5 Things to Consider When Framing Documents

January 20, 2023/ Decorate, Learn

Just about everyone has “the drawer.” You know the one I’m talking about. That desk drawer where you stash papers and knickknacks of all kinds, never to be seen again? Or maybe for you it’s a box, or worse – a room! Hey, it’s a part of life. (Confession: I’ve totally had a “room” before.) Suffice to say, there are some things that you never want to confine to the deep, dark reaches of the drawer.

I’m talking about those documents that carry extra special meaning to you: your graduation diploma, handwritten letters from a friend, your child’s first Crayon masterpiece. You want to take great care of these treasures, especially if they are irreplaceable vintage photos and documents that need to be preserved. For your next document framing project, here are five things to consider that will help you create a presentation that will last for years to come.

UV Protective Glazing

Diploma Framed in Office
Featuring Our 4DF1215 Frame

Just like your skin during a day at the beach, your special documents need UV protection to last a long time. Now, you may not be the type to slather yourself in the thickest coat of SPF 100 possible like me, but we can probably both agree that the sun can deal some damage. So, if you plan to have your graduation diploma hanging on your wall for decades, UV protective glazing is a must.

But what if you plan to hang your framed document in a room with little to no sunlight? UV protective glazing is always essential because any type of light can affect your documents given enough time. When you’ve got delicate items like an original birth certificate or antique papers, you simply want to be as protected as possible.

Acid Free Mats

Picture Frames Mats
We have a large variety of acid-free mats!

When you want to preserve a document for a long period of time (say, beyond a few years) it’s what’s inside your frame that counts. That’s why it’s essential to give special consideration to your presentation materials. Mats will present your document in spectacular fashion, but a lot of mats are made up materials that have natural acids in them that can harm paper material over time. When exposed to light, humidity and other factors for years, the acids in the mats can cause yellowing, staining and even break down the paper.

Acid-free mats are specifically designed for preserving documentation in a frame. You may also see them referred to as Archival Mats. Don’t be confused by the various jargon, though, as they provide the same protection. Rag Mats are another style to consider, as they are made of 100% cotton fiber core and backing, making them naturally 100% acid-free. You can’t go wrong with any of these options, as they will ensure many years of quality preservation for your cherished documentation.

Want to master the art of matting? Check out our blog on mats to become a mat Jedi!

Your Hang Out Spot

Graduation Photo Framed Diploma Framed
Featuring Our HP2 And Our 3DF1215 Frame

A lot of people have what’s called a “Love Me wall.” Yes, that’s exactly how it sounds. It’s a super fun way to tell your story by dedicating a wall to hang all your mementos and accomplishments throughout your life. Personally, I think we could all use a Love Me wall. Choosing which wall to use, however, is actually quite important to preserving documentation.

First and foremost, try to avoid hanging your important mementos in direct sunlight. You may love your room with a huge bay window, but your antique certificates and vintage photos will not love all that sun. Next, consider the climate of your room. A dank basement might make for a perfect Man Cave (or “She Shed!”) but if the space gets too humid, it makes for poor conditions for your framed documents. Finally, consider how much of the story you want to tell. Scope out the space on your wall, plan your layout beforehand, and make sure you don’t run out of space when hanging.

From College to Collage

Custom Photo Collage Mat and Frame
Roby, our Maintenance Team Supervisor

While a "Love Me wall" might be a grand idea, it might be a little too grand for your space. Enter collage picture frames. Using a collage mat for your presentation can turn a picture frame into a chapter of your life’s book. If you’re looking for something fun and different from the traditional diploma picture frame, surround your degree with pictures of your college experience.

You also don’t have to limit your collage frame presentation to documents. We recently gifted our Maintenance Team Supervisor, and military veteran, Roby with a custom presentation of his time of service. He paired photos and documents with his medals and awards in our Old Glory Cherry frame for a truly unique and patriotic look. Creativity is just as important as materials when it comes to making a presentation you’ll happily hang on your wall for many years.

Pride with a Pop!

Kid Framed in Red Rustic Frame
Featuring Our CW6 Frame

The classic look of a wood picture frame around your diploma is an elegant option that will be forever timeless. If you’re aiming for that, I recommend a frame from our Framer’s Choice collection, particularly our Deep Cherry picture frame, which is a customer favorite. However, this is the part where I encourage you lean into your wilder, more creative intentions a little bit.

Color can often hold just as much emotional resonance as the documentation you are framing. If you’re instantly filled with pride when you see your school colors, try using a series of colored mats that either match or compliment those colors. Did your child go color wild on their latest masterpiece? Find a vibrant frame that will set those hues dancing with joy. There might be no greater goal for framing documentation than presenting them in a way that makes you happy.

Got a brilliant new document framed that you’re bursting with excitement to share? We love seeing our Creative Community’s accomplishments and masterpieces on display. Tag us with #framingjoy on social and we’ll be sure to give you a joyous round of applause!