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Matting and Framing your 3x5 Autograph for Under $5.00
Summer Decorating Project - Frame Your Autographs Using an 84% Recycled Frame
This seems like a very simple project but most are not aware that you can buy frames with mattes for $3.00 and matte an entire project for less than $5.00 (not including the matted items). If you look for matted autographs you will find that they can be very expensive, sometimes in the $hundreds. You can do the same thing for a very minor investment.
Although there are many things you can matte, In this little craft website, I will show you how to easily matte your favorite autograph that you either obtained in person or from somewhere else.
I will not only show you how to matte them, I will show you how to obtain that autograph that you want.
I hope you enjoy this website and please let me know what you think about it in the Guestbook below!
Framing Your Autographs as a Great Project
Also, frame some as gifts - Very inexpensive for the fan!
If you are an autograph collector, you already know what a 3x5 autographed card is. However, it is not a difficult concept. Many collectors either write to celebrities and send them blank 3x5 inch cards to sign or take them along when they meet their favorite celebrities in person.
In the modern world, the pen of choice is the Sharpie. Bring several with you because if you hand it to the celebrity and there is a mob of people, the celebrity may continue signing with it and you won't get it back. In the old days, the writing instrument used was the fountain pen and starting in the 1970's, it was the ballpoint pen. In a lot of instances, you can tell the time period of your autograph by the pen used to sign.
The dilemma with these "autographed cards," is that you can take them home and put them in a pile or put them in a little file somewhere. Many times you forget who actually signed them because you don't mark the signer on the back or the signature is so poor, it is indiscernible.
To the right is an example of one of those in my collection and I have no idea who signed it.
This website is not a plug for Wal-Mart but I was in there one day and saw stacks of frames that they had that were either $2.50 or $3.00. They were of all different sizes and several of them already had pre-cut mattes in them. Well, you know if you've ever gone to a frame shop how expensive matting can be, let alone the frame. They are made of 84% recylcled material and are easy to use. They also do not look like cheap frames, some are gold, some are a burgundy and some are black.
I bought several and went to work. The photos of one project are below. With the tape and frame cost, you have less than $5.00 in your total project!
The $3.00 84% Recyclable Frame - This frame was $3.00. It has a goldish-black tone and is decorative & made in the USA
The Back of This Frame is Easy to Use - It has little clamps that you can move easily and open the back - It can be hung vertically or horizontally
When writing someone to request an autograph, always include a Self-Addressed-Stamped Envelope (S.A.S.E.)
Finding That Perfect 3x5 Card to Matte and Frame
I have various sources but the best way to find a signed 3x5 of your favorite person is to go to eBay and use their search engine. You can put in the person's name and "signed 3x5 card" or "autographed 3x5 card" in the search engine block.
Be wary of people selling autographs and if you are not sure, don't buy it. Most offer a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) with the autograph. Check the person's feedback, looking especially for their track record with autographs.
If the person only has a few feedback ratings, I would be leery although everyone has to start somewhere.
The autograph can be a small 3x5 photo also. Some of the matte frames that you can buy have smaller photo blocks so you can put a playing card in them, which is smaller than a 3x5 card. You can also find some frames that have larger size holes so use your imagination!
A 3x5 Inch Card of Norman Vincent Peale - Famous Christian Evangelist and Writer (Now Deceased)
In my opinion, Photoshop has the best photo re-sizing tool on the market.
Photo Depictions and Photoshop
If you don't have a regular photo to matte, you can find one easily using Google Images or any other photo search sites.
If using the photo for your own personal use, you can find just about anything. If using a photo for publication or for profit, be sure to either have the author's permission to use the photo or use photos from the Public Domain.
Photoshop has a feature where you can size the photo to whatever size you would like, or you can use your own photo editor.
If the autograph or 3x5 photo is higher than wide (portrait), then you will need to find photos to resize that are portrait oriented. You wouldn't use a landscape photo with a portrait autograph or vice versa.
Be creative. I have also used resized old movie posters and prints to matte with my autographs.
A Printed Photo Depiction of Norman Vincent Peale from the Internet - Sized using Photoshop to make it fit into the other matte whole
When buying an autograph, always ask for a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).
Do You Matte Your Own Photos or Projects?
How Do You Matte Your Wall Art?
Acid Free Document Tape
This is the same tape that you can buy at your local drugstore and lasts for many applications. I have had the same rolls for years. A great investment when dealing with expensive documents or autographs.
Do not use scotch tape as it yellows and destroys over time. It has acid and will bleed through an item.
The Autograph Taped into the Matte - Be sure to use acid-free tape to avoid yellowing over time
The Photo Depiction Taped into the Matte - Ensure that when matting, your autograph and photo or depiction are centered in the whole before taping
Acid-Free Tape will ensure that your valuable document stays fresh and without discoloration for many years.
Drop the Matte into the Frame
Put the Original Photo Ad over the Matte (White Side Down) and Close the Back - This 'white" will cover any gaps you may have betwen the autograph and the matte
Ensure that if you have "portrait-oriented" autograph, you use a portrait sized photo, and vice-versa.