37 Home Decor | It’s A Frame Up!

Displaying Art in Your Home Space

You know, I used to think it was terribly vain to display my own art at home. For the longest time the only painting of mine to be on the wall was the one I had to frame for the student show back in 2004 or thereabouts.

Color study still life by Jennifer Walker
Some day I’ll frame the feather panel that was originally part of this piece.

Some time last year, though, I changed my attitude. I don’t know if it was anything major that shifted or just that I was running out of places to store finished work except the walls, but I started with a cork board above my computer and then started hanging different projects I created for Gauche Alchemy, etc. Now my gallery wall is a nice piece of inspiration in my home office and I look forward to filling up the rest of the wall space in there!

Obviously I did not use a level to hang some of these. Gotta fix that ASAP!
Obviously I did not use a level to hang some of these. Gotta fix that ASAP!

There’s really no rhyme or reason with my gallery wall, I just pick the best place by size when i have something new to hang up. Overall I try to keep a certain balance going, but since this wall is a work in progress, it’s going to be a bit off now and then.

I love my medal bar signs--I even leave the Halloween ones up all year.
I love my medal bar signs–I even leave the Halloween ones up all year.

We did something similar in the dining room above the bar, only this was a more deliberate grouping of tin signs and other objects. The large center canvas is newer than the rest of the groupings, and I’m still not sure that’s where it’s going to stay (which is why it’s still overlapping one of my tin signs).

Regardless of whether it’s framed photographs, paintings, prints, or shadowboxes filled with collected items, I think art on the walls makes a space feel more lived in, more alive, and more soothing all at the same time. Most of my items are wrapped canvases, but for everything else I like to find a frame that’s large enough to hold my art plus at least 6 inches, then cut the mat myself.

image via Amazon.com
image via Amazon.com

I have the Logan Do It Yourself Mat Cutting Kit (that I picked up at Michaels years ago with that ever-important 40% off coupon) that makes cutting straight and beveled mats pretty simple (though you’ll want a self-healing mat to protect your work surface, too).

But what about those items that don’t frame easily? The prints and ATCs (artist trading cards) and other things without sufficient border to slip behind a mat? There’s always the shadowbox option, just mount whatever you’ve got to the backing board and go. You can also drill or punch holes in the corners of canvas board and attach a hanger that way, like I did with my Shower Inspiration piece.

But for the 4×6 art card I received from my swap partner, Michelle, I wanted a way to show it off without permanently adhering it (since it has equally awesome sides). Here’s how I solved this riddle.

Now to decide where on my wall this one should go!
Now to decide where on my wall this one should go!

First I dug out a suitably sized frame from the tote of random frames I have in the garage. The glass and backing board are long gone–who know what I did with it–but that’s okay! I cut a piece of foam core exactly the side of the rear opening and made sure it fit snugly.

Doesn't everyone have a tote full of random frames? No?
Doesn’t everyone have a tote full of random frames? No?

Then I found a piece of card stock that would work as a background for the 4×6 card without distracting from it and cut it just slightly smaller than the foam core.

The royal blue picks up on some of the splatters in the background of the art card but still stands out enough from the black edges.
The royal blue picks up on some of the splatters in the background of the art card but still stands out enough from the black edges.

Adhere the card stock to the foam core–I used double-sided tape, but a glue stick would work just as well, I’m sure–and then fit the covered foam core into the frame to stay. Mine was a pretty tight fit as is, but if you have a little wiggle room, it’s not a bad idea to secure the backing into place in whatever way seems best.

Another option--useful if the card is very bulky--would be to attach ribbon straps to the corners of the backing board before securing it, so you could slip the card into place.
Another option–useful if the card is very bulky–would be to attach ribbon straps to the corners of the backing board before securing it, so you could slip the card into place.

Since I wanted to make sure I could remove the card or flip sides whenever I wanted, I used clear photo mounts at each corner to hold the card in place. All done!

Have you thought of adding any art to your space, lately?

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