Friday, October 7, 2011

Frame and Fortune, Part Deux

Art's purpose is to sober and quiet the mind so that it is in accord with what happens. ~John Cage

Hello fellow framers! My post today is about framing photos and art to make your own gallery. I LOVE decorating with family photos -- old and new -- especially in hallways. You can even go really crazy with photos from floor to ceiling, like these folks featured in Martha Stewart (right).

I like the idea of documenting our kids' childhoods and our family life on the walls of our hallways. We have two long halls in our house, so I've made a gallery of black and white photos in one...And color photos in another... I chose black frames to unify the gallery and make it seem more like a collection. If you have frames of all colors and styles stashed in the closet, take the glass out and spray paint them all black. Bingo -- instant gallery frames! You also could mix silver and black frames, gold and silver, or bright colors that coordinate with your decor. Just so long as there is something that ties it all together.

Themes are kind of fun too. In our powder room is this gallery of black and white photos of places we've traveled...
The wonderful thing about creating a gallery of photos, souvenirs, artworks and other family memories is that it can be done gradually. Start with a few frames in the center of your space and work outward.

Now for the tricky part, everyone gets nervous about arranging these suckers on the wall. Here's how you keep it simple and avoid unnecessary holes in the wall.

1. Gather your frames (I'd start with five or six) and lay them on the floor on a big piece of paper (newspaper, art rolls from your kids' easels, etc.). Play with the arrangement until it looks pleasing to you. Then outline with a Sharpie.

2. Measure where your hanger is on the back of the frame, then measure the same distance on your outline and mark the spot where you'll want your nail. (When you lay the frame on the paper, press down a bit so the hanger makes an indentation on the paper. That way, you'll be sure you got your measurements right.)

3. Tape the paper to the wall and nail or drill your holes where the marks are. Pull off the paper and you're in business.

Arranging your frames is a matter of taste, but my advice is to keep an equal distance between your frames (even if they don't "line up" like the photo below), to make the collection cohesive. I like the way these folks lined their frames up in their hallway. And the wide white mats really make it look unified...

Finally, here are some tips from this month's Allure magazine about how to mat and frame a photo or artwork. It's not as hard as it seems to DIY! Enjoy!

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