Paint Your Numbers

How to Properly Frame Your Canvas

Picture frames serve an important purpose to both protect and emphasize your art. In many ways, it's just as important as the painting itself. The right frame can make sure that your work of art is shown in the best possible light. If your frame doesn't match your canvas, it can distract the eye from your beautiful piece. 

There are so many options when it comes to framing that it can get overwhelming quickly. Thankfully, at Paint Your Numbers, we have a solution; our custom DIY frame kits are the perfect way to properly frame your canvas.

The History of the Picture Frame

Ancient Art 

It might surprise you to learn that picture frames are older than pictures themselves! The Egyptians and Greeks, as well as other civilizations, would emphasize their wall paintings and pottery with borders. While these barriers might not look like the picture frames we use in our homes today, they are the earliest ancestors of the modern version.  

Eventually, these frames evolved into carved borders around art that really made the painting the focal point. These would normally be built into the wall surrounding the piece (so kind of a pain to move if you change your mind).

Gradually the main material used switched from stone to ivory or metal. The next major was change was when they started to appear on foldable ivory carvings. These were often used as the centerpiece of the altar in Christian churches, but unlike modern picture frames, these were still built into the piece of art.

The earliest wooden frames are found on Orthodox icons. The artist would leave a rough raised border around the wood that was painted on and then carve it into an ornate frame once the painting was finished. In many cases, the carving would take almost as long as the painting.

However, this method had some issues. An inbuilt frame meant the piece as a whole was heavy and bulky. Even worse, if you cracked the frame the whole painting would be ruined. As priests would often carry their icons on long journeys, a new solution was needed. 

Laying the Foundation

After some experimentation, a new type of frame was developed. This new type of frame, called an engaged frame, was made by attaching strips of wood to a flat backing plank. This produced a visually similar effect to previous methods but was less time-consuming.  Engaged frames also allowed multiple frames to be attached so you could have segmented works of art: perfect for a traveling priest or monk. These frames were usually structurally important to the piece of art they housed and often were attached with nails or glue. 

There were still problems, as the frame would not be able to flex with the piece of art and so tended to warp or crack over time. If you go to your local art museum, you can probably find a painting with an engaged frame by looking for the border that looks like it's falling apart.

Someone eventually figured out how to attach the paintings to the frames with wooden pegs, which helped the cracking issue a lot. Once the immediate issues with preserving the art were solved, frames started to become more elaborate. In religious settings, frames were already often gilded and carved, but during the Middle Ages, they became works of art in their rite. 

Frames became so elaborate that by the Renaissance, frame makers were on the same social standing as painters or sculptors. One of the signs you were a successful painter was to have your painting framed by the most famous framers out there. We still have many of the frames from this period, and they’re regarded as beautiful in their own right. 

It was also during this time that the modern frame came about.  While we do not know the inventor's name, we can all appreciate the huge contribution to home decorating.

Modern Frames

Today we think of frames as relatively cheap and common household objects. However, this has only been true for the last hundred years or so. Until the industrial revolution, frames were just as expensive and hard to come by as they were in the time of Da Vinci. 

Frames became cheap and plentiful once people had easy access to photographs. Before that, there was no widespread need for them as most people couldn't afford art in the first place. Once photography became common, the need for a stylish picture frame became common too.

This is not to say that all frames became similar and boring. While styles were, for the most part, more simple than those from the Middle Ages ( who has a big enough house to pull off the whole 'gold and jewels on everything' look, right?), there were still major differences. Frames became so specific that experts can tell where a frame came from based on its construction. 

How You Should Frame Your Canvas

Now, there are literally thousands of frame options, so it can get a little overwhelming. There are so many combinations of style, color, and size that you can easily get lost in the details. And before we get into how to frame your picture properly, it's good to remember that these are suggestions. It's your house and your art, and you can do whatever you want with it. 

Perhaps the best way to properly frame your canvas is to make the frame yourself. You'll have complete control over how it looks. At Paint Your Numbers, we have just the perfect kit for you. The DIY Canvas Frame Kit comes with everything you need to make the perfect frame. It's sturdy, classy, and would look perfect on any wall you can think of. Available in five common sizes, the DIY Frame Kit can be yours for less than what you'd spend at brunch (well, less than we'd spend, anyway). 

Our frame kit comes in a bare wood finish. It looks great, so you could just leave it how it is, or you can come up with something on your own. This frame would look amazing painted, stained, or however else you want to make it your own. 

Its simple, modern design won't clash with any art you want to frame. And even better than that, everything you get from Paint Your Numbers comes with free shipping. 

Something To Go With That Great Frame

Now, a DIY custom frame wouldn't be complete without a piece of custom artwork to go with it. The picture frames we offer at Paint Your Numbers will work for any piece of art, but they are specifically designed around our custom Paint by Numbers Kits.

If you're not aware, these kits allow you to turn one of your favorite photos into a-one-of a-kind painting. All you have to do is upload one of your favorite photos to our website, and we will print them on a high-quality canvas. 

Your favorite photo will be broken down into a series of numbered shapes. Each of these numbers corresponds to a specific color. All you have to do is use the provided paints to fill in the outlines. In no time your original image will be revealed. Just like how you can take unique pride in a custom frame, there's nothing more gratifying than hanging something you made up on the wall. 

It's easy to order through our intuitive website. We almost always have a promotion running, so our low prices are even more affordable. Even better, we offer free worldwide shipping! In around three weeks, your custom piece of art will be at your door. Once you receive it, all you have to do is follow the simple directions, and you can create beautiful art all on your own. No previous experience is required. Creating is supposed to be fun, and easy to use kits like ours are one of the best ways to get started. 

One of the best ways you can frame a picture is to make one yourself. There are a lot of options to choose from, but you can be assured that our sleek modern designs will fit with whatever you're trying to frame.