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Twelve Days To Christmas

It's time to sort out Christmas gifts.  Not always the easiest of things but this time you could "make it personal". How about a little project for Christmas? First you really need to get organised and there's just enough time. Here are a few pointers to help you on your way to making a special Christmas gift. 

Twelve Days before Christmas  

A bit like an advent calendar, click on key words to find what extra information is to be found.
12 Choose or create some artwork to frame - perhaps that pastel sketch you bought on holiday in the sun or a latest school photo.
11 Try something different with the mount.  Have a go at a shadow mount or deep bevel. Check out our handy hints on mount cutting.  And don't forget we have 73 colours of mountboard available, including gold, silver Forest Green, and Cherry... very seasonal
10 Organise the specialist materials: foam core board, foam core cutter and decorative mount tapes
 9 choose and order your moulding.  Before deciding remember how to calculate what you need. (Another Handy Hint sheet).
 8 Check out our range of mouldings and see what's on special offer.  There may be something a little out of the ordinary there.
 7 Now it's time to cut your mount.  This could be the right time to look at our full range of cutters and clever add-ons such as the v-groover.  Could be a perfect gift.
 6 On to cutting the mitres.  You may have a good saw, but what about the mitre trimmer?  It's perfect for putting the perfect finish to jour cuts.  Gold frames will have perfect joins.
 5 Clamp and join the mouldings.  This could be just the right time to treat yourself to a gift that makes life less fraught for you.  Find out about our full range of joining systems.
 4 Add a glitz and shine to bare wood moulding so that your gift has a seasonal / personal touch.  There is a whole range of finishes and effects we can help you with.  If you want the whole sack full, have a look at the two frame-finishes kits. There is also the chance to see these products demonstrated at our Open Day in Beaconsfield (16th December).   
 3 Putting the whole thing together calls for a lot of those little, often forgotten extras: D-rings, tapes, bradawls, glass cleaner etc - not to mention the perfect stocking filler - a tab gun.
 2 it's a wrap!  A bit of shiny paper, bows and tinsel.  But don't forget, before all of that, to protect the frame with corner protectors and a whiz around with handywrap.

 1 And now just settle back in front of the fire with a well-deserved glass of your favourite tipple and consider how simple it has all been.  In fact why not think about our gift vouchers and then skip straight from day twelve to where you are now. 

Enjoy your Christmas and don't burn the sprouts!!

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Special Training Days With SWPP

As already featured in both news articles and newsletters, DIYframing will be attending the SWPP Convention in the Novotel Hotel, Hammersmith, London.  For full details of what we will be doing there scroll down to the article about the SWPPP CONVENTION and you can read the full news article.

In addition to what is happening in London DIYframing is running a series of courses for photographers, who want to add framing to their skills base.

Thursday 11th January 2007  Framing Photography

  • learn to frame like a professional. Intensive day of how to make a quality picture frame.
  • insider tips of how professional framers make huge profits.
  • try out the tools to discover which is best for you

Friday 12th January 2007 Mount cutting and Photo presentation:

  • Learn  mount cutting and decoration techniques that will ensure quality presentation for any photography. 
  • Packaging and presentation techniques that will get more sales
  • Try the range of mount cutters in stock to find the best for you

Monday15th & Tuesday 16th January 2007 Framing Photography and Canvas stretching (2 Days). In two days learn:

  • to frame and stretch canvases like a professional.
  • simple mount cutting techniques that will make photographic work stand out.
  • new ways to present your photography and increase profits.
  • how to stretch canvas prints easily. Hands-on workshop.


The Framing Photography and Mount cutting and Photo Presentation courses cost £110 + vat for each day. All the frames and mounts that are made on the day can be kept.  Each student will have the use of their own set of tools provided.

The Framing Photography and Canvas Stretching course is 2 Days and costs £255+vat.  Students keep all frames and mounts that are made and have their own set of tools allocated for the day.

On each day refreshments (Teas and coffees) and a light lunch is providedAll the courses are at our Beaconsfield Headquarters just 23 Miles from Hammersmith, local hotels are available from approx £50 bed/breakfast per night, there is a mainline station that is 35 minutes to London Marylebone.

