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Monday, April 30, 2012

Framed Matches

I blogged before about my collection of matchbooks.  Over the years I have saved them from travels and restaurants, and I have some from my grandmother as well.  Of course today's smoke-free restaurants are a good thing, but I do miss the glamorous bowls of matchbooks sitting on the edge of every restaurant's bar. 

I have been working on our tv/ playroom a bit, and I decided that the gallery wall made the room feel too cluttered.  Instead of 25 small pieces of art, I needed something more substantial.  So I decided to frame my collection of matchbooks in two large frames.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit I tried to DIY first.  I went to Ikea and bought two large frames.  As I finished framing the first and held up the newly framed matchbooks, the frame literally fell apart in my hands.  The quality was just so unbelievably bad.  So after a return trip to Ikea and a $50 refund back in my account, I decided to bite the bullet and have them professionally framed.  Sort of.

A friend recommended The Frame Warehouse here in Charlotte.  They have several locations and always have coupons online.  I found their prices to be lower than Michael's, even when Michael's has 50% off custom framing.

They had tons of custom frames and mats from which to choose.

The frames are priced per linear foot, and they range anywhere from about $3.50 to $15 per linear foot.  Of course, the frame is about 30% of the total cost once you include the mat, glass, labor, etc.

Since gray and gold have been on my mind, I decided on a bluish gray mat and a thin gold frame.  I went with a 30x30-inch square, since I plan to use the framed matchbooks on a large wall with our tv.

After making my frame and mat decisions, the lady gave me a total price, and it was a good bit higher than I expected.  The lady told me it was because of the labor involved in framing 100 matchbooks.  I asked her if I could line up the matchbooks and affix them to the mat myself, and she said yes.  Not only did it save me a lot of money, but it also allowed me to place the matches in the exact order I wanted, with the appropriate side facing out, etc. 

I took the mat home and started laying out the matches on the mat.  I used 3M double faced tape squares to affix the matches to the mat.

It didn't take too long, since I had already done the process once before with the failed Ikea DIY framing.  Once I had all the matchbooks affixed to the mat, I took them back to The Frame Gallery so they could frame everything.

Three days later, the matchbooks were framed!  It's hard to tell from this picture (they are sitting on a full-size sofa), but they are large and will be quite substantial on the wall.

I love how the gray mat and gold frame look together.

I can't wait to get them on the wall!


Jamie and Vashti @ Like Me Some said...

Absolutely love that idea! How creative! They are going to look awesome in your room!

Tonia B. said...

I have this collection of matches and have wondered what I could do with them. Now I know.

Champ and Family said...

Such a cute idea. I also collect matchbooks and recognize at least two from my stash in your pic. I keep them in a pretty ice bucket at our bar and whenever I reach for a book to light candles, it gives me a happy memory. But I tend to put my favorite books on the bottom of the pile so I don't use them up! janet from

Anonymous said...

Cute idea. A great way to remember good times.

goheels83 said...

Such a great idea - and the finished product looks amazing!

Brooke Wise said...

I collect them too and LOVE this idea!

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