We found a frame I really liked at an estate sale recently, it was only $12.50 for a decently sized frame, and I liked the finish on it (it feels much higher quality then a lot of new frames you can buy.)
There was no glass, and the picture in it was a bad quality cheesy Italian reprint, and it had some water damage, so no loss in getting rid of it!
I knew exactly what I wanted to put in the frame, a couple of months ago I got an 1890s etching of an arch (I collect architectural etchings) for half price at an estate sale, and the “frame” (paper taped together bits of glass) and mat were clearly acidic and yellowing the etching.
I removed all the staples from the back of the frame, and took out the “art” that was originally inside so I could use it to measure glass and mat I needed to cut.
I already had a bit of glass from a larger frame that got broken at some point, (I’m apparently a hoarder) and I only had to make one cut along the width to get it to the right size. (I always hold my breath like crazy when I cut glass, no matter how many stained glass things I make.)
And then the mat was cut with my mat cutter (Seriously a good investment, it cost less then $25 and I saved more than that the first custom mat I cut myself, and have used it frequently since then. Although they are not very left-handed friendly; I’m looking at you, you hand-ist mat cutter manufacturing people.) And the matting was some I had left over from another project. (I prefer white mats on pretty much everything, so it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll have a scrap of it somewhere.)
Anyway, I just cleaned the glass, masking-taped the picture behind the mat, used the original art as the backing, and used glazing points I had laying around to put the whole thing back together again. I am very happy with how this one turned out, I used up a bunch of scraps, and it only cost me the original $12.50 for the frame (and $22.50 for the etching if you want to count the art.)
There are not many original 122 year-old pieces of framed art out there that you can get for $35!
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