Framing Maia’s Art

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Framed Art 1

I have to admit I have a thing for frames. I collect them the way some people collect shoes. I buy frames at Goodwill and TJ Maxx. I pick them up on clearance at other places. My husband hints that I have a problem.

But I don't, really. (Deny everything, right?) I just like the way art looks when it's framed. The fingerpainting above is one that Maia did at 1 1/2 years old. Almost all the others that I framed were from age 2.

Framed Art 3

Maia painted both of these (above and below) using tempera paints.

Framed Art 4

I loved the brushstrokes in this one (above).

framed art 5

These are four watercolors (above) in acrylic box frames. She painted three of them during the Toddler Art Group and the project of the day was a masking tape resist. She put a couple pieces of masking tape on the paper and painted over it, then pulled off the tape. You can see the square blank space in the lower right hand painting. I think with the others she ended up painting more after pulling off the tape.

framed art 6

Here's a drawing I framed in an acrylic box frame. I love the dots and dashes!

framed art 7

And here are two of her colorful drawings that I framed with hand-me-down frames and inexpensive pre-cut mats. Now I just have to hang everything!

By the way, I buy pre-cut mats at Michaels or AC Moore for standard size openings, although they're not usually archival. I used to mat and frame stuff for a museum and realize I should use archival everything, but also realize that I'll probably just never get anything framed if I insist on archival. I don't have the materials to cut my own mats anymore and don't have the money to take everything to a frame shop.

I have ordered custom-cut mats online for odd-sized openings. I forget the name of the company I used, but is one inexpensive place to get custom-cut mats. And, of course, you can go to the framing counter at places like AC Moore or Michaels for custom-cut mats.  

Update: I just remembered the name of the company that I ordered custom-cut mats from: Frames by Mail.

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  1. says

    Love your blog! I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate more art in my children’s lives and you have some great ideas. I recently bought the Anti Coloring Books after you listed some of the authors books. My kids were never into coloring books anyways and I feel that “coloring in the lines” should never be applied in art. My kids go to great schools but unfornatley the art curriculum is slacking. I try to make up for it at home with open ended art.
    Thanks again for the all information you provide.

  2. tripletlyblessed says

    Wonderful art and I love the idea of showcasing it in frames. I must find a great spot, some frames and have another paint day soon.

  3. threesneakybugs says

    They look great! Another idea I’ve used for inexpensive framing of children’s art is to sandwhich the piece between two sheets of glass. Use black binder clips (like those from an office supply store) in several places to hold the layers together. After clipping remove the silver part of the clip from the front. Use the silver parts on the back to string wire accross for hanging.

  4. Rachel says

    matting really makes the art stand out- great idea! i loved seeing maia’s art as well… i too love those brush strokes and those dots and dashes.
    the masking tape painting project sounds fun- might have to try that at some point.

  5. planningqueen says

    I have some amazing collages that my kids did at the National Gallery of Victoria that are screaming to be framed. Your photos have me on a mission to do this, they look so great.

  6. jasper's mom says

    Hi Girls,
    Check out Petite Picasso. You will appreciate the owners obsession with frames and children’s artwork! She just did a show at our school and her books and framing are amazing. She turns hundreds of pieces of artwork into one beautiful coffee table book. My son is still too young for crayons, but I thought you would be interested. Her site is great, check it out: http://WWW.PETITEPICASSOBOOKS.COM