Unique Framing Ideas – think beyond a photograph!

I believe very strongly that your home should represent who you and your family are. I love when I walk into a house and I can just tell this is my best friend’s house, or my sister’s house. If you meet a new person the colors they decorate with, the type of couch they have and what’s hanging on the walls says so much about them before you even talk to them. I’m sharing some unique framing ideas to help you figure out how to tell your own story through your walls – beyond the photograph.

framing a hermes scarf

I am a sentimental person and I save very personal things. I love to see them on a constant basis. I also want my children growing up seeing “Mommy and Daddy like a pretty house, but it’s a house full of love.” Our walls and small touches let them see our families values and special moments.

When it comes to wall art everything hung in my house represents something. I have a lot of photographs. Some are professionally photographed, but most are ones I’ve taken myself of our kids crying or laughing or even spitting up as babies! Those are the moments in life I treasure – the real ones. We also have real art painted by artists I admire. These are pieces my husband and I have bought on trips. But we also have Ballard Design art pre-framed because it’s a wall space filler until I find what’s meant to go there.


Tip Time: It’s OK to put filler wall hangings up until you know what you want! Doing something is better than doing nothing. But buy something that moves you even if it’s just from Homegoods.


I have in my drawer’s memories that go beyond photographs. They are comprised of a rock, a dollar bill, a menu and a torn piece of paper from a restaurant table cloth. Let me share my story so that I can hopefully inspire you to get your story out of the drawers and on the walls!


The Rock

unique framing ideas

When we moved into our hopefully forever home, we went for a hike in our backyard woods. My daughter found a rock shaped like a heart. She brought it home and put it on our doorstep as a sign of love for our new home.

It is framed in a shadow boxed to give it dimension. My daughter and I gold leafed the rock together (I’m obsessed with gold leafing and plan to blog post about this soon). It gave the simple, beautiful rock a presence and the framing turned an ordinary rock into a work of art. It’s it now hung in a place of honor. It’s our home’s love stone!




The Dollar Bill

This ring is one my Grandpa made me out of a dollar bill. He always did this for everyone he met and I saved so many he made me over the years. Holding this ring makes me remember him.


For my Grandpa’s ring I chose to make it into one story on one frame. My Grandpa always said to me “I’m going to dance at your wedding.” And he did. He lived to dance at all three of his grandchildren’s weddings. To honor this, I framed the ring he made me, the wedding handkerchief I carried at my wedding and one of his handkerchiefs I carried at his funereal. You can even see my lipstick on the handkerchief. Nothing was ironed, nothing is folded perfectly. It tells the story of life – imperfect, beautiful, and memories that last beyond the moment. When I look at this piece I love the asymmetry of it. It’s breathtaking in its imperfect form. And now this piece holds a place of honor in my office just like my Grandpa holds a place of honor in my heart. (PS – Grandma and Aunt Pat who are reading this and crying, please stop! But I hope you like what I did. I think Grandpa would like it!)



Tip: Sometimes the frame will cost more than the piece you’re framing. That’s part of the deal. To frame a rock from outside and make it look like art requires artists to do that. Framers are artists. They use textured matte, layered matte, floating techniques to showcase it in the best light. This comes at a cost. But the end result is a timeless story that can hang on the wall and bring what would be a rock just sitting there looking like nothing become something that represents our family.

The Menu

I’ve saved every menu for every single wedding anniversary dinner my husband and I have gone on. We celebrated 10 years of Marriage at one of the best restaurants in the world. This was a momentous one both for the year and the experience of the dinner.


The Chefs signed the menu’s from the weekend at The Aviary and Alinea and placed side by side they make me remember the amazing weekend we had celebrating!


The Torn Tablecloth

I also saved the very first time all three of my children wrote “Mommy.” We floated the individual writings in one grouping. I love seeing the holes punched in the one from my daughter from the bulletin board she hung it on, and the torn paper from a restaurant paper cloth where one of my sons wrote it for the first time. I can remember where we were when they each gave it to me!


I have so much children’s art, but each of my children create art differently. I chose to keep these very affordable and used ready-made frames and they are hung in our mudroom bathroom. All of our guests smile when they see these and my kids love that their art is “frame worthy”! Also, they are good standard sizes so I can change them out as I wish.


All of these tell our families story beyond a photograph. All of these should not just sit in a drawer.

I recently framed all of these with Aaron Brothers Framing. Aaron Brothers is a national chain owned by Michaels. They specialize in framing for all budgets. I’ve been going to them since I was a newlywed trying to build a home. Then I pushed my tiny babies in their stores looking for even more frames as my intention to frame our growing family increased.

They were affordable for me as a newlywed. Rarely did I custom frame in those days. It was not in the budget! They have an amazing selection of ready to hang wall frames and desk frames that give you a gorgeous high end look, modern, or traditional look. They cover the bases and their prices are extremely reasonable. Beyond that, if you have something that needs to be matted, you can buy an inexpensive pre-made frame and they’ll custom cut a mat for you. 

I can’t tell you enough about the Atlanta Aaron Brother’s stores customer service. I have consistently been  blown away with their devotion to creating your vision, staying within your budget and providing professional advice. They all love what they do and I left with gorgeous pieces of art.

So what are you waiting for? Go grab everything that brings you joy, represents you, your family or a loved one and head to Aaron Brother’s and start letting your life story come to life. What unique framing ideas do you use in your home?

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STAY TUNED FOR FOLLOW UP BLOG POSTS ABOUT FRAMING! More posts coming about the types of framing options, how to choose a look and how to make a custom framing piece versatile and changeable! Sign up to my newsletter or follow me to make sure you see the posts!



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