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Framing
Old 01-18-2009, 09:21 PM   #1
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Framing

DW knitted a sweater for a local artist friend, and the artist painted a wonderful watercolor of our house (20" x 36" I think).

We went to Michael's (art store), and they wanted $200 to frame it. That was with a 50% discount. I said "Thanks, we'll look at other options."

What other options are there? I may do it myself (I've done a simple one in the past).

Thanks,
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:27 PM   #2
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Professional framing is very expensive. My sister just gave me a $50 gift certificate to Michael's for my bd and I was going to get something framed but way too pricey.

If I were you I would make it myself. You do nice work. Make it from wood from your property; it would be nicely appropriate.
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Old 01-18-2009, 09:28 PM   #3
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Michaels or doing it yourself would have been my two suggestions (though there are probably local framing shops in your area, but often they charge even more than Michaels).

You probably have a good idea of what you would like it to look like. So why not do it yourself? You can buy a frame and matting material at Michaels. (EDITED TO ADD: or make the frame as suggested by Martha! Cool idea).

I framed a print about that size for $16, a price you would probably prefer. Not only that, I did it the way I wanted it and had envisioned it. When I look at it, I think "ABSOLUTELY PERFECT".

Of course, someone else might think "PECULIAR", but who cares what they think?
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
We went to Michael's (art store), and they wanted $200 to frame it. That was with a 50% discount. I said "Thanks, we'll look at other options."
What other options are there? I may do it myself (I've done a simple one in the past).
The price can depend on the materials. For example you might want to keep that painting for decades, which could require acid-free matte and anti-UV anti-glare glass. That stuff adds up quickly.

Another option might be checking Craigslist for local framers. Someone who already has all the custom power tools may be interested in doing your job in wood. If you're ever down Port Heuneme way, I know a guy who even has his own laser engraver.

A third option would be to buy a crappy picture in a bigger frame (Goodwill or Wal-Mart or Ross Dress For Less) and use an oversize matte to upscale your art to fit the frame.

Whenever I think about woodworking in your time zone I think of Aloha and welcome to gregnoll.com.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:01 AM   #5
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Well I know this sort of thing is frowned upon, but since I've got a few posts I hope the mods will let it slide.

Its not exactly what your looking for, but related. I've just started an online store that sells framed art prints for 50% off frame store pricing. I setup a discount code for you guys, called "P2PFRIENDS" (extra 10% off). Just enter it at the last step in the checkout process.

If you live in Indiana, or close by, I would frame it for you at cost. Anyways, sorry if this is to spammy. Just seemed related and I got all excited
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:29 AM   #6
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My sister just gave me a $50 gift certificate to Michael's for my bd ...
Happy Birthday Martha!
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #7
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Good frames and framing materials are very expensive!

Want a frame in genuine quarter-sawn oak or other genuine hardwood with splined corners, as opposed to faux-painted material that's stapled together? Figure $200-300, minimum, for a bare frame.

Want an acid-free 100% cotton mat and backing materials? True anti-reflective glass? Other embellishments? Add another $200 or so including labor, and really, the sky is the limit.

Michaels will use faux-painted frames that are stapled together and paper mat materials. If you ask, they might have one or two simple frame styles in genuine walnut, but they will still just staple it together.

You don't always get what you pay for, but quality framing is very expensive. Unfortunately, to find true quality, you have to search far and wide. Because people don't recognize true quality, it's a jungle out there. But I'm an elitist when it comes to stuff like this, so don't mind me too much.

I'd suggest looking for a local personally-run small business. Don't expect splined frames, but they will likely charge less and may take better care of you.
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Old 01-19-2009, 01:49 AM   #8
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You could price shop Aaron Brothers (another chain, that outsources portions of the framing to the same company Michael's uses), though I suspect Michael's would be cheaper. Worst case if you can't find a better deal than Michael's, you just have to wait another 6 weeks until their next 50% deal.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:12 AM   #9
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Good frames and framing materials are very expensive!

Want a frame in genuine quarter-sawn oak or other genuine hardwood with splined corners, as opposed to faux-painted material that's stapled together? Figure $200-300, minimum, for a bare frame.

Want an acid-free 100% cotton mat and backing materials? True anti-reflective glass? Other embellishments? Add another $200 or so including labor, and really, the sky is the limit.

Michaels will use faux-painted frames that are stapled together and paper mat materials. If you ask, they might have one or two simple frame styles in genuine walnut, but they will still just staple it together.

You don't always get what you pay for, but quality framing is very expensive. Unfortunately, to find true quality, you have to search far and wide. Because people don't recognize true quality, it's a jungle out there. But I'm an elitist when it comes to stuff like this, so don't mind me too much.

I'd suggest looking for a local personally-run small business. Don't expect splined frames, but they will likely charge less and may take better care of you.
When I had a house and shop I made a lot of nice frames. Some of funky material I scavenged like wormwood out of rivers and lagoons. I had a table saw and made some jigs to help me do good work. It was an enjoyable thing for me, though not quite a hobby. My wife at the time was a painter, so I made a lot for her and for gifts.

