Framing Concert Memorabilia: Part 2

I’m in the process of designing a frame treatment for my brother, Mark Mikel's, 35th Anniversary Concert poster and press articles. Last week, I showed the first steps I took in planning my treatment, which involved recording the measurements of everything I was going to frame. This has to be done first, before you choose a frame.



This installment is all about the fun part—design!  The first step of designing is choosing a frame, and the first step to that is asking yourself what style suits the piece you are framing and the place you will be displaying it.  I wanted neutral, simple and sleek, but contemporary so I zeroed in on white metal frames.  The website presents frames other ways too.  You can also shop by collection, or style.

Next, I narrowed my choices based on the frame’s rabbet depth (see last week's blog for more on rabbet depth).  Since rabbet depth is non-negotiable, check it before you fall in love with a frame that won’t fit your art!

With the white metal frames up in thumbnail view, I looked at each one’s rabbet depth.  That’s the number next to the “R” on in each thumbnail. 

Of the frames with a sufficient rabbet depth, I chose those I liked and clicked on the magnifying glass with the “i” to bring up the product detail page.  Here you can see an animated 3-D version of the frame and a head-on picture presented to scale with a quarter.  This is a fast, reliable way to get a real sense of the frame’s style and proportions. 

I ended up choosing our Standard Plus One, Nielsen #95.  I love its simple, boxy profile with a bright white finish. It perfectly complements the white in the poster itself. finish. 



Next, I needed to decide on the color and type of mats.  I needed two mats, one for the poster on the front and one for the news articles on the back.  To see the main mat categories, I selected “Mat Board” from the drop-down menu “Picture Frame Accessories” at the top of any page.

I started with the front mat.  To make sure the mat helped preserve the poster, I chose one from American Frame’s Conservation 6-ply mat board group.  To break up the whites between the poster and the frame, I chose the #8517.6 black which will show a beautiful white bevel cut around the poster in the frame.

For the back of the frame, I chose a mat from our Conservation 4-ply mat board group.  I selected black (#8741) to set off the news pieces.

For the next set of choices, I used American Frame’s online framing engine.  This is a mock up of your treatment that displays as you make choices.  No guesswork involved. 

NOTE: Because my treatment was double-sided, it was a little trickier than most.  To simplify ordering, I started with the front, poster-display side.

In the framing engine, I entered the size of my poster, then clicked “Next” until it brought up the mat page. 
First, I put in the mat’s product i.d. number (#8517.6), then I entered a few different border measurements to see how they looked in proportion to my frame and my poster size.  Once I liked what I saw, I clicked “Next” and moved onto glazing (or acrylic).

I chose standard acrylic since this will not be displayed in direct sunlight.  Next, I chose an acid free mounting board to enhance preservation.

As I made selections, the computer was adding and subtracting—no math required of me!  If I were doing a normal one-sided treatment, I’d just add to cart and be done now, but I was doing a two-sided treatment, so I’d have to order a second piece of acrylic and a second mat separately.

To do this, before I added my treatment to the cart, I wrote down the INSIDE dimensions of my treatment.  It appears below your mocked up treatment under “Frame Dimensions.”  The treatment’s INSIDE dimensions are also the width and length of mats, acrylic and mounting board, so these were the measurements I needed to order that second piece of acrylic and the second mat for the back of the frame.  In my case, the inside frame dimensions were 21 5/8” wide x 28 5/8” high.


frame dimensions under the frame

At this point I added the treatment package to my cart, but I still needed to order materials for the back of the frame.

To order another piece of acrylic, I selected “Acrylic” from the drop-down menu under “Picture Frame Accessories,” then clicked on the acrylic I wanted, in my case standard.  On the next screen I entered the measurements (21 5/8” wide x 28 5/8” high) and added it to my cart.


additional piece of acrylic

I already knew what type and color of mat I wanted for the back (#8741) so next, I put the number in the “Search” field at the top right of the website.  When the mat came up, I clicked its thumbnail picture, entered the dimensions again, 21 5/8” x 28 5/8”, and clicked “no cut” at the top. 


cart view

I clicked “no cut” because I had two news articles, so I needed two mat windows cut, and decided to submit a drawing of how I wanted the items laid out.  I explained this in the “Order Instructions” box at checkout.  See below. The drawing does not need to be fancy, just accurate.


mat board diagram drawing
order instructions

*FYI: Because I needed two windows cut in the second mat, my order total will be adjusted to reflect an additional $3.00 for the second mat window.

Stay tuned....Next week, in Part Three of Concert Memorabilia, I’ll show you the materials that were delivered to me and how I assembled my double-sided treatment. 

Until next time, keep creating, keep inspiring, and always enjoy the process.

To see part 1, click here

Join in on the framing fun by participating in National DIY Framing Month.


First, gather all your supplies. We are going to begin with the front side (the concert poster). Center the poster on the mounting board. Add hinging tape under the poster, sticky side up like so:

adding tape to the poster

Add enough strips of tape so it spans across the top edge of the poster.strips of tape laid out

Next, line up the mat board. Once it's lined up properly, press down firmly so the tape sticks to the back of the mat board, adhering the poster to the mat board.
line up mat board over the poster

Peel the paper off of the back side of the acrylic. Place the peeled side down on top of the artwork. Next, peel the protective paper off of the front side of the acrylic.
peel paper from the acrylic

Carefully flip the assembled stack upside down
flip stack upside down

Now, place hinging tape to the other pieces of memorabilia.
continue placing hinging tape

Align the mat board with the pieces of memorabilia. Press down on the mat when everything is aligned properly.
align the mat board

Peel the paper from the backside of the acrylic and place on top of the matted work. Then peel the paper from the front of the acrylic (like we did for the previous side).
peel protective paper from acrylic

If using a metal frame, like we are, assemble three sides of the frame.
assemble metal frame

Carefully slide the entire "art stack" into the metal frame's channel, all at once.
slide art into frame

Attach the remaining side of the metal picture frame.
attach remaining side of frame

Very carefully add springclips to the back of the frame, to keep everything in place. Take care not to scratch the acylic while doing this.
add spring clips

Clean the acrylic with plexi-glas cleaner and a soft cloth.
clean acylic with cloth

And you're done! You now have a two-sided framed piece of work.
finished two-sided piece


AubreyK | 2/10/2014 5:30:00 PM | 4 comments
Lexi Paige
I love this article! I learned more about frames then I thought I could! #framelove
2/16/2014 2:06:02 PM

dawn k
These are wonderful ideas. I always save stuff from concerts, and they end up stuffed in a drawer somewhere. I'm gonna use some of these tips. #framelove
2/14/2014 2:45:03 PM

American Frame
Hi Marilyn! We're glad you enjoyed the article! You should dig out some of your treasures and get to framing! It's actually pretty easy when you know what you're doing!
2/12/2014 9:54:49 AM

Marilyn Nawara
Thank you so much for this article. I enjoyed reading part 1 but learned much more from part 2. I have boxes of stuff from concerts I attended in the 70s and I'm going to use what I learned here to put a few things on display. #framelove
2/11/2014 10:32:13 PM

About this blog

Laura Jajko

Join in and let’s bond over our love of art and framing. Here, I’ll be sharing design inspiration and decisions, twitter chat summaries, and happenings with the company, among other things. With more than 40 years of practical experience, I bring a unique perspective in a straight-forward style that I hope will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialog in our online community.

For more tutorials and articles, take a look at our other blogs -  Ask Mike or At Your Service

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