Deck the Halls: A Look into Mary Lou’s Custom Framing Gifts

Deck the Halls: A Look into Mary Lou’s Custom Framing Gifts

Custom framing a gift for someone you work with is a challenge. It’s hard to hide the art, covertly pick out a frame, complete the framing, and sneak the piece out of the studio. Mary Lou and Amy could be spies with all of the fun sneaky framing they’ve completed over the years. When Mary Lou surprised John with a custom-framed 30×40 signed Star Wars movie poster, he was in awe for months at how crafty she is.

Some of our clients ask what we have in our homes. What do our gifts look like? Well, here is a small look at some of holiday-oriented gifts Mary Lou has given her family over the years.

The Caroler

Johnny had a wonderful art teacher in elementary school. He brought home some of the most creative pieces. A few of them hung on the door in our studio or in her kitchen, and her favorites went into a special album. Johnny made this caroler when he was little, and Mary Lou waited to frame it until he was 17 years old. (Let’s take a moment to process the passage of time.)

Mary Lou opted to stay simple with her frame design. She didn’t want to cover the large black background, opting to use it as matting. This creates breathing room between the caroler and the frame. She chose a teal frame–deep and beveled–to accentuate the colorful mittens. It’s playful and fun.

“Joy to the World” Print

Mary Lou collects Nativity sets. From primitive wood sculptures to sophisticated ceramics, each room has its own Nativity. This “Joy to the World” print is a welcome addition and a gift from a dear friend. This piece features a metallic gray mat and a pearl wood frame. The texture in the mat reflects light differently depending on your position while viewing it. It’s simple and modern with a lovely message.

Snow Scene

A few customers may remember this winter favorite from our studio. This snow scene used to live in a black bamboo frame, a little too sophisticated for the art. Instead, Mary Lou swapped the heavy black frame for a lighter teal wood frame. The frame adds color and texture, brightening the piece and adding a little excitement. The color draws out Johnny’s fantastic shading on the snowpeople and works as a framing set with the caroler.

custom framing gifts teal frame on kids snow scene artReindeer

The art projects won’t stop! Kid’s art makes for beautiful and meaningful holiday art. They may get bigger, but their art serves as a reminder of when they were small and breaking down your door at 4:30 am to open presents. Memories.

For this piece, Mary Lou chose a rustic wood frame. The color matched the reindeer, and the raw quality brings the outdoor texture inside their home. The reindeer pops because the frame blends into the art and becomes one piece. The other school art frames needed a hint of color to show off, but this reindeer needed something a little more subtle to make it shine.

kids art custom framed reindeerPhoto Booth Strips

Who doesn’t love a good photo booth? It is so much fun to hop in a booth, make a few crazy poses, and immediately giggle over your photos. John is so much fun and brings out your goofy side, so his photo booth strips are always a good time. Mary Lou saves their strips and custom frames them for Christmas–a summer memory in the middle of winter.

Photo booth strips are tall and thin. Mary Lou wanted to double-mat them to give them more presence and intrigue but using a ⅛ inch reveal versus the standard ¼ as the part is petite. She used a black wood frame with red accents to match previously framed photo shoot strips. The textured wood in the finish reflects the boardwalk pattern without looking too rustic. It’s a delicate design that packs a punch.

custom framing gifts photo booth stripsHoliday Cocktail Card

First of all, how gorgeous is Ms. Martini’s dress? It’s so fancy!

Second–look at that framing. Whoa, mama!

Mary Lou wanted a stunning frame design for this antique cocktail recipe holiday card. She used a bright gold frame with spikes all around the face of the moulding. It reflects light and gives a lot of sass, two qualities we love in a frame. You’ll see a hint of gray silk matting that borders the art. This tiny mat creates just a little bit of breathing room between the art and the frame. Too much matting would drown the art, and too little would overwhelm the viewer’s eye. This is a perfect addition to their bar area and looks good enough to live there year-round.

antique holiday recipe cardHalfpenny Cross Stitch

Do you know what a halfpenny is (pronounced ha’penny)? It’s a coin worth half of a penny (obviously, right?). Mary Lou made a holiday cross stitch with the phrase, and it is beautifully done. She wanted to custom-frame the final piece with a halfpenny. She found one online with John’s birth year on it, a subtle nod to him. Even though she made the cross stitch, John and Johnny bought it for her as a gift.

custom framing gifts halfpenny cross stitchWe have never had a piece of art where everyone–and I mean everyone–agreed on the frame. Mary Lou solicited opinions from coworkers, family, and friends because she wasn’t sure if she wanted a traditional frame or a colorful frame. Everyone picked this beautiful Biltmore moulding. Its intricate design takes the cross stitch from “arts and crafts”  to “precious heirloom,” and the metallic fabric mat gives it the funky element Mary Lou looks for in her frame designs. The halfpenny anchors the art and sparks conversation with everyone who sees it.

custom framing gifts halfpenny cross stitch

Did this post inspire you to give a fun, thoughtful custom-framing gift? If so, contact us to get started.