can you tell me how to do this? i've tried using acrylic and it doesn't seem to adhere well enough. would love to know how to do this!!
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Old 03-21-2012, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by chewie
can you tell me how to do this? i've tried using acrylic and it doesn't seem to adhere well enough. would love to know how to do this!!
Since frames are handled a lot adherence problems could simply be down to there being skin oils on the surface (if the paint bonds well in recesses but much less well on the high spots then that's a pointer to this being one of the causes). So the first thing to do would be to make sure the frame is degreased.

But a lot of frames will be finished in a type of enamel (similar to alkyd) or lacquer which regular acrylic paints often won't stick to very well. They can adhere well enough to this type of surface, as they can to hard plastics like Perspex, if there is sufficient microtexture for the paint to form a mechanical bond so you may need to slightly scuff the finish with steel wool, Scotchbrite or a nylon scrubbie.

But I would recommend that you not use acrylic for this since it's not a particularly tough paint, unless you intend to varnish it as well with a good strong varnish.

Household trim paint is a good option, since it's cheap and widely available and will bond well to a variety of materials. Spraycans are also worth considering, although the paint costs more usually it's very fast to apply and can give a beautifully smooth finish that looks very professional.

These two paint types are also a good option since they open up the possibility of recolouring both metal and plastic frames, so you don't have to buy wood and wooden composites only.

In case it's not obvious, best to repaint a frame with the glazing removed!

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Old 03-21-2012, 11:33 PM
Aires Aires is offline
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

One neat thing about searching out OLD wood picture frames is that most of them were painted with oil paint. Unless they have a slick, shiny surface I've had no troublepainting my picture frames to enhance the painting.

I use oil paint rather than acrylic on most of the old frames I pick up. Obviously you always start with a clean frame, rough places can be sanded down and dusted before painting. Finally a cloh dampened with a little rubbing alcohol will remove any oils from hands. If the frame is wood grain and you like it, sometimes all it takes is touching up scratches and then giving it a coat of spray varnish to bring the shine back and deepen the color. A little practice and you'll develop an eye for the best buys - checking out the cost of new frames that appeal to you will give you a good basis for making decisions about how much a frame is worth to you and you'll recognize a bargain when you see it.

Another tip: if you want the look of metallic frames, always use the oil based metallics for the best results - but be prepared to do it outside as the smell of metallic oil paint in a closed room is definitely hazardous to your lungs. It's more of a challenge than acylic metallic but the results are so well worth it.
Good luck and happy hunting!
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:09 AM
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

In my frame shop I have a "bargain bin" for anyone to rummage through. When I do a frame job, there will invariably be left over moulding and I write on it the size frame one can get from it then put it in the bin. I always price it at 1/3 of retail and charge $5 to chop and join. It's a great way for me to get rid of excess moulding which can over take a frame shop nearly instantly, and it gives my artist friends a very good way to get good (sometimes VERY good), but inexpensive frames. Check your local frame shop and MAKE FRIENDS WITH THEM. Then see if they have left over mouldings. It's certainly worth looking into. I have many artist friends that I bend over backwards to try and help.

The other advice mentioned is excellent as well. Buy odd size frames from antique stores or flea markets or yard sales and paint art to fit them.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:22 PM
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

I've made some, but what I usually end up doing is buying from American Frame Co., they're online, and have some very reasonably priced ones. I've been buying from them on & off since 1978 and never had a problem. The quality is as good as in the stores, prices much, much less. From time to time they even offer free shipping with a min. purchase.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:44 PM
ArtMarkie ArtMarkie is offline
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

I have found some great miniature-size frames at garage sales and church sales. Also I have repainted some frames, using spray paint. Also one time a couple of frames got accidentally damaged, and I found some lacquer paint at a hardware store, so I painted vines on the frames to cover the damage.
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:09 PM
Edradour Edradour is offline
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

Are you working on canvas or paper? Deep canvases don't necesarily need frames, similarly small canvases are OK without frames

Slightly OT - but try to go for wooden frames, not plastic or metal. A lot of societies and exhibitions near me will only accept wooden frames - or unframed work.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:08 AM
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

If your working on canvas board or board, a frame or boarder can be painted in. There is an artist that does whimsy cat pics and she paints boarders whether they are faux wood, or any border you wish, check out borders on Google image search...This method wouldn't work with floating canvases.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:31 PM
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

I've made some frames and while my craft is pretty good it takes awhile and there's still some trial and error. I enjoy making them, but years ago came to the realization that I was spending more time on the frame than the art. Bottom line, I'm an artist. I find professional framers do framing way better than I do. I buy almost all of my frames on Americanframe.com. They are great and are very cheap. The frames come flat and they easily screw together. I get them without plexiglass and take the assembled frame to the hardware store and have them cut glass. It's much cheaper than most frame shops that I have used in the past.

I also, like stated above, look for frames at goodwill, flea markets, and so on. I bought a large frame for $14 last month and stripped it down and spray painted it silver to make it much more modern looking.
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Old 06-16-2012, 02:06 PM
Val Ivanova Val Ivanova is offline
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

I am a painter from Bulgaria and so far I liked this forum. I also sell wooden frames of best quality, if someone is interested this is my site: www.europeframes.com . I hope that you will find it useful!
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:57 AM
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Re: Is there a cheap way of making own frames?

I don't think the plein air style frames are very difficult to make or make look good, with a few power tools.
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