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How A Vintage Frame Can Change Everything

Updated: 3 days ago

Why you need to frame your art + Tips on how to do it right

Unframed art is like a bouquet of flowers without a vase, you just gotta lay those babies flat and most of the time that’s just not the vibe. The fastest way to elevate the interior of your home is with framed art...

just look at all those stunning details: I mixed my own gold paint using mixing medium and 24k gold leaf powder + the watercolor and pastel add so much texture and grit

I recently framed one of my favorite pieces from the Safe to Be Seen collection and the frame I chose truly made the painting *SING.* This frame is particularly special because it used to hang in my great-great aunt's home. She had the most lovely cyanotype displayed in this frame (that sadly is now yellowed and faded). It was sitting in a pile of frames in my studio when I was moving artwork around and I just happened to sit my sunflower painting down right next to it.

How serendipitous. Immediate heart eyes. Truly a match made in heaven. The artwork was already giving van Gogh, and I knew the frame would amplify that, which I'm 1000% ok with. I spent a few loving minutes cleaning up the frame and carefully placing the artwork inside. I thought about my Aunt Shelby the whole time and how happy she would be that this old 1980's frame would get a new life in 2024. I miss her.

pictured here with my actual real-life sunflower plant babies

I lucked out in this situation because I was already in possession of this unique, vintage frame. But here are some tips to help you find the right frame for your artwork.

Tip # 1: Work with a professional framer

If it's in your budget, work with a professional. They're educated not only in the skill of framing, but they're usually well informed about current interior design trends and traditions.

Tip # 2: Get inspired on Pinterest

I have a *REALLY* helpful board that I've curated over the years called "Creative Framing." In that board you'll find all the inspiration you need to frame your work. Go get inspired and while you're there hit that follow button so you can stay connected to my future pins in that space.

Tip # 3: Look for frames in unexpected places

I love finding vintage frames (vintage = anything 20-100yrs old), it makes my soul happy. Look for them at thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and flea markets – and don't forget to ask your family members if they have any old frames in storage. You can also find all kinds of frames online in spaces like Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and more. Happy hunting!

Tip # 4: Environment matters

Consider *where* you're planning on displaying your artwork. A painting displayed in an office space might require a different frame than one displayed in your main living space. Choose a frame that complements the decor and style of the room while still allowing the artwork to shine. If this is an area of struggle for you, ask your friend that always dresses really well to help you out!

Tip # 5: Ask the Artist for advice

The artist can tell you what style the artwork is painted in or inspired by (for example, the sunflower painting above is inspired by van Gogh who was a famous impressionist artist). Knowing the style can help inform the type and color of the frame you choose. I find it particularly challenging to work with minimal black frames, but would advise a collector to choose a natural wood frame with a wide mat for most of my works. I'd also direct them back to tip # 2 so they can get a feel for current trends in the framing world.

Tip # 6: Matting, mounting, or flush framing

If you choose a frame with a mat (an inner board that serves as another type of frame) I'd typically advise going with a white or off-white mat to create more visual space and really showcase the artwork. Although recently I stumbled upon this beautiful method of creating fabric covered mats and I'm obsessed. You can check out that video here. Alternatively, if you want to mount your work, it will sit on top of the mat or backing material instead of underneath (examples below). And lastly, you can choose to frame your piece flush into the frame, meaning no matting or mounting required. The most popular type of frame for a work on canvas is a float frame.

All of these frame options where found on

This is not a comprehensive guide to framing your work, but it's a great start! If you have any more tips for how you've framed your art I'd love to hear them. Comment below or send me an email :) Let this article serve as your reminder to go find a frame for that beautiful art you just bought.

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Read more about the sunflower painting shown in this post titled "Safety in the Freefall" at the listing in my shop:


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