Ghetto Framing

I’m quietly outraged at the cost of framing.  Is this really what people pay?  Even pre-made frames at the craft store are only affordable during their 1/2 price sales.  I think it’s a racket, and it’s why I’ve been procrastinating to put anything up on the living room walls.

A few months ago I picked up a big gaudy gold frame for $7 at a rummage sale.  It’s similar to the one I painted and turned into a chalkboard in the kitchen.  You can see it hanging out with some antlers on the top shelf in this pic.

I had every intention of painting this one too, maybe some kind of punchy color this time.  But the more I looked at it up there while watching TV, the more I got attached to the shabby gold finish.  And it fits pretty perfectly up there too.

But what to put in it?

Once every 5 years or so, I like to dig out the old art supplies from college and relive those pseudo-art-school days.  Since this frame was going to live up there above eye level and kind of in the dark, it was probably the only appropriate place for my amateur craft projects.

Yes, that’s a Drexel student life cup.  And Lydia Hunn’s phone number written on the top of the box.

To frame a homemade painting on a spiral-bound sketch book page, I wasn’t about to spend a much money.  So the foundation of this setup was a 16×20 piece of cardboard cut out of the big, flat FLOR boxes I’ve been hoarding.  This is not only going to be the backing, but the closest thing to a matte I could come up with.

To gussy it up, I found a partial can of white spray paint in the basement.

Oops, spray paint ran out.  I sort of filled in the rest with white acrylic paint on a brush.

Then I called Hobby Lobby to see how much a pre-cut piece of 16×20″ glass would be.  Like $20.  Ripoff.  But when the woman on the phone realized I wasn’t going to buy one, she mentioned this cheapie plastic thing might be a “budget option” at $5.77.

It’s a really thin piece of plastic, precut to 16×20″, and the “backing” is just the piece of cardboard it’s attached too.  (Goddamn, I didn’t even need my painted cardboard!)  Frankly, $5.77 was way too much for them to sell this flimsy thing for.

So I put some double-sided tape on the back of the art, eyeball-centered it on my painted cardboard, laid the plastic on top, and nestled it all into the gold frame.

And what do you know?  It doesn’t look too bad!

Since no one is looking at it up-close, there’s no way to tell that it’s mounted on poorly painted cardboard.  It adds a nice little colorful pattern and texture up there.  For a grand total of $12.77, to boot.

Being directly above the TV, my head is turned in this direction often.  So when I get tired of looking at it, I can always just pop it out and put something else in there basically for free.


3 thoughts on “Ghetto Framing

  1. I really don’t get why people pay so much for framing. My coworker just got quoted something like 300 for six small prints from Michaels AFTER a 60% off coupon. I told her to go pick up her stuff and cancel it pronto! Who pays that amount for framing??
    I got John a cute print on etsy last year and I just went to Aaron brothers for a custom size matting and then I framed it myself in one of their frames. Looks totally profesh!

  2. Love the re-purposing of Drexel art projects. I use my whistle from multi-media materials as a shelf. Yours displays much nicer, though- more “adult” looking anyway. (Also, LOVE the bird/duck/creature!)
    My mom has tons and tons of frames at her house, which she is cleaning out the attic to find space for. Granted, she’s an artist so she has WAY more framing needs than your average folk- but I think that part of the reason she has so much is she found it at good prices by the foot, and realized selling framed artwork means your buyer doesn’t have to go through all the awful hassle of finding a frame. I have a few lovely prints that still need frames, but knowing she has that whole attic full, means I just can’t justify paying tons for them. I never manage to organize bringing my prints home, though, so they still sit on the shelf, waiting.

  3. Pingback: DIY Art in the Loo « escape from brooklyn

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