Tuesday, January 19, 2010

how to reuse old flea-market-y watercolors without spending big bucks for framing

if you're anything like me, one of your favorite things to buy at tag sales and flea markets is those old charming-yet-somewhat-inexpert watercolors and drawings done by less than famous artists.  the problem is that the frames for these old pieces tend to be less than charming, and are often in really poor shape, and as we all know, new custom frames are devilish pricey these days.  so, what to do?  what i do when faced with this predicament is to pop out to my local west elm/pottery barn/ikea or the like, where i buy a nice plain frame with a mat for a very reasonable price.  then, as above, i might just leave the mat as it comes, simply attaching the artwork from behind so that the most appealing parts of the scene show through the "windows" -- totally a new way of looking at the piece; or, alternatively, i just get to work with my exacto knife and adapt the mat to suit my purposes (more on this later).  so, here, i took a $20 flea market watercolor of san francisco (complete with filthy, broken frame and some water marks), ditched the old frame, and popped it into a plain white west elm frame, which came with a mat for three 4x6s.  i arranged the art behind the mat (without cutting or damaging it in any way), and used the piece to anchor the master bedroom mantle.  perfect, since my husband and i have happy memories of some weekends away in SF when we lived in california . . .) easy and fun, perfect and done.

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