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Courses Price Offer

We have now been running the courses for 3 years without a price change.  Unfortunately running costs have increased and from 1st January 2007 our prices will have to reflect that.

However, if you book and pay deposits on any 2007 courses before 31st December 2006, we will offer them at current prices.

All dates up until 28th June 2007 are now on line, including dates for the newest title:

Stretching And Framing Canvas Based Artwork (2 day special)

January Dates 2007 (click on courses listed below for more detail and booking)


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Adding Decorative Effects To Frames: New Course

Frame finish course 015.jpg

If you really want to make a statement with your framing or offer your customers a truly bespoke service, one skill that will set you apart is the ability to create your own frame finishes.  With a little imagination you will soon build a repertoire of distinctive styles, adding value to the work you do as well as creating a unique look.

Our new course, Adding Decorative Effects To Frames helps you with the general principles of this way of working.  We take you through how different wood varieties and moulding styles promote different types of finish.  We also look at a range of colouring and finishing products available and how they can be used in combination with stunning results.

The first two sessions ran in October: 1 in Beaconsfield and the 2nd in Manchester.  Each one was a great success.  Students completed a set of 6 sample moulding chevrons before planning and adding effects to a pre-built frame.  The final framed pieces were remarkable, ranging from very subtle wood tones using a range of stains and waxes, to really dynamic combinations of colour stains over-laid with gilt creams. 

The students had varying previous levels of expertise in framing: some had come directly from our Basics of Framing and Mount Cutting & Decoration courses (just 3 weeks earlier). Others had completed a full business development week.  There was a similar variety in the media people wanted to frame.  One artist was looking to create frames which used a complimentary colour palette to her acrylic paintings.  Another student was looking to provide his photography with a surround, which offered a little more "depth" than some pre-finished black mouldings.  One needle worker was looking to develop a "trade-mark" style of framing for her tapestries and embroidery.

Judging by the feedback, one thing they all had in common was the inspiration to try out a whole new range of ideas.

Our next Decorative Effects course will be in the early part of January: dates to be confirmed.

Read the next article for details of an Effects & Finishes kit on sale through the store.

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New Special Kits

Paint Effects & Frame Finishes Kits:
We have put together 2 kits to help you track down the many media and materials available to you.  We have purposely chosen products which are not always readily available at local shops and left out some things that you will either already have or can easily  locate.

(Click headings for detail & prices)

Kit 1 - Frame Finishes Starter Kit
CONTENTS: 2 x palette wood dyes; 1 x neutral wax; 1 x bronze brush; 1 x liming wax; 1 pack 0000 grade steel wool; 1 x pack of 10 disposable gloves; 2 x gilt creams

Kit 2 - Frame Finishes All Essentials Kit
CONTENTS: 4 x palette wood dyes; 1 x neutral wax; 1 x bronze brush; 1 x liming wax; 1 x black patinating wax; 1 x gilt varnish; 1 x Fontenay Base;  1 pack 0000 grade steel wool; 1 x pack of 10 disposable gloves; 4 x gilt creams; 1 x short bristle brush; 4 x Liberon wood colour stains.

Mount Cutting & Decoration Kit
A mount cutting system is not included in the kit, as individuals will want to choose a particular level of cutting package.  However the kit has been developed to cater for those completing the Mount Cutting & Decoration course and includes all of the specialist materials and tools used on the day.

CONTENTS:  burnishing bone; flat steel rule; foam board cutter; 2 x sheets 5 mm Foam Core board; corner gauge; board knife; Mount Decoration Video; 1 reel 25mm masking tape; 1 reel 12mm conservation ATG (double sided tape); 1 reel mount decoration tape (choice of colour); 10 sheets of white core mount board (choice of colour)  

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Open Day & Christmas Bazaar

.... or should that read bizarre? 

This is the second of our Open Days this year.
Date:  Saturday 16th December
Venue: DIY Framing HQ, Woodlands Farm Beaconsfield
Times: 10.00 am - 3.30 pm

In a last minute fit of "Christmas Spirit", Duncan McDonald invites you to join us for mince pies and mulled wine at the "hub" of his framing world.  As well as festive refreshments there will be several opportunities to fill your stockings with Christmas gifts. 

