Do-It-Yourself Framing Tips
Before you put utility knife to foam board, take a moment to think color and design.
- Keep it clean. “The whole idea of framing is to make the artwork sing,” says Brian Clamp, director of ClampArt, a gallery in New York City. Nix the loud colors and ornate frames. Unless the art is baroque or over-the-top, a simple, unadorned frame design will usually work.
- Size matters. Pick a frame proportionate to the image. “Wider frames overwhelm small images, and a thin frame is lost on a large piece,” says Neil Klemz, manager of the Picture Us Galleries, in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Frames less than one inch thick shouldn’t be used on a piece bigger than 16 by 20 inches. The joints may bend, buckle, and even break.
- Color smart. The art itself―not the walls, the couch, or the bedspread―should always determine the color of the mat and the frame. To play it safe, go with the classic white-mat–and–black-frame combination. If you decide to introduce color, Klemz suggests picking a tone from the artwork, avoiding the most dominant one. And never pair a light frame with a dark mat, says Clamp. You’ll draw more attention to the framing than to the art.
- Think quality. Ready-made frames are mass-produced, so select a solid one. Check the corners for gaps and the sides for dents, says Klemz. Keep in mind that weight usually equals sturdiness and that plastic inserts scratch more easily than glass.