DIY Framing

Mass produced frames almost never fit the size specifications for my art works. One of the dimensions is bound to be off, or the combination of the two “doesn’t exist”or “isn’t sold here and you aren’t going to find it anywhere either”. I discovered these responses when I was searching for a cheep 20″ by 30″ frame. Sounds simple, yes?

No. At least not at first. I called Michaels Craft Store and talked to their framing experts. I talked to the Craft Warehouse people, and I also called up Aaron Brothers Framing and Art supplies.

Michaels told me that no one makes that size of frame anymore, it’s just too uncommon. I could purchase metal pieces of that size and construct a frame myself, or I could have them make a frame. Same response from the Craft people. The nice lady I spoke to at Aaron Brothers told me that yes, they did have that size. They use that size for the BSU posters and she was going to check if they had them in stock and call me back in five minutes with a price… She never called me back.

I also tried to get a local framer, that also happens to be a family acquaintance, to make me frame. But she had to go out of town for three weeks.

So I never did go out and buy myself a cheep 20″ by 30″ frame for the Western Idaho Fair.

Months later, this week in fact, I went to Walmart looking for something that I can’t recall at this moment, and what do I find? 20″ by 30″ frames. A lot of them. So they don’t make these anymore, eh? Lies lies and more lies.

Today I went to Michaels, and while I didn’t find the cheepy variety I did find a 20″ by 30″ frame.

Many anathemas come to mind, but for the sake of some of my readers I won’t use them here. I guess the moral of the story is that people who “know what their talking about” might actually not have a bloody clue. And because I hate having to rely on other people to tell me if they have something (and they end up being wrong and/or not having what I believe they should have because they are a craft store), or to make me something (for example: going to a professional framer for each work of art I create) I’ve decided to turn my back on them and Do It Myself.

So now I have a new toy. It is called a Fitting Tool, and it’s used when you make a frame. It puts in these nice little flexible inserts into the wood to keep the art in place snuggly in the frame. I also have my father and his wood shop tools available. And I have wood and black paint for that wood. With a few other things you can put them all together and you will have a framed work of art that didn’t cost you $50 + each.

Plus the frame now counts as a work of art itself, since it’s hand-made with love mixed with a wee bit of frustration and a pinch rage.


Framing Tool by Kathryn Koozer



– Kathryn Koozer

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