14 Awesome Picture Frame Ideas for your Valuable Collectibles March 05 2021
There are in the market many different options of frame designs and materials, mat colors and textures, glass options, and other elements that can go into your frame choice. But that is not the end of it, here are 14 ideas that go a bit beyond the usual options of colors, textures and materials.
1 - DOUBLE AND TRIPLE MATTING
A simple way to enhance the piece being framed is to ask your frame shop to do openings with 2 or 3 mats, making each layered mat only partially visible (⅛ or ¼ of an inch are the most usual choices).
Same or contrasting colors are both good choices depending on the object being displayed inside the opening.
In the examples show above, left: the corners of an opening with double matting (light brown over dark blue) and right: triple matting (white/green pattern mat overlapping a golden mat, and both overlapping a third mat in dark blue color).
The double matting example exposes ¼ inch of the dark blue (bottom) mat, while the triple matting example shows only ⅛ inch of the 2 bottom layers.
2 - MATS WITH CUSTOM-SHAPED OPENINGS
Example here shows a mat opening with the innermost opening in a customized shape, instead of the regular oblong-shaped opening. Ornamental-style openings can add more beauty and great originality to your displays, and they can be done with high precision by certain frame shops with the right equipment for this.
3 - SHADOW BOXES
A shadow box is a deeper picture frame or box, with a glass front and depth enough to display smaller objects and/or artistic framing elements (such as mat, spacers, etc).
You can frame a full book, a show, a woman's bag, pieces of porcelain, beer cans, cigarette boxes, you name it.
Examples shown here have (top) a full signed book framed, including a letter of authenticity, somehow the front cover has been separated from the rest of the book, so the book´s front cover can be read, but that isn't necessary, a book can be displayed open, showing the signed page or else, and without causing any damage.
Shadow box shown at the bottom shows a pair of flat objects (a signed photo and a program) framed together with a conductor's baton, which requires the use of a shadow box. Conductor´s baton is at the bottom opening, and is attached to a red mat by using a very thin, barely visible fishing line.
Alternatively, you can use an acrylic box to store and display an even larger signed object:
4 - FLOATS
You don't have to cover any part of your displayed object, you can make a float as an alternative. A float is created when the mat opening is larger than the object displayed inside.
Here below is a cabinet-style autograph photo of soprano Lillian Nordica, that was mounted inside a mat opening. You can see the entirety of the cabinet photo, which is, in this case, mounted using transparent photo corners on all 4 corners. Alternatively, photos can be mounted using acid-free mounting tape. The background mat is black, which provides a great contrast with the displayed object.
5 - FILLETS
They are a small piece of frame that fits inside a larger frame or mat, partly underneath and partly exposed. Fillets have decorative purposes and can be used to enhance the display of your collectibles.
Here is a close-up of a frame opening, where you can see golden fillet added to the border of the mat opening. It is an alternative to just showing the edge of the mat.
Fillets can also be added to the frame, on the inside side, adding an extra decorative element. Here below are different examples of fillets, the flat/not decorated part goes underneath the mat or outer frame.
6 - ACRYLIC FRAMES
They come in many different sizes and thicknesses, they are basically a sandwich of 2 sheets of solid and transparent acrylic, that can be attached to each other via magnets or screws. They provide a way to float an item inside, and they are a super easy way to frame something without going to a frame shop: all you have to do is place your flat collectible in between the two plates and close the sandwich.
They won´t work for really thick items, but most would work for cabinet-style photos and thicker than normal paper.
Here below are 2 autograph photos framed together inside a desktop standing acrylic frame that uses 4 magnets on each of the corners to keep the two blocks together, and 3 examples of wall acrylic frames, these ones are using screws for keeping the plates together. Photos go in between the 2 plates.
7 - ENGRAVED PLAQUES
They can contain information about the collectible inside the frame, and they are custom-made. Many different types exist, the font can also be customized.
See an example of a small bronze plaque inside a frame, with information about the item above.
8 - CUSTOMIZED FRAME DESIGN
Odd-shaped frames can be made on demand, not every frame has to be oblong! Your imagination is the limit. This is custom-made and has to be ordered from special frame shops that can provide this service. See below an oval frame made to display a small oil painting.
9 - FABRICS
They can be used to cover your mat and give them a more luxurious look! Many different options of materials and colors exist in the market, including swede, silk, cotton and more. The mat is wrapped in the fabric by an expert, see a few examples below.
10 - FRAME LIGHTNING
There are tons of different options in material and color, and there are lights that can be incorporated into the frame itself or be fully separated, usually at the top.
See examples below, for more examples, visit Lampsplus.com, which has an entire section dedicated to this type of lightning.
11 - CUSTOM MAT DESIGNS
Mat cutting can do wonders with mat board material and create decorative shapes, grooves, characters, symbols and fancy openings. See a few examples below.
12 - COMBINED CONTENT
You don't have to frame just photos or documents alone, you can combine them with other interesting elements that supplement your collectible, and it could be autographed or not. Great extra elements in frames are for example programs, playbills, ticket stubs, records, pieces of garment, personal objects, and many more.
In the example above is a frame with a two-opening mat, displaying a photograph signed by star tenor Beniamino Gigli in one opening, next to another mat opening showing a signed record. Record is shown floating over a red background, to enhance the display.
13 - FRAME OPENINGS ON BOTH SIDES
If you have a valuable letter, score or document, and want to display both sides of it, you can opt for a) making a quality, color copy of one of the sides and displaying it in the same frame, next to the original front side, or b) create a frame that is open on both sides, front and verso. Frame will have glass on both sides, and you will need to take it from the wall and turn it in order to see/show the back opening.
In the example below, a music sketch by composer Vincenzo Bellini is written on both sides, and it was framed with glass on both, the back matting has of course an opening, so you can see front and verso of the same sheet of paper.
14 - GLAZING OPTIONS
Last but not least, you can also choose from a variety of acrylics and glasses to protect your framed contents. The front, transparent glass or acrylic that goes on top of your matted piece is called glazing. It could be done with acrylic or glass, and there are several choices for each, including standard, non-glare and UV-filtering acrylic, same for glass, plus museum-quality glass if you wish. They have different pros and cons, and very different costs. See here.
Keep in mind that not all glass or acrylic options have the same level of UV protection, and that even with the highest protection from UV rays, you should still avoid too much direct sunlight over your framed item, such as what it could get when near a window with lots of sunlight. Nothing offers 100% protection and guarantees your items won't fade or be damaged.
There are multiple options you can choose and might not have known before reading this article, we hope this will help you next time you visit a frame shop to order work on your new collectible, remember to always ask your frame shop expert about new materials and ideas, they should be able to make suggestions and display your piece in the best possible way.