How to frame calendar prints as art?

I decided a cheap and easy way to get some art for my apartment was to buy a calendar (and 50% off at that!). I’m just not sure what’s an easy way to set them to hang on the walls. Do art/craft stores sell frames in a wide variety of shapes? Or maybe someone has a really simple suggestion for how I could do it myself? I just don’t want to go the fun-tack or double-sided tape route, as it will likely pull paint off the walls ultimately.

Although as a custom picture framer I’d love to urge you to take them to your local frame shop that could run you upwards of $150 per piece. The way to make them look the best for the least money would be to have custom mats cut in an appropriate color or colors that will fit a standard readymade frame.

If the images are unusual proportions (square, or a very long narrow rectangle for example) you might have better luck using frame kits. These are sold in craft and art supply stores. This way you buy each dimension separately and assemble it yourself. Other than custom, it’s the only way to get truly odd sizes.

If you aren’t concerned about the different images having matching frames thrift stores are excellent sources of frames. Certain mass produced preframed art is in frames that cannot be refit with new art. It would be hard to tell you which kinds without pictures. Some things to stear clear of are plastic frames, and frames that aren’t deep enough to acommodate glass, mats, the art and a proper backing.

I just reread your OP. If you don’t want to go the full framing route you could also have them mounted to foam center board. For a typical calendar I would expect that to be anywhere from $10 to $20 each, depending on where you’re shopping. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you you can do it yourself with a can of spray adhesive. You can’t. You can under ideal conditions, but if you’re spraying inside you’re damaging brain cells and getting overspray on your floor and furniture. If you’re spraying outside a twig will fall in the adhesive or a bug will land in it and by the time you’ve gotten tweezers to remove it the open time of the adhesive is up and your mounting will be bubbly and it’ll be a mess anyway.

3M makes a product for hanging them called Command Adhesive Poster Strips which should not damage your walls. I say should not because following the directions is fussy but crucial. Yes, you really have to wait the 30 minutes they say…otherwise they will damage your walls.

If you find a frame you like first, you can always take the print to a copy store and have it resized to fit the frame. Sometimes you can pick up a cheap frame in a thrift store or flea market.

You could always go to a craft store and buy some mat board and try to cut your own mats for the frame.

Once I bought a calendar of the Unicorn Tapestries. (the ones in France) I did this because the Cluny Museum, where they hang, did not sell prints of all six tapestries, but the calendar did. I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and found a frame that would hold three, so I bought two of those and viola, I had me some art.

So try B, B and B.

I collect old rock show posters from the 60’s and 70’s. A great and cheap way to mount these for hanging is to go to Home Depot, or some other such home improvement place and buy 2 things. A sheet of 1/2 inch pink rigid foam insulation (Approx $6) and a box of shrink window film. ((Under $12)

Cut the foam with a utility knife, using a straight edge guide to the exact size of your artwork. Cut a piece of the shrink fil about 3 inches larger in all dimensions. Lay the film down on a table, lay the art work face down roughly centered on it. Place your cut foam on top of that, center everything up nicely and tape the film’s outer edges to the back of the foam (duct tape works well).

Turn it over and shrink the film with a blow dryer.

Looks like a professional Shrink mount… at a cost of a few bucks.

You can also incorporate a matt into this if you wish. Many framing places sell “miscut” matts very cheaply. (like 50 cents in the sizes you are talking about)

Good luck

Great ideas so far. I’m liking the idea of mounting the sheets on foam, that’s definitely simple. But then the problem becomes how to hang on the wall? Ideally I’d like to be able to hang them from a nail/screw/whatever. Thoughts?

Duct tape to the resue!

Fold a piece of duct tape, so that a few inches of sticky remains exposed. Punch a hole through the folded part, and stick it to the back of the foam. Apply a cross piece for strength.


BAD ASCII drawing as explination:


HOLE V Exposed Sticky Area V
<=== ===--------------------------

They also make small plastic self-adhesive tabs that have a hole in them for hanging.

Like these: Zig Zag Hangers

They are also sometimes called “drymount hangers” or “drymount tabs” or something like that. I have also seen similar ones with small metal teeth that you can press into the board. You might be able to buy small quantities of them at a local craft or frame shop.

Also, if you have the option of mounting on black foamcore or matboard instead of white it will help hide any print from the other side of the paper that might show through. That is a common problem when mounting calendar pages.

This will be more effective if they use a clear mounting film instead of white mounting tissue, but it should still help either way.

You can buy cheap premade photo frames most anywhere, 8 x 11" is a typical size, and trim the picture to fit. Maybe you have to cut an inch or two off the picture, but it’s not like you are spending any real money on art so who cares.

Personally I would really never store vintage paper items sandwiched between foam insulation and plastic shrinkwrap. (glossary words: acid, archival, brittle, browning.) Though if one is just hacking pictures out of a calendar I don’t suppose it matters much.

I’d say just go to a frame shop and have them drymount the suckers and put hanging tabs on the back. For something as small as a calendar image, it shouldn’t be too expensive at all. BTW, I’m a former picture framer.

Much of my fine collection of Impressionist art has come from calendars. :slight_smile:

If you have a Michael’s or other art supplies store near you, you can usually find a selection of frames in a number of sizes with neutral-toned mats there, or supplies to do your own framing; they may also have a staff to do framing jobs if you want to put that much money into it. The one thing I did pay a lot to have framed was a large Renoir poster.

Conservationally, my method is NOT museum quality, although if that is a concern, placing a piece of buffered , non lignin stock between the picture and the foam will be good for 20 yrs or so