A Magical Mother's Day Mat Carving

With Mother's Day right around the corner, we wanted to put our framing skills to the test and bust out a project that would be challenging, but have a huge payoff. After much discussion, we decided to carve out the word "MOM" on a simple white mat with some sort of colorful floral wallpaper lying underneath. After all, what mother doesn't like something made by hand? This is just like the adult version of those little popsicle stick & macaroni frames you'd make in school.

Because Todd is a mat-carving master, he spent some time drawing out and marking exactly where each cut would be made. It's like laying out the blueprints for all of the exciting things that are about to happen.

And he gets to work. Both of the Ms were cut on our bevel cutter, which cuts at an angle, exposing a bit of the core of the mat and proving a smooth edge in between the mat and what lies underneath. The letter O was cut by a hand blade. This takes some real precision and expertise! 

We found the perfect floral wallpaper to really pop from inside the letters. Once this beauty landed inside of a frame, it was clear that we'd conquered our artistic challenge. It couldn't have turned out better! 

What do you think? We could totally see this on any Mother's wall. And don't worry - we're sure she still loves your popsicle stick frames just as much.

DIY: Rocks, Crystals, and Geodes... oh my!

If you're feeling particularly crafty today, we've got a simple and quick DIY for you that has a huge payoff. Rocks, crystals, and geodes are perfect for bringing a natural and soothing energy into any room. They make for the perfect bedside companions, bookshelf fillers, good luck charms, pet rocks, and even keychains - but have you ever thought about hanging one of them from your wall? Well, neither did we... until a few days ago. 

What you'll need:

  • silicone (or super strong glue)
  • your favorite rock friends
  • a shadowbox frame (make sure your rock fits inside)
  • white mat board 

Step 1: Find your center

Measure the mat board on both sides to determine where you'll glue your rock. It doesn't have to be exact - but it gives you a good ballpark range of where to glue. 

Step 2: Get sticky

Glue your rock to the mat board in the way that makes it the flattest it can possibly lay. You want to make sure it fits perfectly inside your frame! 

Step 3: Let 'em sit

While your rock friends are drying, it's a good idea to clean your glass and get your frame ready. Make sure all those pesky little specks and fingerprints are nowhere to be seen! Once everything is good and dry, put your frame back together and marvel at your awesome DIY skills. 

You can experiment with all kinds of rock shapes and frame sizes. If you're feeling extra crazy, try using a patterned piece of paper or a bright color mat board. We wanted to keep things simple and elegant, but there's no limit to what you can do with these! 

Come mine through our shelves of rocks and geodes until you find the perfect little stone for your project. Oh, and if you need a frame, we're pretty sure we've got you covered on that, too. 

Scooting into Spring

Spring has officially sprung in Chicagoland and we've been basking in some gorgeous sunshine through our shop windows! The flowers are blooming, the short shorts are strutting, and it's almost time to stow away those heavy coats until next winter. So of course, the Foursided gallery walls had to reflect this welcomed seasons change. Kim, one of our many talented framers, was up for the challenge. We spent some time with her at our Broadway location while she pieced together this vespa beauty by Methane Studios.

This beauty has spring written all over it. Not in a bright and floral way, but in a subtle, classy way - a style that's quickly becoming more popular for the modern minimalist. 

We were totally digging this color scheme. We paired a mid-century wooden frame with an off white mat to really set off the colors in the print. It looked like something that was straight out of the Brady Bunch home. However, something was missing. The piece needed a bit more color. That's when Kim had the idea to do a double mat - and a good idea it was. 

We paired the off white pat with a navy/bright blue color-core accent mat. This helped separate the white of the mat from the cream of the print, along with adding dimension to the piece. We were immediately in love. 

Once we bevel-cut the mats, we were ready to secure them to the print. Bevel cutting is the process of cutting at an angle and is standard for cutting any openings in mats. This allows the mat to "flow" into the piece, and in the case of using a color-core mat like our navy one, allows for the pop of color from the core to show through. We used our ATG gun to secure the mats to the print. 
Fun fact: ATG Gun sounds pretty technical and fancy, but it literally is an acronym for "Automatic Tape Gun." You're one step closer to becoming a professional framer!

We carefully cut our glass to size, made sure our print was spic & span, and placed the glass on top. The next step was to fit the frame to the artwork! 

What a breath of fresh air! Doesn't that make you just wanna hop on the nearest scooter and take a ride around town? We were both geeking out at how this piece came together. Make sure to stop by our location at 2939 Broadway and see it for yourself! You can also take it home with you for $285. 
Want more Foursided? Make sure to follow us on instagram (@foursidedchicago) and keep checking back for more exciting blog posts! Happy Spring!