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Tips for Choosing Framed Art as Gifts

Aug 17, 2007
A piece of framed art makes a delightful gift for many occasions. Someone who's moving into a new home, graduating from college, or retiring from the workforce may appreciate a special watercolor painting, a chalk drawing, or a beloved photograph that appears in a gift box. Art pieces can come with frames that sit on top of a table or shelf, or they can be part of a wall frame of varying sizes. Find out first if the intended recipient likes receiving artwork as gifts, and whether she has room for it in her home or at the office.

1. Have an antique photo framed in a historical-style finish. This may be tricky if you do not have ready access to the person's family photos or favorite prints. But you may be able to get the help of a family member to get a picture of Great-Aunt Hannah or Great-grandfather Henry. Then have it enlarged and matted in a beautiful frame that does it justice. You will need some idea of where it might go in the home, and whether a wall or table frame is best. Use discretion when fishing for this information.

2. Give a personal photo in a contemporary frame. Depending on the type of relationship you have with the recipient, select a photo that shows a corresponding side of your personality. For example, if you have fun, goofy times together, choose a picture that shows a funny expression on your face or one that reflects a humorous event that the photo will bring to mind. You can even sign the photo to make it more personal, if you like. Or decorate the frame with stencils, dried flowers, or stickers for a memorable touch.

3. Present a special drawing in chalk, pencil, ink, or pens that you have made or that was made by a pro to commemorate a special event the two of you attended. For example, if you had caricatures drawn at last summer's carnival, you might want to have one framed in a fitting design and give it to someone you haven't seen in a while, like your sister who lives on the other side of the country. If you baby-sit someone's children and have permission to take them out, have their pictures done in a medium other than photography. Then have the images framed professionally as a special anniversary or holiday gift to the parents.

4. Buy an old-fashioned picture at a garage sale or thrift store and replace the worn frame with a newer but matching one. Look for themes that will interest your intended recipient, whether they be drawn from landscapes, people, or places. Have in mind one or two possible locations for the picture at your friend or relative's house.

Artwork is fun and decorative to hang around the house. Some people prefer selecting their own. But if you know people who don't mind accepting your selections, give some thought to ideas like these to offer them something a little different.
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