A "star" attraction will be a mini - workshop / demonstration of how to make your Christmas framing really come alive by creating unique paint and colour effects on bare wood moulding.  You will be given ideas of what moulding styles best suit different types of finish and how to prepare mouldings for the various media to be used.  You will be shown some of the wide range of paints, stains and finishing products available and how to use them in various combinations to create stunning and unique looks.  The first 8 - 10 people will be able to grab seats at the front, and even try some effects for themselves.   
There will be two sessions during the day:
Session 1:  10.30 am - 11.30 am
Session 2:  1.30 pm - 2.30 pm. 

Plenty of time will be set aside after each demonstration for people to ask questions and have a closer look at the materials being used.

Other attractions include:

  • 10% off many of our catalogue prices;
  • special prices on 2nd hand and ex demo tools and equipment
  • bargains galore - including moulding packs and special offer mount boards.


Santa’s little helpers will also be on hand to

  • demonstrate the full range of tools and equipment (including the new Charnwood moulding guillotine)
  • help to solve those "framing" little problems
  • advise on how to undertake a whole range of framing projects.

So, if you are stuck for a different style of present or ideas for how to make that unique, personalised gift, don’t miss the DIYframing Christmas Bazaar.

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The Eden Project

Mark Eden recently returned to the Isle of Wight, moving out of his job as a computer engineer, to establish himself as an art photographer, running a gallery and marketing his own framed work.  In some ways having had a career in computers has been beneficial in his new venture, but even though he has returned "home", moving away from friends and contacts means that he has had to establish his credentials and contacts all over again.

Beach Hut Gallery has provided Mark with the opportunity to move from being a talented amateur photographer to becoming a talented professional.  Whilst he really enjoys producing "art photography" to sell through the gallery, he has undertaken some portrait work and made a tentative foray into wedding photography.  With excellent passing trade in the first year it has been a very positive start for the business.  The initial idea was to sell framed photography and started with using ready made frames from such sources as diy warehouses. As with many people wanting to promote their own work, frustration set in when faced with having to squeeze the original artwork into pre-set frame proportions.  The results were not that good, which means that the sale value is reduced.  The other alternative was to contract out his framing: however those costs eat into the profit margin.  As luck would have it, Mark visited the Focus on Imaging Exhibition 2006, where he visited the DIYframing stand, ending up having a long conversation with Duncan McDonald.  The upshot was the purchase of several bits of kit and employing his engineering / practical skills to start framing for himself.  With a few hints over the phone from Duncan, he has been able to get going, producing and selling 10 pieces of his own work per week.

We are always told how important location of premises is.  For Mark, a high level of passing trade has meant that work started to come in as soon as he opened the gallery.  If anything, he has needed to be careful not to "over-promote" his work so that he can meet demand.  At one time he was literal printing and framing work to order; next year during the high season he has already anticipated the need to have stock in place ahead of orders. As business grows, he is clearly not going to rely on passing trade. He regularly attends art fairs and is beginning to achieve a good reputation for his work.  He enjoys the buzz of hearing people say to friends, "you know that picture you like, well this is where I bought it."  Apparently some of his pictures have been sent as far away as Australia.  It is at this type of market place that new customers will be found and so a large gazebo with fully printed awning is on its way with a view to attending larger and more fairs - including traditional County Shows. More advertising will also follow through local media.

To read the full version of this case study click:  The Beach Hut Gallery.

Everyone at DIYframing wishes Mark all the best and thanks him for taking the time to tell us his story.

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Thank you for your continued support.

Until next time...


December 2006

Ok, so the lights in town may not yet be switched on, but there is little doubt that Christmas is fast approaching.  One thing is certain, you cannot rush a good job, so, in the framing world it pays to be organised and make those orders and special arrangements in advance. 

 This newsletter has a seasonal feel with a countdown to Christmas, some ideas for kits to add a personal touch to the framed pieces you may be sending as gifts... in fact the kits make ideal presesnts in their own right.  We invite you to join us in Beaconsfield for an Open Day and tempt you with courses for next year, but at this year's prices.  To round it all off, we tell you about Mark Eden and the business he runs from the Beach Hut Gallery on the Isle of Wight. 

Possibility: New Year, New Business Venture?


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