Framing Ideas: How To Display Art on Paper

Framing Ideas: How To Display Art on Paper

If you've been following me on instagram for some time, you've probably noticed my most recent paintings on handmade paper. These paintings have been a crowd favorite and have enabled me to make my art more accessible to collectors. As I've spent more time painting on handmade paper, I've fallen in love with its decor potential and flexibility.

I've created this tutorial to help guide you through all the different ways you can frame and display your paper paintings. Your paintings will make a huge impression and your walls will be Pinterest and Instagram worthy. 

All frames are pictured without glass to eliminate glare in photos.

Framing Your Art To Make a Big Impression

What You'll Need:

  1. Box Cutter (if repurposing an antique frame)
  2. Pliers (if repurposing an antique frame)
  3. Acid-Free Framers Tape
  4. Double-Sided Acid-Free Tape
  5. White Poster Board or Archival Cotton Paper (what I used in my pics)
  6. Paper Painting - one of my petite originals 
  7. Frame of your choice (from list below)

Type of Frames:

Antique Frames

I love antique frames because they are unique and full of character! Sometimes antique shops sell just the frame and other times you'll find a frame that has an existing picture or painting in it. If the latter, you'll need to cut out the kraft paper on the back of the picture/painting and any other insulation the frame may have. A box cutter will do the trick! You'll also need a pair of pliers because most antique paintings/pictures are held in place by nails. I take the nails out, but you can leave them in as well. 

Depending on the frame to painting ratio, your painting may fit perfectly in the groove of the frame or you might need to place a mat or poster board in the groove. Then, place your painting on top of the poster board or cotton paper. 

Here are a few antique frames I've repurposed:

Antique Frame #1

I kept the backing of this frame, pulled out the nails, took out the original photo, placed cotton paper on top of the original backing, and replaced the nails with acid-free tape(easier to replace painting in future). Then, I placed the painting on top of the cotton paper with double-sided acid-free tape.

Razlyn Lysaught Antique Frame Tutorial

This is what the painting looks like placed on top of the cotton paper. I personally like placing paintings in bigger frames because you're able to see the natural edges of the painting. 

Razlyn Lysaught Antique Frame Tutorial

Antique Frame #2

In this photo, you can see remnants of the insulation and kraft paper I cut out with a box cutter. You can also see the nails that were holding the painting in place. Because this frame held a painting, it came with all the necessities to hang on a wall. I personally love finding frames like this because it's one less step for me! 

Razlyn Lysaught Antique Frame Tutorial

My painting fit perfectly in the groove of this frame. I used acid-free tape to tape the painting in place and sealed the back with kraft paper. 

Razlyn Lysaught Antique Frame Tutorial

Frames with Matting

Matting adds additional character to any frame. There are so many possibilities when it comes to matting--different colors, single or double matting, and normal vs. oversized matting. Either way, matting is timeless and will give your painting a very classic look. 

Framed Mat #1- Double Matting

This gilded frame is one of my antique finds that came with a double mat. You have several options when it comes to bigger mat openings. You can pair with a painting that is slightly bigger than the mat opening. You can also tape cotton paper/matte poster board on the back of the matting and place the painting on top of that with double-sided acid-free tape. In this photo, I opted for the latter because I wanted to see the natural deckled edges. 

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Framed Mat #2 - Oversized Matting w/brass

Oversized matting is a favorite design trend of mine that extends the size of the frame. So, you could have a mat with an opening of 4 in. x 6 in. and a frame size of 16 in. x 20 in. Oversized matting makes a statement and allows your painting to shine! 

I found this brass frame at Target and absolutely love how minimal and modern it is. 

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Framed Mat #3 - Oversized Matting w/wood

Here is a similar frame I found at Target that comes with a slightly larger mat opening and wooden frame. You can also see how I taped the painting to the back of the mat.

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Floating Frame

I love the simplicity and versatility of floating frames. They are a great way to showcase handmade paper that has deckled edges. 

I found this particular frame at a shop called Whites Mercantile in Franklin, TN. Anthropologie has a few of my favorites as well--one that comes with a stand and one you can hang.

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Easel Stands

An easel is a quick and easy way to display paper paintings. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:

Simple Easel Stand - No Frame

I bought this simple easel stand at Hobby Lobby and have several displayed in my home. These look great on coffee tables, decorative side tables, and bookshelves.

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial  

You don't even have to frame your painting, just place it in the easel and you're good to go! 

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Antique Easel Stand - Large 

Like I mentioned previously, these easel stands are so versatile. You can place paintings on them, with or without a frame. Both ways look just as beautiful! The larger easels are great for bigger paintings and heavier frames. 

eBay has a healthy selection of antique easels, if you aren't able to find one at your local antique shop.

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

I love the contrast between the brass and wood in this display!

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

Antique Easel Stand - Small

Smaller easels are a great way to show off paper paintings on their own, without a frame. 

Razlyn Lysaught Framing Tutorial

I hope you found this plethora of ideas helpful! I can't wait to see how you display your art. Please tag @razlynlysaught on Instagram so I can see and share what you come up with!

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