Giving a framed photo is a timeless gift, something that is both special and personal, something that can be appreciated, whether its a photo of a loved one, a favourite piece of artwork, something specifically selected that is unique to the receiver or an empty frame to display a recently earned certificate or achievement like a diploma.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a period frame or antique frame to hold a personal value.  Any picture frame can be made personal by adding your own special flair, this could be a mark to commemorate a special occasion that can be treasured for years.

Below is a few ideas that we at Frinton Frames have compiled with the help of online research to help you make your frames more personal.

1: A Personal Message

When giving a gift many of us will include a hand written card expressing your congratulations, well wishes or gratitude. Another idea to replace giving a card is to write these personal messages directly on to the framed gift itself, a good place to do this is usually on the card backing of the frame, this will give the gift a secret hidden message that will remain a special secret sentiment between you and the receiver for many years to come.

For most frames the backing is called a mounting board or backing board. This board enables you to write on it with any type of pen or marker, however be sure to check that the ink does not bleed or show through.

2: Mat Boards Are A Great Idea.

For those of you that are unsure what a mat board is it is the pice of cardboard like material that sits between the frame and your photograph or artwork giving it a more finished look.

Decorating or writing a personalised message on the mat board is a lovely idea to add a personal touch to any frame given as a gift, however you will need to use a pen that will not fade over time. It is better in our opinion to use a pen that has pigment ink in, pens that are like a ball point pen or fountain pen which use an ink called dye ink would be no good as the ink will bleed into the material, try to look for gel pens or any other pen that is labelled “pigment pen”.

Before you actually begin your message it is always a good idea to plan out your message as well as measuring and marking the spacing around the mat board so you know the exact size, spacing and finished look before you actually begin. We advise that its best to cut some paper to the size of the mat board and have a few trial runs beforehand.

3: Add A Lick Of Paint

A picture frame doesn’t necessarily have to stay in it original state, many frame comes in certain colours or designs but that doesn’t mean you have to keep it that way. You can bring any picture frame to life with paint and really let your creative side run wild.

Here are a few ideas of what you could do using paint.

  • Adding a meaningful message around the frames border is a great way to give something meaningful between you and the person receiving the gift.
  • Paint different shapes onto the frame giving it a unique and intricate design.
  • Stencilling is another great way to add patterns to your design.
  • Painters tape is another way to add geometric shapes and patterns to your frames.
  • Use different coloured paints and types of brushes to create an ombre effect.

If you are unsure how to paint a picture frame you can contact any professional framer or look up tutorial videos online that show you how to paint both wooden and metal frames.

4: No Frame Should Be Left Empty

No picture frame should be left empty especially if you are giving one as a gift, you should always ensure that you frame something in it just temporarily, this could be anything from a hand written note instead of a card, a magazine clipping, postcard or a hand drawn picture from a child to a loved one.

We always recommend doing this so you showcase what the frame will look like once filled with the recipients own artwork. Remember a filled frame looks so much more appealing than an empty one.

5: Let The Frame Showcase The Real Gift.

Remember the picture frame doesn’t have to be the main gift, use it as an added extra to boost the look or feel of the main gift you are giving. Use it to really show off that special gift that is being given.

For example, if you were planning a surprise to give that special someone concert tickets why not frame the tickets you are surprising them with.  This is a unique way to give the gift but also allows the receiver to use the frame to showcase a photograph taken at the event or some memorabilia they may have brought back.