If you don't have the tools or space or time, I second the idea to find a good local shop. I have some beautifully framed things from a little shop in Bellingham. Knowing what it takes to make an attractive frame, I think what she charges is a bargain. She can make clever frames for 3-D objects like memorabilia and keepsakes and other things I wouldn't have thought of.

I have a souk drawing from Morocco that one of my Dad's friends did for him. It had a note with it, and she found a very clever way to display the note without detracting from the power of the picture. So it takes craftsmanship, and some definite creativity.

I will say though, that when Michael's runs a special, they are pretty nicely priced, and the women who help you choose the layout are usually very good.

Ha
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:15 AM   #10
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Do it yourself. It will be add a personal touch to a watercolor of your own house. Part of my woodworking hobby is framing. I've done 2 in the last 2 months. One I needed matting, glass, etc (probably 22" x 34") - ran me $35 for framing supplies and $6 for alder for the frame. The second is an antique 5"x7" photo. I bought a $3 frame from Walmart to get the glass, and wrapped it in a 2" wide frame that I made from left over walnut from another project.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:59 AM   #11
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If you have a local TJ Max or Home Goods you can find some reasonable framed pictures in pretty nice frames . Then you just take them apart and insert yours .
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:16 AM   #12
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Check to see if there is a "U-Frame-It" (or similar) store in your area.

"u frame it" - Google Search
(for starters)

At least, you would have professional equipment to work with... and expert guidance.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:21 AM   #13
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If you have a local TJ Max or Home Goods you can find some reasonable framed pictures in pretty nice frames . Then you just take them apart and insert yours .
I go to Thrift/2nd hand stores. You won't believe the expensive frames you can pick up for a couple bucks. Apparently, the "pricers" don't appreciate Fine Art.

In any event, it is a very simple job to replace whatever is in the frame with your own choice.
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:11 AM   #14
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Thanks for the ideas. I'll take a look in some thrift stores, and if I don't see something perfect, I'll buy the same cedar that is on the outside of our house and around our fireplace, and make it myself. But I hate mitered corners! Here's a frame I made, and you can see that I cleverly avoided anything mitered:

Framing 001.jpg

I recently got one of these, which is an improvement over my little miter box (yes, it is hanging on the wall):

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Old 01-19-2009, 09:20 AM   #15
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I've bought frames from these folks for years and have been happy with the cost and results.

Pictureframes.com – Picture frames, ready made picture frames, custom picture frames, custom canvas printing, wood picture frames, metal picture frames, discount picture frames
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:45 AM   #16
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But I hate mitered corners!

my little miter box (yes, it is hanging on the wall):
And compound miters are even more fun... and all of those complicated clamps... which is what (s)would be required to do what you are asking about.

Mine isn't hanging on the wall but the only thing I have used it for in many, many years is to make sure I have a 90 angle on minor (read quicky) projects. (I have a powered table-top miter saw for anything more complicated.)
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:12 AM   #17
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I had done it 3 ways in the past:

1) The Professional solution, i.e. framing through a local shop for some prized pictures. Archival quality, acid free mat, non-reflective glass, real wood frame. I picked a very simple design for the frame (as in cheap). It cost about $150 per picture. Really good work though, lots of quality details, very heavy frame. (picture 1)

2) The DIY from scratch solution for less prized pictures. Oak frame stock from Lowes (pretty expensive), cut with a miter box, plexiglass from Lowes as well, plywood backing. Overall it cost about $45 for this picture (picture 2) including everything (wood, glass, paint, plywood, etc...). You also have to factor in some specific tools if you don't have them already (frame clamp for example). The problem with that approach: the choice of frame stocks is limited. But, if you have a router, you can always create one yourself.

3) The off the shelf solution: that was actually the cheapest and my favorite solution of all. Buy cheap ready-to-go frames (Michaels, Walmart), buy matting materials at Michaels (with an inexpensive mat cutter). Cut the matting material yourself. It's really easy, it just requires a bit of patience. Insert in the ready to go frame, and presto, you have professional looking pictures in no time (picture 3). Each frame on this picture costs less than $20 ($15 for the frame itself, $5 for the mat). Other advantage: unlimited combinations of frames and mats available (different colors, different materials, different textures, etc...).
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:26 AM   #18
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This is a great excuse to buy some tools! You know the exercise: "Well, rather than spend $200 having someone else build this one project, I can spend less than that on tools and I'll have them forever!" I also hate mitred corners (hard to get right, and weak). For a project like this (a frame for a picture of a structure) maybe a simple frame with exposed joinery wouldbe cool. Contrasting woods with finger (box) joints look nice, and you could then justify a router table and a router. I like the idea of using lumber from/similar to the house. That frame you made for the crustaceans is very nice.
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:31 AM   #19
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3) The off the shelf solution:
That gets my vote, also. (Although, I imagine the thrift store route would cost less.) Additionally, the frame would have less risk of competing with the painting.

Nice bed, by the way. Is it as old as it looks. (I mean in a good, antiquey, way.)
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:43 AM   #20
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Nice bed, by the way. Is it as old as it looks. (I mean in a good, antiquey, way.)
Yes it is about 120 years old.
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