Today’s post is an easy take on traditional print and photo framing. We’re using postcards, vintage prints, and other bought/salvaged images to create simple and inexpensive custom DIY wall art. It’s a great way to make your own custom look without breaking the bank. The DIY collage above features old ads for cleaning products and domestic help, and hangs (aptly) in our laundry.
Sources for Vintage Style Images and Artwork
Vintage Reproduction Prints and Digital Files
Vintage (and Vintage Style) Postcards
Old Book and Magazines
New Artworks in a Vintage Style
Options for Framing and Display
The easiest way to frame print images is just popping them into a frame. You can do this with or without matting, just like a normal photograph.
It might be tricky to find the shape or size of frame to suit an existing print. Depending on what you’re framing, you might not mind losing visibility of some of the image at the sides. If that’s not an option, you can buy a custom sized frame and/or mat, make your own custom frame, cut your own custom mat, or consider exposed edge mounting.
Exposed Edge Mounting
Alternatively, you can display the image on top of a solid backing. It’s an easy cheat for difficult shapes or sizes. It also looks great when you want to showcase the edges or display multiple images within a single frame.
If you’d like to protect your images or perhaps change their display in the future, consider using scrapbook corners or other removable attachments. I used bulldog clips instead of adhesive on some items when making our wedding shadow boxes. If you don’t mind the risk of fixing, you can use spray adhesive or adhesive squares/tape (acid free is best) to mount your image on the mat.
I’ve used this technique to mount and display different art over the years, including these souvenir vintage-style postcards. They were a gift with our touristy Singapore Slings at Raffles (but of course!) during a visit to Singapore years ago. Their edges were too pretty to cover and this technique allows me to display both sides of the cards in a single frame.
Printing on Canvas (and More)
If you have obtained a digital image with the rights to print, you can have a photo company or print service put it onto a stretched canvas. These are ready to hang without any additional framing required. They can also print onto a wide variety of other products, so your imagination (plus budget and wall space) are the limits on what you can do. Get creative!
Display Galleries and Collages
Larger or mixed images work well for a single, multi, or gallery arrangement. Small images work well when grouped together in either a collage style frame (like my vintage New Zealand ads) or arranged into as a gallery wall using separate but well-coordinating frames and (if used) mats.
You can buy collage frames pre-made, make your own collage frame from scratch, or join inexpensive single frames to customise your collage frame shape, size, and style. I’ve seen this done with adhesive and glue in some DIY posts, but personally I would recommend screwing them together for a secure and sturdy collage frame. Depending on the type of frames, the could be fixed directly or with metal plate joiners on the back sides of the frames.