Artistic-type Dopers: How to cheaply mount/frame watercolors?

I took up painting a few years ago. The results have not always been gorgeous, but after all this time I have ended up with some few that merit better treatment then being laid in a pile in a drawer or a box.

My problem is, of course, I have very little money to spare, certainly not enough to get framing professionally done.

Can anyone tell me what kind of supplies I would need to nicely mount watercolors on paper or cardboard? And where I might find said materials fairly inexpensively?

Many thanks.

Cardboard is bad bad bad bad bad.

Did I mention it’s bad?

Anything that could be purchased in a retail arts & crafts outlet, or art supply store, not specifically labeled acid and lignin (sp) free should be avoided at all costs.

Ideally, get yourself a sheet of 4 or 8-ply cotton rag mat, cut into whatever sizes you want to mount them on. Use an acid-free reversible adhesive, or if you purchase matting for the front part you can also use something like the archival scrapbooking photo corners to attach it to the backing.

Don’t mash glass on it, it will stick eventually. Either mat the artwork so the glass doesn’t touch, or have acrylic cut for it.

If you really want them framed to last, though, unless you’re planning on doing many of them, you’re probably better off just getting the one or two you really want preserved, framed professionally. To do it right will cost money regardless of the route. Otherwise you can always just frame them with stuff off the shelf, but if you want them to be in top shape 50 years from now I wouldn’t recommend it.

And cardboard is evil.

What jinwicked said about cardboard. If you have a matte cutter (or if you have a very steady hand, a very sharp xacto knife and a straight edge with no nicks in it) you can buy large acid-free matte boards and cut several mattes from them in different sizes. For frames, if you are really hard up, you can sometimes find decent frames of various sizes complete with glass at thrift shops. Unfortunately these usually have bad art in them, which is why they are in the thrift shop in the first place. You will have to throw this art away, but you’ll feel much better about that when you see your own superior work displayed a la galerie. :wink: