Creating Unique Framed Art


DSC_1107About 18 years ago I walked into a small used book store in Sandwich, Massachusetts.  I had just earned my teaching degree and my first teaching job.  I was spending my last lazy days of summer with my mom and my pregnant sister on the cape.  The bookstore was just too cute to pass by and I was looking for some unique history books for my classroom.  Instead I walked out with Questions and Answers about Seashore Life (1978) and a paperback copy of the Great Gatsby to read on the beach.  I knew I would eventually do something with the beautiful wood cut prints of the sea life in the book.  Almost 20 years and 5 moves later I have finally found good use for those adorable prints.  It all comes back full circle because as I sat on that beach I dreamed of having a little house near the beach to go to with my family.  I am framing some of the pages from this book to hang in our house on the Cape….

The art in the book has that 70s modern vibe that I am not always drawn too but it is so different with it only being 2 colors and of lobsters, shells, starfish and seaweed it has charmed me.  I envisioned it with stark white frames and mats to really bring out the rich colors.  The pages are a little aged so I was worried, but I like the final product.  Also these will be hung up in a group against a navy blue background to really make the art shine.

I took photos of each step so you can create your own framed art.

Materials needed are:

Book with art work, frames, scissors, pencil, ruler, spray glue (seen below) large piece of poster board or scrap paper.

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This is the book (first pic above) and gallery frames I picked up at Target.  You can use any frame with a mat.  I chose this one so I could mat the art onto it.  But you could also use the mat to frame the art for a more traditional look.


The book is old and frayed so I first drew a straight line using a ruler where I would cut it out from the book.  I couldn’t tear it out or the it might rip in a crooked direction.


Next I trimmed the edges along the pencil line.


Ok I am obsessed with Scotch Spray Mount.  I have used this adhesive glue for so many different projects.  Just follow the directions on the back of the can but I can’t stress enough how important it is to spray from about 8-12 inches away, back and fourth and wait about a minute before you place it.


I used some scrap poster board to spray on – it goes everywhere.  The first time I used it I sprayed on my kitchen table and it stayed for weeks.  So after you spray and wait, carefully place the picture on the mat centered (you can eyeball it or trace the picture first on the mat or even measure to be precise – I eyeballed.)


Put the frame back together after it dries (time can vary on that) and you are ready to do the next one.


I got these brass corners at a local hardware store and thought they might look good on the frame.  I may save them for another project.


Three finished frames.  I need to pick up more at target.  I am going to do a wall of the frames in the bathroom at our cape house.  The bathroom will be painted Ben Moore Van Duesen Blue (navy blue).  The bathroom is small so I was worried about it looking a like a cave but with a repetition of white frames the navy will become the background.


I staged one on the wall in the basement. (Paint color is BM Buxton Blue)


This frame hanging template was tucked in the back of the frame.  I thought this was great for hanging.  I will still have to measure everything because with a gallery wall you really want exact measurements.  Check out an old blog post “How to with Brian” where he shows me how to hang a large piece of art and not use a shoe as a hammer (here).


Just to give credit where it is due, I showed my friend Jana what I was planning to do with the frames and the book and she said this should go on your blog.  So I figured I would and try to do a few more projects here and there for fun.  Thanks!

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