Here’s a gift idea for parent or child that’s creative and fun!

A children’s book illustrator created and dedicated a personal piece of her art. The print was placed within a neutral mat and a new dimension was added by placing Crayola crayons around the frame’s inside lip. The crayons form a spacer giving depth to the classroom, like the viewer was looking through a window into it. Besides crayons, some other elements that could have been used are wooden rulers or small alphabet blocks.

Did you notice that these are all located within the artwork? For the frame, we chose one that can be written on with child’s chalk – a chalkboard frame! Here, you can have a child or other recipient write their name or draw a small picture personalize their piece!


For That Trip of a Lifetime Give that Gift of a Lifetime

How many times have we taken a vacation of a lifetime, or just a plain get-a-way and brought back a meaningful souvenir to remember it by? You can put it away and forget it as the memories fade or display it to bring back those great memories. Hey, what a great gift idea!  Here are some handmade cards brought back from a trip to the east coast of Africa. Mounting them on a complimentary colored background emphasized their individual colors, tying them together as a collection, and using an African inspired frame gives them the character of their origins. Recessing them back from the glazing builds a little depth and drama so that viewers can appreciate the three dimensional, rustic nature of this art form.

(photos: African cards)


A popular gift idea for any sports enthusiasts, sports jerseys and sports memorabilia of all vintages can be displayed as art.

What a great gift for a man or woman cave, den or office.  A jersey is just a jersey, but when photos, awards, game balls, trophies, etc  are artistically added into the mix, a visual story is created, one that will be enjoyed for years to come.

Note how in our football jersey photo, the grass stains were kept to indicate this was an actual working garment. The jersey itself was sewn down onto a backing and action photos were placed in the box around it to give interest and visual appeal.

The Yankees shadowbox is different in that the focus was not on an actual player but on a fan who was retiring. Given as a gift from co-workers, this Yankees jersey was signed by an office team (instead of actual players). The jersey is recessed while the matting is brought forward to create depth. A pinstripe is cut into the mat to center Yankee team patches (also cut into the mat) and to focus a viewer’s eye on the garment.

Our third idea is for a runner, complete with competition number and medal. In the case of most shadowboxes, the more items that can be gathered, the better – ticket stubs, photos, autographs, game balls, even athletic shoes and other uniform parts. A good framer will work with a customer, culling through the items and arranging them to visually tell the story.


Honor their service!

Whether it’s a military veteran, a first responder or a community volunteer, a collection of medals, badges, patches, photos and citations will mean a lot! Each of these shadowboxes was designed to tell a story of service in war and in peace. Engraved plates can tell the story and identify the items. Photos of the honoree and the unit or location of service can bring the history alive.

Don’t forget maps, ticket stubs, letters from home, news articles, ticker tape from that welcome home parade; the list is endless. A box of memorabilia stuck in a drawer becomes a precious display for generations to enjoy.




Show off your passions!

Most of us have something that we really love to pursue in our spare time. For some, it may be a passion that is stronger than our daytime jobs. It could be anything from music to fishing, sewing to cooking, dancing to yachting. Pastimes are as diverse as we are. What better way to give a special gift to that special person than to frame some items of their passion. These little things, when placed creatively together, become reminders of good times and resonate throughout the year.




Go big when it comes to the Big Day!

No matter how you look at it, your wedding day is one of the biggest days of your life.

How about all of the preparations leading up to it? Then the day goes by so fast that a few days later you can hardly remember it, let alone a few dozen years later. So why not make those wonderful memories last beyond the “I Do’s.” Displayed items from your wedding day make a personally unique gift to give to your most cherished someone. They will grow old with you and mean more each passing year.