My #1 thrifty art tip: First find the frame... then make the art.
I know, a true artist created based off of inspiration, etc... but have you ever tried to get something custom framed before($$$)?! I cannot even count the number of paintings and drawings that are sitting in a file in my garage right now because I made them with oddly sized paper and couldn't find affordable frames off of the shelf. So now, I shop first for great deals on frames then set them aside until I find the inspiration to make art to go inside.
Just recently, we put an IKEA frame (that I picked up a few months ago for $10 in the "as-is" section) to use for a custom piece:
The beachy print wasn't working for our space, so we used a little Photoshop action to add a three inch white border around a meaningful photograph and added it to the frame instead:
$10 for the frame + $15 for the print (half of with Groupon)= $25 for a custom piece!
If you'd like to add a faux mat border and you're not a Photoshop whiz like Nate, just paste your favorite image into a PowerPoint slide and re-size it to make a border. Save the slide as a ".jpg" and send it to your local printer.
As for the photograph, Nate actually took it for me as an anniversary present.
It's "our" bench in "our" park...
...the same park we celebrated July 4th in this past weekend (along with thousands of our closest friends):
Playing Scrabble on the 4th has become a bit of a tradition.
Do you have any art framing tricks that you keep up your sleeve?
How did you spend your weekend?