Category Archives: You Can Frame That?

Arrowheads in a Roma shadow box

Do you collect anything? Arrowheads are still a popular collectible, and this recent custom job at our Harvard Square location is proof. The customer did it as a gift to a geologist in Texas. All the arrowheads were ones the geologist had collected over the course of the last several decades. The framer designed the arrangement on a silk mat, using museum glass. Each arrowhead had to be sewn onto the mat by hand. They’re shadowboxed in one of our Roma frames – a line of hand finished frames from Italy. Great job, guys! arrowheads



Oh, hi there. We didn’t see you come in – we’ve been busy working out, getting ready for the 117th Boston Marathon. There’s been a lot of lawn chair folding and closing, some intense elbow bending, and we usually finish up with some rapid clapping combined with an alternating “WHOOP-WHOOP!” and “GOOOOOOO!”
But if you’re not like us and you actually run in a marathon, then you’ve got some runner’s memorabilia. It’s one of the more common, non 2D items that we custom frame. It’s nice to remember that level of accomplishment with something other than a jar of sweat and bleeding nipples. It’s fun for us too when we have something to frame that’s more of a challenge than a flat image. The design requires different considerations, like which method to use so that the glass doesn’t sit on the medal or other objects. And the actual construction and attachment takes more time to get it just right. There are a lot of different design options we can use to make any of those items look terrific!
So until you make it in with your bib number, shirt, and finish line photo, we’re gonna keep at our workout regiment. Time for another 50 reps of Chariots of Fire…

Now is the time to custom frame

Halley’s Comet. A royal coronation. The Centennial Exposition. Some events don’t come around very often. Like this. The big one. Our half off sale. That’s right, 50% off all custom framing.
Oh, yeah – we can hear some of you out there. “Pffft, half off – that’s no big deal. Places do that all the time!” Not us. Remember, when stores give you a discounted price, the value is only as good as the number that’s being discounted. Our normal, everyday 30% discount is taken off of standard framing industry list prices. We don’t start with a built-in markup. We’re not a big box store that’s part of a nationwide chain with lots of overhead costs to cover. So we’re able to stand behind our guarantee that you can’t get any of our custom frames for less anywhere else.
ImageProxyThat means that when we do our world-renowned 50% off sale, you better believe it’s a true value. Great, you’re gonna save a bucket of money – now what?
Well, this would be a great time to bring in anything from Dad’s game winning golf putter to that menu you kept from the family’s trip to Disney World. Quilts, sports jerseys, diplomas, vinyl records, army medals – bring in whatever you’ve got and let us show you how custom framing can look amazing on anything that you want to display and protect.

We’ve got the best deal for framed movie posters

A lot of our customers bring us movie posters to frame. Sometimes it’s the finishing touch in their new man cave/home theater. Sometimes it’s for a kid’s room. And sometimes it’s the perfect finishing touch on a wall that needed some extra pizzazz. But rather than bring us a movie poster that you paid full price for elsewhere, did you know that we can order them for you at 60% off?
Go to our website here to take advantage of our 60% off posters and custom framing offer. You can choose from an enormous inventory of images. If we order it for you and custom frame it, you save 60% off the price of the poster and 60% off the framing! Not only will you have some slick new wall art, but you’ll have money left over to actually go out to the movies.
Here’s just a small sampling of what’s available –

Nothing succeeds like a unique Christmas gift

army medalsThis collection of army medals and photos was one of the really special jobs that was brought to us during the holidays. The customer was excited to surprise her husband with some of his father’s photos and mementos from WW II, including a Purple Heart award. Pieces like this offer many challenges from the beginning of the design process to the final fitting. But for this post, we just wanted to share some behind-the-scenes pics of what goes into constructing a mat that will display several 3D objects.
Once the openings in the mat were cut, we mounted the photos. They’re flat, so that’s easy.

multi mat with photosThe next step was to create some thickness under the mat. This is necessary because you never want glass touching any item that you’re framing. We used black foam core to get just enough depth for the medals.
mat with build-up

army medalsThe biggest part of the whole job was attaching each medal. We mounted them on pieces of a black suede mat, which is so dark that it almost disappears.

medals collageOne of our staff ran into the customer and her husband at a restaurant after she’d given him the frame. They both took the time to express their satisfaction and he was clearly pleased with the way these important items were showcased.

Do you have any of your own mementos that you’d like to custom frame?Framed army medals

Everything you wanted to know about framing in 2012 but were afraid to ask

new Lexington storeLast week, we showcased our favorite stories from the world of art in 2012. Today, we’re gonna reflect on this year’s posts from the world of Big Picture Framing. After all, it was a very big year for us, full of many successes. We opened store #15 in Lexington. Things have been working out great there – kudos to Jane, Emily, and the rest of the staff. We started giving all of our stores a fresh look – Natick, our second oldest store, was the latest to get a face lift. Our Newton Center location moved a short distance and became our new store in Newtonville. We’re looking forward to more exciting reveals in 2013!

