20 February 2014

Project: Inexpensive Artwork Display

I have lots of greeting cards, postcards, and small prints taken from old planners and calendars that I love. Last year I decided that I wanted to display some of my favorites, so I asked for some small picture frames for Christmas. My mother couldn't find any nice frames in the right size, but she came up with a great way to display my cards and prints that was both easier to use than traditional frames and much less expensive using easel stands and photo mats.

Redoute floral print from a 5" by 7" planner

Here's what you'll need:

- 5" easel stands
- 5" by 7" photo mats (with a 3 1/2" by 5 1/2" opening)
- Cardboard cut 6 1/2" by 4 1/2"
- Artwork, greeting cards, postcards, or photographs larger than the mat opening but no bigger than the outside dimension

You can get the easel stands and photo mats for only $1.00-$3.00 each at most craft stores, and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles to suit different kinds of decor. I used an old Amazon box for the cardboard, but you could also use an old cereal box or other clean food package--the cardboard goes behind the artwork to give stability and prevent light from making the artwork transparent, so you won't see it.

Once you've got your supplies, all you have to do is sandwich the cardboard, the artwork, and the mat together and prop it up in the frame. Because everything is loose, you can easily change the artwork to match your mood, the season, or add a festive touch for a holiday or special occasion. Here's two examples of different looks that I've tried myself:

5" by 7" Tiffany greeting card from the Metropolitan Museum of Art

5" by 7" greeting card with vintage artwork from Etsy

If you don't have money in your budget for picture frames, can't find a style of frame that you like, or just want a display set-up that's as quick to change as your style or mood is, I highly recommend that you give this project a try!

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