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!