Oh, don’t worry – we covered some actual framing, as well. Our mat selection got freshened up with several new specialty mats. We discussed a framer’s reasoning behind the proper way to frame something with a lot of helpful do’s and don’ts. three-railroad-spikesAnd if you ever doubted the benefits of Museum Glass, “It reflects well on us but not on your art” is the post for you. Lots of people think that all the frames in their home need to be the same, so we talked about some other design options when we helped a customer frame his collection of antique maps.

We shared some really challenging jobs – things you might never think to put in a frame, like these railroad spikes. Customers often bring us puzzles to frame but don’t know what to expect so we covered the in’s & out’s of framing your favorite jigsaw puzzle.

All in all, 2012 brought us a lot of joys, not the least of which was the pleasure of continuing to serve our customers who make all of these things possible. The staff at Big Picture Framing always look forward to the interesting and diverse items that our customers bring us and we love showing them beautiful design choices. We’re excited to see what fantastic art 2013 will bring!

Get them custom framing for the holidays

FramingElfWhether you love shopping for Christmas gifts or hate it, the goal is the same. We all want to find the perfect gift – something that the person will love, use, and be impressed by. That’s a tall order to fill when you’re in the retail and online trenches. But maybe it’d be easier if you consider thinking outside the box… and inside the frame. Custom framing always impresses. Your loved one will use it everyday when they look at it on the wall in their living or work space. And how much will they love it? You can insure they’ll treasure it forever if you frame something that they already cherish. Here’re some actual jobs that we’ve done that might inspire some your own ideas.

These tools were a gift to the customer’s husband – the very first ones he used at his life-long job.

Framing your child’s art as a gift to your spouse is always a great idea.

If you’re giving to a sports fan, we can frame a jersey or shirt of their favorite team.

Many veterans have mementos that are kept out of sight where they can’t be appreciated. Framing medals and old photos will mean a lot to the recipient and anyone else who sees them.

Souvenirs from special events like baseball games or concerts can be framed in many different ways.

Don’t worry if none of the above apply to you. We can help you get creative with even the most mundane possessions. These three ties were worn to work everyday by a father/husband – why simply throw them away when you can use them to decorate and inspire memories?

The longest art we’ve ever custom framed

Spider-Man bannerHow far would you go to decorate your child’s bedroom? How about custom framing a 10 foot long Spider-Man banner? One of our customers is tricking out his young son’s room with a Marvel Comic Book theme. He’s starting with this enormous vinyl Spider-Man picture that a friend who works at a comic shop got for him. Typically, only retailers would have access to something like it.

Okay, we get it, Jake.  It's a long picture.

Okay, we get it, Jake. It’s a long picture.

We had to use plexiglass to frame it – glass would have been too heavy and not safe for a child’s bedroom. We started with the idea to use a wood frame – a wood frame would have made the long piece more rigid. But the length was too long to get proper mitred corners, so we went with a metal moulding and it ended up working out great! We just hope the customer isn’t driving a Volkswagen Beetle when he comes to pick it up.
"#*$& lint, #@$% static cling *#@&$ dust"

“#*$& lint, #@$% static cling *#@&$ dust”

Framed Spider-Man banner

Autograph collectors unite!

Matt Raymond & Tom Cruise

One of our managers recently met with Matt Raymond, an expert in the field of autograph collecting, or “in-person graphing.” Matt was introduced to the hobby in 2006 by a friend, and it quickly became something of an addiction. He’s been publishing a blog for 2 years now called Autograph University, where he shares his collected insights and adventures and reveals a side of celebrity we rarely see firsthand.
Jake, our Milford store manager, answered several framing questions that Matt and some fellow collectors were curious about. “Even though I have a few autographs of my own, I didn’t know anything about what was involved for the serious collector,” said Jake. “But after speaking with Matt, I get how it can be a rush to meet some of these athletes and celebrities and have a really special souvenir of that moment.”
Matt was nice enough to put together a video of their interview about the do’s and don’ts of framing. If you’re into autographs, or even just enjoy learning about sports figures and other celebrities, be sure to check out his blog.

Nathan Fillion meets Jimmy Stewart

One kind of item that we’re asked to frame quite often is autographed memorabilia. In an upcoming post, we’ll be meeting with Matt Raymond of Autograph University to find out more about autographs from the collector’s point of view. In the meantime, a customer happened to bring us several celebrity photos that were signed, so we thought this would be an interesting precursor to our meeting with an expert. We’ll get to see what he thinks of our designs. These first three 8X10 glossies are of the stars from the TV show, “Castle”, Nathan Fillion & Stana Katic.The customer is going to hang these as a set near one another, so we stuck with the same design on each one. Using a metal frame means that it can be a skinnier profile, saving wall space for the collection. The important elements are the archival mount and the conservation glass to protect the photos while they’re on display.
The customer also had a couple of signed Jimmy Stewart photos. We thought it was interesting to see the older film pieces juxtaposed next to a modern television show. Displayed all together, they make quite an impression.