Couple hanging a matted frame
Photo: Thinkstock
You don’t have to be a professional photographer or designer, or even have a big budget, to turn your own photos into a stunning art display. Here are a few of my favorite affordable tips for displaying photographs:

Always Add a Mat

My biggest tip ever is to buy a frame one size larger than your photo and add a mat. So if you have a 5x7 photo, purchase an 8x10 frame and a mat that has a 5x7 opening. Adding a mat is very inexpensive – typically $3 to $6 at a craft store – and it instantly adds a border that really sets off the picture.

Be Creative with Mats and Frames

You can use just about anything to add character to a mat or frame. I like using contact or wrapping paper, as well as simple fabrics like burlap or linen. It's inexpensive and adds another layer to the artwork. Another easy tip is to buy inexpensive frames and glue decorative items to their surface. I added string on one frame, moss on another and on one frame, I even added metal chain to create a very urban, modern frame.

Paint It Black (And White)

Printing photos in black and white can create a classic, timeless effect. You can scan old photos at just about any copy store and have them changed to black and white, or print them from home using a photo processing program. Not only does this make photographs look more artistic and modern, it's also great for photos that are slightly blurry or older pictures that may not have great coloring.

Turn Photos Into Artwork with Canvas

One of my favorite ways to display photographs is to have them printed on canvas. The artists at Canvas Rox are great at helping make the most of your picture. It doesn’t cost much but has a huge impact, giving you plenty of bang for your decorating buck.

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